You’ll fly from the UK to Kigali, via Nairobi.
Rwanda's buzzing capital Kigali is home to the country’s Parliament Building and Geological Museum. You’ll also find Rwanda’s Genocide Memorial Centre here. Your private guide can help you understand some more about Rwanda’s tragic past. After a day of exploration, retire to the elegant Kigali Serena Hotel.
It's a long but fascinating cross-country drive from Kigali to Nyungwe Forest, with plenty to see en route. You’ll stop at Nyanza Royal Palace, former home to the King of Rwanda, in the university town of Butare. Here you will visit the National Museum which showcases Rwandan life through the centuries. After the journey, take a well-earned rest at the Nyungwe Forest Lodge, set in an expansive tea plantation overlooking seemingly endless jungle.
Nyungwe is wildlife heaven. There are 13 different species of primate (including chimpanzee) here, and 275 species of bird can be found among the mahoganies, giant tree ferns and delicate orchids. With an expert tracker you’ll negotiate the verdant forest and steep slopes in search of colobus monkey. Afterwards, recover with a cup of what may be the freshest and finest tea you have tasted on your tour of the Gisakura Tea Plantation.
Skirting the shores of the glittering Lake Kivu you’ll head north to Gisenyi. Your next stop is the peaceful Lake Kivu Serena Hotel. This is the perfect place to relax in: the hotel has its own private beach, refreshing pool and tennis courts. Plus, if you'd like to head out onto the water’s of Africa's sixth largest lake, the hotel even has its own boats and fishing rods.
The Virungas volcanoes rear up behind Lake Kivu. After just an hour’s drive to Kinigi, you’ll arrive in the rolling green foothills. Your dwelling for the night is the lavish Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, which gazes up to the mighty peaks. It also lies right beside Volcanoes National Park, one of the last habitats of the critically endangered mountain gorilla.
Nothing quite compares 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, you’ll have the option to go and track gorilla for a second time. Alternatively there are golden monkey to look for, at an additional cost for the permits. Alternatively, you can simply relax at the lodge and absorb the magnificent views. Later you must leave for Kigali where you’ll spend a final night of relaxation at the Kigali Serena Hotel.
Your flight home is via Nairobi. You’ll arrive back in the UK early the following morning.