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A Guided Journey Through Rwanda (Small Group)Rwanda

Itinerary Highlights

Hosted by Exeter Safari Company Co-Founders Greg Tepper & Scott Simpson

Very small group – only 6 travelers

All local flights included

2 Nights in Kigali

3 Nights near Volcanoes National Park at One&Only Gorilla’s Nest

3 Nights near Nyungwe Forest National Park at One&Only Nyungwe House

3 Nights at Akagera National Park at Wilderness Magashi Camp

Exeter International

Sample Itinerary

Day 1 - 3

Day 1 - 3 | Kigali

Today we will arrive into Kigali (please note the cost of this international flight is not included in your program cost). Here we will be met by our local representatives and escorted to our hotel for the next two nights, the Kigali Serena Hotel. At the hotel we will undergo a Covid-19 test that will be sent away for processing. The test is completed within 24 hours and until our results have been announced we are restricted to our hotel rooms.

If we receive our test results back the following morning, we will then enjoy an afternoon tour of Kigali taking in all of the most important historical and cultural sites. Should our results only be delivered in the afternoon or early evening we will instead enjoy this tour the following morning before departing for Volcanoes National Park.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Kigali Serena Hotel
Kigali Serena Hotel

On a delightful boulevard in the heart of Kigali, Rwanda, in a secure location just a five-minute walk from downtown lies Kigali Serena Hotel. A distinctively rich blend of Rwandan heritage, art and culture with contemporary 5-star comfort in 148 sophisticated rooms and suites, Serena Kigali hotel provides a private and peaceful retreat. Relaxed and stylish, the colorful Sokoni Restaurant is surrounded by extensive tropical gardens and overlooks the pool. With its reputation for colorful cocktails, international cuisine and vibrant live music there are few places better to rest up and relax either on your way in or out of Rwanda.

Day 3 - 6

Day 3 - 6 | One&Only Gorilla's Nest, Volcanoes National Park

Leaving Kigali behind we will then enjoy a scenic 2.5-hour drive to our next destination, the Volcanoes National Park. Here we have 3 nights at the incredible One&Only Gorilla’s Nest! On our arrival day we will simply rest up and relax into our tranquil surroundings as we prepare for our gorilla trek set for the following morning.

Early the next morning we will rise just as the sun is peeking over the horizon and make our way to the nearby ranger station. Here we will meet with any other travelers who are embarking on today’s journey and with everyone assembled the local rangers will assign everyone into small groups of between 6 and 8. We will then set off into the jungle in search of these incredible creatures.

Along with a small team of porters who are on hand to assist with carrying any heavy items we may have (think photographic equipment) we will scramble along the dense jungle paths as we move deeper into the tropical jungle. After anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on where the nearest troop is currently residing, we will reach our goal. Weighing up to 500 pounds these gentle giants may view us with a hint of curiosity but will for the most part simply ignore us as they go about their day. We will have around an hour to sit quietly and observe the troop as they interact with one another and the young play all around us.

Following this magical experience, we will then make our way back down the mountainside. Arriving back at the ranger station we will enjoy a short transfer back to your lodge where we then have the remainder of your day at leisure.

The following day is then at leisure. Anyone interested in doing a second gorilla trek today is welcome to (at additional cost), otherwise the lodge offers a number of fun and interesting other experiences that are included in your stay.

Meals Included: Full board (Including Local Beers, Wines, Spirits & Soft Drinks)

One&Only Gorilla’s Nest
One&Only Gorilla’s Nest

Eye to eye with swaying eucalyptus trees, One&Only Gorilla’s Nest is the closest resort to Volcanoes National Park – a historic rainforest home to a diverse tapestry of wildlife, including over 340 mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, and 300 bird species. In and around the resort, there is an incredible topography of peaceful sleeping volcanoes that defy gravity, creating an awe-inspiring atmosphere. Cushioned in the foothills of these breathtaking peaks One&Only Gorilla’s Nest makes the magical possible as you enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime, personal encounter with the rare and majestic mountain gorillas roaming free in their own natural habitat. Enjoy a seamless connection with the natural world from your own private Forest lodge. Follow the scents and sounds of nature onto your secluded open-air viewing deck or al fresco shower, where the dramatic sights and sounds of your surroundings are sure to set your imagination wild.

Day 6 - 9

Day 6 - 9 | One&Only Nyungwe House, Nyungwe Forest National Park

Today we will bid farewell to Volcanoes National Park and enjoy a beautiful drive that is going to take us West to the tea-plantations of Gisakura. Along the way we will stop at Cormoran Lodge on the edge of Lake Kivu. Here we will enjoy lunch and a chance to stretch our legs along the scenic Congo Nile trail. We will then continue towards the Burundi border where we will arrive at One&Only Nyungwe House.

Over the next three days we will experience one-of-a-kind encounters as we explore this incredible area. We will head out on foot to track troops of wild primates, from playful chimpanzees to Mangabey and Colobus monkeys. We will follow colorful orchid trails frequented by butterflies and identify birds by their melody. For those feeling especially active we can climb the local peaks to reveal the epic panoramas of Lake Kivu and the mountain ranges across the border. Last but not least, we will brave the 60-metre high canopy-walk, an absolute must for visitors to the region!

Meals Included: Full board (Including Local Beers, Wines, Spirits & Soft Drinks)

Day 9 - 12

Day 9 - 12 | Magashi Camp, Akagera National Park

Leaving Nyungwe House behind we will board our flight that is going to take us back to Kigali. In Kigali we will once again meet our guide and driver and together set off for the Eastern border of Rwanda. Here we will find the picturesque Akagera National Park and our home for the next three nights, Magashi Camp.

Magashi Camp is situated in the dynamic and phenomenally diverse north-eastern corner of Akagera National Park, overlooking beautiful Lake Rwanyakazinga. Akagera comprises some of the most scenic savannah in East Africa – open plains, woodlands, lakes, swamp, and grassy low mountains – and is home to one of Africa’s highest hippo densities, some very large crocodiles as well as the rare sitatunga and more than 520 bird species.

Over the next few days we will explore this beautiful National Park both by safari vehicle, on foot and by boat. The Akagera National Park is truly one of Africa’s best kept secrets and offers a safari experience unlike any other.

Meals Included: Full board (Including Local Beers, Wines, Spirits & Soft Drinks)

Wilderness Magashi Camp
Wilderness Magashi Camp

Magashi Camp comprises six spacious and airy tents offering uninterrupted views over Lake Rwanyakazinga, while Magashi’s main area comprises a luxurious lounge, dining and bar area, pool, and expansive viewing deck with a convivial fire pit. The architecture and interiors pay homage to traditional Rwandan culture. Teeming with plains game, Akagera now also boasts a healthy population of lion as well as black rhino, which were reintroduced in 2017. Guests will be able to view a range of wildlife on expertly-guided game drives, walks and boating trips, including buffalo, lion, elephant, giraffe, spotted hyena, zebra, topi, roan, eland and search for the elusive leopard. The Park also boasts almost 500 species of birds.

Day 12

Day 12 | Depart Africa

This morning we will enjoy a leisurely breakfast before meeting our driver and guide and embarking on our transfer drive back to Kigali. From here we will meet our onward flight home (please note the cost of this international flight is not included in your program cost).

Please note there is an optional post-Rwanda extension itinerary to the beautiful island of Mauritius. Please let us know if you may be interested in joining this extension and we will be more than happy to provide further details.

Meals Included: Breakfast

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Pricing for a Guided Journey Through Rwanda: 

Price per person based on two guests traveling together sharing one double occupancy room throughout: $15,265 per person.

Price per person based on one guest traveling occupying one double occupancy room throughout: $19,675 per person 


Please note this Tour is strictly limited to 6 guests. 

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    Have A Question?

    Why go through a company such as the Exeter Safari Company?

    An African safari is, for many people, a once in a lifetime trip and for that reason you will want to be sure the arrangements are flawless. A safari incorporates many different elements including airport arrival and departure services, transfers, light aircraft flights, the routing to remote lodges and the most knowledgeable local guides. Coordinating all these different services, often throughout multiple countries, languages and currencies can be daunting.

    By going through an experienced safari company which has a wealth of local knowledge, local connections and years of experience in the region you can be sure you will be receiving the highest possible level of service before, during and after your travels. At the Exeter Safari Company we work with only the best guides, highest quality lodges at every price point, and the most reliable transportation providers in Africa. Our extensive experience and connections throughout the continent will ensure your trip goes off without a hitch.

    In addition, you will enjoy the peace of mind knowing that you have access to 24/7 support both before your departure and during your time in Africa.

    What should I wear on safari?

    When deciding what clothing to pack for a safari trip your main priority is going to be comfort, coverage, durability and ease of packing. Keep in mind safaris often include light aircraft flights on to which normal hard sided suitcases are not allowed. You will therefore want to pack your clothing and other items into a soft sided duffel style travel bag (no larger than 24 inches long and 15 inches wide) that can be easily stored along with other travelers’ bags in the small luggage compartments on board. Note there is also a strict 15KG (33lbs) weight limit for your luggage.

    Regardless of the time of year you are traveling, or the expected temperatures, you will want to be prepared for some cooler occasions. In order to find animals while they are at their most active, safari drives generally take place in the early morning and late afternoon/early evening. You will therefore often be out and about during the cooler parts of the day and this combined with sitting in the back of an open sided safari vehicle means it can get chilly - even in the middle of Summer. Accordingly, you will want to bring one or two light jackets, preferably that can be layered, so when it does start warming up you are able to shed layers and maintain a comfortable temperature.

    It is also important where possible to wear long-sleeve shirts and pants to help with both sun and insect protection (fleece is great as insects can’t bite through it). Mosquitoes, Tsetse flies and other small flying insects can be bothersome during certain parts of your safari and preparing for them ahead of time will make your trip that much more pleasant. You will want to avoid bringing dark blue and black clothing as this color is known to attract certain flying insects such as Tsetse flies. You may also want leave behind your favorite white clothing as they can quickly become dirty from the dust in the air and climbing in and out of the safari vehicle. Last you will want to keep in mind you are trying to remain inconspicuous while on safari and so bright colors and loud prints should be avoided. Instead opt for more neutral tones in greens and browns that will help you blend into your surroundings.

    When it comes to footwear you will again want to choose an option that covers as much of your bare skin as possible, think hiking boots or closed shoes with long socks rather than flip-flops or sandals. You will also be climbing in and out of vehicles and walking on uneven terrain that could have sharp rocks or thorns and so you will want footwear that is relatively durable. Your safari may include bush walks and so you will want to wear sturdy hiking boots on these occasions. Around the lodge area you will be able to wear more casual and lightweight footwear including flip flops or sandals, assuming you have bug-spray to stop any pesky mosquitoes that may be in the area. While in your rooms you will normally have mosquito nets over the bed area however you may still want to bring some full-length pajamas to ensure you have less skin exposed to any mosquitoes that did manage to sneak in.

    When is the best time to travel to Africa?

    The short answer is anytime! While there are better and worse times to be on safari throughout the various regions of Africa because the continent is so large and so diverse whenever you are looking to travel there will be a destination that is right for you.

    Traditionally, the best time to go on safari is during the dry season that broadly runs from June through October, however this season does vary significantly depending where in Africa you are considering. During the dry season the vegetation is much less dense and because the grass is shorter it is much easier to track and locate wildlife. Additionally, when there is less rainfall there are fewer available water sources for wildlife to gather around. This results in the animals tending to congregate around the same lakes, pans and rivers which again makes for great game viewing (and leads to some interesting herbivore/predator encounters!).

    Often during the wet season, also called the green season, when water sources are abundant, the wildlife tends to spread out over an enormous area. Many camps and lodges close during this time of year, often December through February as the dirt tracks that surround the lodges become impassable.

    Another aspect to consider, especially if visiting East Africa, is the great migration. Please visit our page that explores this topic at length as it will give you a good idea as to where the migration is located at any particular time of year.

    What About Yellow Fever?

    Yellow Fever is a disease found in many parts of sub-tropical Africa transmitted into humans through Mosquito bites. As it can be quite a serious illness it is essential you receive a yellow fever vaccination before embarking on a trip to an effected country.

    The main safari destinations where Yellow Fever vaccinations are required are Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda and Rwanda. Other countries such as South Africa and Botswana require you to arrive with a yellow fever vaccination even if you have only transited through or visited a country where yellow fever exists within the past 6 months (keep in mind many of the countries on this list are in South America).

    Check with your Exeter Safari Company expert for the specific requirements regarding the destinations included in your program. It is important to note the Yellow Fever vaccine requires 10 days before it becomes effective and so don’t leave it to the last minute!

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