Kigali

Day

Date

Morning

Afternoon

Meals

Mon

30.Apr

Arrive in Kigali

D

Tue

01.May

Transfer to Volcanoes Natl Park

B L D

Wed

02.May

Golden Monkey Trek

Optional Excursions (extra)

B L D

Thu

03.May

Gorilla Trek (extra)

Transfer to Kigali

B L D

Fri

04.May

Mindleaps Visit (Children)

Art Gallery & Shopping Tour

B L D

Sat

05.May

Kigali Highlights


B L Gala D

Sun

06.May

Departure (to Muscat or home)

B


April 9 - Due to last-minute cancellations, we have space available for doubles or singles.

Monday April 30th - Arrive Kigali

Upon arrival at Kigali Airport, you’ll benefit from VIP arrival and a private transfer to your hotel for an overnight night stay, including dinner and breakfast.

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Ideally located on one of Kigali's most charming boulevards, your five-star hotel is built around a polished granite atrium, which showcases the very best of Rwandese cultural art. Relaxed yet elegant, the hotel features an 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.

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Tuesday May  1st - Kigali to Volcanoes National Park

After breakfast, drive for 2 hours through the “land of a thousand hills,” with hills and valleys of lush green countryside. Arrive in the small village of Kinigi, at the foot of Virunga Volcanoes National Park, and check in to Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge or Bisate Lodge for a 2 night stay, including all meals, house beverages, and laundry.

Sabyinyo


Your lodge is located close to the headquarters of the Parc National des Volcans from where clients trek on foot to see the magnificent Mountain Gorilla – perhaps one of the most dramatic, thrilling and poignant wildlife experiences possible.

The lodge, situated in the foothills of the mighty Virungas, the chain of 15,000 ft. volcanoes stretching through Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, affords wonderful views of the volcanoes and the surrounding countryside. Guest cottages and the main lodge building have been beautifully constructed and appointed and the lodge is the perfect base from which to explore this unique and fascinating corner of Africa.


Wednesday May 2nd - Volcanoes National Park

This morning, go on a Golden Monkey Trek.  NEW - this trek is now included in your package.

Rwanda's golden monkey is well worth discovering, and soon: its attractive pelt and relative accessibility has put it on the endangered list. These extremely attractive, playful and agile primates thrive in the Volcanoes National Park and make for fascinating (but strenuous) viewing. The golden monkey is a subspecies of the blue monkey found only in the bamboo forests of the volcanic mountain chain that forms a part of the boundary between Rwanda, Uganda, and DRC.

A visit to the golden monkeys is very different from gorilla viewing. The Golden Monkeys live mainly in the bamboo thickets and are smaller and harder to spot, but extremely rewarding once found. The monkeys react and interact differently with visitors, and never stop playing hide-and-seek! There is a newly habituated group of about 40 individuals in the Volcanoes National Park that can be visited. It is only during the very last few years that researchers are starting to put together a detailed picture of their lifestyle and routines.

There will be an opportunity to freshen up and enjoy lunch.  

In the afternoon choose from a variety of optional excursions.

 

Thursday May 3rd - Volcanoes National Park

Wake early this morning for your gorilla trek! At 7.00AM, you will receive a briefing at Kinigi Park headquarters before departing with your guide to search for these gorgeous and expressive animals. Each visit is with a professional gorilla tracker who will coach you in the safety rules and body language required to come close to the gorilla troops.

The trek to find gorillas can be quite short, but on most days an hour or two of rough hiking each way is necessary. The climb begins through the lush terraced farmland of the lower volcanic slopes. As the slopes become steeper and rockier, the vegetation becomes thick and tangled. Usually at around 8,000-9,000 foot signs of the huge animals become apparent.

This is not a technical climb but it can be a scramble as the gorillas make their way through incredibly lush and dense vegetation – and where they go you have to follow. When you are within 200 meters you will meet the gorillas' accompanying trackers, employed by the parks to monitor each group 24/7. Here you leave your bags behind and approach these amazing giants, so close and so mesmerizing.

Return to Kigali in the afternoon.

Friday, May 4th - Kigali Art & Shopping

NEW - Reggie has asked that we visit a children’s charity in the morning.  

45 minutes: Dance presentation by MindLeaps’ kids & Q&A with guests
60 minutes: “Home” visits (3 guests per group, escorted by a MindLeaps staff member, to visit 1-2 kids in the neighborhood)
30 minutes: Birthday party (cakes & Fanta) at the center for Reggie.

We’ll head to lunch in town at 12.30pm

In the afternoon, you’ll visit art galleries and enjoy the many shopping opportunities in the local markets.  

 

Saturday  May 5th -  Kigali Highlights

After breakfast, visit the Genocide Memorial Museum in Kigali, where a poignant exhibition testifies to how far Rwanda has come since the dark days of the mid-1990s. The city is now a vibrant home of 1 million with wide boulevards, world-class hotels and restaurants.  Visit the Kandt Museum and have lunch at the “Hotel Rwanda”. 

 Afternoon at leisure. 

7pm - Gala Dinner with entertainment

 

 

Sunday, May 6th - Kigali

After breakfast you will be taken to Kigali airport for departure (to Muscat or home)


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OPTIONAL A LA CARTE EXCURSIONS (extra, for afternoon of May 2nd)

Caves

Take a tour to the Caves: Located in the Musanze district and formed over centuries of volcanic activity from the Virunga volcanoes, these caves give tourists a rare look into Rwandan earth and history. The 1.25 mile long cave formations are a great place to explore. The guided tours explain the history of the caves from their formation to their various uses in history for example, during times of war they were used as a shelter. Tours of the caves take approximately 2.5 hours and are a great add-on activity.


Buhanga Eco Park

 

Buhanga is a sacred hill located in the Northern Muhanga District also home to Rwanda’s rare mountain gorillas. For some particular reasons local residents call it Igihondohondo (which means yellow), probably due the colors of its vegetation. The hill played a important role in ancient Rwanda during the coronation of Kings. The lake, in which the king had to bathe in before his coronation, called ‘Iriba rya Gihanga’ can still be found in the forest of the sacred hill. Despite its small size (around 13 hectares) the forest is a site of tremendous ecological importance and astonishing beauty. 

According to locals, every Rwandan king, from the first King (Gihanga) to the last one (Kigali Ndahindurwa), has bathed in the waters of the lake. For hundreds of years, local residents refused to either cultivate crops or to cut timber in the area. For bird-watching lovers, the best time to visit the forest is in the early morning or late afternoon when the birds are at their most active and their songs fills the air.

 

Ex-Poachers Village / Gorilla Guardians Village

An award-winning conservation initiative, former poachers were convinced to renounce their wayward ways and become conservation activists. Together with their families, they founded this little community village with a replica of the Kings palace, where they now participate in eco-tourism showcasing Rwandan culture and customs. On arrival, guests will be welcomed with drum beats and the Intore (warriors, the chosen ones) dance, followed by a briefing by a village ‘guide’. They then ‘visit’ the King (Mwami)’s House where they learn about the life and times of a Mwami and a ‘King’ will be ‘crowned’. Tour the traditional healers homestead and enjoy demonstrations of traditional skills - fire-making, archery, weaving, medicine, architecture (totally unique grass thatched huts that were used by the kings), magnificent Rwandan cultural dances, etc. among other things - followed by a mass dance where all guests are invited. This lasts a couple of hours. Time at ex-poachers village is very interactive, educational and fun for all ages.

 

Dian Fossey Map Room / Twin Lakes

The permanent exhibition and wonderful opportunity for the scenic view the twin lakes (Burera and Ruhondo), provides an overview of the exploration and conservation of the Virunga Volcanoes area from the 1860s to the death of Dian Fossey in 1985. It shows the expeditions of the great explorers, from Speke to von Götzen, as well as the detailed mapping by colonial administrators. The exploration opened the way to scientists and conservationists: the exhibition shows a small selection of pioneer conservationists from Carl Akeley to Dian Fossey.

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