This is the ultimate primate experience. Get up close with mountain gorillas in Africa’s oldest national park and hike through rainforest in search of chimpanzees. Spot chimps swinging through the vines, see gorilla families at play, and watch in awe as a huge silverback muscles its way through the forest.

7nights INDEPENDENT TOUR

Suggested route & duration

7 nights from Kigali

• Kigali: 1 night
• Nyungwe Forest: 2 nights
• Kibuye: 1 night
• Volcanoes National Park: 2 nights
• Kigali: 1 night

About this independent tour

Why you’ll love this itinerary

• See mountain gorillas in their natural habitat

• Watch chimpanzees swing through the forest

• Trek through ancient rainforests

• Relax on a peaceful lake shore

• It’s an exclusive wildlife experience – you’ll need to book well in advance

Suggested itinerary details

Day 1: KIGALI Arrive in Kigali and relax at your hotel for the night. Stay at the Kigali Serena Hotel.

Day 2: NYUNGWE Drive to Nyungwe National Park, stopping at cultural Butare on the way to see the King’s Palace and Ethnographic Museum. Hike into the mountainous rainforest in search of endangered chimps – you’ll hear their pant-hoots echoing through the forest long before you spot them. After your trek, relax in the infinity pool at your luxury hotel and watch toucans and colobus monkeys in the treetops. Stay 2 nights at One&Only Nyungwe House.

Day 4: KIBUYE Drive to the ‘beach city’ of Kibuye on the shores of Lake Kivu. Stay at Cormoran Lodge.

Day 5: VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK Gorilla trekking is one of the best wildlife experiences you’ll ever have. Spend time with two gorilla families on two unforgettable treks into Volcanoes National Park. Spot young gorillas climbing and playing, mums with tiny wide-eyed babies and huge silverbacks. Stay 2 nights at Gorilla Mountain View Lodge.

Day 7: KIGALI Fly back to Kigali. Stay at the Kigali Serena Hotel.

Recommended highlights

Gorilla trekking

Spend time with gorillas deep in the mountains of Volcanoes National Park

Chimpanzee trekking

Hike into the Nyungwe National Park to watch chimpanzees swing through the forest

Lakeside relaxation

Take time out on the shores of Lake Kivu, where there are rocky beaches, peaceful islands and trickling waterfalls

Tailor your tour

Make it your own

We’ve crafted this itinerary based on our own experiences and our customers’ feedback. It’s fully flexible so talk to us and we can create your perfect trip.

Where to stay

We’ve recommended a standard hotel for gorilla trekking to help keep costs down. Gorilla Mountain View Lodge is a great base for entering Volcanoes National Park but if you can extend the budget, 5* Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is the perfect choice for a once-in-a-lifetime gorilla trek.

Unique experiences

This itinerary is all about incredible wildlife experiences. It’s the ultimate primate trip and full of pinch-yourself moments. We’ve included a hike in Nyungwe Forest to spot chimpanzees, and two treks in Volcanoes National Park to give you two hours with the gorillas.

How long

Majestic Rwanda is a combination of our Volcanoes & Gorillas and Chimps of the Nyungwe Forest itineraries, so if you’re short on time you could just do the gorilla part

(4 nights) or the chimpanzee part (3 nights).

Another stop

There are lots of other great places you can include in this itinerary so if you want to stop somewhere else, just let us know. For more epic wildlife experiences, add on the Maasai Mara or Serengeti. If you just want to flop on the beach, there’s a direct flight from Kigali to Mombasa.

Good to know

When to go

• The most popular time for gorilla trekking is June to September

• The driest months are generally July to September and December to January

• Rainy season is April to May and October to November

• You can save on gorilla permit prices from November to May if you book the full Majestic Rwanda itinerary