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Rwanda culture safari>Nature holiday safari Rwanda>9days

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The trip will not only bring you to the two most important National Parks of Rwanda but will also explore the unique sceneries of Lake Kivu and highlight some unique cultural aspects of Rwanda life. This itinerary is different from the Rwanda Discovery and the Classic Rwanda: you will have an overnight in Gisenyi, probably the most beautiful resort town on Lake Kivu. An ideal location to relax.


Day 1 Arrival at Kigali
Day 2 Kigali - Butare - Nyungwe Forest NP.
Day 3 Nyungwe Forest NP
Day 4 Nyungwe Forest NP - Kibuye
Day 5 Kibuye - Gisenyi by road
Day 6 Gisenyi - Relaxing day - Transfer to Volcanoes NP
Day 7 Gorilla Trekking
Day 8 Second gorilla trekking or another activity - Transfer to Kigali
Day 9 Kigali visit and departure

Summary of Parks & places
Genocide Memorial Centre - Gisozi & others
Huye (Butare) and the National Museum
Iby'Iwacu Cultural Village - Volcanoes NP
Lake Kivu
Nyungwe Forest NP.
Volcanoes National Park

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Duration : 9 Days
Travelstyles : Tailor-made, Road Safaris, Lodge Safaris
Activities : Bird Watching, Chimpanzee Trekking, Cultural Activities, Gorilla Trekking, Guided Nature Walks & Hikes.
Parks & places : Genocide Memorial Centre - Gisozi & others, Huye (Butare) and the National Museum, Iby'Iwacu Cultural Village - Volcanoes NP, Lake Kivu, Nyungwe Forest NP., Volcanoes National Park


Itinerary

Day 1 : Arrival at Kigali

Meet and greet at the Airport by your Habari Africa handling guide. Diner (D) is included in the package. Overnight at your Hotel.
Flights: There are daily flights to Kigali out of Nairobi with Kenya Airways and Rwandair Express.

Accommodation : Hotel Chez Lando (***), Milles Collines (****), Serena - Kigali (*****)

Day 2 : Kigali - Butare - Nyungwe Forest NP.

After breakfast you will depart for Butare the second largest city of Rwanda and is regarded as the intellectual city of Rwanda. It hosts the National Museum, several academic (University) and research institutions.

On your way to Butare you will visit Nyanza (currently Nyabisindu) the former Mwami's palace (King's palace) and the seat of the feudal monarchy. The palace has been reconstructed to its 19th century state and shows a traditional dome that can be compared with the Kabaka's palace of Buganda.

You will visit the National Museum which is one the well set-up if not the finest ethnographic museum of East Africa. It's a good source of information on the cultural history of Rwanda and the region.

After the visit of the museum you will have a spectacular performance of the national ballet with the Intore-dancers. The performance is regarded by many as one of the highlights of your safari. Lunch is foreseen in Butare and in the afternoon we will drive to Nyungwe Forest NP. Your driver-guide will stop at the Uwinka offices to have the last update on the presence of the semi-habituated groups of chimps and colobus monkeys. This will help you to prepare your activities of the next day. Overnight is foreseen at the Guest House of Gisakura. (B-L-D)

Rwanda has one of the finest traditional handicrafts of Africa. The ceramics, woodcarvings and basketry are found in the streets of Kigali and Butare.
The "Intore", once the elite of the traditional Rwanda army, were not only trained as military but also in high jump and dance. They were known for there remarkable technique allowing them to jump over 2m40. The Intore became worldwide famous as dancers in 1958 when the World Expo was held in Brussels. Today Intore dancers are part of the rich Rwanda folklore.

The warriors dance is a jewel of the choreographic heritage of Rwanda. Dressed with a mane made of sisal fibre, Tied up on ankles, little bells jingle on each step, giving the warriors dance a thrilling rhythm. Throughout the Intore ballet, physical confrontation turns into artistic rivalry and then at "the end" comes out into a vigorous hug of the warriors. This is the most artistic gesture of friendship, mutual aid and protection.

The National Museum in Butare was donated in 1989 by the Belgium government and gave back a part of the ethnographic collection acquired during the colonial period. The design and concept of the museum was realized in co-operation with the Royal Museum for Central Africa of Tervuren, Belgium. The modern building has different sections and displays a wide collection of monochrome pictures, traditional artefacts and objects, tools and different craft products. Ethnographic objects are grouped together according to theme giving excellent information on the daily life. Traditional ceramics and basketry are still manufactured and belong to the finest handicrafts of the region. The National Museum remained surprisingly untouched during the civil war in 1994.

Accommodation : Gisakura GH (*)
Activities : Cultural Activities
Parks & places : Huye (Butare) and the National Museum

Day 3 : Nyungwe Forest NP

Nyungwe Forest NP is a paradise for hikers. The terrain is rugged and steep, and you will be at relatively high elevation. Wear good hiking shoes and bring warm clothing!

Your day will start with an early breakfast and a briefing at Uwinka tourist information centre. Depending on your personal interests you will have a choice of different opportunities to explore the largest high altitude rainforest of East Africa! Of a particular interest are the large social groups of Angolan Colobus (Colobus angolensis), which may be over 300 individuals. These are the largest troops of this species known in the world! Nyungwe forest counts 25% of the African Primates!

One of these groups is semi-habituated and we recommend to start your exploration with a guided primate walk in search of the Angolan Colobus monkeys (black and white Colobus)! Rangers will tell you approximately where the group is located and the hiking times may vary as the group is travelling continuously looking for food. Be prepared to have a more strenuous hiking!

In the afternoon you can continue your exploration. There are different beautiful trails available and the superb waterfall trail of Gisakura is probably the most rewarding. The hiking time is 2 up to 3 hours and is a very enjoyable hike accessible to everybody! If you missed the Angolan Colobus you can have another try near to the tea factory where another troop is hosted. Overnight at the Guest house of Gisakura. (B-L-D)

Nyungwe Forest is the only place in Africa where troops of 300 black-and-white colobus monkeys (Angolan Colobus) can be seen jumping in the trees! A spectacular sight!

Accommodation : Gisakura GH (*)
Activities : Guided Nature Walks & Hikes.
Parks & places : Nyungwe Forest NP.

Day 4 : Nyungwe Forest NP - Kibuye

After breakfast you will leave for Kibuye, passing through the green fields of tea plantations before explorating the shores of Lake Kivu. Kibuye which is one of the three resort town on Lake Kivu is the most beautiul. Arrival at Kibuye is foreseen at lunch time. After Nyungwe, most participants will welcome that relaxing moments on the shores of Lake Kivu! Lake Kivu is Bilharzia free! Rest of the day at leisure (B-L-D)

Lake Kivu is unique: Its deep waters contain an enormous quantity of dissolved gas. There are, in fact, 65 billion cubic metres of methane, in other words the equivalent of 50 million tonnes of petrol lying at the bottom of the lake under 250 m of water. If it were exploited, this energy, veritable manna from heaven, would provide Rwanda with an almost inexhaustible source of energy, freeing it from worry about energy needs linked to its development projects. There is a pilot station for the extraction of methane for energy.

Accommodation : GH of Bethany (*), Moriah Hill Resort (**)

Day 5 : Kibuye - Gisenyi by road

Today you head north-east, parallel to Lake Kivu. You will have the opportunity to see the daily lives of the people at the countryside as it has been lived for centuries, virtually unchanged. This is a very scenic route and provides the opportunity to see the people at work – cultivating bananas, cassava, sorghum, beans, rice, potatoes, and even coffee in their steep and tiny fields. In addition, there are several massive tea plantations, villages, innumerable tiny brickworks, and surprises around every corner.

Arrival at Gisenyi for lunch and if time allows we make arrangements to cross the border to Goma (Optional). Gisenyi is the crossong point to Congo! Goma was devastated by the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano. The visit shows the fantastic capabilities of the local population to overcome this natural catastrophe! Others participants can simply relax at the swimming pool of their hotel. (B-L-D)

Distance & driving times: Kibuye - Gisenyi - 3h30. Goma visit max. 2 hours.

The Nyiragongo volcano (3470 m) erupted on the 17th of January 2002 and destroyed part of Goma town. Most of Goma's 400 000 inhabitants escaped the advancing lava flows crossing the border into neighbouring Rwanda. The eruption destroyed the homes of 120 000 people and caused between 70 and 100 victims.

Accommodation : Lake Kivu Serena (****)
Parks & places : Volcanoes National Park

Day 6 : Gisenyi - Relaxing day - Transfer to Volcanoes NP

You can do as much and as little you want, Volcanoes NP is only 1 hour from your hotel. You can stay on the beach and enjoy the peaceful lake! If you are interested we shall take time to visit some splendid sites on our way: Nyundo with multiple craft-shops, Imbabazi Orphanage at Mugongo. Overnight at your hotel in Kinigi, Volcanoes NP. (B-L-D)

Nyundo is one the very earlier Catholic centres in Rwanda (beginning of 20th century) and has among others the only secondary school of arts.

Imbabazi Orphanage was founded by Mrs Rosamond Halsey Carr in late 1994 at Mugongo to care for the genocide orphans. Rosamond Halsey was a young American fashion illustrator when she married an adventurous hunter-explorer, Kenneth Carr. Together they journeyed to then "Congo Belge" DRC now in 1949 where they came to divorce. Kenneth left but Rosamond stayed in Congo until 1955. From there on she moved to northwest Rwanda where she stayed for the next 50 years. She witnessed all Rwanda's historical events since then and among them the last was the 1994 genocide. She is the author of Land of a Thousand Hills: my life in Rwanda.

Accommodation : Gorilla Mtn View (***), Gorillas Volcanoes (***), Hotel La Palme (**), Sabyinyo Lodge (****), St Anne Hotel (*), Virunga Lodge (****)

Day 7 : Gorilla Trekking

After breakfast you will report at the ORTPN headquarters where your driver-guide will accomplish the necessary formalities for you. You will meet your ranger guide(s) for a briefing about the greatest animal experience ever. Magic Safaris will drive you to the slopes of one of the Virunga volcanoes for your trekking.

After the trekking, lunch at your hotel or at Ruhengeri and in the afternoon, if time allows, an excursion to explore the beautiful lakes in the region: Lake Bulera & Ruhondo. An excellent view of the Virunga chain of Volcanoes can be seen while there depending on weather conditions. Overnight at your hotel. (B-L-D)

Accommodation : Gorilla Mtn View (***), Gorillas Volcanoes (***), Hotel La Palme (**), Sabyinyo Lodge (****), St Anne Hotel (*), Virunga Lodge (****)
Activities : Gorilla Trekking
Parks & places : Volcanoes National Park

Day 8 : Second gorilla trekking or another activity - Transfer to Kigali

For a second gorilla trek we propose that you visit one of the groups with a longer hiking time; the Susa group which is located on the slopes of the Karisimbi volcano and has more than 35 members and will give you a great sense of achievement!

Other activities/options:

- An excursion to the top of the Bisoke volcano (3.711 m) of which the distinctive feature is a beautiful crater lake! Fantastic views in all directions, lushly forested slopes, shady bamboo forest and an exhilarating climb!

- An excursion to the grave of Dian Fossey and the former Karisoke Research Centre. The excursion will provide excellent background information and this is a wonderful site to see!

- A visit to the Golden Monkeys: the little-known Golden Monkey (cercopithecus mitis kandti) is listed as “endangered”, the newly habituated groups of about 40 individuals are the only ones in Africa. The Kabatwa troop is located not so far from the Park Headquarters and the Musanga troop lives near the Karisimbi volcano and has a much longer walking distance.

Transfer to Kigali for overnight at your hotel (or departure). (B-L-D)

Accommodation : Hotel Chez Lando (***), Milles Collines (****), Serena - Kigali (*****)
Activities : Gorilla Trekking, Guided Nature Walks & Hikes.
Parks & places : Volcanoes National Park

Day 9 : Kigali visit and departure

The half day Kigali City trip (option) includes a visit to the Genocide Memorial Centre at Gisozi, which takes a few hours. It’s a touching visit! Transfer to Airport for departure. (B-L)

Genocide Memorials: In Rwanda you will find all over the country Memorials to remember the genocide of 1994. The most important Genocide Memorials are those of Kigali (Gisozi) and Murambi (Gikongoro) where the history of the genocide is explained. A visit to the genocide memorial is for most visitors an emotional event.
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Listing Details

Telephone
+256.392.897.704 +44.790.863.9450
Recreational Facilities
Summary of Activities
Bird Watching
Chimpanzee Trekking
Cultural Activities
Gorilla Trekking
Guided Nature Walks & Hikes.
International Airports
kigali international airport-kigali rwanda
Prices
please contact us for rates. dependent on season, accommodation type and number of people in travel party
Contact Details
Email: habari@habariafrica.com

Landline:(+256)392.897.704
Mobile:(+256)702.014.207
Fixed:(+44)208.765.1058
:(+44)790.863.9450
(+1)614-285-1163(US)
(+1)647-869-8051(CAN)
Email: habari@habariafrica.com
Assistant Manager
rwanda gorilla holiday>culture vacations in rwanda

habari@habariafrica.com

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