$13,427 AUD per person
$3397 AUD single supplement
- Day 1 - Arrival & City Tour
- Day 2 - Akagera National Park
- Day 3 - Kigali
- Day 4 - Muhanga
- Day 5 - Nyungwe National Park
- Day 6 - Traditional fisherman's experience
- Day 7 - Chimpanzee Trek
- Day 8 - Volcanoes National Park
- Day 9 - Golden Monkey Trek & Gorilla Doctors
- Day 10 - Gorilla Trek
- Day 11 - Akagera National Park
- Exclusive use of 4X4 Safari vehicle and an experienced English speaking driver/guide including water and cold drinks
- 10 nights accommodation
- Chimpanzee trek permit
- Golden Monkey trek permit
- Mountain Gorilla trek permit
- Waterfall permit
- City Tour Fee
- Museums and Kings Palace Entry
- Huye Mountain Coffee Tour Fee
- Twongerre Womens’ Coffee Coop Experience Fee
- Azize Life Activities and Home Stay
- Nyamirambo Women’s Centre walking tour and activities
- Ibyiwacu Culture Village Entry Fee
- Gorilla Doctors briefing and tour Fee
- Canopy Walkway permit
- Gisoziand Ntarama Genocide memorial site
- Sundowner boat cruise and drinks
- International and domestic flights not mentioned above
- Travel insurance
- Items of a personal nature e.g. drinks, laundry, telephone calls, tips etc
Make a booking
This women's only tour is one of our most inspiring and memorable tours, not just for its incredibly unique wildlife experiences but because of Rwanda's story from ruin to being one of the world’s safest countries and most progressive leaders in East Africa.
At the forefront of this incredible re-emergence are the women of Rwanda. Rich in colour, history, resilience, skill and community building, they are a true success story of rebuilding Remarkable Rwanda and have the largest representation in parliament in the world at 65%.
On this tour you will see the rare and magnificent Mountain Gorillas including a behind the scenes interaction with Dian Fossey's Gorilla Doctors. Encounter other primates, safari animals and stunning vistas, as we get you in touch with the daily lives of Rwandans with immersive authentic experiences taking you into their daily lives, micro entrepreneurial businesses, skills and rich culture both ancient and recent to show you the heart of this inspiring country and their incredible story in the land of a thousand hills.
Day 1 - Arrival & City Tour
Welcome to Rwanda! Upon arrival at Kigali Airport, you will be met by our representative and your driver guide. Transfer to your hotel for check in and a tour briefing. From here, proceed for a city tour which includes the educational, challenging, memorable and ultimately inspiring Kigali Genocide Memorial site. This is a visit you will never forget.
Later drive to Nyamirambo Women’s Centre for some local activities with some truly inspiring women. Nyamirambo Women’s Centre (NWC), a Rwandan NGO, was launched at the end of 2007 by 18 Rwandese women living in Nyamirambo, Kigali. Together they created a project which aimed to address gender-based violence, gender inequality and discrimination. Today, NWC’s mission is to provide education and vocational training to women who do not have the means to pay for such training on their own, so that they can gain better opportunities for employment.
At the end of 2013 NWC launched the product line ‘Umutima,’ which means ‘heart’ in Kinyarwanda. With this project, NWC trains and employs women from the community to create a large variety of women’s accessories, children’s clothing, and home decor products. At the moment there are over 50 women employed by Umutima as seamstresses. Umutima and NWC have grown into a unique, self-sustaining model where the profits earned through Umutima are used to fund NWC initiatives, in addition to providing benefits and a fair wage to the seamstresses.
Continue on for a walking tour of Nyamirambo which begins at the Women’s Centre with a traditional snack, a quick Kinyarwanda language lesson, and an introduction to the Centre and its activities. It then weaves through Nyamirambo, one of Kigali’s oldest neighbourhoods. Along the way, guides lead participants into a women’s hairdressing salon where the adventurous type can get a free braid; into a family compound to pound cassava leaves; by two mosques and a lookout view over Kigali; and into a tailor shop to feel the fabrics you’ll otherwise see styled on the streets. The tour concludes with a traditional lunch made and served in the home of Aminatha, NWC’s best cook.
All around Rwanda, you will see sisal basketry products. It’s time to get hands and weave like a local. In this workshop, you are given the chance to try your hand at the time-intensive and historically significant practice of basketry. The workshop begins with an overview of the cultural history of sisal, followed by an in-depth explanation of the process from harvest to final product. You then get a needle and – under the guidance of the expert women of the Centre – begin weaving a small token of your choice to take home.
You will now have a bit of an appetite so lets get cooking! From market to meal, every step of the process of cooking is shared by Aminatha and your fellow travellers. After buying produce and ingredients at several markets, you will walk around the corner from the Centre to Aminatha’s home. Here, you will work at a wooden table in her courtyard, chopping countless vegetables and starting the charcoal stoves. Under the guidance of Aminatha six traditional, delicious, and gratifying dishes are prepared and then shared by your group. (D)
Overnight Heaven Boutique Hotel or similar
Day 2 - Akagera National Park
After an early breakfast, you will embark on a drive to Akagera National Park with a packed lunch. En route, about 1 hour from Kigali, you will visit the Women’s Twongere Umusaruro Project. This group of amazing women have flourished as a CO-OP supported by a number of key NGO’s who have partnered to help them improve coffee quality, practices, yields and more direct to market trade assisting in cutting out costly and unnecessary middle men. Whilst here, you will learn the story and progress of the partnership and co-op including how the Rwandan government is removing barriers to facilitate seamless trade for coffee buyers, how they engage local coffee growers, women rising in the coffee industry, strengthening women in the coffee supply chain, dealing with changing climatic conditions and seasons, agriculture practices and harvesting seasons etc.
From here, transfer to Akagera National Park, Rwanda’s only Savannah Game Viewing Park. There should be time for a short game drive. Look out for Giraffes, Zebras, Water Buffalo, Waterbuck, Baboons and much more. Dominated scenically by the labyrinth of swamps and lakes that follow the meandering course of the Akagera River, the most remote source of the Nile, this is archetypal Africa’s savannah landscape of tangled acacia woodland interspersed with open grassland. Akagera is, above all, famed for its hosting of big game. Tonight, your accommodation is luxury glamping at Ruzizi Tented Lodges. This is a truly unique experience as often the Hippopotamuses come right up to your tented lodge. It’s ok as your tent is on a platform and the Hippos cannot jump. (B,L,D)
Overnight Ruzizi Tented Lodge or similar
Day 3 - Kigali
Early this morning after breakfast, you will check out from your lodge and go for a morning boat cruise. This will be a great opportunity to view a variety of bird’s species, crocodile, and hippos. Later proceed to the Northern circuit game drive to search for animals that you may have missed on your previous game drive and enjoy lunch enroute. In the evening transfer back to Kigali. (B,L,D)
Overnight The Retreat or similar
Day 4 - Muhanga
After breakfast it’s time to enjoy an authentic Rwandan village experiences of your choice courtesy of Azizi Life. Azizi Life partners with rural Rwandans to bring fair trade beauty to your life and theirs. Here are some options to choose from: (Please note you must nominate your chosen experience at time of booking).
A Day in the Life of an Artisan
Become part of a weaving cooperative for the day. The Artisan Day is the very first experience created by the artisans, and is the heart of Azizi Life Experiences.
Join your artisan hostesses in their village for a morning of family chores, a simple, home-cooked lunch, and an afternoon of learning how to craft. With your translator alongside, you will love sharing life, work, conversation and laughter with the artisans and their families.
Imigongo (cow dung art) Experience
Years ago in the time of the Rwandan Kings, there once was a prince who decided to decorate his house by carving geometric shapes directly into the wall of his hut. In time this technique was developed into a popular form of Traditional Rwandan art call “Imigongo.” During your experience you will learn the history, the method and then make your own art to take away with you.
You may have seen the high rise buildings in Kigali, but this Azizi Life Experience is your chance to learn something about the traditional building techniques, some of them used since the times of the King. In the morning you will collect water and soil, which you will then be taught how to make into mud bricks. After making your own bricks, you will dig the foundations and learn how to lay the bricks in a way to ensure the building will be strong. By this point, you will have built up a bit of an appetite and so everyone will stop work and share a simple home-cooked lunch with your host family.
Banana Juice Making
Traditionally shared during weddings and other celebrations, banana juice (and beer!) has long been a central part of Rwandan parties. Although nowadays banana juice can be easily bought from the local store, the traditional technique for making your own brew is a much greater labor of love. In the morning of your Azizi Life Experience, you will work with your rural host to collect the green bananas and the leaves needed to begin the process. Next you’ll dig a hole and bury the bananas to ripen over time.
Traditional Cooking Day
Select from a simple variety of seasonal dishes for your custom traditional cooking experience with a rural mama! Your day begins not in the kitchen but in the fields as you learn seasonal planting or harvesting of fresh ingredients for your meal. Once the ingredients and water have been collected, food preparation begins with washing, peeling, pounding, and grinding the ingredients using traditional methods and tools.
Thanks to Rwanda’s lush green hills, beautiful valleys and welcoming people, it may be one of the easiest and most exciting places in East Africa to explore by foot. All around the rural communities, there is already a vast network of paths ready and waiting for you to explore.
In the afternoon before dinner your Azizi Life Musical Experience begins with a mini-performance from a small troupe of traditional performers and story tellers in the evening.
Whether you have natural rhythm or not, with our expert instructors everyone can enjoy learning traditional drumming and dancing. Next, it’s your turn to put on a traditional costume and give it a try. You’ll have fun as the dancers teach you some basic dance steps and share a bit of the history of Rwandan dance. (B,L,D)
Overnight in a local homestay
Day 5 - Nyungwe National Park
After a wonderful breakfast with the local families, say farewell before transferring to Nyungwe Forest National Park. En route you will visit Butare town with the famous King’s Palace in Nyanza, and National Museum of Rwanda which will definitely provide you with a deeper insight into Rwandan history. Embark on a very interesting Coffee Tour at Huye Mountain Coffee. Here you will be taken on an excellent seed to cup 3 hour tour covering:
2. Different soil and regional conditions
3. Different varities and seasons
4. Fertislizing practises
5. Enemies of coffee
7. Under Trees Traditional Coffee Making Experience
8. Rocks of Nyirankoko – Old rock dwellings near the plantation
9. History of Huye at the top of Chain Hill
10. Washing station
11. Drying beds
12. Lab testing
13. And of course the final product.
At 4pm, depart as coffee experts and continue to Nyungwe National Park and on to the Cyangugu District and Lake Kivu.
Nyungwe forest is probably the most preserved forest in Africa. Some say it is the most important site for biodiversity in Rwanda. It is home to over 1000 species. Upon arrival, you will check in to Emeraude Lake Kivu on the shores overlooking the lake and enjoy an excellent dinner and coffee with the mountains of the Democratic Republic of Congo as your backdrop. (B,D)
Overnight Emeraude Lake Kivu Resort or similar
Day 6 - Traditional fisherman's experience
At the crack of dawn, take a 2 minute walk from the lodge down to where the local traditional fisherman prepare to set off. Every morning the fisherman launch their traditional boats and throw their nets for their day’s trade. They heard the fish like cattle and sing during the morning. It’s a wonderfully natural and peaceful way to start the day.
After breakfast, you will drive to the starting point of a nature walk in Nyungwe Forest where you will take a hike up to some waterfalls. It’s about a 2 hour hike through beautiful rainforest where you will meet different species of primate’s insects and birds. Lunch is at the waterfall itself before returning.
Then it’s off for an eye level canopy walk of Nyungwe Forest. Ascend to the start of the canopy walk where you will take in a whole new and breathtaking perspective of the ancient forest canopy and it birdlife. Return to the lodge for refreshments and the rest of the day is at leisure. (B,L,D)
Overnight Emeraude Lake Kivu Resort or similar
Day 7 - Chimpanzee Trek
This morning, depart with a coffee and packed lunch at 6am in order to arrive at the Cyangugu Park Headquarters for your Chimpanzee Trek briefing. Be sure to carry adequate water with you as the trek can last for 2-6 hours.
In the forest, you will not only see our closest animal relative the chimpanzees in their natural habitat, but keep your eye open for a variety of animals and birds like the Rwenzori Turraco, black and white casqued horn bill, colobus monkeys – sometimes as many as 400 in a group. Later transfer to Kibuye, Lake Kivu. This evening we have arranged for you to enjoy a lake cruise on a ferry with sundowner drinks. (B,L,D)
Overnight Kivu Safari Lodge or similar
Day 8 - Volcanoes National Park
After breakfast, drive to Gisenyi for a Batwa pottery experience. The Batwa in Rwanda are a strongly under represented people in Rwanda and for them, life is not so easy. Once forest dwellers and hunters, these short statured and good natured people are highly sought after through their handmade pottery artisanship. Here you will witness their skills, hard work and final product.
Later you will have lunch and then transfer to Musanze at the base of the magnificent Volcanoes National Park for an Ibyiwacu Culture Village experience. This is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the traditional and historical culture and practices of the Rwandese. The experience includes an overnight in a traditional Rwanda Hut. (B,L,D)
Overnight at Ibyiwacu Village
Day 9 - Golden Monkey Trek & Gorilla Doctors
This morning, after a quick breakfast, you will participate in another adventure tracking the ‘Little Primates’ of the Virunga, the Golden Monkey. The Golden Monkeys are now listed by the IUCN as endangered due to their small numbers. The trek always takes a few hours in the morning before you return to the lodge for lunch.
In the afternoon, embrace an incredible educational experience as you go behind the scenes with the Gorilla Doctors. This organisation works closely with the Karisoke Dian Fossey Mountain Gorilla Fund to administer and treat injured or sick Mountain Gorillas. Their knowledge of their anatomy, genetics, language and habits is incredible and will give you amazing insights in to our ancient ancestors.
After the Gorilla Doctors, return to the lodge. The views, gardens and birdlife at Musanze’s most popular lodge are truly spectacular and most of the fruit, vegetables and herbs in your meals come straight from the chef’s garden and local farms. (B,L,D)
Overnight Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
Day 10 - Gorilla Trek
Today you have a unique and privileged experience to trek and meet at close quarters the rare Mountain Gorilla. There are only around 880 of these magnificent creatures left in the world with around 1/3 of those in the Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda.
This is considered one of the great natural animal encounters on the planet.
Early in the morning after breakfast, you will be taken to the Volcanoes National Park headquarters where you will be educated on the trek, Gorilla behaviour and be assigned in to groups. Set off for your Mountain Gorilla tracking. This is a once in a life time adventure.
The rangers will lead you deep into the forest in search for the Gorillas. You will move up and down the rugged terrain until you finally meet these harmonious creatures that will entertain you with performances for about 1 hour once you reach them.
This incredible experience can take anywhere from 3-5 hours depending on where the gorillas are located. En route there are is a possibility of meeting other primates such as monkeys and various types of species of birds. In the afternoon after lunch, if the weather is clear you will drive 25 minutes from the lodge and go to visit the Faith Foundation. Faith Uwantege left her job in the hotels of Musanzeat the age of 23 to start the Faith Foundation. Her inspiration bears its roots from the streets of Kinigi where Faith constantly saw vulnerable children at risk everywhere she walked and with no hope for tomorrow. She then made a decision to use her own savings to see her dream come true.
“We believe that poverty in childhood is a root cause of poverty in adulthood” says the Founder. Faith Foundation is breaking this poverty cycle, by helping the absolute poorest of the poor. The Foundation has pioneered an initiative that has seen children being sponsored to pursue education, empowering themselves and creating their own future, and increasing capacities of widows to actively generate income to support themselves and their children and actively participate in community development.
Faith is such an inspiration and great leader in her community and an example of how one person can mobilise a movement and make a difference to empower disadvantage children. Any donations of stationary you can bring in your luggage will be greatly appreciated. (B,L,D)
Overnight Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
Day 11 - Akagera National Park
You have one last day filled with activities before your evening transfer to the airport.
After breakfast we take you full circle back to Besugera and take your emotions on another roller coaster enroute to the Ntarama Church Memorial. This is a confronting and deeply moving memorial on the site of a terrible and inhumane massacre during the Genocide. You will not be able to understand how people can do this to each other and only resume your faith in humanity when you witness the respect, honour and selfless acts of the reconciliation process. It is a Lest We Forget moment that’s important not to avoid or hide away from so that it never happens again. And that is the hope of all Rwandans.
We then play with your emotions one last time and take you to an uplifting organisation in a town called NOUSPR. NOUSPR’s dream is a world in which all people with psycho social disabilities are treated with the respect and dignity that enables them to enjoy their human rights in all aspects of their lives.
One of NOUSPR’s ways they empower their member’s is through their cultural tours. Today you will:
• Walk to a nearby well and collect water for daily use
• Assist with digging the fruit and vegetable garden
• Get hands on and learn how to milk a cow
• Mill grain and make flour the Rwandan way
• Learn how to weave baskets and create jewellery
It will be a fitting farewell as we leave some of Rwanda’s most vulnerable with hope, engagement and smiles. Take some time to freshen up before being transferred to the airport for your onward flight. (B,L,D)