Experience Rwanda

Experience Rwanda

price from £29,500 per person

A WILDLIFE ENCOUNTER

Rwanda is often referred to as ‘le pays des mille collines’ which is French for the “land of a thousand hills”. Perfectly coined, the phrase simply describes the epic landscape of this beautiful country. Pair this awesome and thrilling country with the seclusion of a luxury private island in the Seychelles.

Gorillas are the closest primate to humans, and having the opportunity to see them in their natural habitat is a truly mesmerising sight. Whilst travelling across Rwanda track Colubus monkeys and chimpanzees, walk between the treetop canopies, and enjoy day and night game drives. Southern Africa is a much loved and well-travelled region. The hidden gem amongst some of the more popular destinations is Rwanda, which is much less trodden. Now is the time to see Rwanda in its development stage, as it builds on its reforestation program and community projects.

*This itinerary includes properties that are due to open in late 2018.

 

HOLIDAY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Gorilla Trekking includes Permits
  • City Tour of Kigali
  • Canopy Walk
  • Track Colubus Monkeys
  • Expert Bird Watching
  • Track Chimpanzee
  • Community Projects
  • Transfer by Private Helicopter

All essential escapes itineraries are exclusive and designed by our experts to offer a truly unique experience. We can create any itinerary around your personal requirements so please let us know your wish list and we will be delighted to curate something completely bespoke for you.

Day 1 | Arrive in Nairobi | Hotel: Hemingway’s

  • On arrival at Nairobi International Airport, you will be met and transferred to Hemingway’s. With an evening arrival, you’ll have time for a good night’s sleep.

Day 2 | Nairobi to Kigali | Hotel: Kigali Serena Hotel

  • After lunch at Hemingways, you’ll fly from Nairobi to Kigali, the capital of Rwanda.
  • Arriving early evening, you’ll have an evening at leisure as you acclimatise to the time difference.

Day 3 | Nyungwe Forest Reserve | Hotel: One&Only Nyungwe House

  • So you can appreciate the history of Rwanda, you’ll enjoy a private city tour in the morning, before a private helicopter takes you to the One&Only Nyungwe House*. Located on the grounds of a working tea plantation and lined by an ancient rainforest, spend time getting back to nature.
  • This afternoon you’ll experience the rainforest from a new perspective as you walk along the canopy, suspended 60 metres above the forest floor. The only walk way of its kind in East Africa, you’ll pass by towering trees and local flora and fauna.

Day 4 | Nyungwe Forest Reserve | Hotel: One&Only Nyungwe House

  • A distinctive East African primate, the Colubus Monkey can be found swinging from the trees. Wake early, so you catch them when their most active. Breakfast will be packed to go!
  • The remainder of your day is at leisure, but if you want more, take to one of the many hiking trails. Ranging in difficulty, discover the natural wonders of this beautiful and diverse area.

Day 5 | Nyungwe Forest Reserve | Hotel: One&Only Nyungwe House

  • For keen bird watchers and those novices, Nyungwe Forest is a birder’s paradise. Home to over 300 bird specific, 27 of which are endemic to the local Alvertine Rift, you’ll be sure to catch a glimpse of these spectacular birds.
  • Be guided into the rainforest, on a scenic hike along a dedicated trail. The prize at the end is not to be missed. As the path clears you’ll find a secluded waterfall. Sit on the water’s edge, splash about in the water and enjoy a gourmet picnic against this stunning backdrop.

Day 6-8 | Akagera National Park | Hotel: Magashi Camp

  • Climb aboard your helicopter, as you fly high above the rainforest, to land at Magashi Camp*. Overlooking scenic Lake Rwanyakazinga, Akagera comprises some of the most scenic savannah in East Africa.
  • On your daily game drives you’ll have the chance to spot the local hippos, crocodiles, shoebill storks, and a healthy population of lion. The lions were successfully reintroduced by the African Parks in 2015 and the black rhino in 2017.
  • Take to the water on Lake Rwanyakazinga as you enjoy a fishing excursion in the morning when the fish are more active. In the afternoon, head out with your ranger and tracker on a walking safari. Walking alongside the local wildlife, of which some are predators, is a unique feeling.

Day 9 | Volcanoes National Park | Hotel: Bisate Lodge

  • Boarding your helicopter, it’s a short flight over to Bisate Lodge. Bisate’s vision of reforestation and rehabilitation means that each guest contributes to biodiversity conservation and local community upliftment.
  • After settling in, you’ll take a short hike to the grave of Dian Fossey, the American primatologist and conservationist. Dian devoted her life to the study of the mountain gorilla group from 1966 to her death.

Day 10 | Volcanoes National Park | Hotel: Bisate Lodge

  • Picked up from the hotel, you’ll be taken to the Volcanoes National Park headquarters. After a health and safety talk, you’ll be put into groups and introduced to your ranger and tracker. Next, you’ll head out in search of one of the gorilla groups. The visit will last 1 hour.

Day 11 | Volcanoes National Park | Hotel: Bisate Lodge

  • Visit a local community and understand how your contribution helps to develop the local area and educate the children in the community. Speak with the local farmers who cultivate and sell their product to Bisate Lodge. A very worthwhile experience!

Day 12 | Nairobi | Hotel: Hemingway’s

  • Depart Bisate by helicopter, landing back at Kigali for your onward flight to Nairobi. Arriving early evening in Nairobi, you’ll have time for dinner at Hemingway’s Brasserie restaurant before getting an early night.

Day 13-18 | Seychelles | Hotel: North Island

  • Departing mid-morning, you’ll fly directly to Mahe Airport in the Seychelles. Met by a representative from North Island you’ll be whisked across to North Island by helicopter. Landing on this private luxury island is a truly awesome experience. Home for the next 5 nights, your Presidential Villa located on East Beach is a secluded haven.
  • We’ve deliberately kept your time at North Island completely free, giving you the luxury to choose your daily activities. For idea’s on how to spend your time, why not try scuba diving, cycling, fishing, guided walks, kayaking or supping. The list is endless!

Day 15 | Depart Mahe | 

  • Fly back to Mahe for your onward direct flight to London.

*This itinerary includes properties that are due to open in late 2018.

REVIEWS

‘What an experience. I can’t explain how amazing seeing gorillas in their natural habitat is’ – Katie

Essential Information

When is the best time to go

Rwanda is a year round destination. For the dry season mid-December to February or June to September are best. The Seychelles has a consistent hot temperature year round, the trade winds can affect the temperature slightly as well as the seaweed build up on the beaches.

passport/visa requirements

British citiziens need a visa to enter Rwanda. 30 day tourist visas are available on arrival for £20 or $30. You can pay in cash (sterling, US dollars or Rwandan francs) or by Visa/Mastercard. Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry into Rwanda. Visas are not required for the Seychelles. As you overnight in Nairobi, Kenya British citizens will require a visa.

Need to know

In order to enjoy all of the activities we recommend packing sensible footwear and clothing. When travelling on safari, we recommend a neutral palette for clothing. Beige, cream and khaki are advised. We’d also recommend trainers or walking boots for the treks, walks and hikes. Soft bags rather than hard suitcases are also advisable due to helicopter transfers. There will be dimension and weight restrictions.