ITINERARY

  6 Nights – 7 Days | Rwanda

This is a sample itinerary, however, we have a whole host of itinerary ideas that are sure to inspire your next tailor-made holiday with Africa by Heart.

Day 1  |  Kigali

On arrival at Kigali International Airport, you will be met by a representative from Africa by Heart and transferred to The Retreat by Heaven where you will be accommodated for your first night.

The Retreat is an 11-room boutique hotel designed by Italian architects and brought to life by an extraordinary team of Rwandan builders and technicians. With two different accommodation options, the retreat offers luxury amenities in the form of expansive custom-built rooms with peaked ceilings, front and rear private patio areas, bathrooms with indoor and outdoor showers, a heated saltwater solar powered swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, spa, and fully equipped gym.

Day 2  |  Nyungwe Forest National Park

After breakfast, you will be met by your driver/guide and driven to Butare, the cultural heart of Rwanda and home to the former Mwami Palace (King’s Palace), as well as several universities. Enjoy a visit to the Butare National Museum – a fascinating ethnographic museum containing items of traditional clothing, maps, photographs, and historical artifacts.

After lunch at a local restaurant in Butare, continue to Nyungwe National Park where you will be staying at the beautiful One & Only Nyungwe House. Set on a picturesque working tea plantation at the edge of the park One & Only Nyungwe offers the highest standards in luxury alongside warm Rwandese hospitality.

The ancient Nyungwe Forest is home to over 13 different species of primate and 20% of all the apes in Africa. The lush and diverse habitat is famously home to a large population of chimpanzees and endangered monkeys; including the owl-faced monkey and the golden monkey, of which sightings are reported, but unverified. The forest was cited by Birdlife International as “the most important site for biodiversity conservation in Rwanda” for its 275 recorded bird species of which 27 are endemic. Home to a myriad of stunning orchids, butterflies, moths, and other fascinating creatures and insects, the Government of Rwanda declared Nyungwe a national park in 2005, affording it the highest level of protection in the country.

Day 3  |  Nyungwe Forest National Park

Today you will enjoy an early breakfast at your lodge before embarking on a thrilling hike in search of chimpanzee communities.

The Rwandan chimpanzee population is thought to consist of approx. 400-500 individuals, confined to the Nyungwe National Park, including a small community in the Cyamudongo Forest. Prepare to hear these excitable primates before you see them, as their pant-hoots travel through the deep forest. During your hike, you may also spot migratory birdlife including the Ross’ Turaco, grey-cheeked hornbill, red-breasted sparrow hawk and regal sunbird. After lunch, you may depart for the Canopy walk. Dinner and overnight at One & Only Nyungwe House.

Day 4  |  Gisenyi

Today after enjoying your breakfast you will depart for the trekking of Colobus a Mangabey monkeys followed by lunch at your lodge. You will later drive to the ‘beach city’ of Gisenyi. Dinner and overnight at Lake Kivu Serena Hotel.

Lake Kivu Serena Hotel celebrates the shores of this African Great Lake as a destination of astonishing beauty, where pristine beaches and the sparkling waters of Africa’s sixth largest lake come together in breathtaking fashion. Your arrival is greeted by a bright, open-plan lobby giving way to a private stretch of beach reserved exclusively for hotel guests.

Day 5  |  Ruhengeri

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel followed by leisure for the rest of your morning. After enjoying lunch at the lodge, you will depart to the Volcanoes National park. The journey north passes through the beautifully terraced hillsides that characterize much of Rwanda’s landscape and gradually climbs to the base of the Virunga Volcanoes, sometimes with as many as five peaks visible. Arrive at your lodge in the late afternoon and spend the rest of your day at leisure. Dinner and overnight at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge.

Set on the edge of the Parc National des Volcans in a lush green property of 11 hectares, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge enjoys fabulous and dramatic views of the surrounding volcanoes. All guest cottages are discretely situated in the folds of the hills and amongst the verdant vegetation of the Sabyinyo property. Each beautifully appointed en-suite cottage, with its country-chic style and open log fires, is a perfect haven of warmth and luxury.

Day 6  |  Ruhengeri

Today you will have the rare opportunity to observe the famous Rwandan mountain gorillas (subject to gorilla permits being available). Tracking the gorillas through the forested slopes of the Virungas is a magical experience. If you are lucky you can get to the gorillas, spend an hour with them, and be back at the base in time for a late lunch. Some gorilla families, however, are more elusive, and tracking can take a full day, especially when it is wet and muddy. Return to the lodge for lunch followed by leisure in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge.

Day 7  |  Kigali

Today after an early breakfast you will depart for the trekking of endangered Golden Monkeys in the Virunga National Park followed by lunch at the lodge. After lunch check out for your transfer back to Kigali International airport in time to connect with your onward flight.

OVERVIEW OF ITINERARY

DAY 1 – 2: The Retreat by Heaven (1 Night)

DAY 2 – 4: One & Only Nyungwe House (2 Nights)

DAY 4 – 5: Lake Kivu Serena Hotel (1 Night)

DAY 5 – 7: Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge (2 Nights)

Day 1  |  Kigali

On arrival at Kigali International Airport, you will be met by a representative from Africa by Heart and transferred to The Retreat by Heaven where you will be accommodated for your first night.

The Retreat is an 11-room boutique hotel designed by Italian architects and brought to life by an extraordinary team of Rwandan builders and technicians. With two different accommodation options, the retreat offers luxury amenities in the form of expansive custom-built rooms with peaked ceilings, front and rear private patio areas, bathrooms with indoor and outdoor showers, a heated saltwater solar powered swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, spa, and fully equipped gym.

Day 2  |  Nyungwe Forest National Park

After breakfast, you will be met by your driver/guide and driven to Butare, the cultural heart of Rwanda and home to the former Mwami Palace (King’s Palace), as well as several universities. Enjoy a visit to the Butare National Museum – a fascinating ethnographic museum containing items of traditional clothing, maps, photographs, and historical artifacts.

After lunch at a local restaurant in Butare, continue to Nyungwe National Park where you will be staying at the beautiful One & Only Nyungwe House. Set on a picturesque working tea plantation at the edge of the park One & Only Nyungwe offers the highest standards in luxury alongside warm Rwandese hospitality.

The ancient Nyungwe Forest is home to over 13 different species of primate and 20% of all the apes in Africa. The lush and diverse habitat is famously home to a large population of chimpanzees and endangered monkeys; including the owl-faced monkey and the golden monkey, of which sightings are reported, but unverified. The forest was cited by Birdlife International as “the most important site for biodiversity conservation in Rwanda” for its 275 recorded bird species of which 27 are endemic. Home to a myriad of stunning orchids, butterflies, moths, and other fascinating creatures and insects, the Government of Rwanda declared Nyungwe a national park in 2005, affording it the highest level of protection in the country.

Day 3  |  Nyungwe Forest National Park

Today you will enjoy an early breakfast at your lodge before embarking on a thrilling hike in search of chimpanzee communities.

The Rwandan chimpanzee population is thought to consist of approx. 400-500 individuals, confined to the Nyungwe National Park, including a small community in the Cyamudongo Forest. Prepare to hear these excitable primates before you see them, as their pant-hoots travel through the deep forest. During your hike, you may also spot migratory birdlife including the Ross’ Turaco, grey-cheeked hornbill, red-breasted sparrow hawk and regal sunbird. After lunch, you may depart for the Canopy walk. Dinner and overnight at One & Only Nyungwe House.

Day 4  |  Gisenyi

Today after enjoying your breakfast you will depart for the trekking of Colobus a Mangabey monkeys followed by lunch at your lodge. You will later drive to the ‘beach city’ of Gisenyi. Dinner and overnight at Lake Kivu Serena Hotel.

Lake Kivu Serena Hotel celebrates the shores of this African Great Lake as a destination of astonishing beauty, where pristine beaches and the sparkling waters of Africa’s sixth largest lake come together in breathtaking fashion. Your arrival is greeted by a bright, open-plan lobby giving way to a private stretch of beach reserved exclusively for hotel guests.

Day 5  |  Ruhengeri

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel followed by leisure for the rest of your morning. After enjoying lunch at the lodge, you will depart to the Volcanoes National park. The journey north passes through the beautifully terraced hillsides that characterize much of Rwanda’s landscape and gradually climbs to the base of the Virunga Volcanoes, sometimes with as many as five peaks visible. Arrive at your lodge in the late afternoon and spend the rest of your day at leisure. Dinner and overnight at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge.

Set on the edge of the Parc National des Volcans in a lush green property of 11 hectares, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge enjoys fabulous and dramatic views of the surrounding volcanoes. All guest cottages are discretely situated in the folds of the hills and amongst the verdant vegetation of the Sabyinyo property. Each beautifully appointed en-suite cottage, with its country-chic style and open log fires, is a perfect haven of warmth and luxury.

Day 6  |  Ruhengeri

Today you will have the rare opportunity to observe the famous Rwandan mountain gorillas (subject to gorilla permits being available). Tracking the gorillas through the forested slopes of the Virungas is a magical experience. If you are lucky you can get to the gorillas, spend an hour with them, and be back at the base in time for a late lunch. Some gorilla families, however, are more elusive, and tracking can take a full day, especially when it is wet and muddy. Return to the lodge for lunch followed by leisure in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge.

Day 7  |  Kigali

Today after an early breakfast you will depart for the trekking of endangered Golden Monkeys in the Virunga National Park followed by lunch at the lodge. After lunch check out for your transfer back to Kigali International airport in time to connect with your onward flight.

OVERVIEW OF ITINERARY

DAY 1 – 2: The Retreat by Heaven (1 Night)

DAY 2 – 4: One & Only Nyungwe House (2 Nights)

DAY 4 – 5: Lake Kivu Serena Hotel (1 Night)

DAY 5 – 7: Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge (2 Nights)