Tailor-Made Holiday

Rwanda Alternative Highlights

14 days

from £8,295pp (excluding flights)

Meet mountain spirits, get high with chimps and cycle around volcanoes, before experiencing the buzz of Kigali’s modern art scene. 

  • Meet the gorillas of Virunga, before exploring the sacred caves under their feet
  • Eye to eye chimpanzee encounters, in the canopies of Nyungwe Forest
  • Cycle around volcanoes then cool off on the shores of Lake Kivu
  • Big Game and fishing around the red savannahs of Akagera National Park
  • Meet the artists and their work at the dazzling Inema Gallery in Kigali

Whilst gorilla trekking offers a thrill hard to find elsewhere, heading underneath their mountain home to explore the spectral Musanze caves, brings a Lost World, inhabited by flying mammals, snakes and local spirits. A trip to Nyungwe Forest and a walk through the clouds along the canopy walkway, provides eye-to-eye chimp encounters, whilst butterflies and chameleons dazzle nearby. Heading east brings out the big game, sun-baked savannahs dotted with lakes, where thirsty animals come to drink and dusty travellers look on, before nights around the lodge fire under a starry sky. Cycling around volcanoes, brings to you Lake Kivu, offering beaches by day and glowing lava at night, before returning to Kigali to tune in to Rwanda’s dynamic modern art scene. 


For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 8295 £ 700
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing with private guide as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas

PLEASE NOTE THE COST SHOWN INCLUDES INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK, BASED ON AN APPROXIMATE AIR FARE. PLEASE ASK YOUR TRAVEL EXPERT FOR AN ACCURATE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT QUOTE. INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Nairobi overnight

Day 2

Fly Nairobi to Kigali overnight

Drive from Kigali to Akagera National Park


Leave Kigali and head east to Akagera National Park, a journey of around two hours. Driving from the forested hills around Kigali to the open, dry savannah which borders Tanzania, you pass by traditional roadside villages, before entering the park itself and then on to your lodge.


Akagera could not be more different to the dramatic, cultivated hills that distinguish much of the country, offering a wonderful savannah contrast. Dominated by a maze of swamps and lakes that follow the meandering path of the Akagera River, the beautiful undulating plains, acacia woodland and rolling grasslands are home to big game - although not in the numbers found in other East African parks. That said, elephants and buffalo, hyena, giraffe and the occasional leopard can all be seen.

An exciting new addition to Akagera's four legged fauna is the reintroduction of lions to the national park. Five females and two male lions were translocated from South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal, chosen for their reproductive potential. This is a project managed by African Parks and is a part of a larger effort to promote conservation in Akagera and restore the park to its pre-genocide state, where lions and other big game flourished.


You will be staying at Ruzizi Tented Lodge, Full board

Day 3

Full days safari in Akagera


You will be staying at Ruzizi Tented Lodge, Full board

Day 4

Day at leisure in Akagera


You will be staying at Nyungwe Rain Forest Lodge, Full board

Day 5

Nyungwe Forest Chimpanzee Trek
Head out today to search for Rwanda's other famous, but less visited southern cousins, the chimpanzee, in the beautiful Nyungwe forest. After a short briefing from your guide, walk through stunning tea plantations acting as a buffer to the park, before entering the forest. Nyungwe itself is considered to be one of the most beautiful parks in Rwanda and whilst lying at a lower altitude, it can be very steep and challenging in places.

The rewards however, are well worth it, with over 13 species of monkey found here and some excellent birding, along with over 100 species of butterfly and the occasional chameleon.

With an estimated 500 chimpanzees in the forest, the chances are you will hear them long before you see them, but trekking can take anything from one to four hours. The ongoing habituation process gives you a good chance of seeing them but nothing is guaranteed. If you are lucky enough to find them, you will spend one hour watching them play, fight and eat in the atmospheric forest, before retracing your steps back to the lodge.


You will be staying at Nyungwe Rain Forest Lodge, Full board

Day 6

Nyungwe Forest Walk
With over 120 species of butterfly, 278 species of birds and one of the only places in Rwanda where there is a good chance of seeing chameleon, a forest walk through Nyungwe is richly rewarding. After an early start, head out with a guide in search of the intriguing wildlife found here, including jackal, forest hog and the elusive wild cat.


You will be staying at Nyungwe Rain Forest Lodge, Full board

Day 7

Drive from Nyungwe Forest National Park to Volcanoes National Park (Road Journey)


The forested slopes of the Volcanoes National Park are spectacular and full of drama. A chain of free-standing volcanoes, they are home to local snake spirits, active volcanoes and the place where Dian Fossey lived - and died - for mountain gorillas. With peaks reaching nearly 4,500 metres and a network of rugged trails, this is a park that is as challenging as it is thrilling and despite its popularity, it is still the best place to see mountain gorillas.


You will be staying at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, All inclusive

Day 8

Gorilla Trek in Volcanoes National Park
After waking at sunrise, there is a short drive to the park headquarters, where briefings, porters and coffee awaits before stepping into the cool forests to begin your adventure. Guides help steady the pace, with stops for water, signs of gorillas and a chance to soak up the views of the valleys below.

Trekking can take anything from 30 minutes to most of the morning so it is important you are prepared. When the gorillas are found, porters stay with your bags as you step forward, with cameras at the ready, for a truly magical wildlife experience.

You will spend one hour with the gorillas - sometimes you will move to keep up with them, other times they will remain in the same place, although the guides will always ensure you get the best views. After the hour is over, return to the porters and begin your trek back - the length of time again depends on where you are in the forest. A packed lunch (provided) is usually eaten at a scenic spot in the forest, before returning to the lodge to freshen up. Then transfer to Kigali for your flight home.


You will be staying at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, All inclusive

Day 9

Golden Monkey Trek
Smaller and nimbler than the gorillas, but equally deserving of protection, a half day visit to spot the golden monkeys is a fun way to explore the forest. So named because of their bright orange bodies, they are indigenous to the region and more elusive than the gorillas, but these fast moving primates will keep you on your toes. Return to the lodge in the afternoon to relax.


You will be staying at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, All inclusive

Day 10

Day at leisure in Lake Kivu


You will be staying at Lake Kivu Serena, Full board

Day 11

You will be staying at Lake Kivu Serena, Full board

Day 12

You will be staying at Lake Kivu Serena, Full board

Day 13

Drive back to Kigali.

Fly Kigali to Nairobi

Fly Nairobi to London overnight

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Lake Kivu Serena

Lake Kivu Serena

The Kivu Serena, sits on the white sandy shores of the lake from which the hotel takes its name, surrounded by extensive tropical gardens, offering the perfect place to relax and unwind after the rigours of trekking....

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Nyungwe Rain Forest Lodge

Nyungwe Rain Forest Lodge

Sitting in a great location, with the thick forest on one side and expansive views across the vibrant green tea plantations on the other, this lodge is blessed with setting, service and style....

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Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge

With only 5 cottages, 2 suites and 1 family cottage, Sabyinyo Silverback lodge is certainly luxurious and exclusive....

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Ruzizi Tented Lodge

Ruzizi Tented Lodge

Perfectly located for exploring Akagera National Park, Ruzizi Tented Lodge is built on the shores of Lake Ihema....

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Rwanda

Bridget Cohen, Travel Expert

"Bridget had a great knowledge of the areas being looked at and given I have spent time in both countries, it required someone who completely understood the type of camps preferred."

"Bridget's service was very personal and friendly whilst maintaining a professional manner. All my questions were dealt with promptly and efficiently."

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Chris Johnston, Travel Expert

"Chris was always there for any questions and we felt he was genuinely interested in making this next trip as memorable as possible - which it most certainly was!"

"Excellent advice and information on our very first Steppes holiday. Chris was exceptionally helpful and patient and he treated us as individuals instead of tourists, by taking time find out what we wanted from our trip."

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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