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9 Days Rwanda Tour: Gorillas, Chimps, Wildlife, Recreation, Culture

9 Days Rwanda Tour Overview

Experience an incredible 9 days Rwanda tour, featuring a variety of exciting activities such as mountain gorilla trekking, golden monkey tracking, chimpanzee tracking, wildlife game viewing, a boat tour on Lake Kivu, community village visits, and a tour of the Kigali Genocide Museum.

9 Days Rwanda Tour
A gorilla in Volcanoes National Park

This 9 days tour in Rwanda begins with a drive from Kigali to the stunning Akagera National Park, where you’ll enjoy classic Rwanda wildlife safaris and a relaxing boat cruise on Lake Ihema. Next, embark on a scenic drive southwest to the ancient Nyungwe Forest for chimpanzee tracking and canopy walk adventures, followed by a beach break on the beautiful shores of Lake Kivu.

Continue to Volcanoes National Park for an unforgettable Rwanda gorilla trekking adventure, golden monkey tracking, and a visit to the Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village to experience local culture. Conclude your tour with a visit to the Kigali Genocide Museum.

You can book this 9 days Rwanda tour as is or customize it to suit your special interests.

9 Days Rwanda Tour Prime Activities

  • Mountain gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park
  • Golden monkey tracking in Volcanoes National Park
  • Chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe Forest
  • Canopy walk via a treetop walkway in Nyungwe Forest
  • Game drives in Akagera National Park
  • Boat cruise on Lake Ihema in Akagera National Park
  • Scenic drives through Rwanda’s beautiful landscapes
  • Relaxation on the palm-fringed shores of Lake Kivu
  • Boat cruise to Lake Kivu’s islands
  • Comfortable stays at Rwanda safari lodges
  • Visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre
  • Cultural visit to the Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village
  • Heritage tours to the Ethnographic Museum and King’s Palace

9 Days Rwanda Tour Featured Destinations

  • Day 1 & 2: Akagera National Park
  • Day 3 & 4: Nyungwe National Park, Ethnographic Museum & King’s Palace
  • Day 5: Lake Kivu – Gisenyi
  • Day 6, 7 & 8: Volcanoes National Park & Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village
  • Day 9: Kigali Genocide Memorial & Museum

9 Days Rwanda Tour Highlights

  • Day 1: Arrival at Kigali International Airport and transfer to Akagera National Park.
  • Day 2: Morning game drive and afternoon Lake Ihema boat cruise in Akagera.
  • Day 3: Drive to Nyungwe Forest, visiting the Ethnographic Museum and King’s Palace en route.
  • Day 4: Chimpanzee trekking and canopy walk in Nyungwe National Park.
  • Day 5: Drive to Lake Kivu – Gisenyi Beach for relaxation.
  • Day 6: Boat cruise on Lake Kivu, then drive to Volcanoes National Park in the evening.
  • Day 7: Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park and relaxation at the lodge.
  • Day 8: Morning golden monkey tracking and afternoon tour of Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village.
  • Day 9: Return to Kigali, tour the Kigali Genocide Memorial, and transfer to the airport for your departure flight home.

9 Days Rwanda Tour Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive at Kigali International Airport & Transfer to Akagera National Park

Rwanda Kigali City
Rwanda Kigali City

Your 9 days Rwanda tour begins as soon as you land at Kigali Airport. Your tour driver guide will welcome you to Rwanda and assist with your luggage before departing for Akagera National Park. You will pass through Kigali city, known for being one of the greenest, cleanest, safest, and friendliest capitals in Africa.

The drive east to Akagera takes approximately 2 ½ to 3 hours, offering scenic views of Rwanda’s countryside, including the Rwamagana area where you might see the famous long-horned cows, known as Inyambo.

Upon arrival, check in at your lodge and relax. If interested, you may opt for a sunset boat cruise or a night game drive in the park. Akagera is Rwanda’s largest national park, covering 1,122 km² and home to an abundance of wildlife, including all of Africa’s “Big Five.”

Highlight of the Day: Scenic drive from Kigali to Akagera

Accommodation:

  • Luxury: Ruzizi Tented Lodge / Magashi Camp
  • Midrange: Akagera Game Lodge
  • Budget: Dereva Hotel

Meal Plan: Lunch & Dinner

Drive distance & time: Approx. 135 km / 2 ½ hours

Activities & Services:

  • Pick-up from the airport & transfer to Akagera

Optional Activities:

  • Sunset boat cruise
  • Night game drive

Day 2: Morning Game Drive & Afternoon Lake Ihema Boat Cruise

The second day starts with an early breakfast at the lodge. At 6:30 am, embark on a four-hour Rwanda wildlife safari in the Akagera Savannah. This is the best time to see predators and enjoy the breathtaking sight of the sunrise over the plains.

During your safari, look for Black Rhinos, Lions, Leopards, African Buffaloes, Elephants, Masai Giraffes, Plains Zebras, Spotted Hyenas, and various antelope species among others.

After the game drive, return to the lodge for lunch and relaxation. In the afternoon, take a boat ride on Lake Ihema to observe hippos, large crocodiles, elephants, buffaloes, and nearly 500 species of birds.

Highlight of the Day: Morning game drive in Akagera

Accommodation:

  • Luxury: Ruzizi Tented Lodge / Magashi Camp
  • Midrange: Akagera Game Lodge
  • Budget: Dereva Hotel

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Activities & Services:

  • Game drive
  • Boat cruise

Optional Activities:

  • Night game drive
  • Sportfishing

Day 3: Drive to Nyungwe Forest National Park. Visit the Ethnographic Museum and King’s Palace

After breakfast, embark on a 5- to 6-hour drive to Nyungwe National Park, passing through beautiful rolling hills. Stop in Butare for a cultural heritage tour of the Ethnographic Museum, which houses one of Africa’s finest ethnographic collections.

Proceed to Nyanza to explore the traditional king’s palace and learn about the royal style and authority of pre-colonial Rwandan kings. Meet the royal cows and their herder who sings to them. Continue to Nyungwe Forest National Park.

Nyungwe is rich in biodiversity, featuring beautiful birds, flowers, butterflies, and 13 species of primates including Chimpanzees, Olive Baboons, and several monkey species.

Highlight of the Day: Exploring Rwanda’s rich cultural heritage

Accommodation:

  • Luxury: One & Only Nyungwe House / Nyungwe Forest Lodge
  • Midrange: Nyungwe Hill Top View Hotel
  • Budget: Gisakura Guesthouse

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Drive Distance & Time: Approx. 320 km / 5-6 hours

Activities & Services:

  • Drive to Nyungwe
  • Tour the Ethnographic Museum
  • Visit the King’s Palace

Day 4: Chimpanzee Trekking & Canopy Walk in Nyungwe Forest

Uganda Rwanda Safaris
Chimpanzees In Nyungwe National Park

On day four, after breakfast, meet the park rangers for a briefing at 7:00 am before heading into the forest for chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe National Park. This trek lasts about 2 to 6 hours, and if you find the chimpanzees, you will spend an hour observing and photographing them.

Return to the lodge for lunch and relaxation. In the afternoon, take a 2-hour canopy walk on a bridge suspended 70 meters above the forest floor, offering incredible views of the forest and wildlife.

Highlight of the Day: Trekking the fascinating chimpanzees

Accommodation:

  • Luxury: Nyungwe Forest Lodge / One & Only Nyungwe House
  • Midrange: Nyungwe Hill Top View Hotel
  • Budget: Gisakura Guesthouse

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Activities & Services:

  • Chimp trekking
  • Canopy walk

Day 5: Drive to Lake Kivu Beach (Gisenyi Beach) Along The Congo-Nile Divide Trail

After a relaxed breakfast, drive to the beautiful Lake Kivu, enjoying incredible views along the way. This drive takes about 7 hours through rolling hills, small farming villages, lush tea fields, and banana plantations before descending into the valley to Gisenyi, a town at the northern tip of Lake Kivu.

Check into your lodge for relaxation, dinner, and overnight.

Highlight of the Day: Relaxation on the shores of lovely Lake Kivu

Accommodation:

  • Luxury: Lake Kivu Serena Hotel
  • Midrange: Paradise Kivu Resort / Hotel Gorillas Lake Kivu
  • Budget: Hotel Paradis Malahide

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Drive distance & time: 294 km/7–8 hours

Activities & Services:

  • Transfer to Lake Kivu

Day 6: Boat Cruise on Lake Kivu, Drive to Volcanoes National Park in the Evening

On the sixth day of your nine-day Rwanda safari, enjoy a leisurely boat cruise on Lake Kivu. Explore the lake’s scenic shores, visit some of its islands, and learn about their fascinating history and traditional folklore.

Enjoy excellent birding opportunities as you spot numerous water birds during the cruise. Return to your lodge for relaxation and lunch.

In the afternoon, embark on a 2-3 hour drive to Volcanoes National Park, home to Rwanda’s rare mountain gorillas and playful golden monkeys.

Highlight of the Day: Boat cruise on beautiful Lake Kivu

Accommodation:

  • Luxury: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge / Bisate Lodge / Virunga Lodge
  • Midrange: Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge
  • Budget: Muhabura Hotel

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Drive Distance & Time: 110 km / 2 hours

Activities & Services:

  • Boat cruise on Lake Kivu
  • Transfer to Volcanoes

Optional Activities:

  • Kayaking on Lake Kivu

Day 7: Gorilla Trekking & Lodge Relaxation

Wake up early for breakfast, then transfer to the park offices at 7 am to meet expert local rangers for a gorilla trekking briefing. At 8 am, begin your unforgettable Rwanda gorilla trek in search of the shy and gentle mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park.

Your trek may take from 30 minutes to 7 hours, guided through beautiful forests. Along the way, you may encounter golden monkeys, birds, and other wildlife.

Once you find the gorillas, you will spend one hour observing and photographing them as they interact, eat, groom, and play. Return to your lodge for a late lunch and reflect on your incredible wildlife experience. Spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Highlight of the Day: Trekking for wild gorillas

Accommodation:

  • Luxury: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge/Virunga Lodge/Bisate Lodge
  • Midrange: Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge
  • Budget: Muhabura Hotel

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Activities & Services:

  • Gorilla trekking

Optional Activity:

  • Visit the Gorilla Guardians Village

Day 8: Golden Monkey Tracking in the Morning & Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village Tour in the Afternoon

9 Days Rwanda Safari Tour

On the eighth day of your 9-day Rwanda safari, trek to see golden monkeys in the bamboo forests of Volcanoes National Park. The trek is relatively easy, and you can spend up to an hour observing and photographing the monkeys once you locate them.

Return to the lodge for relaxation and lunch. In the afternoon, visit Iby’Iwacu Village, a replica of traditional Rwandan life. Participate in activities such as traditional dance and music, hunting skills, traditional architecture, food preparation, fashion, weaving, meeting traditional healers, and local brew preparation. Return to the lodge for relaxation, dinner, and overnight.

Highlight of the Day: Tracking rare golden monkeys

Accommodation:

  • Luxury: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge / Bisate Lodge / Virunga Lodge
  • Midrange: Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge
  • Budget: Muhabura Hotel

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Activities & Services:

  • Golden monkey trekking
  • Ibyiwacu Village visit

Optional Activities:

  • Dian Fossey Hike
  • Mount Bisoke Hike

Day 9: Return to Kigali, Tour Kigali Genocide Memorial, and Transfer to the Airport for Departure Home

After breakfast, head back to Kigali. Upon arrival, visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial, which documents the harrowing history of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

The memorial, created by the Kigali City Council and the UK-based Aegis Trust, is a deeply moving, educational, and ultimately inspiring site. It provides insight into the causes, tragedy, and successful rebuilding post-genocide. Over 250,000 victims are buried at the memorial, making it a somber and humbling experience.

After the visit, you will be driven to the airport for your return flight home, concluding your remarkable 9-day Rwanda safari.

Highlight of the Day: Kigali Genocide Memorial Tour

Meal Plan: Breakfast

Activities & Services:

  • Transfer back to Kigali
  • Visit Kigali Genocide Memorial
  • Drop-off at the airport

End of the 9 Days Rwanda Tour

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