#1 3-1-2017 8:34 AM

ela01
ela
London, England
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Rwanda itinerary

I'm planning a 12 day trip in Aug/Sept.
I'm hoping to visit Kigali, Lake Kivu, trek to see the gorillas and volcanos.
I understand the trek to see the gorillas is 1-6 hours. Is that correct?  Is it usual to stay overnight in a lodge then trek back?
Any suggestions on itinerary.

 

#2 3-3-2017 6:37 AM

Apurva_N
Apurva
New Delhi, India
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Wanderer
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Re: Rwanda itinerary

I haven't seen the gorillas in Rwanda, but the country is lovely, and Kigali is so different to other capitals in the region. I'd add a trip to Burundi if you have 12 days - run down, but an experience. Eastern DR Congo is another option, but that's another world altogether.

 

#3 3-3-2017 9:16 AM

harbinger
Cathy
Brussels, Belgium
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Re: Rwanda itinerary

Rwanda is absolutely lovely, and I would highly recommend it as a friendly and accessible travel destination (and amazingly, one of the cleanest countries in the world).  However, it is considerably more expensive to do gorilla trekking in Rwanda than in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest of neighbouring Uganda, with a similar chance of success.  Are you limited to Rwanda, or would you consider alternatives?
Apurva_N is absolutely right about Burundi - it's really interesting in a 'car crash in progress' sort of way, but is unfortunately probably off the tourist radar for the foreseeable future, as they have altered their visa requirements as a result of the political uncertainty over the past couple of years.  Whereas it used to be possible to buy a visa on arrival, they now need to be obtained in advance, and this can take a very long and undetermined time (my husband's recent visa application has gone nowhere after six weeks).
If you can indicate your preferences, then I'd be delighted to share our experiences on travelling and working in the Great Lakes region.

Last edited by harbinger (3-3-2017 1:27 PM)

 

#4 3-7-2017 4:44 AM

Jenni_Olga_1692
Germany
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Re: Rwanda itinerary

Hi Ela,

if you have 12 days, I would suggest you combine Uganda and Rwanda.
For example start in Uganda, visit the chimpanzees at Kibale Forest NP (great experience), go on a safari at Queen Elizabeth NP and visit the tree-climbing lions, do gorilla trekking at Bwindi Impenetrable NP (amazing experience) and then cross over to Rwanda, go to Volcanoes NP (maybe second gorilla trekking to golden monkey trekking or any other activity), go to lake Kivu and end the tour in Kigali.
Uganda is such a diverse and beautiful country, which you should not miss out to visit. Rwanda is also nice, but I wouldn't stay there for 12 days.
I have travelled a lot in Uganda and Rwanda, I always used one company which is called Ellington Safaris. They offer great service and never disappoint. Fast communication and very reliable. So, if you are looking for a tour company to plan a tour for you, you should definitely contact them. (By the way, I have done a 12 day Uganda & Rwanda Tour with them - and it was amazing)

Good luck with your tour!

 

#5 3-8-2017 9:56 AM

pANSY22
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Duisburg, Germany
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Re: Rwanda itinerary

I hope you know that the Gorilla Permit for non-residents costs 750 USD. Besides, you'll have to calculate at least 200 USD for your accommodation near the NP. big_smile

 

#6 3-9-2017 9:25 AM

ela01
ela
London, England
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Re: Rwanda itinerary

Yes, I am fully aware of costs.

 

#7 3-9-2017 12:30 PM

harbinger
Cathy
Brussels, Belgium
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Re: Rwanda itinerary

For what it's worth. the breathtaking cost pales into insignificance once you encounter your first gorilla.  But it is sobering, especially once you factor in the additional costs of accommodation and transport to the departure point.  That's why going with a tour company (not necessarily a large group) may counterintuitively be a better value option, as you can also visit other attractions en route at relatively little additional cost. 
As Jenni has rightly pointed out, quite a lot of the companies cover both Rwanda and Uganda, and are usually willing to discuss customising itineraries to suit your own interests (for example, Uganda is one of the world's great birding destinations, which really attracted us, especially as it presented the opportunity to see the dinosaurian and highly endangered shoebill stork).

Last edited by harbinger (3-9-2017 12:38 PM)

 

#8 3-9-2017 1:07 PM

ela01
ela
London, England
Couch Potato
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Re: Rwanda itinerary

I will just be visiting Rwanda.  When I decide to visit Uganda, it will just be Uganda.
I prefer to visit the country, not just the tourist sites, get a feel of the country, the people and the way of life.  This is why I don't tend to 'dilute' my trips.

 

#9 3-13-2017 5:20 PM

Capermel
Melissa
Manitoba, Canada
Sightseer
Posts: 63

Re: Rwanda itinerary

I trekked in to see the Gorillas in Rwanda and although I can't remember the exact time it took, it is a few hours. I don't think they can give a set time as it depends on where the Gorillas are that day, meaning you may have to Trek farther. There is def no over night stay before coming back as the trek is in the middle of the jungle, if you go in you have to come out. I wouldn't worry about the trek though, it is beautiful and worth every step you take. You will LOVE it!

PS> It isn't a difficult trek, I didn't find anyway. I was in the middle of a MS attack and one of my legs would barely move and I got in and out smile There is some bush whacking etc and steep wet hills (At least when I was there in RAINY season) but like I said if I could make it with a busted up leg you will be fine. So please, don't worry and just enjoy. I highly recommend it!

Last edited by Capermel (3-13-2017 5:23 PM)

 

#10 3-14-2017 12:24 AM

sarahelaine
Sarah Elaine
Manchester, England
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Re: Rwanda itinerary

ela01 wrote:

I will just be visiting Rwanda.  When I decide to visit Uganda, it will just be Uganda.
I prefer to visit the country, not just the tourist sites, get a feel of the country, the people and the way of life.  This is why I don't tend to 'dilute' my trips.

I think that's a great way to travel, but in Africa the country borders were drawn by Europeans with no respect for the people and way of life. I won't recommend crossing to Uganda if you don't want to- especially as I suspect the overland border might be a pain- and I have no doubt you'll have more than enough to fill your time in Rwanda. but it's worth bearing in mind that "the people and the way of life" are based on cultural and linguistic groups, not on the borders that European powers drew to suit themselves. And if you do come to Uganda it sounds like you'll need at least two trips, as the "people and way of life" of the Luganda speaking Bugandans is quite different from the Acholi northerners, with the Nile as a boundary.

Trekking to see gorillas is unpredictable, depending where they are on a mountain. So yes, I'd book a lodge. They live in a beautiful natural ecosystem and there's likely to be astonishing bird life and countryside to see, and African roads are generally terrifying after dark, so I prefer not to rush too. I haven't been in from the Rwandan side but it's the same forest, from the bird's and animal's point of view (they don't care much about borders either), and I was thoroughly in love with the pied crows and wish I'd known then what I do now about the region's nature.

Last edited by sarahelaine (3-14-2017 12:29 AM)

 

#11 3-14-2017 11:20 AM

harbinger
Cathy
Brussels, Belgium
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Re: Rwanda itinerary

There is one utterly irrelevant reason for crossing the border between Rwanda and Uganda, and that is that in the space of a couple of metres, you both gain/lose an hour, and also switch the side of the road on which you drive.  Probably not worth the visa fee (it is pretty laid back as borders go, so there's not huge hassle involved), but if you are going to do it anyway, it's a delicious piece of trivia to savour. smile

 

#12 3-15-2017 4:17 AM

OmoitS
Omoit
Kampala, Uganda
Couch Potato
Posts: 4

Re: Rwanda itinerary

Hullo
Rwanda is  small country but has more to present to their clients please have a look at this itinerary for you

ELEVEN DAYS TOURING RWANDA
ATTRACTIONS: Gorilla tracking, game driving, culture tours, and birding
ITINERARY:
DAY 1: Arrival and transfer to chez Lando Hotel
Upon arrival at the Kigali International Airport, you’ll meet our driver-guide and you’ll be brought to Chez Lando Hotel for your accommodation and dinner.
DAY 2: Kigali city tour and transfer to Volcanos NP
After breakfast, we have a city tour, exploring Kigali’s main attractions (Kigali Genocide Memorial Site, Kandt Museum, Kigali Museum) to learn the history of city and country’s pre-colonial and colonial period. After lunch, we’ll drive to Musanze and overnight at Muhabura Hotel.
DAY 3: Gorillas Tracking and Birding in Buhanga Forest
After breakfast, we track Mountain Gorillas. Gorilla tracking can take between 3 and 6 hours. Afterwards, we’ll have lunch and relax at the hotel. In the afternoon, we’ll go birding in Buhanga, whose forest is host to more than 100 bird species. Dinner and accommodation are at Muhabura hotel.
DAY 4: Tracking Golden Monkeys
After an early breakfast, we’ll track Golden Monkeys in the NP. The tracking can last until midday/ After lunch we’ll relax, then visit the Ibyiwacu Cultural Village. In the late afternoon, we’ll drive to Kigali. Dinner and accommodation are at Chez Lando Hotel.
DAY 5: Birding at Kamatana and Mashoza relict forest, heading to Akagera NP
After an early breakfast, we’ll drive to Akagera National Park, birding on the way at Kamatana and Mashoza relict forests. After lunch and a break at Akagera Game Lodge, we’ll have an afternoon game drive where we can see many animals like zebras, buffaloes, topi, eland, etc. Dinner and accommodation are at Akagera Game Lodge.
DAY 6: Birding and Game drive in Akagera NP
After an early breakfast, we’ll start the game drive on Mountain circuit. On this circuit, you’ll be able to see a variety of birds and animals such as elephants, impala, hippos, and crocodiles. Diner and accommodation are at Akagera Game Lodge.
DAY 7: Birding and wildlife game drive and transfer to Kigali
After breakfast, we’ll do a birding and game drive on the Lakes circuit, via Muhana to Kirara Plain. We’ll see mammals like Burchelli’s zebras, Masai giraffe, Cape Buffalos etc. You will also birds species such as Grey Crowned Crane, Saddle-billed Stock, Black-bellied Bustard, etc. In the late afternoon, we’ll drive to Kigali. Diner and accommodation are at Chez Lando Hotel.
DAY 8: Rwanda historical tour and Transfer to Nyungwe NP
At 7am, after breakfast, we’ll drive to Nyungwe NP. We’ll stop at Huye to visit King Rudahigwa’s 1931 Palace, the residence of King Mutara III Rudahigwa. After lunch, we’ll proceed to Nyungwe NP. Accommodation and diner are at Gisakura Guest House.
DAY 9: Tracking Chimpanzees and birding in Nyungwe NP
After an early breakfast, we’ll track Chimpanzees. The tracking starts very early at 5:30am and can last until lunchtime. After lunch, we’ll resume our birding safaris around the park. Accommodation and dinner are at Gisakura.
DAY 10: Nature walk in Nyungwe National Park
After breakfast, we’ll go on a nature walk to see a variety of primates and bird species. After lunch, we’ll visit a tea plantation and participate in tea harvesting in the neighboring local communities. Overnight at Gisakura.
DAY 11: Tracking Colobus (or Mangabey) and transfer to Kigali
After an early breakfast, we’ll track Colobus Monkeys. If lucky, we’ll have already seen Colobus, in which case we will track Grey-cheeked Mangabey instead.  Afterward, we’ll return to Kigali.


COST;
This safari package includes:
Transportation by a 4X4 vehicle, Full board accommodation, Park fees, Gorilla Permits Chimpanzee permits, Golden Monkey Permits, An English speaking Driver/guide
The package excludes expenses of personal nature like Visa, drinks, tips for local guides, telephone, alcoholic drinks and anything that is not mentioned in the itinerary.

 
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