EDUCATIONAL TOURS: HISTORY, CULTURE AND NATURE WILDLIFE OF RWANDA
Arrival and transfer to the hotel in Kigali for accommodation and dinner.
The educational visit to Rwanda starts at Kigali Genocide Memorial, a place of remembrance & learning about the 1994 Tutsi Genocide. This memorial also serves to educate about how the Genocide against the Tutsi took shape and examines genocide in the 20th century. At this place, visitors understand the events leading up to the genocide and how it was perpetrated. The Memorial is the final resting place for more than 250,000 victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi while gardens provide a place for quiet contemplation about the history of the Genocide. The place allows visitors to reflect on how we all have a personal responsibility to prevent discrimination and mass atrocity. After the visit to Kigali Genocide Memorial, we meet one of the Protector of Friendship Pact, people who helped thousands of Rwandans to survive the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi/Alternatively, we have testimonies from members of Unit and reconciliation groups. After lunch we visit the Campaign Against Genocide; the museum Museum depicts in details how RPA (currently RDF) forces who were in the war of liberation took the unilateral decision to stop Genocide, rescue victims of Genocide and defeat the Genocidal forces. This CAG Museum also has its outer part comprised of monuments including that of the 12.7mm Machine Gun that helped in containing the advancing genocidal forces. After a short city tour to see Kigali during the night, we go to the hotel for dinner and accommodation.
The day 2 starts with learning how Rwanda recovered from the 1994 genocide against Tutsi to be a booming and one of quick developing countries in Africa. We have a quick tour of Kigali City, the cleanest city in Africa, and then we visit the Kigali Industrial Zone until lunch time. We have our lunch at a restaurant with local dish before we drive to Akagera NP. This park lying in eastern Rwanda, is hugging the border with Tanzania. It’s characterized by woodland, swamp-fringed lakes, low mountains and savannah. The varied terrain shelters wildlife including Zebras, Giraffes, Elephants, Buffaloes, Lions and hundreds of bird species and the vast lakes home to hippos and crocodiles; we reach at the lodge at dinner time.
We have a full day game drive on different sides of the park, savannah, rolling hills, along wetlands and lakes. Akagera NP is the only Big Five Reserve in Rwanda and on our morning safaris we can some of them among other Elephants, Buffaloes and many more like Giraffe, Zebra, Impala, Waterbuck, etc. the morning drive takes us at lunch time at Akagera Game Lodge. The lunch is organized on terrace where visitors have meals at the same time exploring the conservation treasures of Akagera National Park and hills of Western Tanzania. After a lunch break, we drive to Lake Ihema, the biggest lake of the park and second biggest in Rwanda after Lake Kivu. The lake offers a relaxation time with varieties of wildlife among others Crocodiles, Hippopotamus and Elephant coming for watering; The sunset boat goes up to 6pm and we drive back to the hotel for dinner.
Our second day in a savannah park will be on the lake circuits, along the Akagera River, the physical border with the Republic of Tanzania. Along this circuit we have the good scenery of the park as well as the western side of Tanzania and learn different stories of the park, ecology and behaviours of different animals. We will see different wildlife among others Topi, Waterbuck, Olive Baboons, Velvet Monkeys, Bushbuck and we can see lions and Rhino. We stop for our packed lunch at Mihindi, Hippo Beach picnic area; after lunch we drive to reach at dinner time
After breakfast, we drive to Musanze and we pass through hills and mountains and you understand why Rwanda is called a Country of 1000 hills. Our first stop is at Nyirangarama, an oriented towards agro-processing industry/enterprise. At this site, we learn more about the Rwanda modern farming of pigs, timber making, bakery making, spice making, etc. Luckily we learn from the owner, (Sina Gerard) a local entrepreneur, on his commitment to local development through job creation, mentoring and promotion of modern education. After a delicious lunch at this site we proceed to Musanze, a town of Volcanoes. After checking in at the hotel, we drive to Gorilla Guardian Village and we entertain with the reformed poachers. We will learn more about the traditional life in Rwanda including traditional wedding, traditional healing, local banana beer making, etc. Later afternoon, we drive to the hotel for dinner and accommodation.
All activities at Volcanoes NP start at 7am with reporting at the park headquarter where a warming tea or coffee and brief introductions to the attraction are organized. After briefing on tracking of Golden Monkeys we drive the foot hill of Sabyinyo Volcano, at Kabatwa Hill, which give the name of this group of Golden Monkey. The monkeys are easily found where they are swinging from the bamboo trees in the forest while others are collecting the remaining of Irish potatoes in the recently harvested farms. Visitors stay 1 hour taking pictures, learning the family behaviours and ecology of these endemics primates to the Albertine Rift, from guides. Alternatively, we can hike Volcanoes Bisoke to experience the hike of Mountains in volcanoes massif. The trekking ends between 11am and 12am and after a quick lunch we drive to Gisenyi/Rubavu, a colonial town with a brief visit to the border with DRC. We have a dinner on the beach of Lake Kivu, the biggest Lake in Rwanda.
After breakfast, we hike Mount Rubavu for a better view of the twin towns, Goma and Rubavu, with stunning observation of Lake Kivu. At 10 we visit Pfunda Tea Factory where visitors will learn how tea is planted, harvested and processed how the final product is packed to be consumed/exported. After lunch, we drive along lake Kivu to Cyangugu/Rusizi, the southern border between Rwanda and DRC, we reach Cyangugu at dinner time.
Nyungwe National Park is a home to over 13 species of primates including Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). We start our journey to trek chimpanzees at 5am with our packed breakfast and trekking can go up to lunch time. We spend only one hour with the Chimpanzees and also get another opportunity of observing them very closely in the treetops. After tracking, we have our arranged lunch in surrounding of the forest where the lunch is offered feeling the fresh breeze of the forest. At 1pm we have a canopy walk way, the unique bridge in East Africa. Later afternoon we drive to Butare, a town of Museums, and on the way we can easily see the L’Hoest Monkey, another primate endemic to the Albertine Rift Mountain Forest; we reach Huyeat dinner time.
After breakfast, we visit the National Ethnographic Museum. This Museum brings to light the development of Rwandan culture throughout history. From the outside of the Museum to each gallery, you will see outrageous beautiful details. It is very educational and is comprised of 7 display galleries with art, archaeological artifacts through visual tools and well-written descriptions. After the Museum, we drive to Kigali with a stop lunch in Muhanga town. We have an afternoon souvenirs shopping and later evening we drive to the airport to catch with the evening flight. END