Peaks and Primates of Rwanda
Day 1: Rendezvous at the group hotel in Kigali. KE Land Only package services begin with a timed group transfer from Kigali Airport to the group hotel. We meet with our guide who will brief us on the coming week. We have an optional visit to the Genocide Museum and time permitting the craft market. Dinner and overnight at the group hotel.
Day 2: Departing early in the morning we travel in the direction of Nyungwe National Park (3-4hrs). We visit the National Museum in Butare and stop at the genocide memorial at Murambi. We stay overnight in a comfortable hotel on one of the hills of the Nyungwe forest area.
Day 3: Today we will hike to the summit of Mount Bigugu the highest point in Nyungwe National Park at 2950m. The view over the forest from the top is spectacular. Afterwards we return by the same route. Overnight at the hotel. 6 hours walking.
Day 4: We have a very early breakfast and then drive to the Cyamudongo Forest (2000 metres above sea level) for chimp tracking. Depending on their location we may be trekking from 3 and up to 7 hours We return to the hotel for a late lunch and a relaxed afternoon. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 5: We have a 5 hour transfer to Kibuye on the eastern shore of Lake Kivu. We will stop for lunch at Moria Hill. In the afternoon we take a boat on Lake Kivu to it's northend and the town of Gisenyi. Here we check into our lakeside hotel with superb views.
Day 6: This morning we relax in Gisenyi with a sightseeing tour of the local coffee-making factory, the brewery, the university, the hot springs and the local market. We have lunch in a local restaurant in Gisenyi. We then continue to our next destination close to the Volcanoes National Park near Ruhengeri. Here we stay in a lodge with great views of Mount Sabinyo.
Day 7: Gorilla encounter. An early breakfast before driving to the trailheads. Accompanied by expert trackers we climb up into the bamboo zone. Walk options differ from 3 to 8 hours, the group will split according to fitness. When we locate gorillas we will spend some time observing them before trekking back and returning to hotel in Ruhengeri. Time allowing we will also visit an ex-poachers village.
Day 8: Today we begin a 2-day expedition to climb Mount Karisimbi (4507m.) the highest mountain in the Virunga chain. Today's trek through the forest takes us close to where Dianne Fossey set up her jungle headquarters. After 5 - 6 hours trekking we make camp at around 3500m.
Day 9: An early start to complete the climb of Karisimbi (4507m). The going is quite steep in places and there is no defined trail making the climb quite challenging. We should make the top after around 3 hours trekking and it will take us less than 2 hours to return to our camp. We make the return trek to the trailhead and drive back to our hotel.
Day 10: We drive back to Kigali (3 - 4 hours) through a fascinating landscape. In Kigali we check into the hotel before visiting the Ntarama Church. The rest of the day is free and this evening we will enjoy a farewell dinner in a restaurant near the hotel. We then return for a few hours rest at the hotel.
Day 11: Single timed transfer to the airport (in the small hours of the morning) where KE Land Only package services end.
This holiday involves going to high altitude. During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 3500 metres. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude.