Luxury Rwandan Primate Adventure
Experience the wildlife wonderment of Rwanda's captivating primates, from chimps to rare mountain gorillas, on this week-long African adventure.
Personalised journeys from start to finish
Save an acre of rainforest each time you travel
Every detail taken care of
- All accommodation with breakfast (some hotels may include further meals)
- All private ground transfers
- All tours specified in the itinerary description
- One chimpanzee tracking permit per person
- One canopy walk and one forest hike per person
- One gorilla tracking permit per person
- One golden monkey tracking permit per person
At a glance
Come face-to-face with the fascinating and elusive primates of Rwanda in their natural habitats on two truly bucket list-worthy wildlife experiences.
Following a night in the friendly capital of Kigali with a couple of museum stops for your culture fix, kick-start your monkey adventure in Nyungwe National Park. Your three days in this biodiverse haven can be spent exploring the only forest canopy walkway in East Africa and getting up-close with the resident primates of chimps, mangabeys and Black and White Angolan colobus monkeys.
Then, delve further into this ancient land with a stay at Volcanoes National Park. Expert naturalist guides will lead you through the tropical splendour of hills and dormant volcanoes to witness the rare mountain gorilla and endangered golden monkey for discreet, mesmerising and entirely magical encounters.
Example Trip Itinerary
On arrival at Kigali airport clear Rwanda customs & immigration formalities and proceed to Arrivals where you will be met by your private transfer driver.
Accommodation in Kigali
- 11 rooms
- Swimming pool
The Retreat by Heaven is a charming and inviting small boutique hotel, recognised as Kigali’s first entirely solar-powered resort, as well as maintaining countless other eco-friendly credentials throughout its make up, including locally crafted sustainable teak wood furniture. The hotel enjoys a great location on a quiet and peaceful, tree-lined street in the Kiyovu neighbourhood of the city, and is just minutes from the city centre, ensuring it’s in a prime location for discovering Kigali. Guests will have a choice of 11 expansive rooms, with features such as peaked ceilings, front and rear private patios, bathrooms with indoor and outdoor rain showers, and air conditioning. The interior of each room is light, airy and spacious, featuring plenty of wood for a natural vibe, as well as touches of local art and decoration to add an element of tradition. There’s a fantastic on-site restaurant in which to indulge, known as Fusion. Blending international cuisine with local Rwandan and African flavours with a focus on quality local ingredients, the restaurant is set beside the hotel’s inviting saltwater swimming pool. Guests can find further relaxation in the shape of the hotel’s spa, giving them the chance to nurture themselves across a range of skincare or massage treatments, as well as relax in the Jacuzzi or sauna.
- 254 rooms and suites
- Outdoor pool
- Fitness centre
The Kigali Marriott Hotel is a stylish and contemporary hotel featuring everything you need for a comfortable stay in the city. Each of its 245 rooms and suites are spacious and feature floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the garden and city. Marble bathrooms and the latest technology make them a comfortable and luxurious space in which to relax, and you’re ideally located to explore the city if you wish. Enjoy Italian cuisine at the hotel restaurant then enjoy a cocktail in the lobby bar while admiring the view. If you need to unwind after a long flight or simply fancy some time to yourself, then the spa offers a range of treatments as well as a steam room, therapy baths and plunge pool. There is also an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness centre.
- 148 rooms (a/c, satellite TV, wifi)
- Cafe and bar
- Lounge and bar
- Swimming Pool & deck
- Health club
A very comfortable business-style hotel in central Kigali and only ten kilometres from the city’s international airport, this is a good option for those passing through onto other destinations or to relax before your flight home. A good and efficient level of facilities means you don’t have to go far for beverage, swim, stroll or meal and the staff are always very helpful here.
Enjoy a night in Kigali, you'll have our list of recommended restaurants and attractions to make sure you make the most of your time here.
Private road transfer from Kigali to Nyungwe National Park via Nyanza and Butare, with lunch.
Nyungwe National Park
Accommodation in Nyungwe National Park
- 22 rooms and suites
- Tea lounge and bar
- Spa and fitness centre
Low and wide amid the leaves of its very own tea plantation surrounded by ancient rainforest, Nyungwe House’s modern architecture is a wonderful contrast to its verdant setting. There are 22 rooms and suites split between six wooden villas, with vast windows and private decks opening up into the forest. There are open fireplaces in each and every room and suite, with interiors and artwork inspired by the nature and traditions of Rwanda. The main lodge building is home to lounge areas, bar and dining space where you can enjoy sun-rise breakfast (or, for late risers, all day à la carte brunches in your room) and mouth-watering, organic, garden-to-plate menus at dinner, with lunches usually enjoyed while out exploring. Nyungwe Forest, an ancient place of majestic mahoganies, giant ferns and delicate orchids, is renowned for its wide diversity of animal species and the lodge has a variety of treks available for those wishing to see chimpanzees, white colobus, grey-cheeked, golden and rare Mangabey monkeys. You can also take to the heights of the nearby canopy walk, ride mountain bikes, take a day trip to the waters of Lake Kivu or immerse yourself in the local culture on a range of tailored experiences that will give you an insight into crafts, cuisine and more.
Spend your days here at Nyungwe National Park on exciting safari tours, discovering this lush, ancient land. Explore the famous forest canopy, East Africa's only canopy walk, getting up-close to the impressive birdlife and myriad of resident primates as you wander above the treetops for a bird's eye view of forest life. Visit a tea plantation to learn about the world class tea made here and go chimp trekking in nearby Cyamudongo Forest. Then, delve deep into Nyungwe forest on hiking trails to discover the numerous Albertine Rift endemics and the largest troop of Black and White Colobus found anywhere in Africa.
This morning you will be collected from your lodge early for your chimp trekking tour nearby Cyamudongo Forest. After approximately an hour's journey, you will arrive at this small forest which was historically connected to Nyungwe. Here you will meet the resident habituated chimpanzee
group before visiting a tea plantation to learn about the world class tea made here.
Spend today hiking the forest trails in Nyungwe Forest. The park is home to various Albertine Rift endemics plus thirteen different primate species. This includes the largest troops of Black and White Colobus in Africa, with up to 400 individual members gathered together at one time.
Transfer from Nyungwe to Volcanoes National Park, via Kigali
Volcanoes National Park
You will be met with your private guide and explore the city of Kigali, including the Genocide Museum.
Accommodation in Volcanoes National Park
- Six forest villas
- Dining area and bar
- Tree nursery
The spectacular Bisate Lodge is located in the natural amphitheatre of an eroded volcanic cone, with panoramic views across rural hills and Afro-alpine forests to great conic peaks of Volcanoes National Park. Utterly unique in its design, six sumptuous forest villas are luxurious while retaining environmental principles and reflecting the culture of the surrounding country. Each has a generous yet intimate combination of bedroom, reception space and bathroom, heated by a central fireplace a private deck looking out to Mount Bisoke The spherical stone and thatch architecture, said to be inspired by the Royal Palace of traditional monarchs, continues through to the communal areas such as the dining room, bar and spa, detailed with a variety of woven materials, local crafts and more modern touches. Bisate is a short drive to the national park’s headquarters, from where gorilla treks depart daily, and you can also embark upon forest hikes to see rare Golden Monkeys and other wildlife. Visit the site of Dian Fossey’s research camp and grave, meet the community on guided village walks, plant a tree as part of the Bisate’s reforestation project or perhaps tag along with the chef to the local market to buy ingredients.
- 8 guest cottages
- Main lodge with restaurant, bar & lounge
- In-room massage
- WiFi (in main lodge only)
- Gift Shop, Library
Seated in the foothills of the Virunga mountains there are three things to look forward to when staying at the Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge: breath-taking views from every angle, warm and helpful staff, and seeing the captivating mountain gorillas in their wild natural habitat on your daily treks. The eight spacious standalone cottages are decorated in a homely style and their seclusion really adds to the ample and individual privacy here. On the other hand the big fireplaces, appealing lounges, library, dining area and curio shop of the main lodge give the whole property a warm and convivial personality, and where guests can relax and talk excitedly over the exploits of their day. Again, the staff do their utmost to assist you in whatever way they can and the food served at Sabyinyo is delicious and surprisingly elegant for its far-flung setting. On the whole Sabyinyo is a fantastically sophisticated and friendly base to explore this very poignant part of Africa.
- 8 stone cottages
- Bar & Lounge
- Massage Room
- WiFi (in the main building)
Sitting atop a 2,300-metre hilltop with panoramas of the ‘twin lakes’ of Ruhondo and Bulera and the string of Virunga volcanoes laid out in front of you, this eco-lodge and its scenes truly sum up the magic of central Africa. Eight ‘naturally’ stylish banda cottages (4 double, 4 twin) are set out in this property’s beautiful terraced gardens, affording each a share of the superb views and a good helping of privacy too. En suite bathrooms and running solar hot water allow you to enjoy luxurious comfort with always a minimal environmental impact too. Paved pathways converge on the property’s main lodge for dining, massages, the curio shop, bar and lounge, and all with stunning views. Apart from the truly personable level of luxury and staff hospitality here at Virunga the lodge also excels in a wonderfully diverse and extensive menu of daily activities and local cultural excursions.
Spend your days here in the magnificent Volcanoes National Park tracking the rare and endangered Mountain Gorillas with expert guides and trackers. In Rwanda there are 10 habituated gorilla groups in Volcanoes National Park, with a maximum of 8 tracking permits per group per day. Other activities to enjoy whilst in this magical terrain are; trekking to volcano craters, tracking golden monkeys, cultural tours and the Dian Fossey Hike. Speak to your travel designer about how you wish to spend your time here.
The endangered Golden monkey enjoys a territory of highland forests, especially bamboo, living in groups of up to thirty individuals. A handful of troops in Volcanoes National Park have been habituated and can be tracked in a similar way to the gorillas. The monkeys are playful and inquisitive and often spend their time leaping from bamboo branches or frolicking on the forest floor towards the base of the volcanoes and have overcome their initial shyness to accept their daily visit by researchers and tourists.
In Rwanda there are 10 habituated gorilla groups in Volcanoes National Park, with a maximum of 8 tracking permits per group per day. The groups in Volcanoes National Park include: Kwitonda, Hirwa, Agashya, Umubano, Amahoro, Sabyinyo, Susa, Karisimbi, Ugenda and Bwenge. They inhabit gentler slopes and more open bush compared to their Ugandan counterparts. However, the altitude here is much greater (2,500-3,000 metres or 8,200-9,800 feet).
For up to five years, each gorilla group has undergone an extremely delicate process which has gradually accustomed them used to the presence of humans, allowing a few privileged visitors to interact with them in the wild. However, the gorillas are by no means tame! You will be accompanied by an experienced guide on your trek who will carry out a pre-departure brief at the start of the tracking point, informing you of ‘gorilla etiquette’. In Rwanda, the meeting time at the park headquarters is at the earlier time of 7:00am.
The gorillas cover large distances overnight, and they are never constantly in one area. The guides will use their knowledge of the gorillas’ habits and information from the previous day to locate the group’s whereabouts. For this reason, one group cannot be said to be easier to track than another.
The time taken to track the gorillas varies enormously, from as little as half an hour to as much as 9 hours before returning to camp. The terrain can be extremely difficult, with steep slopes, and dense vegetation. In addition, the altitude means participants do need to be physically fit in order to enjoy the hike.
Once the gorillas are located, your group will be allowed a maximum of one hour with them. This is to avoid causing the animals any undue stress or getting them overly used to human interactions. After this, you will return to the park headquarters and your camp.
Private road transfer from Volcanoes National Park to Kigali Airport
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Luxury Rwandan Primate Adventure
How We Work
We create fully personalised trips from start to finish, working with you to pick locations, accommodation and guides that suit you.
Each time you travel with us, you preserve an acre of precious rainforest through our partnerships.
From in-depth private tours to restaurant reservations, we take care of every detail so you can make the most of your journey.