Volcanoes and Lakes

Duration: 7 days

Highlights: Kigali, Volcanoes National Park and Lake Kivu

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Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive Kigali

Upon arrival at Kigali International Airport, you will be met by our representative and transferred to Kigali Serena Hotel for the night. Dinner is under your own arrangements. 

Ideally located on one of Kigali's most charming boulevards, the five-star Kigali Serena Hotel is built around a polished granite atrium, which showcases the very best of Rwandese cultural art. Relaxed yet elegant, the hotel centres on the Executive Lounge and Bar, which opens onto a wide sundeck overlooking the newly refurbished swimming pool. Also overlooking the pool, the popular Milima Restaurant offers a wide range of all-day buffet choices, while the relaxed Sokoni Café offers inside and outside poolside seating.

Overnight: Kigali Serena Hotel

Meal Plan:

Day 2 - Kigali – Volcanoes National Park

After a breakfast, you will be taken on a tour of Kigali including a visit to the Genocide memorial center. Later drive to the Volcanoes National Park. This journey is approximately 2hrs drive. It will give you an opportunity to view the terrain of beautiful Rwanda and 1000 hills the country is renowned for.

In the afternoon you will have the opportunity to visit Ibyiwacu Cultural Centre. This centre is a non-profit organisation that aims to improve the lives of reformed poachers. Whilst here you will see a replica of the Kings house, have a taste of the local banana beer and meet and interact with the local people.

Overnight: 5 Volcanoes Boutique Hotel

Meal Plan: B,L,D

Day 3 - Gorilla Tracking in Volcanoes National Park

After an early breakfast, drive to Volcanoes National Park HQ to be allocated a gorilla tracking group.

0700 hrs: Briefing by your trackers then drive to the trail head for the start of an amazing adventure. 

Gorilla tracking in Rwanda is often described as “life changing” and with good reason. With only an estimated 880 Gorillas left in the world, to see these gentle creatures in their natural habitat is a truly unique moment. Gorillas make their homes in and amongst the bamboo-covered slopes of the Virunga Mountains in the Volcanoes National Park in northern Rwanda. Trek to see them and you’ll be introduced by your expert trackers and guides to one of the fully-habituated families of mountain gorillas and you can stay with them for an awe-inspiring hour, often crouching just a few feet away, whilst the gorillas go about their daily lives. 

Hikes in the mountains can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours + depending on the family allocated to your group and their location. The journey back can take just as long, but you are often carried along by the euphoria you feel at seeing the gorillas!
Expert guides give a pre-trek briefing on specific protocols and rules for visiting the gorillas that live within an altitude of 2500 and 4000m. Porters are available to help carry backpacks and cameras, as well as helping you with your footing along your hike which can be hard work, but well worth it.

Overnight: 5 Volcanoes Boutique Hotel

Meal Plan: B,L,D

Day 4 - Golden Monkey Tracking

After breakfast at your hotel, you will be picked by your driver guide from your lodge, and driven to the park headquarters where you will be briefed and escorted to track the Golden Monkeys.

The Golden Monkeys are also an endangered species and the park is currently home to two habituated golden monkey troops which consist of approximately 40 members each. The troops live in the bamboo forests at the base of the volcanoes and the tracking experience is very similar to the gorilla tracking experience. There will be no more than eight guests tracking and the departure time is 7:00am.

The golden moneys are very active creatures and spend a lot of time up in the bamboo jumping between them which can make them difficult to photograph. However, this is a rare and delightful experience and one not to be missed whilst in Rwanda.

Overnight: 5 Volcanoes Boutique Hotel

Meal Plan: B,L,D

Day 5 - Volcanoes National Park – Lake Kivu

After a leisurely breakfast you will drive south to Lake Kivu. The drive takes approximately two hours and the road winds its way through some magnificent scenery. The lake itself is the sixth largest lake in Africa and dominates the border between Rwanda and the DRC. Driving between the towns is simply stunning and around every corner there is a magnificent view.

You will arrive at the Lake Kivu Serena Hotel in time for lunch and the chance to sit on the sand shores looking out over the lake. In the afternoon you will venture out onto the lake on the hotel boats and take a cruise around the paradise islands with a sundowner cocktail in hand.

Overnight: Lake Kivu Serena Hotel

Meal Plan: B,L,D

Day 6 - Day at Leisure at Lake Kivu

Today you have the opportunity to relax on the shores of this magnificent lake or take advantage of the activities that are offered by the hotel such as boat cruises, supping, kayaking and tennis.

Overnight: Lake Kivu Serena Hotel

Meal Plan: B,L,D

Day 7 - Lake Kivu – Kigali

After breakfast you will drive back to Kigali (approximately 3 and a half hours drive) on arrival you will have lunch and a day room to freshen up before driving to the airport to depart.

Overnight: Kigali Serena Hotel - Dayuse room

Meal Plan: B,L

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