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FROM US$10,190-US$13,260

Mona Monkey Safari

This example of a luxury holiday explores the wildlife of Nyungwe Forest, the scenic shores of Lake Kivu and the mountain gorillas of Volcanoes National Park, all accompanied by a private guide and vehicle.

Mona Monkey Safari: Summary

Mona Monkey Safari in a nutshell

The sample itinerary we have called the Mona Monkey Safari allows you to travel at a relaxed pace, staying at luxury lodges and taking in the highlights of Rwanda. Travelling with your own private guide and vehicle, you’ll drive through rolling hills of lush farmland scattered with small villages. Stop to chat with locals and visit cultural attractions, such as the old Kings’ Palace in Butare, to get a feel for daily life in this small, dynamic country.

You start your safari at at one of the country’s most exclusive boutique lodges, Nyungwe House, set in a tea plantation tucked into the impressive rainforest jungle of Nyungwe Forest National Park. Nyungwe House is your luxurious base for trekking in search of chimpanzees. colobus monkeys, mona monkeys and forest birds.

From Nyungwe, you’ll head north to Lake Kivu, taking in the spectacular scenery as you drive along the switchback lakeshore road to the comfortable, international-style Lake Kivu Serena Hotel at Gisenyi. Spend a couple of days here to rest and relax, with the option of doing local excursions such as a sunset kayak trip, on which you may witness the lake’s fishermen singing as they cast their nets.

Your final stop is Virunga Lodge, perched high on a ridge overlooking the twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo, in one of the most spectacular locations in the country. This sample itinerary includes a golden monkey trek and one mountain gorilla trek on the forested slopes of the Virunga Mountains in Volcanoes National Park. This is likely to be the highlight of your trip: an hour spent with the mountain gorillas is a memory you’ll keep for a lifetime. If your budget permits, you have the option to do more than one trek.

At a glance

Starts: Kigali International Airport
3 nights Nyungwe House - Nyungwe Forest National Park, Rwanda Full Board
3 nights Lake Kivu Serena Hotel - Lake Kivu, Rwanda Half Board
3 nights Virunga Lodge - Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda Full Board
Ends: Kigali International Airport

Nyungwe House

Days 1-4

Nyungwe House lies at the edge of the beautiful Nyungwe Forest National Park, in south-west Rwanda. After undergoing a refurbishment, the lodge re-opened in 2018 as part of the One&Only group, which has a number of luxury hotels and resorts worldwide, including a sister property close to Volcanoes National Park, One&Only Gorillas' Nest.

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Lake Kivu Serena Hotel

Days 4-7

Set on the shores of Lake Kivu, Lake Kivu Serena Hotel lies on the outskirts of Gisenyi, on the western edge of Rwanda. It's a large, international-style hotel with a range of facilities and activities, and fronted by a long beach.

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Virunga Lodge

Days 7-10

About a 50 minute drive from the headquarters of Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, Virunga Lodge certainly has one of the most spectacular locations of any camp in Africa – high on a ridge overlooking the twin lakes of Lake Burera and Lake Ruhondo.

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Nyungwe House

Nyungwe House

Nyungwe Forest National Park, Rwanda

Lake Kivu Serena Hotel

Lake Kivu Serena Hotel

Lake Kivu, Rwanda

Virunga Lodge

Virunga Lodge

Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

About image

Highlights

Our thoughts on five of the top experiences of this Mona Monkey Safari.

  • Travel at a relaxed pace, accompanied by a private driver-guide and vehicle.
  • Stay in three luxury hotels, chosen for their scenic locations.
  • Trek chimpanzees and discover the wildlife of Nyungwe Forest.
  • Spend an unforgettable hour with a mountain gorilla family in the Virunga Mountains.
  • Visit cultural attractions and learn about life in Rwanda and the country’s history.

Activities

Some activities which can be included in the Mona Monkey Safari: talk to us about those which interest you.

  • Birdwatching

  • Boat trip

  • Canoeing

  • Cultural excursion

  • Guided walking safari

  • Helicopter

  • Kayaking

  • Mountain biking

  • Primate trekking

  • Watersports

About image

Key species to see on the Mona Monkey Safari

Based on our travellers' observations, we’ve estimated the likelihood of seeing these species during the Mona Monkey Safari. Click on the animals and our wildlife surveys page for more info.


Mountain Gorilla

100% chance

Chimpanzee

100% chance

Buffalo

0% chance

Elephant

0% chance

Pangolin

0% chance

Spotted Hyena

0% chance

Side-trips whilst on this safari

We may be able to build in some of these optional excursions from the Mona Monkey Safari. Talk to us: they’re usually best arranged when you book.


Canopy Walk in Nyungwe Forest

Canopy Walk in Nyungwe Forest

Two - three hours

The Canopy Walk in Nyungwe Forest opened in 2010 and was one of the first bridges of this kind to cross a forest canopy in the African continent. You'll be amazed by this easy walk into one of Rwanda's beautiful National Parks. Whether you are looking for some relaxation or adventure, this place is a perfect way to discover the beauty of the forest.

More about Canopy Walk
86% (7 reviews)
Canoeing in Rwanda

Canoeing in Rwanda

Half day - approx. 3 hours on the water

A half-day adventure in lush countryside, on a gentle river near to Musanze, Rwanda

More about Canoeing
97% (7 reviews)
Mount Bisoke Trek

Mount Bisoke Trek

Full day

For something a little different, set out on a one-day hike to the summit of Mt Bisoke in the Volcanoes National Park, home to Rwanda’s famous mountain gorillas. Discover the beautiful scenery of the Virunga Mountains, spot birds and wildlife, and enjoy spectacular views from the crater lake.

More about Mount Bisoke Trek
93% (3 reviews)
Mount Karisimbi Trek - 2 day trek

Mount Karisimbi Trek - 2 day trek

Two days - overnight on Mt Karisimbi

Set out on a two-day hike to the summit of Mount Karisimbi, which at over 4,507m is one of the highest in Africa. This is a challenge for the adventurous! With a local guide, you’ll traverse bamboo forests and rugged terrain, then camp on the slopes of this active volcano before enjoying sunrise from the summit.

More about Mount Karisimbi Trek
Trek to Dian Fossey’s Grave

Trek to Dian Fossey’s Grave

Half day, usually five hours

Dian Fossey is best known for her research and conservation work with the mountain gorillas in Rwanda. She dedicated her life to researching and protecting these ‘gentle giants’ from harm, however she was tragically found murdered at her research camp in 1985. Today visitors can join a local guide to trek through the tropical forest to visit her grave, and learn about the impact of her work.

More about Dian Fossey Trek
Bird Walk in Nyungwe Forest

Bird Walk in Nyungwe Forest

Two - four hours

Enjoy a morning or afternoon hiking through Nyungwe Forest in search of some of the 310 bird species that have been recorded in this area, including the great blue turaco and the endemic Albertine owlet and red-collared babbler.

More about Bird Walk
100% (1 reviews)

Let us help you customise your trip

Like all of our holidays on this site, this is just an idea. All of our trips are tailor-made, so we'll always adapt them to suit you.


Talk to an Expert

Browse this Expert Africa website, then call us. We’ll match you with the Specialist in our team who is best suited to help you.

Set up your itinerary

Based on our experience and your ideas, your specialist will create a detailed, costed itinerary. We’ll refine it together, until we have a trip that you’re perfectly happy with.

Prepare for your trip

The same Specialist will make the seamless arrangements for your trip, send you detailed travel documents, and be available to answer any questions before you depart.

Travel with peace of mind

After you set off, you’ll be cared for by our partners in Africa, most of whom have worked with Expert Africa for decades. And if you ever need us urgently, we’re available 24/7.

When you return

We love to learn about your trip, and so will always be grateful if you’ve the time to give feedback to your Specialist when you return.

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