Ultimate Rwanda: A Luxury Adventure with Endangered Wildlife

We cannot get enough of Rwanda. Offering an entirely different spin on an African safari to its other sub-Saharan neighbours, it never ceases to amaze. The undisputed Gorilla capital of Africa, spend nine nights exploring this remarkable country and getting up close and personal with fascinating wildlife. On this luxury adventure, you’ll explore Kigali’s colourful past, present and future, as well as hike over volcanic peaks and past shimmering lakes to discover rare wildlife such as the iconic and endangered Mountain Gorillas. But it’s not just about seeing wildlife in Rwanda, but protecting it too as we introduce you to the important conservation work that is being done here to protect this beautiful country.

Immerse yourself in Rwanda’s History

The capital of Rwanda, Kigali is one of our favourite African capitals to explore. Enjoy two nights at The Retreat from where you’ll get a feel for Rwanda’s short but rich history and on a private city tour. Whether visiting the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, the Kandt Natural History Museum – or the crafts centres and curio shops, there is something here for everyone. Get a real taste for Kigali with lunch at one of the many local restaurants the next day, before leaving the buzz of the city for the eastern plains of Akagera National Park.

Make this itinerary yours

Like what you see? Contact us today to find out more about our exclusive itineraries. But remember: each and every Black Tomato trip is tailored exactly to who you are and what you want to do so tell us about yourself and we’ll create something that’s entirely you.

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A Rwandan Safari

Close to the Tanzanian border, Akagera National Park is Rwanda’s answer to your big game safari. A vast wetland, its acacia groves, swamp fringed lakes and rolling plains offer refuge for the country’s savannah adapted species. Catch an enticing first glimpse from the luxurious tented Magashi Camp, set on stilts overlooking Lake Rwanyakazinga before spending the next three days off in search of game. Travelling by jeep, foot or boat, there is so much to see here. Lions were re-introduced to the park in 2015 after a 20-year absence, adding a frisson of big game to your experience. But Akagera also excels in the smaller details with a thriving bird populations courtesy of its wetland setting. Enjoy one last night drive in this exclusive corner of the park before jumping in a helicopter the next day for a whole other wildlife experience.

Join a Gorilla Doctor and meet Man’s Closest Relation

Touching down amid the volcanic peaks of the Virunga Range, you have arrived in gorilla country. Set against this mountainous backdrop you’ll find Volcanoes National Park and your home for the next two nights, One&Only Gorilla’s Nest. Settle in, perhaps spending some time at the spa before savouring garden to plate authentic Rwandan cuisine in the evening. It’s an early start tomorrow.

Waking at first light, you’ll set off in the company of Dr Noel, a leading veterinarian working as part of the Gorilla Doctors team within the park. Gorilla tracking is one of the most rewarding and exclusive wildlife experiences at the best of times, but in the company of Dr Noel, it’s given an added dimension as he shares his knowledge on gorilla behaviours and their conservation. Making your way through the mysterious intimacy of the rainforest, weaving through overhanging vines, you’ll trek for anything between one and three hours to find the gorillas. Once you do, enjoy the moment. You’ll have an hour to spend in their company. Our advice? Take the photos, then put the camera away and simply observe. You won’t believe how fast an hour goes.

Swing through the Trees with the Chimps of Nyungwe Forest

No doubt still on a high from your gorilla encounter, we’ll take you higher still the next day as you take a helicopter across Rwanda’s mountainous landscapes into Nyungwe Forest National Park. Here, you’ll spend a final two nights amid the laidback luxury of One&Only Nyungwe House, enjoying the multitude of treks that lead out from its back door. In the morning, you’ll enjoy one last wildlife encounter as you set off on a trek in search of Rwanda’s last intact chimp population. Contrasting to the quiet serenity of watching the gorillas, the chimps are an altogether more extroverted affair as they swing through the trees hooting and hollering as they go.

To complete your Rwandan experience, we recommend connecting with local communities. Our guides will introduce you to local people with opportunities to give back to these rural communities. For a truly immersive experience, however, we recommend visiting on the last Saturday of the month when you’ll have the opportunity to take part in Umuganda. A community initiative, you’ll spend the day alongside local people planting trees, building schools – lending a hand.

As the sun sets, soak in these vast virginal landscapes over one last sundowner before catching a helicopter back to Kigali tomorrow, ready to return home.