DAY 1: ARRIVE KIGALI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

On arrival at Kigali International Airport, you will be met by Amahoro driver/guide and be transferred to your hotel in Kigali arriving for overnight on bed and breakfast.

Driving distance:  15 Minutes

Activity: 0

Overnight: Great Seasons Hotel | Lemigo Hotel | Kigali Serena Hotel               

 Meal Plan: Bed & breakfast

DAY 2: DEPART FOR RUHENGERI + INTERCUTURAL EXCHANGE

After breakfast you will depart for a 2 hours’ drive to Ruhengeri area the second largest town in Rwanda, with its stunning backdrop of five volcanic mountains – The Virungas- Arriving at the Red rocks intercultural exchange center for a lunch that you will help prepare. Our cooking lessons involve mainly Rwandese dishes in an African cuisine and in an African Kitchen – With a range of fresh crops, the ingredients for African cuisine are diverse even though certain foods are common to many regions. Ground maize or corn (called ‘sweet corn’ in the UK) is used as the basis for many meals. Maize flour is cooked with boiling water to form a stiff porridge (called ugali in Swahili or Kaunga in Kinyarwanda). Sometimes it’s made into dough. This starchy staple is served with sauces or stews as well as different fresh vegetables like Cabbage, carrots, spinach and other traditional greens. You get to join our staff in the kitchen as you explore the varieties of food grown from our farm behind the main building. Get your hands dirty; it’s fun!! If you haven’t cried in a long time the smoke from the kitchen will give you a chance to if you are not swift in keeping the wood together to keep the flames burning. Enjoy the meal outside in the sun or at the dining area as you chat with the locals and you will be introduced to the Rwandese way of telling evening stories of our past and present. This kind of tour will give you an inside way of the Rwandan culture and way of life that leaves you with a picture of our history. Later in the afternoon indulge in banana beer production to understand the chemistry about the process of brewing a local beer from bananas fruits. If you find the activity interesting enough you can join the women in squeezing the juice out of the bananas and drink a glass of juice (Optional). Understand how long juice takes to turn into alcohol after adding in sorghum floor. Enjoy the big glass of our local brew. Among other activities they also do basket weaving and with your visit this local community will be proud of this activity and families supported financially. Continue for your local home stay arriving for dinner and overnight.

Driving distance:  2 Hours

Activity: Intercultural Exchange

Overnight: Local Home stay | Local Home Stay |   Local home stay

Meal Plan: Half board: Lunch, Bed & breakfast

 “Red rocks” is a cultural exchange project, which is willing to spread all aspects of Rwandese Culture, life style, traditions & history. We involve and benefit local people in cultural tourism.  We offer basic types of accommodation (back packers) and community related activities. The rooms have clean but shared bathrooms and hot shower.

DAY 3: GOLDEN MONKEY TRACKING + TWIN LAKES VISIT

This day is set out for Golden Monkey tracking in the Volcanoes National Park. Entering dense stands of bamboo interspersed with open glades; you will make your way deep into golden monkey territory. Guides lead visitors to the habitat of groups of ‘habituated’ golden monkeys – monkeys that have become accustomed to human presence. Though viewing is kept to a maximum of one hour, travellers can get an up-close look at the golden monkey in its natural habitat. Adult monkeys frolic in plain view, feeding on bamboo leaves and leaping from perch to perch. Females carry their young, completely comfortable among onlookers. Return to your hotel to freshen up and have lunch then depart for the twin lakes of Bulera & Ruhondo– These are beautiful lakes located at the base of volcano Muhabura and close to the border with Uganda. They are surrounded by steep hills with a backdrop of the Virunga volcanic mountains. These twin lakes are great spots to be visited and used to be referred to as neglected gems but things have changed and Bulera and Ruhondo are a place not worth missing out on. Their deep blue waters ringed by steep hills and tall waterfalls with the outlines of the nearby Virunga Volcanoes provide a spectacular backdrop. Later drive back to your hotel for dinner and overnight.

Driving distance:  45 minutes

Activities: 1 Golden Monkey Trek + Twin Lakes Visit

Overnight: Garden Place Hotel | Mountain Gorilla View Lodge | Virunga Lodge

Meal Plan: Full board – Lunch, Dinner, bed & breakfast

DAY 4: GORILLA TRACKING + KAGANO COMMUNITY VISIT

After an early breakfast, you will proceed to the National Park headquarters – Kinigi to meet your guides for the day. After completing our park formalities, we are embark on a once in a life time experience of tracking mountain gorillas. Once you spot them you are allowed to spend an hour watching your closest long lost cousin. This is perhaps one of the most breath-taking wildlife experiences on earth!!! You get so close to these awesome giant primates. You stare at each other blankly not knowing who to break the long silence first. Tracking the gorillas through the light mountain forest on the slopes of the Virunga is a magical experience. These massive primates are extremely rare, with less than 700 living today. You will get within meters of the family, and be privileged to spend an hour amongst them. The trekking may be fairly strenuous; up to six hours or longer at a relatively high altitude. We encourage for your own enjoyment to make sure that you are perfectly fit and healthy. (We’ve had people as old as 70 years old do gorilla tracking so this should not be a problem; all you need is to ask your driver guide to request a shorter group for you if cannot you trek far)It is important to bring good hiking boots, long trousers, gloves for protection against stinging nettles, some snacks & sweets (for you, not the gorillas) as well as sufficient water as the rain forest gets hot and humid during the day. You will spend one hour with the gorillas, but it is an hour you will never forget. Evening visit to the Kagano community village as you get to know why the community left the park and when was that. Return to your hotel for lunch and later dinner and overnight.

Driving distance:  45 minutes

Activities: 1 Gorilla Trek

Overnight: Garden Place Hotel | Mountain Gorilla View Lodge | Virunga Lodge

Meal Plan: Full board – Lunch, Dinner, bed & breakfast

DAY 5: MOUNT BISOKE HIKE

After an early breakfast and with your packed lunches; depart for Kinigi and on to the starting point of your hike. Mt Bisoke stands at 3700m; it has the typical conic shape of a “perfect” volcano and in its crater lays a deep crater lake. The volcano does not present an exceptionally demanding climb but it is nevertheless still a tough hike. The high elevation demands extra strength of climbers and the whole excursion can take between 5 hours and the whole day depending on the speed of the walk and the frequency of stops. The ascent typically takes around 3 hours. During the climb, you will cross a series of different vegetation habitats starting with bamboo forests, then moving into Hagenia – Hypericum forest and finally moving through Senecio – Lobelia bush near the summit. The trek starts at 07:00am from the Park’s headquarters in Kinigi. Porters can also be hired from the park headquarters but a professional guide from the park will accompany you for the hike. Return to your hotel to freshen up and later stay for dinner and overnight. (It is important to bring with you sufficient drinking water as the rain forest gets hot and humid during the day).

Driving distance:  45 minutes

Activities: Bisoke Hike

Overnight: Garden Place Hotel | Mountain Gorilla View Lodge | Virunga Lodge

Meal Plan: Full board – Lunch, Dinner, bed & breakfast

DAY 6: LOCAL COMMUNITY VISIT (BEE KEEPING +LOCAL VILLAGE MARKET PHARMACY VISIT)

After breakfast and with your packed lunch we depart for a VILLAGE WALK-This is a walk through one of the villages in Musanze; this helps visitors gain a broad perspective of a Rwandan way of life. The walks go through the villages residing the volcanoes and you will have views of the volcanoes – enjoy the mountainous vegetation in its natural state. Continue for a visit to the bee keepers. Members of various bee keeping associations produce bee hives that they place in swamps or forest areas rich in certain types of plants. Depending on what kind of honey is desired, these plants for example could be banana trees or certain flowers. Honey is an important means to cure a number of local diseases, so that it is shared with traditional doctors. The remaining honey is sold to local people and the benefits are shared with the other association. Take a tour to a local village market pharmacy and learn of the healing abilities in traditional medicine which has been used for ages by the Rwandan people. Later take a walk around Musanze town then a small hike around the Amahoro tours office that leads you to a small picnic site where you enjoy your packed lunch as get to see different types of birds while enjoying the view of all the Volcanoes. Later return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.

Driving distance:   

Activities: Local Community Visit

Overnight: Garden Place Hotel | Mountain Gorilla View Lodge | Virunga Lodge

Meal Plan: Full board – Lunch, Dinner, bed & breakfast

DAY 7: LOCAL SCHOOL VISIT + DEPART FOR GISENYI

After breakfast; Look into the Rwanda’s education by visiting local schools and participate in either teaching or play games with the children, that way they appreciate tourism ( if schools are not closed for the routine break ) Get to interact with the primary school children in this remote locale and get an idea of how they lead their lives. Later have your lunch then depart for Gisenyi arriving for check in at your hotel. The afternoon is spent in this largest port on the Rwandan shore of Lake Kivu (You will be in the company of our guide to show you around). Enjoy a boat ride to one of the islands in Lake Kivu. Simply explore the town, enjoying the hustle and bustle of the local market or wander through the leafy streets admiring the old colonial buildings. Later stay for dinner and overnight at your hotel.

Driving distance:  2 Hours

Activities: Inter cultural exchange + 1 hour boat ride in Gisenyi

Overnight: Discover Rwanda Youth Hostel | Palm Garden Beach Hotel | Kivu Serena Hotel

Meal Plan: Full board – Lunch, Dinner, bed & breakfast

DAY 8: DEPART FOR KIGALI

After breakfast the early part of the day is spent on the Rwandan shore of Lake Kivu. Take a swim at this lake that covers an area of 2,700 km² (1,040 sq. mi) and sits at an altitude of 1,460 m² (4,790 ft.) above sea-level. The lake-bed is situated in a rift valley that is slowly being pulled apart, causing volcanic activity and making it especially deep. Its maximum depth of 480 m (1,575 ft.) is ranked the fifteenth in the world. The lake is surrounded by majestic mountains. This one of the African Great Lakes lies on the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda. Depart for a 3 hours’ drive to Kigali arriving for overnight at your hotel.

Driving distance:  3 ½ Hours

Activities: At Leisure

Overnight: Overnight: Great Seasons Hotel | Lemigo Hotel | Kigali Serena Hotel               

Meal Plan: Bed & breakfast

DAY 9: NTARAMA & NYAMATA MEMORIAL VISIT + DEPART

After breakfast and depending with your flight departure timings; you will depart for a complementary visit to the Ntarama church where mass killings occurred during the 1994 genocide; more than 5000 people were killed in the church. The Ntarama Genocide Memorial is located about 30 kilometres south of the capital city of Kigali. Located in the Bugasera region, this church and its contents are a reminder of the horrifying violence that took place at this site during Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. Learn more about the unity and reconciliation commission. Proceed to Nyamata memorial site- a church where around 2,500 people were killed and it has become emblematic of the barbaric treatment of women during the genocide. Continue to Nyamata a church where around 2,500 people were killed and it has become emblematic of the barbaric treatment of women during the genocide. In the church at Nyamata, there will be graphic and audio-visual displays that will focus particularly on the mass rape, brutalization of women and the use of HIV as a deliberate weapon of genocide. Return to the city for lunch then be transferred to the Kigali International airport for your flight back home.

End of service

Driving distance:  15 Minutes to the airport

Activity: City Tour

Overnight: 0

Meal Plan: Breakfast