Golden Monkey Safari

Golden Monkey Safari: In full

This privately guided safari using a private 4WD vehicle is a grand tour of the gems of Rwanda: visits to the bustling capital city of Kigali, hiking to observe the majestic mountain gorillas of the Volcanoes National Park, admiring the glistening Lake Kivu and chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe Forest.


Day 1

1 night at Kigali Serena Hotel (bed & breakfast) | Kigali, Rwanda

The Serena is Kigali's most luxurious hotel...On arrival at Kigali, you meet your private guide and 4WD and decide what you want to do. Visit bustling local markets, get an overview with a city tour, relax by the hotel's pool, or head to the Kigali Memorial Centre, a moving and highly informative monument to the country's genocide. You stay the night at Kigali Serena Hotel. Use your 1 night here to explore the environs or to relax in its attractive surroundings.

Day 2

1 night at Gorilla Mountain View Lodge (full board & activities) | Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Gorilla Mountain View Lodge...Leave Kigali and start your journey to the Volcanoes National Park. Made famous by Dian Fossey, this park is home to six active and three extinct volcanoes. Tracking through its forests can be challenging: the air is a little thin, due to the altitude, the tracks can be steep in parts, and the foliage is usually thick. Spend 4 nights at Gorilla Mountain View Lodge. The lodge is close to the start of the gorilla treks and has en-suite rooms and hot showers. The facilities are fairly good and you have some lovely views of the nearby volcanoes.

Day 3

1 night at Gorilla Mountain View Lodge (full board & activities) | Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Gorilla Mountain View Lodge...After breakfast, spend your first morning tracking the endangered golden monkeys. These beautiful primates live in bamboo thickets on lower mountain slopes, below the forest line. They can be elusive, but the search is good practice to acclimatise you to the altitude before you start on higher treks to find gorillas. In the afternoon, you can choose to explore the area with your private guide and vehicle, perhaps visiting nearby lakes and villages; go for a walk on your own in the farmland around the hotel; or just relax and enjoy the scenery.

Day 4

1 night at Gorilla Mountain View Lodge (full board & activities) | Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Gorilla Mountain View Lodge...Another early start as you head to the park's headquarters for a briefing on the mountain gorillas. An experienced park ranger leads you up into the forest to view a troop, which are usually led by a huge male silverback. You have an unforgettable hour to observe them from close quarters – an amazing wildlife experience. Because of the close contact between gorillas and visitors (often as little as 7m), and the risk of passing on infections which are fatal for them, travellers who are ill will not be allowed on gorilla-tracking trips. Again, you decide with your guide what to do during the afternoon.

Day 5

1 night at Gorilla Mountain View Lodge (full board & activities) | Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Gorilla Mountain View Lodge...On your second morning's tracking, you visit a different troop of mountain gorillas. The location of the gorilla groups varies, as does their altitude, and the ease of the treks to reach them. However, the exertions of the longer walks dissipate once you find yourself sitting amongst a group of such intelligent, playful and engaging primates.

Days 6-7

2 nights at Lake Kivu Serena Hotel (full board & activities) | Lake Kivu, Rwanda

The Kivu Serena Hotel is situated on the lake shore in Gisenye.The next morning you can enjoy a bit more of a lie-in, before starting on your journey westwards towards Lake Kivu. Stop first at the northern town of Gisenyi. Wander in to the town to sample the food at one of the local restaurants, or ask your driver to take you down to the nearby hot-springs where the locals sometimes cook their vegetables! Spend 2 nights here at the Lake Kivu Serena Hotel. When you're not out exploring, spend your time sunbathing around the beautiful pool, or on one of the loungers laid out on the beach overlooking the lake. If you're feeling active take a boat out onto the lake, or enjoy a swim in the waters.

Days 8-9

2 nights at Cormoran Lodge (full board & activities) | Lake Kivu, Rwanda

Cormoran Lodge is a new lodge on the shores of Lake Kivu...After breakfast the next morning, leave Gisenyi and make the slightly bumpy journey down the lake shore to Kibuye. The views along the 2-hour drive are absolutely spectacular. Arrive in the afternoon and spend 4 nights at Cormoran Lodge. Raised up on high wooden stilts, the views from this lodge are panoramic. Take time here to explore the town, go on scenic walks, visit its historic church or pop into its bustling market. You can also take a boat trip out to nearby Napoleon's Island; home to a colony of fruit bats, and visit Amahoro Island at sunset, where you can enjoy a sun-downer at an unexpected beach bar!

Days 10-12

3 nights at Nyungwe Forest Lodge (full board & activities) | Nyungwe Forest National Park, Rwanda

Nyungwe Forest Lodge is set right in the middle of a tea plantation.After breakfast, the journey continues to Nyungwe Forest National Park – set in a large tract of montane forest. This feels like a rainforest and is home to 13 different primate species. Forest walks last from one to seven hours, depending on your energy. Spend 3 nights at Nyungwe Forest Lodge. This high quality lodge is set in a tea plantation. The tea pickers work their way through the fields, picking the young-green tea leave to be taken to the nearby factory.
Opt for strenuous treks to see chimpanzees, or more relaxed guided walks in search of some tropical birdlife, from regal sunbirds to strange weavers, and a variety of primates.

Day 13

Enjoy your last excellent breakfast from the lodge and begin the drive towards Kigali. En-route you can stop in Butare, to look at the national museum, before continuing on to Kigali where you will either catch a flight home, or continue your adventure elsewhere.

See Prices & details for the precise dates/prices for this trip - and all the fine print.