Based in Cape Town, South Africa, Active Africa initially operated a variety of walking, trekking and adventure programs within Southern Africa. We all know that the quality of a trip is determined by both the itinerary design and the guide; and our team works hard to ensure we offer you the best combination possible.
We prefer to explore Rwanda by any means other than in a vehicle. Where the majority of the population travels by foot, you will find a walking paradise. This itinerary suits travellers who like to explore with a little adventure.
We walk or run the back streets of Kigali on a “city tour” like no other you will experience and trek the sun dappled trails of Nyungwe Forest looking for habituated chimpanzees.
From our kayaks, we glimpse the daily tasks of coffee farmers and villagers on the shores of Lake Kivu. Then the land of a thousand hills lives up to its name as we bike and hike the hills of the lake shore. Our traveller-curated village walk offers a view into life in the volcanoes. Finally, we share that one incredible hour with mountain gorillas in the forests of the volcanoes.
We guarantee many breathless moments on our Explore Rwanda trip. Above all, we promise that you will make new friends and gain fresh insights into a country that has beaten the odds to become one of the most efficient and visitor-friendly in Africa.
If this sounds too energetic for you, take a look at our Discover Rwanda trip.
Active Africa offers a selection of preferred hotels and lodges that are designed to fit your budget and travel style. However, often there are many places where we travel where options are very limited, or where we feel either the location or the experience offered by a particular property is quintessential to the experience, in which case we use these properties across both Premium and Classic itineraries.
Our Premium range of properties offer a stylishly unique African take on modern lodgings. From city hotels to countryside lodges, think African chic with expansive rooms, slick service, creative cuisine, engaging wine lists, high thread counts, and all the other modern conveniences associated with the luxury lodging experience.
Often selected more for their regional character and location than as a cost-effective alternative, our Classic range of properties tick all the boxes associated with good lodgings. Expect great service, character filled comfortable rooms and delicious locally sourced meals to weave a common theme, while the stunning African landscape elevates your stay from the memorable to the sublime.
This trip is graded Hard to Challenging.
The grade is determined by the mountain biking section which requires a certain level of fitness and technical ability and the location of the gorilla family you are visiting – some can be easily accessible close to the park boundaries, but others may require extended hikes into thick vegetation on the slopes of the volcano. In addition, note that the Volcanoes National Park is at an altitude of above 2000m asl. – participants should be aware of the physical requirements of this experience.
Due to the nature of this trip and limitations of accommodations and certain logistics, we recommend a maximum of 8 people travelling to get the best from the experience.
Due to the limited number of Gorilla Tracking Permits being in high demand, we strongly suggest confirming your arrangements at least 6 months in advance
This programme is not suitable for children under the age of 16.
We cannot control the weather – this is an outdoor, nature based itinerary and indoor alternatives are limited, if non-existent. Come prepared to be take on the elements if the weather is not playing fair.
Our premium pricing includes the services of an experienced, private guide/trip host. This individual’s role is to ensure seamless operation of the trip and to bridge any cultural gaps that travellers may experience.
Travellers may opt not to have a private guide accompany them.
Our classic pricing does not include the services of a private guide/trip host. However, travellers may opt to include a private guide in the trip, using classic accommodations.
Rwanda is a year-round travel destination. However the dry season runs from June to October and this corresponds with high season rates.
Discounted gorilla permit fees are offered when combined with visits to other national parks from November through May.
For maximum comfort and best game viewing, this programme is best run between the months of June and December.
Visit an initiative for local women that provides education, skills training and business support to form self-sustaining co-operatives.
Discover colourful Nyamirambo and historical Kiyovu on an experiential walking tour – meet tailors, butchers, merchants, musicians and hairdressers.
Explore fresh produce markets and shop for local crafts at Caplaki craft market.
Sample typical Rwandan foods as guests at a private home.
Alternatively, if you arrive late today, after some time to settle in at the hotel, join your guides for an evening run around the local suburb – although you are located in an affluent area of Kigali, these neighbourhoods reflect the true essence of life in Rwanda and could be considered more a trail that a suburban trot…
Visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial and the Campaign Against Genocide.
Scenic helicopter flight from Kigali to the Nyungwe National Park.
Visit the Gisakura Tea Factory for a personalised in-depth look at the tea making process.
Hike through tea plantations to the lodge, arriving in time for a late lunch.
The rest of the afternoon is at leisure before we head out on the trail again, this time for a forest night walk to discover what comes out in the dark.
Start early with a chimpanzee tracking activity. Hike deep into the forest with a park ranger, to find a group of habituated chimps.
Spend one hour with them as they hunt, forage and play.
Enjoy an afternoon at leisure or head back for another forest walk.
More monkey business as you start the day with a search for resident populations of Angolan Colobus monkeys.
Return to the lodge for breakfast, before departing by road to Kibuye on the shores of Lake Kivu.
Here you connect with a local transport boat to access your next lodge.
Spend the rest of the afternoon kayaking or swimming in the calm silky waters of Lake Kivu.
Today you will explore the bays and shoreline of Lake Kivu, swapping out your boots for a seat in the kayak.
Your route takes you out to the Bay of Islands, paddling northwards up the coastline and taking time to explore hidden bays and chat with local fishermen and farmers. (We have a motorboat on hand to provide support)
Arrive mid-afternoon at Kinunu, a tiny community of coffee growers located on a pretty peninsula.
Join your local guide for a short walk through the coffee plantation and down to a coffee washing station, gaining insight into the process of co-operative coffee production.
Swap the kayaks for mountain bike today.
A day in the saddle offers an intimate look at rural life in Rwanda. Your route is a combination of dirt roads and easy single track that traces the shoreline and seeks shortcuts across the peninsula to shorten the distance – a beautiful ride that takes in both stunning scenery and local life.
Rwanda is not called the land of a thousand hill for nothing, so be prepared for the occasional brutal ascent…
Check in at your lodge in Rubona at the end of the day. After time to wash away the dust of the day, meet in the early evening and make your way into the lake to meet the singing fishermen as they head out for a night of fishing.
Spend a little time with the fishermen to watch them cast their nets before returning to the lodge for dinner.
After breakfast, hike straight from the lodge and up into the mountains for a day of hiking through remote farmlands and rural villages,
This is a unique trail and no other travellers will be encountered. Similarly, there are no roads for vehicle support.
Finish at a local market place on the outskirts of Gisenye. Transfer by vehicle to the Volcanoes National Park.
Check into your luxury lodge before meeting with the Gorilla Doctors before dinner tonight.
The highlight of any journey in Rwanda: after an early start, make your way to the Park HQ where you are assigned your gorilla group before heading out to the trail head to start your hike.
Spend one awe-inspiring hour with a family of mountain gorillas.
This afternoon, head out on a walk through the local community.
This is an authentic experience, where no encounters are choreographed.
Your local guide will be available to assist in curating the best experience.
Today you return to Kigali to connect with our onward plans. The transfer from the Volcanoes National Park is either by road or by helicopter.