Rwanda Wildlife Photography Tour

The 10-Day Rwanda Wildlife Photography Tour takes you to the land of a thousand hills.

Rwanda is blessed with extraordinary biodiversity, offering stunning scenery and unique experiences with incredible wildlife, living throughout its volcanoes, montane rainforest, sweeping plains, rolling savannah, lakes and wetlands. Home to four National parks, Rwanda is definitely one of the most remarkable countries in the world.

Starts in Kigali Ends in KigaliDuration: 10 DaysBook this safari as a private guided safari

Top Attractions:

Volcanoes National Park:
Home to the endangered Mountain Gorillas where troops of at least one silverback with several females and youngsters
stay in the intimate rainforest surrounded by 200 species of colorful birds, including Albertine Rift Endemics, and the chattering of the rare Golden Monkey.

Nyungwe National Park:
One of the oldest rainforests in Africa, with the Afromontane forests, bamboo-covered slopes, grasslands and wetlands.
The park also supports 13 different primates, 1068 plant species and 322 birds including 29 of the Albertine Rift Endemics.

Akagera National Park:
The diverse habitats of savannah, woodland, wetland and a dozen lakes is home to the Big Five, Roan Antelope, Zebra, Giraffe, and Topi.
The park has an incredible 490 bird species including the rare Red-faced Barbet and Ruhuaha Chat.

Gishwati Mukura National Park:
Consisting of two forests, the larger Gishwati and at Gishwati and 163 at Mukura, among them Albertine Rift Endemic species and forest specialists.

Lake Kivu:
A beautiful, tranquil birding hotspot, supporting huge numbers of White-breasted Cormorants and Pied Kingfishers. A highlight is seeing Osprey fishing during its migration.
Double-tooth Barbet is a regular in the region as well as Yellow-bellied Waxbill, Familiar Chat, Brown-throated Wattle-eye and Spot-flanked Barbet.
The area is also a migratory corridor to the Palearctic migrants like Grey-headed Gull and the Intra-African migrants (Red-headed Robin-chat and Common Sandpiper).

Additional to the top nature attractions, Rwanda has a rich culture and history with attractions including Genocide Memorials in memory of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The Kigali Genocide Memorial at Gisozi (Kigali) is where 250,000 victims have been buried.
There are seven galleries display historical, ethnographic, artistic and archaeological artefacts accompanied by visual aids, giving visitors a rich insight into the Rwandan culture.

You can also visit the famous Ethnographic Museum in Huye/Butare which houses one of Africa’s finest ethnographic collections.
The Cultural Village offers the chance to meet local people, in their environment, learning about Rwandan culture and traditions.

Highlights:

• Trekking endangered Mountain Gorillas
• Chimpanzees
Trekking Golden Monkeys
• Game drives in Savannah Park
Waterfall & Nature Walk
• Birds in the dry savannah, moist savanna and arable land
• Cultural village, Museum and Genocide Memorial

Summary:

Day 1Arrival
Day 2Kigali Genocide Memorial /
Musanze
Day 3Mountain Gorilla trekking
Volcanoes National Park
Day 4Trekking Golden Monkey / Nyungwe
Day 5Chimpanzees trekking / canopy walk
Day 6Natural forest walk /
Huye (Butare)
Day 7Museums, Coffee processing /
Transfer to Akagera via Kigali
Day 8Akagera National Park
Day 9Game driving / transfer to Kigali
Day 10Kigali and departure

Day to Day Itinerary

DAY 1:
Arrival 
– Upon arrival, a representative from the hotel will welcome you and transfer you to your accommodation, Chez Lando Hotel, where we will enjoy dinner.

DAY 2:
Kigali Genocide Memorial and transfer to Musanze
 – We will start with a quick introduction of the two weeks ahead. After our briefing, we will enjoy a short tour of Kigali City, the cleanest City in Africa, and we visit Kigali Genocide Memorial until lunch time. At the memorial, clients will understand the events leading up to the genocide of 1994. After lunch we take a drive northwards to Musanze, a town of Mountain Gorillas and Golden Monkeys. On the way, we will have a quick stop at Nyirangarama Enterprises to stretch our legs. Our accommodation is at DAVINCI Gorilla Lodge, a medium tourist accommodation on the foothill of the Sabyinyo Volcanoes.

DAY 3:
Trekking Mountain Gorillas and afternoon cultural village/or birding in or around Volcanoes National Park
 – Today the unique opportunity to see Gorillas in their natural habitat awaits; definitely a life changing experience! Encounters with Gorillas as they go about their daily lives are carefully managed, with expert trackers and guides leading small groups of tourists up bamboo-covered slopes to spend a precious and awe-inspiring hour just a few feet away from the gentle creatures. There are twelve Gorilla families living in the Volcanoes National Park, which are fully habituated, with a few others habituated solely for scientific research. The groups, or troops, consist of at least one silverback along with several females and youngsters.

Our day will start with breakfast followed by the drive to Volcanoes National Park headquarters in Kinigi at 7am (as it is required). Upon arrival we will be briefed on protocols and rules for visiting the Gorillas. After the trekking experience, lunch will be served at the lodge.

After a late afternoon briefing, we will take a drive to the Gorilla Guardian Village, a non-profit organization, run by reformed poachers. You will also learn more about the traditional life in Rwanda including traditional wedding, healing, local banana beer making, etc. We will enjoy dinner at the lodge later that evening.

*Alternatively, if you have trekked Mountain Gorillas before, you can go on a birding excursion inside or around Volcanoes National Park with a specialized bird guide.

DAY 4:
Trekking Golden Monkey and transfer to Nyungwe
  – All activities at Volcanoes National Park start at 7am when we will report at the office where a warming tea or coffee will be served and we will get a brief introduction to the attraction offered. Our trekking will start at the foot hill of Sabyinyo Volcano, at Kabatwa Hill where the Golden Monkeys are easily found, swinging from the bamboo trees in the forest while others are collecting the remaining Irish potatoes in recently harvested farms. We will spend about an hour with lots of opportunities to take pictures while learning more of the Golden Monkey’s family behaviours and ecology of these endemic primates of the Albertine Rift. Todays trekking experience will end between 11 and 12am, when we will start our drive to Nyungwe National Park.

On our drive, we will stop briefly in Rubavu, a colonial town bordering the DRC for lunch. After our lunch, our drive will proceed to Nyungwe National Park via the KIVU Belt road, reaching Ken Barham Guest House around 6pm.

DAY 5:
Chimpanzees trekking and canopy walk
 – Nyungwe National Park is a home to over 13 species of primates including Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Today you will receive a packed breakfast as we have an early start at 5 am. We will spend time trekking the the Chimpanzees, also getting the opportunity to observe them closely in the treetops.

A canopy walk is planned for the afternoon at around 3pm. Enjoy a walk on the unique bridge in East Africa while you feel the fresh breeze of the nature forest and a change to see some primates jumping from tree to tree. We also hope to see some canopy birds like like Rwenzori, Black-billed and Great Blue Turacos. Dinner will be served at our accommodation.

DAY 6:
Morning walk in natural forest and transfer to Huye (Butare)
 – A morning walk is scheduled up the Isumo Waterfall. The excursion starts with a relaxing walk in the tea plantation before entering the most densely vegetated and steepest rainforest ravines on any trail in Nyungwe.

The walk is about 2.3 km with the trail descending into the cool moist air and the murmur of a river rising from below; mingled with the call of birds and the sound of tree frogs and insects. Ferns, mosses, lichens and flowers are exceptionally abundant in the high humidity area. On this trail we can also encounter Black and White Colobus Monkeys with movement parades in the treetops. After lunch we will take a drive to Huye and our accommodation at Gallileo Hotel.

DAY 7:
Museums, Coffee processing and Transfer to Akagera via Kigali
 – After the morning breakfast, you will enjoy a coffee processing experience at Maraba Coffee washing station. We will learn more about the process from how the coffee is planted up to how the final product is ready to be consumed.

Our next stop is a visit to the Ethnographic Museum to learn more about Rwandan culture and general life before, during and after the colonial period. After lunch we will drive to Akagera National Park, via Kigali, where will check into Akagera Rhino Lodge.

DAY 8:
Game driving and Birding in Akagera National Park
 – We have a full day game drive ahead in different sides of the park. Akagera National Park is the only Big Five Reserve in Rwanda and we can look forward to see Elephants, Buffalo, Giraffe, Zebra, Impala, Waterbuck, etc. We will also see different species of birds like Black-bellied Bustard, Grey Crowned Crane and Ross’s Turaco. Lunch is served on a terrace where we will explore the conservation treasures of Akagera National Park and the hills of Western Tanzania. 

After our lunch break, we drive to Lake Ihema, the biggest lake in the park and second biggest in Rwanda. The area is home to a variety of wildlife including Crocodiles, Hippopotamus, Elephant as well as flocks of waterbird like Great and Long-tailed Cormorants, African Darter and Cattle Egret.

Our day ends at sunset with a drive to Akagera Game Lodge for dinner and accommodation.

DAY 9:
Game driving and transfer to Kigali
 – Our second day in the park will be spend on the lake circuits, along the Akagera River, the physical border with the Republic of Tanzania.

Along this circuit we will enjoy the beautiful scenery of the park as well as the western side of Tanzania , learning more about the park, ecology and behaviours of different animals. We will see different wildlife species including Topi, Waterbuck, Olive Baboons, Velvet Monkeys, Bushbuck, with a great chance to see Lions and Rhino. We will start our drive back to Kigali after lunch and check into Chez Lando Hotel for the evening.

DAY 10:
A day in Kigali, craft shop and departure
 – This morning we will visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial. This memorial also serves to educate about how the Genocide against the Tutsi took shape. We get to understand the events leading up to the genocide and how it was perpetrated. The Memorial is the final resting place for more than 250,000 victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi, while the gardens provide a place for quiet contemplation about the history of the Genocide. The place allows visitors to reflect on how we all have a personal responsibility to prevent discrimination and mass atrocity. After lunch, we go to the craft shops before heading to the airport for the evening flight.

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