Kigali Genocide Memorial Center
The Rock of Kamegeri
The Ethnographic Museum of Rwanda
Nyungwe Forest National Park
This tour starts from $890.00
Day 1: Kigali, Cultural Stops and transfer to Nyungwe
After an early breakfast, your tour starts with half an hour’s drive to Kigali Genocide Memorial Center at 7:30 am. The center explains the issues in Rwanda. The guide will give insight to the history of the Rwanda genocide but also talk about other past genocides as this is a memorial ground for victims all over the world. You will spend about 1 and 1/2 hours at this stop before going for a an hour’s drive to Ruhango district and stopping at the heritage site of the Rock of Kamegeri. This historical rock is located on the roadside. Your guide will take you through the intriguing history while you have a simple 15-minute stop before you proceed with a 2-hour drive to Hotel Ibis Rwanda for a meal before heading to the Ethnographic Museum of Rwanda which is about 10 minutes away from the restaurant. The museum is vast and boasts of some of the best ethnographic and archaeological collections in East Africa. These are more than 10,000 artifacts. You will spend about 1 hour at the museum and then set off to discover the primates and scenic splendor of Nyungwe national park. The drive to Nyungwe is about 1 hour and 40 minutes. You will reach the park in time for an early check in and overnight stay.
Luxury: Nyungwe Forest Lodge
Midrange: Nyungwe Top View Hotel
Budget: Gisakura Guest House
Day 2: Nyungwe forest national park and Lake Kivu
Following an early morning breakfast at the hotel, you will embark on your adventure in Nyungwe Forest, beginning with the morning chimpanzee trek in the forest. The tracking is expected to last about 2-3 hours depending on the chimp movement. The park is endowed with about 13 primate species which are the main wildlife attractions. These include the Angola colobus monkeys and several other monkey species on this trek. After the chimpanzee trek you will have a 30-minute snacking session plus other refreshments to get you ready to embark on the adventurous canopy walkway in the ordinary tropical forest. At 60m above the forest floor, this 90m long canopy walkway gives a unique face to face meetings with the butterflies, birds and the monkeys- including the blue monkeys, the L’Hoest’s monkeys, the black and white colobus monkeys, the red tailed monkeys and the wonderful aerial view of the imposing insights into East Africa’s largest and the oldest Afromontane forest. You then will be driven back to your lodge for lunch before embarking on your journey to Lake Kivu. The drive to this lake is 2 and 1/2 hours. You will be in time to check in, have dinner and and then an overnight stay.
Luxury: Lake Kivu Serena Hotel
Midrange: Belvedere Hotel
Budget: Palm Beach Resort
Day 3: Kigali
After waking up to the sounds of mother nature, you will have an early morning breakfast followed by a concise boat ride along Lake Kivu before heading for a 40 minutes’ drive to Les Chutes de Ndaba. The 100m high waterfall is a beautiful sight and while here, you get to interact with the natives. This will be a 30-minute stop before proceeding to Kigali to check in at your hotel or to the airport for your flight back home.
Kigali Genocide Memorial Center
The Kigali Genocide Memorial sits atop mass graves, serving as a shrine and a museum dedicated to the memory of the approximately 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutu who were murdered over a 100 day period from April to July in 1994. The genocide began on April 6, 1994 when a plane carrying the Rwandan and Burundi presidents was shot down. The Hutu extremists retaliated by executing key Tutsi members and setting up barriers in place to commence a systematic extermination of the Tutsi minority and the Hutus who dared to defend their fellow citizens.
The memorial houses three permanent exhibitions. The largest of these chronicles the events leading up and comprising the 1994 genocide, as well as the history of genocidal violence around the world. The second exhibition, called ‘Wasted Lives,’ documents the mass killings that have not been recognized as genocide by international law, focusing on Namibia, Armenia, Cambodia and the Balkans. The exhibit also shows aspects of the Holocaust, the extermination of European Jewry during World War II. The third exhibit, the children’s memorial, is dedicated to the memory of the children killed in the Rwandan Genocide. The wall of names is dedicated to those who were murdered - a work still in progress as many of the victims’ names have yet to be gathered and documented. The center also provides support for survivors, particularly orphans and widows.
The center offers guided tours of the exhibitions and gardens that take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. As the visit progresses, the exhibits become steadily more powerful, as you are confronted by the crimes that took place here plus a moving video testimony from the survivors. Many of the guides are survivors of the genocide, providing a unique historical account. You will have a chance after the tour to stay at the ‘Café du Memorial’ and visit the souvenir shop. The income generated from these enterprises is used to support the preservation of archives and to run education programs. The products sold at the souvenir shop are made exclusively for the Kigali Genocide Memorial by a local cooperative made up of women who were widowed as a result of the genocide.
The Rock of Kamegeri
The Kamengeri Rock is located 40 kilometers from Kigali in Ruhango region. It is known as Urutare rwa Kamegeri in the native language. The rock was named after a favorite servant of Yuhi, the Fourth Gahindiro, who was the 22nd king of Rwanda. He ruled between 1746 and1802. There are various versions of this fable, but most agree that Kamegeri tried to persuade the king to abandon his enlightened way and suggested that the rock be made a place of execution for criminals by heating it with firewood until it was red-hot, then strapping the person to the rock to be baked to death. The king seemingly welcomed the idea, ordered it to be done but then had Kamegeri and not the criminal executed. The rock thus is a testament to the humanity and wisdom of Yuhi and the kings of Rwanda and their commitment to just and humane rule.
The Rock of Kamegeri still stands in the Ruhango district as a historical site, and a trip to one of the parks in the southern province is an opportunity for a short stop to see this rock and listen to the story behind it. It is located just near the road as you travel to Nyanza. During your visit, be sure to touch and have a feel the rock, as locals say it is always warm no matter the weather.
The Ethnographic Museum
Located in Huye, about 130 km south of Kigali, the Ethnographic Museum has one of the finest collections in East Africa. Tradition remains alive in this modern museum, tastefully displaying many examples of African life and culture. Its seven galleries display ethnographic, artistic, historical and archaeological artifacts which are accompanied by visual aids providing visitors with rich experiences and insights into the culture of the Rwandese. The museum also bears witness to the Rwandan genocide as Queen Dowager Rosalie Gicanda and others were murdered here.
The museum is adorned by beautiful lawns and gardens and performance areas where Intor drummers and dancers regularly perform.
Other major museums in Rwanda that opened during the post genocide era include the Natural History Museum (2004), National Art Galley of Rwesero (2006), the King’s Palace Museum in Nyanza (2008), the Museum of Environment (2015) and the Presidential Palace Museum in Kanombe (2009).
Lake Kivu is the largest fresh water lake in Rwanda. The steep, terraced hills are home to the three resort towns of Gisenyi, Kibuye and Cyangugu, all of which provide weary visitors a welcome respite from gorillas and the chimpanzee trekking in the nearby volcanoes or Nyungwe Forest National Park. Guests here can relax, swim and have a boat cruise past the small lakeside villages which give a rewarding glance of the rural life.
Located among the scenic mountains, the approximately 2,650 square kilometer Lake Kivu offers a variety of inlets and peninsulas as well as countless forest fringed waterfalls, all of which feed the Ruzizi River flowing southwards into the famed Lake Tanganyika.
The visitors can view the traditional fishermen oaring in wooden dugout dinghies, mingle with the brightly dressed women of the villages, listen to live music and join the locals to smoke from their wooden pipes. The lake is also a perfect base to explore the gorilla safaris and chimpanzee tracking in the nearby national parks.
If Lake Kivu feels too commercial, visitors may try Burera and Ruhondo lakes, which are smaller and less developed for tourists but are closes to then gorilla trekking centre of Ruhengeri.
Nyungwe Forest National Park
Located in the south western part of Rwanda near the Burundi border in the south, Lake Kivu and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the west, the unique biodiversity of Nyungwe was recognized by the German colonial power as early as 1903. The area experienced a succession of protection and destruction, including the times during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide when the Uwinka research facilities were destroyed. Restoration began in 1995, with the area declared a national park in 2005.
The national park covers just over 1000 square kilometers, which is about two-thirds of the size of London metropolitan area, and has an elevation of 1600-2950 meters above sea level. It is the largest tropical rainforest in east and central Africa, with extensive precipitation year round and home to Rwanda’s largest water catchment area, feeding major rivers, including the Congo. The park is home to about 75 mammals, around 300 bird species and several hundred species of flora.
The national park is a hiker’s paradise, with 13 hiking trails extending to 130 kilometers through the forest. Visitors can spend a week covering the many trails encountering rare species of mammals including chimpanzees and various monkeys. Visitors with no fear of heights must not miss out on the Nyungwe Canopy Walk, about 50 meters above the ground and almost 100 meters in length, providing a unique vista for observing the forest and the monkey population in particular. The place is also ideal for bird watching, many of which may only be spotted in the park.
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Transportation in a Tour Van/Landcruiser.
Service of an English-Speaking tour guide/Driver.
All activities mentioned in the itinerary
One Chimpanzee permit per person
Accommodation on Full Board.
Entrance fees to all destinations as per the program.
Transfers to and from Airport/Kigali
Free WIFI for the entire trip
All activities not mentioned in the program
Phone call bills
Visas to Uganda
Gratitude to tour-guides
Visas to Uganda
Personal effects of any nature
Hotel fees before and after the safari