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#Rwanda Trip: The 6-Day Itinerary

Downtown Kigali

Downtown Kigali

In less than two weeks, I'll be exploring the Rwandan countryside in the heart of Africa. 

Yeah, I still can't get over that, and probably won't until I'm actually there, and then I'll still feel like I'm in a surreal dream.

I'm a big believer in dropping oneself in another country with a guidebook and without a plan, but when time is limited, and countries are on the less developed side of the spectrum, an organized tour can be a welcome thing. 

I learned that first hand when I took package trips to Kruger Park in South Africa, the Okavango Delta in Botswana, and on a cruise ship down the Nile River in Egypt.

Here's what my schedule looks like, minus all the airplane rides.

Day 1 – March 20th

  • Arrival in Kigali

Day 2 – March 21st (Kigali – Ruhengeri)

  • Kigali City tour (4-hour tour around historical sites of Kigali, view latest developments, visit the Kigali Genocide memoriam)

Day 3 – March 22nd (Ruhengeri – Gisenyi)

  • Trek to see Mountain Gorillas
  • Afternoon visit to Iby'Iwacu Village

Day 3 – March 23rd

  • Tour of Gisenyi (L.Kivu, Paradis Malahide, Akeza Island, Bralirwa, Amashyuza)

Day 4 – March 24th

  • Boat Ride to Nyungwe stopping at Cyangugu
  • Visit Interpretation Center/ Trek to see Colobus monkeys

Day 5 – March 25th (Nyungwe)

  • At 4am – Track Chimpanzees at Cyamudongo Forest
  • Canopy Walk, Visit Dubai World Hotel /waterfalls

Day 6 – March 26th

  • Drive to Kigali, Visit National Museum

I have a 7th day and night in Kigali to do whatever I want before I head home.

Rwanda is a small country, however I still have a feeling the days will be long, especially when we're waking up early to track gorillas and chimps in the forests.

Is there any aspect of the trip you'd like to see covered more than another? 

Food, wildlife, local people, safety situation, genocide, political climate, etc?

Planning a trip? Go Backpacking recommends:


Monday 22nd of March 2010

I traveled to Rwanda last May so I was interested to see this post. You will surely enjoy the breathtakingly beautiful landscapes and the genuinely kind people of Rwanda. As a woman, I was also concerned for my safety on the trip. However, upon arriving at Rwanda, I was reassured by more than one person that I needn't fear for my safety. I was warned to fear tripping over cracks in a sidewalk more than an assault. I was told that acts of violence are very low because people are still very much on the defensive against violence/corruption that could lead to another genocide. The people are still hurting, but the reconciliation that's already taken place is amazing. If you ask someone whether they are Tutsi or Hutu, they will answer simply, "I am Rwandan." Hope you enjoy your trip as much as I did last year!


Tuesday 23rd of March 2010

Hi Mel,

Thanks for reading, and sharing your experience from Rwanda. We're all finding the people very friendly and open. Hopefully as a result of this trip, we can help get the word out that this country has a lot to offer - ecotourism, culture, beautiful landscapes, and friendly people.

I look forward to writing a lot about my time here in the coming weeks.


Wednesday 10th of March 2010

Thanks Brock. I'll do my best to get a sense of the transport situation, but I think I'll be taxi'd around in a private minivan. On the other hand, I think a lot of tourists to the country use package trips and probably have the same experience.


Tuesday 9th of March 2010

Great itinerary Dave! You're sure to have a blast.Like nmaddali, I would be interested in learning more about the safety situation. I threw the idea of visiting there to a few people and every person's first reaction was that it is extremely dangerous. Perhaps it still is, but you'll have an understanding of the real situation after I hope. Perhaps some info on getting around would be helpful as well.


Tuesday 9th of March 2010

Don't tell me something as minor as hand grenade attacks are worrying you! Lol


Tuesday 9th of March 2010

Good questions Naveen. This is an election year, and recently, there have been a few grenade attacks in the capital of Kigali. So that news has been on my mind. Hopefully the situation won't escalate.

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