Rwanda silverback

Rwanda ~ Gorillas and the Renaissance of a Country

This small country, known as the land of a thousand hills, still evokes memories of the genocide committed in 1994, when a million people died in 100 days. Join us on a thirteen-day tour of this fascinating country, considered part of both Central and East Africa, as we discover Rwanda’s resurgence and, as a highlight, visit the original ‘Gorillas in the Mist’ of Dian Fossey in the Volcanoes National Park.


In addition, we travel throughout the rest of the country, staying in the vibrant capital, Kigali; scenically beautiful Akagera National Park on the border with Tanzania; Nyungwe Forest National Park, the largest area of montane rainforest in Eastern Africa, and on the shore of Lake Kivu, one of the Albertine Rift Great Lakes.

In spite of its position just 2° south of the Equator, Rwanda enjoys a temperate tropical climate, due to its general altitude, with heights between 1,300 m and 2,000 m in those areas where we travel. The pleasant temperatures, rarely exceeding 26°C, are complemented by the welcoming people of Rwanda.

HIGHLIGHTS of the tour includes:

  • Escorted day treks to visit the original ‘Gorillas in the Mist’ of Dian Fossey and her scientific research base in the Volcanoes National Park
  • 3 nights in a luxury lodge at 2,512 metres (8,500 ft.) in the lee of the Volcanoes
  • A walking tour of Nyamirambo, Kigali’s oldest neighbourhood, on a community tourism project run by the Nyamirambo Women’s Centre
  • Game – elephants; hippos; zebras; giraffes; buffalos; and antelopes - and bird watching by private 4x4s in the Akagera National Park, based in a classic safari tented lodge
  • Observing Blue, L’Hoest’s and Mona Monkeys, Grey-cheeked Mangabeys, Rwenzori Colobuses and Chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest National Park
  • Boat trips on Rwanda’s two biggest lakes, Kivu and Ihema

Guests’ comments on this trip:

'This trip was outstanding. Small group travel with Kudu made the trip to Rwanda even more memorable. I liked that we visited 3 national parks, travelled all around this small country and got a walking tour of a part of Kigali as well.'


You can view short videos from the gorilla and golden monkey treks on

Rwanda elephant
Rwanda lake shore
Rwanda Sabyinyo
Rwanda tea plantation
Rwanda Nyamirambo
Rwanda monkey
Rwanda long crested eagle

Day 1
D included
After meeting at Kigali airport in the early evening, we have a short road transfer (30 mins) to our small hotel (with a swimming pool) on a quiet side street close to the city centre, with its own excellent restaurant.

Day 2
B, L, D included
On a walking tour of the Nyamirambo neighbourhood, we learn about the every-day life of different cultural and religious groups living in this lively area of Kigali. This community tourism project is run by the Nyamirambo Women’s Centre and helps to provide education and training for disadvantaged women. Our lunch gives us an opportunity to taste traditional Rwandan dishes such as dodo, cooked with small green aubergines, amaranth leaves and peanut flower.

Day 3
B, L, D included
We travel (3 hrs) east to one of Africa’s oldest parks, the Akagera National Park, on the border with Tanzania. In contrast with the rest of Rwanda, Akagera is a low-lying undulating woodland and savannah with an extensive wetland area fed by the Akagera River in the east. The park is known for its scenic beauty, extensive bird list and recovering numbers of game (lion, elephant, buffalo and hippo). We have lunch in our small tented camp, with walk-in tents and private bathrooms, set along a raised boardwalk on the shore of Lake Ihema. In the afternoon, we take a boat trip on the lake and hope to observe water birds such as fish eagle, pied kingfisher, African darter, openbill or jacana.

Day 4
B, L, D included
We spend the day exploring the wide variety of Akagera’s habitats on foot and by 4WD. Our goal will be the Mutumba Hills, one of most rewarding parts of the park, where dense woodland transforms into open grassland. 11 species of antelope occur in the park and we have a good chance that, in the course of the day, we will see impala, Defassa waterbuck, tsessebe, roan, eland, Bohor reedbuck, oribi, klipspringer, common duiker and bushbuck. Only the semi-aquatic sitatunga is elusive and largely restricted to inaccessible areas of papyrus swamps.

Day 5
B, L, D included
We take a short game drive, perhaps in the Giraffe area frequented by the introduced Masai Giraffe or along the Rwisirabo Loop. In the late morning, we depart for Kigali where we visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial, a must for every visitor to Rwanda.

Day 6
B, L, D included
From Kigali in the centre of Rwanda, we head south west for the Nyungwe Forest National Park, the largest area of montane rainforest in Eastern Africa and the source of Africa’s two great rivers – the Congo and the Nile. We break the day’s drive in Huye (Butare), the country’s intellectual centre and former colonial capital, to visit the National Ethnographic Museum, which presents a collection of exhibits on Rwandan history and culture in seven spacious rooms. Our 3-star lodge (3 nights) is set on a hill top in the Park and offers extensive forest views.

Day 7
B, L, D included
A 2.5 km forest trail takes us to the Canopy Walkway, a metal bridge 50 m above the forest floor. From here we observe the crowns of trees of the upper canopy such as Syzygium guineense (Waterberry), Macaranga kilimandscharica or Entandrophragma excelsum (African mahogany). There are 13 primate species recorded in Nyungwe Forest and this afternoon we concentrate on the Ruwenzori colobus. The colobus is an arboreal and acrobatic herbivore and the Nyugwe troops are unique in their size (up to 400 individuals).

Day 8
B, L, D included
A very early start is necessary to maximise our chances of observing chimpanzees, our closest genetic relatives. Chimpanzees are shy and, unlike other primates, do not live in troops. Sightings are not guaranteed and the walk may be strenuous, but we are likely to hear their intriguing communication calls.

Day 9
B, L, D included
Lake Kivu is the smallest of the Albertine Rift Great Lakes and today we drive north along its eastern shore to Karongi, arguably the prettiest of the three major ports. In the afternoon, we enjoy a scenic boat ride on the lake (1 hr). We stay in a simple hotel on the lake front.

Day 10
B, L, D included
We transfer (3 hrs) to Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, where we base ourselves comfortably and stylishly for 3 nights. The lodge, owned by a community trust, is situated in the foothills of the Virungas (a chain of isolated freestanding volcanic cones reaching up to 4,500 m) and within easy reach of the Volcanoes National Park headquarters, the meeting point for activities in the park. In Ibyiwacu Cultural Village, an initiative set up by a former park warden, we learn what it took to provide an alternative livelihood for gorilla poachers.

Day 11
B, L, D included
We are up early to meet our allocated guide and trackers and soon we are heading towards the gorilla encounter. Typically, we would drive to the beginning of the trail (30 – 45 mins) and walk for up to 2 hrs before we meet our troop. We are permitted to spend no more than 1 hour with the gorillas.

Day 12
B, L, D included
A full day’s walk through Hagenia – Hypericum forest allows us to visit Dian Fossey’s grave and the remains of the scientific research base she set up in the saddle (3,000 m) between the Karisimbi and Bisoke volcanoes.

Day 13
B, L included
Today, we turn our attention to the often overlooked golden monkeys, characterised by a bright orange body and black limbs and tail. Once relatively widespread in the forests of southwest Uganda and northwest Rwanda, their range is now virtually restricted to the Virungas. After lunch, we transfer to Kigali airport (3 hrs), pausing in Musanze to visit the informative exhibition in the modern Dian Fossey Research Centre.

Trip Price:
TBA per person sharing a double room
TBA deposit per person 
double for single room supplement

Please note that the single room supplement is imposed by the lodges, camps and hotels and not by Kudu Travel. If you are willing to share, but no other suitable guest books on the trip, we regret that the supplement will be payable.

Price includes
  • All accommodation for Days 1 through 13, on a twin shared basis
  • All meals as listed in the daily notation (with wine, beer and soft drinks)
  • All land transportation in a private vehicle as described except during free periods
  • Two boat trips as described
  • All entrance, sightseeing and national park fees as described
  • All activities as described i.e. game drives and walks with specialist trackers and rangers
  • Services of a Kudu tour guide

  • Gratuities for lodge and restaurant staff, drivers, specialist local guides and trackers 
Price does not include
  • International transportation to and from Kigali
  • Trip cancellation, medical or other insurance
  • Immunisations, prescriptions or other medical requirements
  • Passport, visa and health documentation
  • Personal expenses (laundry, alcohol besides drinks offered by lodges, free time activities, etc.)
  • Transport and transfer of excess baggage
  • Rwanda departure tax, if any

On Kudu trips, you will only need money for postcards, presents to take home, the odd G & T or an irresistible ice cream. Festival and opera tickets, museum and gallery entrances, National Park fees, all meals (with a very few exceptions specified in individual itineraries), wine with lunch and dinner, access to specialist books carried by the guides, gratuities for porters and hotel and restaurant staff, boat rides, train trips, internal flights, wine tastings, 4WDs with drivers, the services of skilled local guides and trackers etc are ALL INCLUDED in the cost of your holiday. 

We are confident that, like previous very satisfied guests, you will discover that our tours give you excellent value for money.

  • 3 nights (non-consecutive) in Kigali, in a small hotel (with a swimming pool set in a lovely garden) on a quiet side street in the city centre
  • 2 nights in the Akagara National Park, in a small tented camp, with walk-in tents and private bathrooms, set along a raised boardwalk on the shore of Lake Ihema
  • 3 nights in the Nyungwe Forest National Park, in an exclusive lodge set in a tea estate on the park’s boundary with individual wooden chalets offering extensive views
  • 1 night in Karongi on Lake Kivu, in a simple lake shore hotel
  • 3 nights near the Volcanoes National Park, in a stylish and comfortable lodge, owned by a community trust


The entire country is at a relatively high altitude: 1,300 m above sea level in the Akagera National Park; 1,500 m at Kigali and Lake Kivu; 1,800 m in the Nyungwe Forest and 2,000 m in the Volcanoes National Park.

Visa and Health Requirements
Most visitors require a visa for entry to Rwanda. Visitors from the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand and Germany can apply for their visas on arrival without prior application. If you are a national of any other country, please check the visa regulations applicable to you with your nearest Rwandan Embassy or online on

All visitors must present a valid Yellow Fever vaccination certificate. Please consult your doctor in good time (at least 2 months before you travel) for advice on essential malaria prophylaxis and any other immunisation that they may recommend. You may wish to check the advice given to travellers by the Department of Health and the FCO.

It is essential, and a condition of booking, that you protect yourself with a suitable travel insurance policy as soon as you book a trip. Follow this link for a quote for a policy available to UK residents. 

If you are already insured, or a non-UK resident, please inform us of your policy at the time of booking.

Please note that it is standard practice for National Parks and wilderness lodges to ask guests to sign an insurance waiver on arrival.

Size of party 
This trip will run with a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 12 guests.