Ultimate Primate Safari

Day 1: Kigali - Bukavu

Day 1: Arrive into Kigali this morning and after cofffe and a quick orientation about the journey you will be driven down to Rwanda's border with the DRC at Bukavu. John Kahekwa will meet you and assist with crossing the border into the DRC after which you will proceed on to your hotel. After some time to relax John will host you for dinner and brief you on the plan for the coming days. (L,D)

Days 2-3: Bukavu - Kahuzi-Biega National Park

Day 2: This morning you will visit the Lwiro Chimpanzee Sanctuary which is currently home to 72 chimpanzees and 92 monkeys from 11 species. The visit will offer the opportunity to learn more about the work the sanctuary does to improve the lives of orphaned primates, many of whom are affected by poaching and human encroachment on their natural habitats. In the afternoon you will visit a number of projects supported by John's Pole Pole Foundation (POPOF) in Bukavu. You will spend time at a local school, visit a tree planting project and learn more about the spirulina growing project which helps to provide invaluable nutrition supplements to the local communities. (B,L,D)

Day 3: After an early breakfast you will be transferred to the park headquarters to collect your gorilla permits and from there head to the start point for your trek. Local trackers will have already located the group and once you reach them you will have one hour to enjoy watching their fascinating interactions and social behaviours. John will of course be with you when you are watching the group and will provide his own observations. Once the hour is up you will head back to the vehicle and then to a local monastery where you will enjoy lunch including locally made cheese and ice cream before returning to the hotel for an afternoon at leisure. In the evening John will host a farewell dinner in the hotel. (B,L,D)

Days 4-6: Bukavu - Nyungwe Forest National Park

Day 4: After a leisurely breakfast in the hotel you will be transferred back to border and pass through into Rwanda where a guide will take you to the Nyungwe Forest National Park for your time in Rwanda. You should arrive at the lodge in time for lunch after which you will have time to relax, perhaps taking the opportunity to enjoy one of the many walking trails that wind their way around the grounds of the lodge. (B,L,D)

Day 5: Today will be a chance for you to trek to see the chimpanzees for which Nyungwe is renowned. As with the gorillas in the DRC, your group will be allocated in the morning with the length of walk dependent on where they have spent the night. Your hour spent with the chimps will be a chance to see how their interact with one another and how their behaviour differs from that of the gorillas that you will have seen in the DRC. The afternoon can be spent relaxing in the lodge, enjoying a spa treatment or simply sitting on your balcony and taking in the sights and sounds of the forest. (B,L,D)

Day 6: There are plenty of activities to enjoy in the Nyungwe Forest besides the chimpanzee trekking and today will be a chance to experience some of these. After breakfast you will embark on a short walk to see the population of colobus monkeys that live all around the park. After lunch in the lodge you will be able to enjoy a visit to Nyungwe's unique treetop canopy walk which gives you a totally different perspective on the park. (B,L,D)

Days 7-8: Nyungwe Forest National Park - Kigali

Day 7: After breakfast in the lodge you will be transferred by road back to Kigali, arriving there in the mid-afternoon. You will have the remainder of the day at leisure to relax, however should you wish a visit to a local craft market or the nearby genocide museum can also be arranged. (B,L,D)

Day 8: After breakfast in the hotel you will be collected and transferred back to the airport for your onward flight. (B)

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