Luxurious Safari In Rwanda – 1 night Nairobi | 1 night Kigali | 2 nights Volcanoes National Park | 2 nights Nyungwe Forest | 3 nights Akagera National Park
Anya Visser could not have been a more professional, yet friendly, partner with whom to plan and arrange my first trip to Africa and specifically East Africa. She patiently helped me overcome a steep learning curve, navigate many decisions and gather much practical information. If you are busy and need someone just to arrange a perfect trip, Anya would do a splendid job. I like to be hands-on as a way to learn about a destination before I arrive. Accommodating my style, Anya provided me with options which I would independently research. Whenever there were multiple great options, I could solicit her honest opinion to help me decide. I knew to trust her opinions because they were generally based on her direct experience with the hotel and lodge or tour provider we were discussing. I still marvel at the outstanding level of consultancy services she provided me during the extended period we planned my trip. As a final testament to her efficacy, her arrangements were flawless.
Upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, you are met by our representative who will assist you through customs to our arrival lounge. At our arrivals lounge, you will meet by your driver and you are transferred by road to your hotel for your one night stay. Upon arrival at your hotel in the late evening, you are taken to your room and you settle in for your one night stay.
Transfer Time: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to Ole-Sereni Hotel – approx. 30 minutes
This morning is at leisure. You enjoy a leisurely breakfast at your hotel before you are met mid-afternoon and transferred by road to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for your direct flight to Kigali; Nairobi.
Arriving in Kigali, you are met by your driver and transferred by road to your hotel in the city of Kigali. You settle in for your overnight stay where the late afternoon and evening is at leisure before you start your adventure in Rwanda.
Kigali is built in hilly country, sprawling across about four ridges with valleys in between. The city centre is located on one of these ridges, with the main government area on another. The tops of the ridges have an average elevation of 1,600 metres (5,250 ft), while the valleys are around 1,300 m (4,270 ft). The city is bordered most of the way by higher hills, with some suburban sprawl rising up these. The highest of these is Mt. Kigali, with an elevation of 1,850 m (6,075 ft) above sea level.
Transfer Time: Ole-Sereni Hotel to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport – approx. 30 minutes
Flight Time: Nairobi to Kigali – approx. 25 minutes
Transfer Time: Kigali International Airport to The Retreat by Heaven – approx. 20 minutes
This morning you enjoy an early breakfast at your eco-friendly hotel. You are met by your driver in the hotel reception area and transferred by road to your lodge located just outside the Volcanoes National Park.
Your journey takes you through the beautiful terraced hills that characterise much of Rwanda’s landscape and then climbing gradually to the base of the spectacular volcanoes of the Virunga range.
Arriving at your hotel in the mid-afternoon, you are met by the staff members and taken to your room for your two night stay. The rest of the late afternoon and evening is at leisure, tomorrow is an early start!
Transfer Time: The Retreat by Heaven to The Bishops House – approx. 3 hours
The Volcanoes National Park lies in north-western Rwanda and borders Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. The National Park is known as a haven for the mountain gorilla and was the base for the zoologist Dian Fossey’s research into this gentle giant.
The Volcanoes National Park contains five of the eight volcanoes of the Virunga Mountains, which are covered in rainforest and bamboo and hold dark watered lakes within their ‘dormant’ craters. Rwanda now has seven habituated Gorilla groups, the largest number of in Africa, making it the prime gorilla trekking destination.
On a gorilla trekking tour, you get within close range of a small family group of some of the closest relatives to humans. This is one of the world’s greatest wildlife experiences and a gorilla safari is a ‘must’ for serious wildlife enthusiasts.
This morning is another early start as you begin your day with your final Gorilla Trekking Safari. Once you have returned to your lodge, you are met by your pilot who will brief you on the flight ahead. You are transferred by helicopter to your lodge on the edge of the Nyungwe Forest National Park.
Arriving at your lodge, you are met by a lodge member and assisted to your Nyungwe Room for your two night stay. The rest of the day is at leisure or to explore the activities on offer at your luxury lodge.
Flight Time: The Bishops House to One & Only Nyungwe House – approx. 45 minutes
Nyungwe Forest National Park is a is a remarkably rich centre of biodiversity, with more than 1,050 plant species recorded, among them 200 varieties of orchid, along with 85 mammal, 310 bird, 32 amphibian and 38 reptile species. The National Park protects one of Africa’s largest rain forests.
The main attraction for most visitors is the opportunity to track a habituated group of chimpanzees, but the park is home to a dozen other primate species, most conspicuously the acrobatic Ruwenzori colobus and striking L’Hoest’s monkey.
Nyungwe is also highly alluring to birders, since it supports all but two of the 29 Albertine Rift Endemics that occur on the eastern rift escarpment, along with the dazzling great blue turaco, which is often seen in small flocks flapping clumsily across a road or forest clearing. It is also the site of East Africa’s only suspended canopy walkway.
This morning you enjoy breakfast and leisure time at your lodge before you are met by your pilot, who will brief you on the route ahead. You depart your lodge in the Nyungwe Forest and enjoy the scenic flight to your camp in Akagera National Park. Landing at the helicopter pad nearest to your camp, you are met by your ranger and transferred to your camp in the North-Eastern part of the park.
Once you have arrived at your camp, a staff member will take you to your luxury tented suite for your 3 night stay. You have time to settle in before departing on your first afternoon game activity in the Akagera National Park.
Flight Time: One & Only Nyungwe House to Magashi Camp – approx. 1 hour
The 100 000-hectare Akagera National Park is situated in eastern Rwanda, bordering Tanzania, and has been managed by African Parks in partnership with the RDB since 2010. It comprises some of the most scenic savannah in East Africa – open plains, woodlands, lakes, swamp, and grassy low mountains.
The park is home to Lake Rwanyakazinga – which offers one of Africa’s highest hippo densities, some very large crocodiles, and (hidden within its wetlands) the secretive sitatunga. Akagera has undergone an incredible transformation in the last eight years where poaching has essentially been eliminated and wildlife is now thriving. African Parks reintroduced lions in 2015 after a 20-year absence and reintroduced the black rhinoceros in 2017.
The park was named after the Akagera River that flows along its eastern boundary and feeds into a labyrinth of lakes of which the largest is Lake Ihema. The forest fringed lakes, papyrus swamps, savannah plains and rolling highlands combine to make Akagera amongst the most scenic of reserves anywhere in Africa. It has exceptional levels of biodiversity and forms the largest protected wetland in central Africa.
Enjoy your final morning game activity and brunch before you are met by your pilot. You are transferred by helicopter to Kigali International Airport. Arriving in Kigali, you bid farewell to this African wonderland and make your way to the International Departures Terminal for your flight home.
Flight Time: Magashi Camp to Kigali International Airport – approx. 1 hour