Board an overnight flight from the UK via Nairobi to the start point of your trip, Kigali.
Take a historical step into Rwanda’s tragic past at the Genocide Memorial Centre in Kigali. This is a sobering experience, but an important part of the country’s culture and memory. Your private guide will help you try to understand and fathom this devastating history. The buzzing capital is also home to the country’s Parliament Building and Geological Museum, which you will be able to visit. Spend the day exploring and then retire to the peace and quiet of your hotel, The Retreat.
Exchange the city for the country when you travel today to Akagera National Park. Immerse yourself in its wide-open plains, woodlands, lakes, swamps and grassy low mountains. These are home to one of Africa’s highest hippo densities, as well as 520 bird species, and are the ideal spot for observing some of this wonderful wildlife.
You have another day to visit this diverse national park and experience its many attractions. Choose to explore by boat, vehicle or on foot. You might like to watch the hippo or tick a few more birds off your ‘spotted’ list. There is also a healthy lion population in this national park so keep an eye out for this majestic mammal.
Leave the beautiful Magashi for your morning transfer to Kigali. Stop here for sustenance at a quick lunch and then you will be driven to Volcanoes National Park. This is the start of your gorilla encounter experience. Stay at One&Only Gorilla’s Nest, lavishly designed to blend in with the jungle. The lodge sits on the edge of Volcanoes National Park which is one of the last habitats of the critically endangered mountain gorilla. Relax and enjoy some calm. Tomorrow is a big day.
Today’s experience is unique. Nothing can quite compare to meeting a mountain gorilla. They're so powerful, yet so strangely human: it feels a little like gazing at your ancestors. Join an experienced guide and go gorilla tracking into the thick, wild forest in search of a habituated family. Once you've tracked one down, you'll be granted a precious hour in their company, to watch them eat, groom and play.
On your last day at Volcanoes National Park, you’ll have the option to go and track gorilla for a second time. Alternatively, there are golden monkey to search out, at an additional cost for the permits. If you have soaked up enough sighting of all the magnificent local wildlife, choose to simply relax at the lodge and absorb the awe-inspiring views.
It’s time to leave Volcanoes National Park behind and bid a fond farewell to the gorilla. Drive across the countryside, experiencing all the different landscapes until you reach Kibuye for a short stop. From here, the journey takes you to Nyungwe Forest for the next exciting installment on your trip.
The forest of Nyungwe offers even more opportunities for wildlife watching. This area is animal heaven, with 13 different types of primate including chimpanzee and colobus monkey. Wander through the mahoganies, giant tree ferns and delicate orchids, whilst carefully looking for some of the 275 species of bird. The verdant forest and steep slopes are expertly negotiated with your expert tracker guide, who will also take you on a canopy walk adventure. The Gisakura Tea Plantation is your final visit today and offers the finest and freshest cup of tea.
On your last day in Rwanda, you will be driven back to Kigali. Stopping off at Butare and Nyanza, there’s a chance to see a few more perspectives of Rwandan life, before arriving at the airport for your evening flight home.
Arrive back in the UK, ready to share the details of your wonderful adventures with family and friends.