9. Rwanda: 6-Day Gorilla and Golden Monkey Tracking, Big 5 Tour
• Day one: Transfer from Kigali to Musanze
Begin the experience with a Kigali city tour, visiting interesting spots like the craft market, the Gisozi genocide memorial site, and Kigali Museum. Following, embark on a two-hour drive to Musanze, stopping at Red Rocks Intercultural Exchange Center for lunch. Listen as local brew makers provide an introduction to the chemical process of brewing local beer from bananas. Settle in for overnight at The Garden Place Hotel.
• Day two: Golden monkey tracking in Volcanoes National Park
After breakfast, report to the park headquarters for your first experience with endangered species in the Volcanoes NP, the golden monkeys. The trek is typically an easy one, taking one to two hours.
After the trek, return to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon, visit the IbyIwacu Cultural Village to learn about Rwanda's pre-colonial history through a series of demonstrations and activities. Try your hand at archery, learn local food preparation techniques, become familiar with traditional medicines, and even act as king or queen for the day. Overnight at The Garden Place Hotel.
• Day three: Gorilla tracking in Volcanoes National Park
After an early morning breakfast, transfer to the park headquarters with your packed lunch early enough to be briefed on the code of conduct while with the gorillas. Then, enter the forest in search of the gorillas, which may take two to six hours depending on their movement through the jungle. Meet and stay with the gorillas for a maximum of one hour. Overnight at The Garden Place Hotel.
• Day four: Musanze - Kigali - Akagera National Park
Wake early and have breakfast before checking out from the lodge. After that, your driver-guide will transfer you to Akagera National Park through Kigali. Overnight at Akagera Game Lodge.
• Day five: Game drive and boat ride in Akagera National Park
Enjoy an early morning breakfast and start your day of game-spotting in an open-top vehicle. A half-day game drive here grants you the opportunity to spot a variety of game including elephants, buffalos, hippos, lions, Masai giraffe, gazelles, impala, baboons, oribi, Butchel’s zebras, topis, bush babies, leopards, bushbuck, and more.
Continue with a boat trip after lunch on Lake Ihema for a close encounter with the crocodiles and hippos along the river banks. Look up to witness the large concentration of over 525 bird species both migratory and Savanna-related. Unique species such as shoe billed stocks and papyrus gonolek may be encountered. Endemic species include the jacanas, ibis, sand pipers, and herons. Return for dinner and overnight at Akagera Game Lodge.
• Day six: Transfer from Akagera National Park to Kigali
Have breakfast and then enjoy a morning game drive before returning to Kigali. Get dropped off at your lodge in Kigali for check-in, or at the airport for your departure flight.