Day 1: Pick-up from hotel in Kigali, Rwanda, Kigali City Tour then transfer to Musanze/ Ruhengeri
Our professional, local guide will greet you at your hotel in the morning and brief you on your trip. To start things off, you will be given a tour of Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city which was named in 1907 by Dr. Richard Kandt, the first colonial resident governor of Rwanda. It is the main administrative and economic centre of Rwanda. Surrounded by lush hills of green, it is the cleanest and safest city in the region. Kigali’s face is her fortune: a dramatic beauty from which its name is derived. There are, however, other contributing factors – it is a city that delights the mind as well as the eye of any visitor and is a city where the past lives comfortably with the present.
On the tour, you will have the opportunity to see the following:
• Visit an artisan shopping centre to view and purchase local arts and crafts.
• Visit the Kigali Museum and learn the history of Kigali’s and Rwanda’s pre-colonial and colonial period as well as the colonial masters in Rwanda.
• Tour around the city and see, first hand, the post-genocide development and expansion of Kigali.
• Visit the 1994 Gisozi Genocide Memorial site.
You will then continue on to Musanze/Ruhengeri and your hotel(s). The journey to Musanze/Ruhengeri passes through the magnificent, hilly countryside which gives Rwanda its stature as “the Land of a Thousand Hills”.
Day 2: Gorilla trekking in Parc National des Volcans
Early morning transfer to Park offices for pre-trek briefing for all guests. Following your trek, you will visit Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village, based in the community bordering Parc National des Volcans. At the village, you will have a wonderful, interactive experience, learning all about Rwandan traditions, culture, song and dance. You will also have the opportunity to sample local food and banana beer and visit a local household or school. As well, you can choose to visit some of the local community projects and co-operatives to see, first hand, how your travel with us contributes to making a difference in people’s lives.
While at the village also participate in one of our community development and conservation projects under theme ‘Goats for Gorillas’
“A US $50 community development and conservation fee charged and is used to buy a goat through “the goats for gorilla’s project” that is given to a former poachers’ family after trekking the Gorillas, you will hand over this goat to one of the families living around the Gorillas Park at the Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village. This is an incentive for communities to protect and conserve the gorillas and their habitat and a way for you to give back to both community and conservation.
On the drive back to your hotel, depending on available time, we also offer you a choice of value-added activities from the following:
• Visit to Ruhengeri Market, providing you with an opportunity to see and buy local Rwandan fabrics, foods, handicrafts, etc. and to see how local markets are organized.
• Visit the twin lakes, Lake Burera and Lake Ruhondo and marvel at the views of the Virunga mountain chain.
Day 3: Second day of Gorilla Trekking at Parc National des Volcans
Early morning transfer to Park offices, again for pre-trek briefing for all guests and choosing the gorilla group you want to trek to. After the trek, we will drive you to Gisenyi, a lovely town located on the shores of Lake Kivu. Lake Kivu is one of the great lakes in Africa and the largest of the fresh water lakes that gleam in the Albertine (Western) rift of the Great Rift Valley. Lake Kivu stands at 1461m (4,790ft) above sea level and is Africa’s highest lake. The northern shore is subject to eruptions from nearby Mt Nyiragongo. Gisenyi offers excellent views of the lake and the Virunga volcanoes massif. With its waterfront and sandy beaches, Gisenyi is a wonderful place to relax, with the captivating feel of a tropical beach resort. The afternoon will be spent relaxing and re-energizing, your reward after two days of trekking!
Day 4: Transfer to Kigali, stopping at SINA GERARD Urwibutso Ecotourism Project
Halfway back to Kigali, we will stop in Nyirangarama for lunch and then tour the Urwibutso Ecotourism Project. This enterprise began in 1983, when owner and manager SINA Gerard opened a small restaurant and bakery at this location. Over the years, his business has grown tremendously and it has been his mission since 1993 to become a leader in the production and processing of organic fruits and vegetables in the area and in Rwanda. The Urwibutso Enterprise supports local farmers and contributes to social and economic development in the area, providing schools and education, creating jobs and opportunities, particularly for women, and training for farmers. This has made the community of Rulindo District one of the most self-sustainable communities in Rwanda and a role-model to others.