Your 12-Day Rwanda Trip – diving deeper

Rwanda is referred to as the land of a thousand hills, with its beautiful undulating landscapes often being compared with Switzerland’s most famous mountain ranges. As far as destinations go, it offers everything you want – unique wildlife experiences, colorful city adventures, and luxury accommodation in bucket-list locations.  

But don’t take our word for it. This 12-day itinerary says it all:

Day 1 – Explore Kigali

Kick-start a vibrant guided walking tour of the city by grabbing a coffee at BloomIn and acquainting yourself with Kigali’s thriving coffee culture. After Cape Town, Kigali is probably the artiest city in Africa, serving up a splendid itinerary of sculpture galleries, fashion hubs, designer studios and enterprising women’s collectives making crafts, clothes and bags. On the sustainability front, be sure to book an electric car tour of the city, or if entrepreneurship is more your thing, wander downtown to Norrsken, East Africa’s largest hub for entrepreneurship and home to a community of inspiring impact entrepreneurs.  

Our YPA founders, Nick and Ashley, love Kigali from the minute they set foot in the city: “Kigali’s cleanliness is so inspiring. Once a month everyone in the city takes the day to clean up the streets and the results are easily seen. We also found the city to be very safe, which you might not expect if you’re familiar with the country’s not-too-distant past.” 

Days 2, 3 & 4 – Safari in Akagera National Park

Akagera is Central Africa’s largest protected wetland and the last remaining refuge for savannah-adapted species in Rwanda. It’s a 40-minute trip by helicopter (a thrilling upgrade option), or 4-5 hours by car.

Stay on the shores of Lake Rwanyakazinga in a spacious tented suite, surrounded by one of the most serene landscapes imaginable. Exclusive daily game drives traverse the vast hills and savannahs, giving you plenty of opportunities to spot the Big Five and other rare wildlife sightings.

Days 5, 6 & 7 – Monkey around in Nyungwe National Park

Head across the country to Nyungwe National Park to immerse yourself in one of the oldest rainforests in Africa. Chimpanzee treks offer you the chance to see up to 13 different species of primates, and innumerable colorful forest birds. You’ll stay in a magnificent hotel in the heart of the jungle. It’s a working tea plantation that offers a complete wellness experience, including forest walks, tea tastings, and spa treatments with spectacular views.

Days 8 & 9 – Kayak on Lake Kivu

Lake Kivu is one of Africa’s Great Lakes, lying on the border between Rwanda and the DRC. Stay in a beautiful lakefront hotel in Rubavu, a large town on the northern edge of the lake. Enjoy boat rides and kayaking from the hotel’s private beach, and sip sundowners from one of the waterfront’s trendy bars, dotted in between well-known hotels and fading, old colonial mansions.

Days 10, 11 & 12 – Go gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park

Your last destination, Volcanoes National Park, is a quick 45-minute drive from Lake Kivu. There’s no better way to round off your trip than with a thrilling gorilla trek to see mountain gorilla families interacting in their natural environment. Here you’ll be staying at a magnificent luxury lodge right on the edge of the Park, which is an experience in and of itself.

“The setting is simply stunning, and every suite comes with a private heated plunge pool, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, and large windows boasting the breathtaking scenery that surrounds you,” Nick and Ashley enthuse. “After a full day of gorilla trekking, coming back to the lodge was like getting a hug. We were instantly pampered, and a meal and perfectly paired glass of wine had never tasted so good. The in-room massage was a lovely reward too. It’s a true paradise and great place to enjoy a slow afternoon as the mist rolls in.”

From Volcanoes National Park, it’s a two- and half-hour drive back to Kigali where you can catch your flight home.

Are you ready to visit Rwanda now? Whether it’s a short stay or a long immersive itinerary, let us help you plan the perfect trip.

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