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3 Days Climb Nyiragongo Volcano and Track Gorillas

HIGHLIGHT

Day Locations Accomodations Meals Activities
1 Goma- Virunga NP
  • Ihusi Hotel L
  • Nyira hotel
FB Gorillas trekk
2 Nyiragongo
  • Cotage- Tent
Packet food Lava view
3 Nyiragongo- Gisenyi
  •  Check out
B Transfer
Lava lake in Nyiragongo Crater

Lava lake in Nyiragongo Crater

Day 1: Gorilla tracking.

Early in the morning, you will depart from Gisenyi and cross over to DR Congo approximately the Virunga national forest terminal where you will be oriented concerning the dos and do n’ts while you are with the Gorillas. After the rundown, you proceed for the memorable adventure of gorilla tracking. This instead exhausting yet unforgettable adventure will certainly take you via thick and sloppy atmosphere, and could take you 2-6 hours to locate the outstanding apes, relying on their movements. After an optimal duration of one hr with the Gorillas, you come down to the base of operations where the driver will move you to Goma for Dinner and overnight.

Day 2: Nyiragongo Volcano Hiking.

After your breakfast, you will relocate from the lodging, and do some shopping in the grocery store before transferring to Kibati Village where you start your rambling experience. Begin the hiking and arrive at the leading in the mid-day. This will certainly take you 5-8hours, with enroute perspective of some animals and birds along the path. Admire the lava lake all evening, before retiring in the tents on the rim of the giant crater higher above the energetic lake. The go up to and below Nyiragongo is strenuous and commonly in hot disorders, but the path is relatively easy and not overly high.

Day3. Cross the Border to Gisenyi/ Rwanda.

After your picnic morning meal on top of the volcano, descend to kibati town, which could take you 4-5 hrs. Your driver will certainly after that move you back to Gisenyi in Rwanda.

What to bring:.
Strolling boots, a day-back pack, light suiting up, water-resistant garments, sun glasses, and cozy clothes for the top region of the mountain where you will spend the evening and strolling posts for rambling.

Our Tariff will includes park doorway and Volcano climbing costs, Gorillas Permits, Transport in safari vehicle, Accomodation in Cabins at the top of the mountain, resting bag and Rangers assist.

Not Included: Visa to Congo, Travel Insurance, Meals accomodation in Goma, and beverages, (For the Volcano you need 3 liters of water, loaded food for your Lunch, Dinner and Breakfast, You can get Cheese, bread, sausages, cakes at the Supermarket in Goma Or Gisenyi).

Regarding Visa, we will certainly arrange it for you after confirming your booking. Visa price 50u

3 Days Rwanda Gorilla Tour

HIGHLIGHT

Day Location Accomodation Options Meals Activities
1
  • Volcanoes NP
  • Sabyinyo Silver Back L
  • Mountain Gorillas view MC
  • Kinigi Guest house
D Transfer
2
  • Volcanoes NP
  • Kigali
  • Kigali Serena Hotel- Luxury
  • Okapi Hotel- LOW B
FB Gorillas Trekking
3
  • Kigali
Check out FB Genocide memorial
Twin Babies in HIRWA GROUP

Twin Babies in HIRWA GROUP

with a direct transfer to the volcanoes

Day 1: Arrive at Kigali International Airport – Transfer to the Volcano NP

Meet and greet our tour guide/ driver who will shortly brief you about your tour in Rwanda and immediate transfer to the volcanoes National Park in the northwest part of this country.

The drive is through beautiful rolling hills, bypassing coffee, tea and banana plantations on a comfortable paved road and is approximately 2.5 hours from Kigali. Arrive at your lodge for Dinner and Overnight.

Overnight: From Luxury, Midrange, to Budget Facilities

Day 2: Gorilla trekking in the Parc des Volcans

Wake up early, have breakfast and report for briefing and after, move in a company of experienced ranger guides through the forest while searching for mountain gorillas. Time taken while searching for these great apes, rangers between 2 to 6 hours depending on the movement of the gorilla groups therefore, move with your packed lunch, water, tracking gears among others. Meet, chant and enjoy their entertainment for one hour while taking photos for remembrance. Return to your lodge, relax shortly and transfer to the Kigali for Dinner and overnight.

Overnight: From Luxury, Midrange, to Budget Facilities

Day 3: Kigali – Check out

Morning city tour of Kigali and after all, visit the genocide memorial site, a grim reminder of a senseless massacre of innocent’s lives in 1994. Learn about Rwanda’s history from pre-colonial times to 1994 genocide and how Rwanda has dealt with that past. We continue with our tour and see the new developments in Rwanda; the recovery has been incredible, a testament to humankind’s resilience.

After the small tour you will be transferred to the airport for your out bound.

Contact us for Quotations

World tourism projected to grow 4.5% this year

Tourists en route to Volcanoes National Park in Musanze District. With world tourism projected to grow further, experts in the country are encouraging product development and diversification that will not only attract tourists but also make them stay longer in the country, to further boost the country’s highest foreign exchange earner. The New Times/ File.

Tourists en route to Volcanoes National Park in Musanze District. With world tourism projected to grow further, experts in the country are encouraging product development and diversification that will not only attract tourists but also make them stay longer in the country, to further boost the country’s highest foreign exchange earner. The New Times/ File.

World tourism will grow by 4.5 per cent in 2014, according to the latest report by the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) barometer.

The report shows that international arrivals will increase from 3.8 per year to 4.5 per cent, with Asia and the pacific taking the largest share.

Africa will register an increase in tourist’s influx of 4 to 6 per cent followed by Europe and the Americas both +3 per cent to +4 per cent, with the middle east registering 5 per cent.

The world tourism Confidence Index, based on the feedback from more than 300 experts worldwide, confirms this outlook with prospects for 2014 higher than in previous years.

“The positive results of 2013, and the expected global economic improvement in 2014, set the scene for another positive year for international tourism. UNWTO calls on governments to increasingly set up national strategies that support the sector and to deliver on their commitment to fair and sustainable growth,” said Taleb Rifia the UNWTO secretary-general.

Rwanda tourism sector optimistic

Denis Karera, the chairperson of the Rwanda Hotels and Restaurants Association, believes the country’s tourism sector is already experiencing a major lift following the launch of a single tourist visa among regional States Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda this year.

“The report is good news, but it also challenges us as market players to position ourselves to tap into this forecast growth,” Karera said.

Osborn Kinene, the Rwanda Eco-tours country manager, said tourism industry has potential to drive the country’s economic growth if commitment and investments are scaled up.

“There is still need to build capacity, especially in the hospitality sector, as well as in advocacy and marketing,” Kinene said.

International tourist arrivals grew by 5 per cent in 2013, reaching a record of over one billion, according to UNWTO.

Rwanda’s tourism industry remains the largest foreign exchange earner for the past couple of years. Last year, Rwanda was ranked sixth on the 2013 world travel guide. It was also on the list of 10 in the world that are of classic travel for great sights and convenient travel.

Rwanda Development Board projects the tourism industry to contribute more than 15 per cent of GDP by 2020.

“We are working with all stakeholders to ensure that we not only concentrate on attracting tourists, but also that once they are here, they can stay longer,” said Linda Mutesi, the RDB communications manager.

By Peterson Tumwebaze

newtimes.co.rw

Special Tours

For those who have limited time in Rwanda (attending seminars, in transit or with a busy schedule) but don’t want to miss a life changing experience with the gorillas. Below are a list of short tours we can organise them.

Visit the gorillas in just a single Day! – 1 Day Gorilla Safari.

Day1:  Meet at your Hotel earlier in the morning – transfer to the volcanoes NP, go Gorilla trekking and back to Kigali.

Explore the Savanna Park, Akagera in a simple time.

Day1: Meet at your Hotel earlier in the morning – transfer to the Akagera NP, visit the park and back to Kigali.

Do you know that is much easier to see the Gorillas in Uganda from Kigali?

Day1: Arrival – transfer to Bwindi National Park in Uganda. Overnight in Bwindi

Day2: Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable NP – back to Kigali airport.

Learn more about the Rwandan Genocide in 5 Days

Day1: Arrival, transfer to your Hotel in Kigali. Overnight/ Kigali.

Day2: Visit the Kigali Genocide Museum; visit the Intarama and Inyamata memorial Churches.

Day3: Travel to Kibuye, Visit the Bisesero Genocide Memorial – meet the survivors of genocide.

Day4: Travel to the south, visit the genocide housing en-route – Visit the Murambi genocide Memorial.

Day5: Travel to Kigali, visit the national Museum, the King Palace and head to the airport.

Pure nature, Culture and History.

Day1: Arrival, transfer to your Hotel in Kigali. Overnight/ Kigali.

Day2: Visit the Kigali Genocide Museum; the museum of natural history, the cultural center of Kigali.

Day3: Travel to Nyungwe NP/South – Visit the ancient King Palace, the national Museum and the Murambi genocide Museum.

Day4: Nature walk in Nyungwe national park.

Day5: Travel to Kibuye on Lake Kivu

Day6: Travel to Musanze/North – Visit the fishing village on Lake Kivu and Ibyiwacu community Village.

Day7: Visit the Rusumo falls, the snake man and the traditional healer. Overnight/Musanze

Day8: Visit the Musanze Cave, the local market and the Art and crafts Market – transfer to Kigali.

Kidepo: Where lions climb sausage trees

lionsWhen CNN last year nominated Kidepo Valley National Park as among their top ten choices of national parks across Africa, many people literally scratched their heads and asked where exactly this park was located as few had heard of it and fewer visited.

Those, however, who did, and stayed either at the edge of the park at the more recently established N’ga Moru Wilderness Camp or in the center of the park at the Apoka Safari Lodge, will have their own tales to tell.

Kidepo, a prime piece of African wilderness, literally untouched by the outside world and nestled in the border triangle of Uganda, Kenya and South Sudan, offers spectacular views, much game and the solitude visitors can enjoy, meeting but a few other tourists while they are there. Most visitors reach the park by air from either Entebbe or Kajjansi, unless they are hardy enough to undertake the tiring drive via Tororo, Mbale, Moroto, Kotido and Kaabong, or drive via Soroti and Lira or take the alternate route via Gulu and Kitgum.

This year Kidepo will celebrate its Golden Jubilee anniversary, since its formation 50 years ago in 1964. The park stretches over 1,442 square kilometers, but being more than 700 kilometers distant from Kampala, is perhaps the main reason why it receives so few visitors in spite of the attractions it holds. Two rivers, among them the Narus which in the dry season is the center of activity for the game, elevation differences from just over 900 meters to nearly 2,750 meters, a rich birdlife of 475 recorded species which includes 14 endemic species and some 86 mammal species, including the rare cheetah which is not found anywhere else in Uganda.

My first impressions, when arriving in the late afternoon were literally breathtaking. My notes, scribbled down to capture the mood of the moment, read:

“As the daylight faded rapidly, massive thunderstorms began to unload their wet cargo over the Napori Hills and lightning flashed across the Narus River valley at short intervals, followed by roaring thunder which made the comfort of the lodge’s main lounge even more inviting. In contrast, on the other side of the park the sun set behind the Imatong Mountains, located in distant South Sudan, where the absence of any cloud cover allowed an unfettered view towards the setting sun, displaying the last pink and red rays of the day.”

Those arriving by air will touch down at the CAA owned and operated airfield in the center of the park and already en route will visitors enjoy the spectacle of coming close up to Zebra, Hartebeest, Oribi, Buffalo, Waterbuck, Side-striped Jackal and Warthog while Elephant, Giraffe and Lion are almost all the time seen in the valley below the lodge or at times even stroll through the lodge grounds, asserting their “ownership” over the park.

The Apoka Safari Lodge is nestled around a huge rock outcrop or “kopje,” which sits elevated above the Narus River valley and offers 360 degree views of the entire park. Kidepo is fairly encircled by high hills and distant mountains, making for the spectacular scenery which awaits visitors. Comprising 10 large suite-sized cottages, built from wood and incorporating some canvas element stylishly included in the design, the lodge can accommodate up to 20 guests at a time.

All creature comforts are, of course, taken care of, and while each cottage has its own private little outside hot tub, from where one can see into the park without being seen, a proper swimming pool, built around another huge rock invites to some more splashing or cooling off after a game drive.

Activities at Apoka include the traditional game drives, but also walks in certain areas of the park with armed rangers and a fully qualified guide, who is part of the team at Apoka. Walks, quite safe but a little strenuous if not fit, allow close up looks at the plants and trees in the park, bird watching and a more nature bound experience than when just sitting in the custom built safari 4x4s with their high seats in the back of the vehicle, from where the elevated view allows good spotting of game hiding in the grass.

The game drives into the park were extremely rewarding for me, as our driver guide got us close to a large herd of elephant, numbering over 200, and the matriarchs and dominant bulls of the herd ran several mock charges against us. Other smaller groups were also observed from close range.

We came close to the park’s giraffes, which have substantially increased in numbers since the successful relocation of several Rothschild giraffes from Kenya nearly 15 years ago. A very large herd of buffalo was also encountered and the estimate exceeded 1,200, probably even more as additional groups emerged from the thickets after we had left.

But the highlight of the visit was undoubtedly an encounter over successive days of lionesses found high up in a “sausage tree,” putting to rest the claims of Ishasha and Lake Manyara, that those were the only parks where lions were found to climb into trees. These particular lions had their small cubs hidden in the high grass under the tree and when climbing down after being observed for about an hour or so, the cubs swiftly joined their mothers.

In addition, other game was regularly observed as were birds in large numbers, including the Abyssinian Roller, the Abyssinian Ground Hornbill and other species only found in this northern park.

The food regime is fitted around the activities of the day, and a light snack with tea, coffee and juices is available at first light, before setting out for a long extended morning game drive. Mid-morning tea and biscuits are served while out in the bush, while upon returning to the lodge a brunch awaits the visitor.

The heat of the day can be spent around the pool relaxing, or climbing the cool and breezy “poachers outlook” built on top of the water tank and lounging in the wide sofas stuffed with comfy oversized cushions, or simply retiring to the cottage for a well-deserved nap.

Before setting out around 4 p.m. for the afternoon drive, a “high tea” is served, but that description hardly does justice to the changing snacks and tasty bites on offer every day.

A sundowner can be taken in the park before returning to the lodge at night fall, or else the visitor returns to Apoka at last light to get ready for a 3-course dinner, which tastefully prepared and artfully displayed on the plates is served by the very eager Karimajong staff. The manager habitually joins the guests for supper to engage in conversations, which form an important part of the visitor experience. Drinks such as sodas, juices, beers, house wine and even local spirits like Waragi are included in the price of accommodation and only high end ‘5star’ brands cost extra.

A word about the staff by the way. Almost the entire crews at Apoka and at N’ga Moru are employed from neighboring villages and were taught to work as room stewards, waiters, porters, gardeners, barmen and cooks. This way, while without formal training, they are taught the dos and don’ts on the job.

This effort is very commendable because it offers employment to local nearby communities and has them get some direct benefit from the establishment of a tourist lodge in this remote part of Uganda, where otherwise few if any jobs could be found by the young Karimajong.

The other fully-fledged accommodation facility, opened almost exactly 4 years ago and just outside the park proper, is the N’ga Moru Wilderness Camp ( https://www.facebook.com/ngamoru ), located just a few kilometers before the Katarum Gate. The camp is small and intimate, features only two ‘cabanas’ which can sleep as many as four each and three twin tents under thatch, all with a priceless view into the park. In fact, Greg Cummings of N’ga Moru shared a few of his recent impressions from the camp with me when discussing the unique attraction Kidepo holds for intrepid travelers and the erstwhile “owners” of the area, the Karimajong tribe:

“On February 14th, Valentine’s Day, the Sebek clan of the Karimajong tribe began a three-day sitting on a large cluster of rocks near camp. It was the first time in many years that Kikis Loitanit Hill, the clan’s traditional land, had played host to a rock festival. Accordingly the organizers sought to reassure everyone in advance. They claimed the purpose of the sitting was to rebuild ‘the lost glories of our shrines in Napore,’ and Nga’Moru Wilderness Camp was given fair warning that up to three hundred people were expected to attend.

“To show our support, we donated a male goat. We also provided water from our bore hole, and transport for the old folks. But on the eve of the event, a delegation of officers from the police and military visited Nga’Moru to express their concerns. Citing the fact that they had not been informed, terms and conditions had not been agreed, and the event was being held so close to a tourist destination and national park, they were putting a stop to the sitting. The delegation then inspected the site, still unpeopled by the Sebek, after which they left to inform the clan of their decision.

“While grateful that our security is taken so seriously by the Ugandan authorities, the management and owners of Nga’Moru did not feel there was any cause for concern. We welcomed the clan sitting. In any case, despite being warned, the organizers decided to go ahead anyway, and on Friday night people began arriving from all over Karamoja and South Sudan.

“And, as the full moon rose above Mt. Murangole on Saturday night, only the faintest hints of ritual and revelry could be heard emanating from the rocks, carried on gusts of wind and dust devils, then drowned out by the groans of hunting lions on the opposite side of camp. Lost glories rebuilt…

“In the end, the clan sitting passed off without event, and its leaders stopped by camp this morning to express their sincere gratitude for our support. Any fears about forced land reclamations proved wholly unfounded.

Looking forward to welcoming the Sebek clan back again next year.”

In conclusion, a visit to Kidepo, which I consider as the most scenic and rugged parks in the country and a top contender in East Africa, is worth it any time, satisfaction guaranteed. A definite MUST for the discerning traveler and those seeking the solitude of the “real” African wilderness experience. Fifty years down the line since the park was first launched, today as back then is Kidepo an example of the African wilderness, where the cattle herding tribes from Uganda, Kenya and the Sudan (now South Sudan) coexisted with wildlife, staged their raids on each other and lived in their age long fashion. After independence, crossing the new borders were for long no hindrance for the tribes and up to today are periodic raids for cattle staged, cross border no less, posing issues the tribes never had in the old days. Today it is also no longer permitted to drive their cattle into the park, even during times of drought when finding water becomes a matter of life and death for their cattle and goats, a question wildlife managers have yet to satisfactorily answer when weighing conservation and the protection of game and the integrity of the parks under their control with the needs of the people living in the vicinity of the park, among them elders who still remember that the entire area once was theirs to roam and use. Fodder for thought no doubt.

BY PROF. DR. WOLFGANG H. THOME, ETN AFRICA

Community Activities

Umubano offers variety community activities around Musanze, Gisenyi and its surroundings.

Find below the list of activities and the price corresponded:

Local Banana Beer production

Local Banana Beer production

Traditional beer Production

Banana beer is a traditional Rwandese drink. Everyday hundreds of families around Rwanda produce thousands of liters of this famous local specialty. The whole process takes 6 days from putting the bananas into the ground to ripe until you can enjoy your delicious glass of beer. Participate in the brewing process of a women’s association and get full explanation of different types of bananas and other ingredients. You will also have the possibility to enjoy a glass of banana juice and to buy some crafts like mats or pumpkin carafes and also to participate on the making. The friendliness of the women will make your stay unforgettable experience.

A traditional beehive hangs on tree branches.

A traditional beehive hangs on tree branches.

Bee Keeping

Members of various bee keeping associations produce bee hives that they place in swamps or forest areas rich in certain types of plants. Depending on what kind of honey is desired, these plants for example could be banana trees or certain flowers. Honey is an important means to cure a number of local diseases, so that it is shared with traditional doctors. The remaining honey is sold to local people and the benefits are shared with the other association members.

On additional to this activity, you will have a chance to visit one of the local beer made in sorghum crop in a very scenetic village.

Visit the Local Doctor, he will tell you different medicinal hubs they use to treat diseases.

Visit the Local Doctor, he will tell you different medicinal hubs they use to treat diseases.

Traditional healing and the Medicinal garden

The Rwandan traditional healers use a total of 138 different types of local herbs. Among the 23 diseases that they regularly treat are ulcers, skin diseases like scabies, complications with the monthly period of females, breast pain after delivery, allergies, snake bites, sexual problems, and even heart attacks.

During a visit to the local traditional healers you can learn about the use of different herbs and certain treatments, or simply listen to the rich stories of these interesting people. In addition, the local doctors can solve all love related problems including barrenness.

Tea Plantation in Rwanda

Tea Plantation in Rwanda

Town tours, village tours and visits to local markets

Our guides are familiar with all the major towns and villages in Rwanda. Special tours can be organized, for example, Ruhengeri or Gisenyi. These tours usually include visits to the local markets – most often one of the highlights of every African experience.

If desired, short visits to the homes of local families can be organized. In the case of small groups, further experiences such as eating with a family are possible and have an experience on traditional cooking and buffet.

 

Lake-Kivu-rwanda-14Hiking and canoeing at Lake Bulera

Discover the impressive landscape at the twin lakes Burera and Ruhondo! The two lakes had once been united, until a lava eruption of Mt.Sabinyo divided them in the middle. This trip offers you a nice hike through the “Land of a thousand hills” and will always be accompanied by beautiful views of the surrounding area. After two hours of walking you can take a rest in one of the traditional canoes. Friendly locals take you on a trip around the islands of LakeBurera. Another 1 hour walk downhill through villages and banana plantations will complete your day.

 

 Musanze Cave

Musanze Cave

Musanze Cave Exploration

The 1.25 mile long cave is home to a large bat colony and was the site of genocide and littered with bones until recently.

Given that much of the Northern part of Rwanda is covered by volcanic rocks, this cave rise to deep caves which greatly interest scientists and Tourists.

As an illustration, the Musanze cave, located in the town of Ruhengeri communicates with Kinigi Sector on more than 12 Km. This is an easily accessible cave and home to populations of bats. In the district of Mutobo are the caves Nyiragihima. The BUKAMBA Sector has a 10 km tunnel linking the volcano Muhabura and the lakeBurera. The history of Rwanda has a lot to tell about the caves. 

Sharing our enthusiastic culture and History with our guest! Make one couple a king and queen Mother of Rwanda and tell them the story of our kings.

Sharing our enthusiastic culture and History with our guest! Make one couple a king and queen Mother of Rwanda and tell them the story of our kings.

Visit Iby’iwacu Cultural Village

Iby’Iwacu (literary means, treasures of our home, our heritage) is the village of former poachers to the mountain gorillas who abandoned poching and decide the new local life and help in the conservation of the nature.

To this village you will learn much about the ancient Rwandan Kingdoms, the way they used the target of arrows when hunting, the traditional doctor and his medicine, their traditional dances that are more interesting and meaningful and so many others.Here you will meet different Local people have a chance to interact with them and as well follow up their testimonies on how they used to hunting animals.

525557e8697ab06b790000f7._w.540_h.360_s.fit_FAMILY HOME STAY

Do you want to know more about the local people, culture, and lifestyle? The only way to get to know people, is getting close and interracting with them, and taking part in their daily activities and most of all with them. Staying in small local hotels is a great way to get a feel for the culture you’re visiting but if you really want to understand more about the daily lives of the local people, then there really is no substitute for spending a few days as a home stay guest. Of course, this style of travel isn’t for everyone… Conditions can be fairly basic – home is often a fairly basic wooden affair with mats on the floor to sleep on, cold-water showers and definitely no air-conditioning… but if you’re up for a little bit of an adventure and come with an open-mind, you’ll soon find that the minor discomforts are far out-weighed by the benefits of this unique experience. We want therefore to share with you our home and heritage treasures.

Lake-Kivu-rwanda-02A DAY TRIP TO LAKE KIVU

Lake Kivu is a large deposit of fresh water that marks the western border with DR Congo and one of the Great Lakes of Africa. The lake lies in the Albertine Rift, a part of the Great Rift Valley and empties into the RuziziRiver, flowing southwards into Lake Tanganyika. Beneath the lake lie vast reserves of approximately 55 billion cubic of dissolved methane gas now being exploited. Lake Kivu is a wonderful tourist centre and is safe to swim so bring your swimming kit for a quick lunchtime dip. There are many stunning beaches, gorgeous landscapes and the sunsets are regularly stunning.

Enjoy your day in Gisenyi by visiting the hot water spring, the tea plantation, the Gisenyi city tour, the local fishing, the local brewing, and the lava of the Nyiragongo active volcano that destroyed the town nhof Goma in 2002. This time you will have time to enjoy swimming in Lake kivu and its amazing sandy beaches.

 

RDB, US firm to take tourism to new heights

58250_10151160931276436_1217991873_nRwanda Development Board (RDB), in partnership with Solimar International, a Washington DC-based tourism development and marketing firm, are in a campaign to promote Rwanda’s tourism potential.

According to RDB, the US company brings an extensive international expertise and vast experience working in East Africa to boost the country’s top foreign exchange earner.

The 18 months campaign which is geared towards promoting Rwanda amongst the East African Community (EAC) states will focus on distinguishing the country from neighbouring destinations by informing EAC nationals, expatriates and international travellers about the country’s extensive nature and culture-based tourism attractions.

Effective New Year’s Day, tourists visiting the East African countries of Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda use a single visa to tour areas of interest within the specified nations.

The $100 (about Rwf67,500) visa valid for 90 days is paid at the point of entry or in foreign missions and each state will take a share of $30.

However, the country that processes the visa entry will receive an extra $10 in administration costs.

“This is a prime opportunity for Rwanda that comes after the launch of the East African single joint visa and the broad global recognition of Rwanda’s exceptional nature, culture, and adventure experiences in publications like National Geographic Traveller and Conde Naste Traveller,” David C. Brown, the director of marketing and communication at Solimar International, told The New Times via e-mail on Tuesday.

Brown, who heads the campaign, said the drive will increase the flow of tourists coming to Rwanda from other EAC countries.

“We will work with RDB and members of the regional and international tourism industry, including tour operators, travel agents, airlines, and transportation providers to better understand Rwanda’s tourism offer and how they can sell it to their clientele. We will be speaking directly to EAC tourism consumers through social and traditional media,” he said.

The campaign is designed to be an important component of reaching the RDB’s target of a 10 per cent increase in EAC arrivals within two years, says RDB.

During the 18-month drive, RDB and Solimar International will apply various activities to showcase Rwanda’s tourism industry to the world, including the use of maps, photos, videos, mobile apps, and an online destination specialist course that provides detailed information on travel logistics and tourism attractions.

Reaching out to targets

Muhire Kavuna, the coordinator of the project at RDB, said the campaign involves the use of different channels to reach out directly to Rwanda tourism consumers.

“During the tourism marketing campaign, RDB will offer educational trips to and around Rwanda to allow tour operators, travel agents and the media a firsthand understanding of what makes Rwanda an incredibly special destination,” he said.

“We will launch a series of social media campaigns targeted directly at EAC residents and expatriates to increase awareness of the country’s diverse tourism offer, build brand awareness and increase bookings. We will collaborate with some of Rwanda’s most recognisable brands such as Serena Hotels, Akagera National Park’s Rusizi Tented Lodge, RwandAir, and FCM Travel to make it a success.”

Without divulging details of the funds earmarked for the project, Kavuna said the campaign is part of the government’s comprehensive approach to sustainable tourism development and marketing.

The initiative builds on the broad recognition Rwanda is receiving as a top international travel destination.

The National Geographic Traveller last month selected Rwanda’s Nyungwe Forest as one of the top 20 destinations in 2014 for “what’s authentic, culturally rich, sustainable and superlative in the world of travel today.”

Condé Nast Traveller lists Rwanda as one of its “Top 10 Destinations to Watch in 2014,” citing the country as Africa’s emerging safari hostpot.

Recently, Kwita Izina, the annual baby gorilla naming ceremony, was short-listed among the finalists for the UN World Tourism Organisation Ulysses Award for innovation in public policy and governance.

Rwanda is the only African destination to be included on the list. G Adventures, an international tour operator, identified Rwanda as one of its five hottest destinations in 2014 for British travellers.

Apart from the EAC marketing campaign, RDB is set to launch a “convention tourism” that will play a key role in attracting international conventions and exhibitions into the country.

Rwanda’s tourism products include rare Mountain Gorillas and a beautiful canopy walk that gives tourists a spectacular experience in Nyungwe Park, the Kwita Izina (annual gorilla naming ceremony), the Congo Nile Trail, the newly-launched Musanze Caves, Akagera National Park, among others.

A couple of events and tourism sites unveiled in 2013 had triggered an investment boom in the tourism sector to $217.7 million, from January to October, compared to $210.5 million generated in 2012.

From January to September 2013, Rwanda hosted 824,238 visitors, an increase of 7 per cent compared to the same period in 2012 where 768,221 people visited.

By Frank.kanyesigye[at]newtimes.co.rw

8 Days/7Night Pure Nature, Cultural and Historical Tour.

HIGHLIGHT

Day Locations Accomodations Meals Activities
1
  • Kigali
  • Serena hotel (L)
  • Mille collines (L)
  • Okapi Hotel (Low B)
D
  • Museum
2
  • Nyamata
  • Kigali
  • Serena hotel (L)
  • Mille collines (L)
  • Okapi Hotel (Low B)
FB
  • Museum
  • city tour
3
  • Butare
  • Nyungwe
  • Nyungwe Forest Lodge
  • Gisakura Guest house
FB
  • Cultural
4
  • Nyungwe
  • Nyungwe Forest Lodge (LUX)
  • Gisakura Guest house (LOW)
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  • Primate
  • Trekking
5
  • Kibuye
  • Betanie Hotel (MID)
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  • Scenery
6
  • Musanze
  • Sabyinyi silver Back Lodge (LUX)
  • Mountain Gorilla view Lodge (MID)
  • Kinigi Guest house (Low B)
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  • Lake kivu
7
  • Musanze
  • Sabyinyi silver Back Lodge (LUX)
  • Mountain Gorilla view Lodge (MID)
  • Kinigi Guest house (Low B)
FB
  • community Activities
8
  • Musanze
  • Kigali
  • Check Out
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  • Caves- Depart
Sharing our enthusiastic culture and History with our guest! Make one couple a king and queen Mother of Rwanda and tell them the story of our kings.

Sharing our enthusiastic culture and History with our guest! Make one couple a king and queen Mother of Rwanda and tell them the story of our kings.

Day 1: Arrival – Transfer to your Hotel.

Arrive at Kigali airport, where you will be welcomed by our English/French speaking guide- short briefing- and transfer to your Hotel in Kigali.
Kigali was founded in 1907 as small colonial outpost by Dr. Richard Kant, the first German colonial resident of Rwanda. The city has made tremendous progress since 1994 genocide. Considered one of the safest and friendliest of African capitals, Kigali is blessed with a moderate high altitude climate. It is inhabited by approximately 1 million people who now enjoy the benefits of peace. You will be pleasantly surprised at how comfortable it feels to be among the gentle people of Rwanda who will be delighted to welcome you to their beautiful, exceptionally friendly country.
Accommodation: From Luxury, Mid Range to Budget
Meals: Dinner

Day2: KIGALI City – INYAMATA and NTARAMA.

After your leisure morning breakfast at around 8 Am, your guide will meet you – Short briefing and take you for the Kigali city tour. The tour will include the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, the trading center, the ministry area, the UN memorial (where the ten blue helmets were killed at the onset of the genocide), the post-genocide development and expansion of Kigali, the new and modern residential quarter and other sites.
The exhibition in the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre tells the history of Rwanda leading up to genocide in 1994 and catalogues the details of the genocide using photographs, video, written accounts and a range of artifacts. It includes personal testimonies and a moving memorial to the children of the Rwandan genocide. The exhibition also has a section called “wasted lives”, which reflects on the holocausts and genocides in Armenia, South-West Africa, Bosnia and Cambodia. The Kigali Memorial Centre has gained a word-wide reputation for the powerful exhibition and its work in promoting peace; take your time to absorb its important message.
After the tour of Kigali we will have lunch at one of the famous restaurant in Kigali and after lunch you will be driving 40 minutes to the East to visit the Inyamata and Intarama Genocide memorial churches.
These are one of the churches that show the true reality about the Rwandan genocide and the participation of so called divinity.
In the evening we will go to visit the Kigali cultural center whereby we will be entertained by the traditional Culture Dances and also enjoy the traditional dinner together with the local in the scene. After the dinner you will go back to your hotel in Kigali.
Accommodation: From Luxury, Mid Range to Budget
Meals: Full Board

Day3: Kigali – Butare – Nyungwe National Park.

We will then begin our journey to the city of Butare, the original capital of Kigali and intellectual centre of Rwanda. Passing through magnificent hills and cultivated countryside, we will stop along the way and visit the famous King’s Palace in Nyanza, which offers visitors a window into pre-colonial Rwandan history. For those who are interested, we can also visit the art museum at Rwesero Nyanza. Upon arrival in Butare, we will have lunch and then go to the National Museum, which will provide you with a deeper insight into Rwandan history and culture.
The National Museum of Rwanda is located in the town of Butare approximately 135 kilometers south of the capital city of Kigali. Butare is considered to be the intellectual centre of the country with its National Museum, arboretum, and several academic (university) and research institutions.The museum is situated on more than 20 hectares of land, of which, the buildings themselves occupy 2,500 square meters. The remaining land has been made into gardens containing indigenous vegetation and a traditional craft training centre making the entire site an educational experience and a pleasure to visit.
After the visit we proceed to Nyungwe National park. Visit the Murambi Genocide Museum on the way to nyungwe.
The Murambi Technical School, now known as the Murambi Genocide Memorial Centre, is situated in the Murambi district in southern Rwanda. It was the site of a massacre during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. When the killings started, Tutsis in the region tried to hide at a local church. However, the bishop and mayor lured them into a trap by sending them to the technical school, claiming that French troops would protect them there. On April 16, 1994, some 65,000 Tutsis ran to the school. After the victims were told to gather there, water was cut off and no food was available, so that the people were too weak to resist. After defending themselves for a few days using stones, the Tutsi were overrun on April 21. The French soldiers disappeared and the school was attacked by Hutu Interahamwe militiamen. Some 45,000 Tutsi were murdered at the school, and almost all of those who managed to escape were killed the next day when they tried to hide in a nearby church. According to the survivor at the memorial, the French brought in heavy equipment to dig several pits where many thousands of bodies were placed. They then placed a volleyball court over the mass graves in an attempt to hide what happened. Among the bodies currently displayed are many children and infants.
The school building is now a genocide museum exhibiting the skeletons and mummified bodies of some of the thousands of people killed there.
Accommodation: From Luxury, Mid Range to Budget
Meals: Full Board

Day4: Nature walk in Nyungwe National Park.

On this day, you will embark on a on a nature walk in the forest to explore Nyungwe’s unique features including waterfalls and orchids in the high altitude swamps. While hiking, you may see a variety of primates and bird species found only in this amazing park.
Nyungwe is most alluring for its primates: 13 species in all, including humankind’s closes living relative the chimpanzee, as well as handsome L’Hoest’t monkey and Hundred- strong troops of the delightfully acrobatic Angola Columbus. This is also known as the lagest block of mountain forest in east or central Africa, and one of the most ancient. In the afternoon, (depending on available time), we offer you a choice of value-added activities from the following: Participate in tea harvesting in the neighboring local communities. Visit a tea factory and learn about the production processes of one the highest quality teas produced in East Africa. Visit local artisan groups to learn and participate in this and other local community income-generating projects. This is also an opportunity to purchase locally-made crafts and products. Listen to a presentation on the ecology of Nyungwe Forest National Park and the ongoing conservation efforts, including the managing of the dynamics and coexistence of park/wildlife and local communities.
Accommodation: From Luxury, Mid Range to Budget
Meals: Full Board

Day5: Transfer to Kibuye on Lake Kivu

Lake Kivu is one of the great lakes in Africa and the largest of the fresh water lakes that gleam in the Albertine (Western) rift of the Great Rift Valley. Lake Kivu stands at 1461m (4,790ft) above sea level establishing it as Africa’s highest lake. The northern shore of the lake is often subject to eruptions from nearby Mt Nyiragongo. Kibuye is Rwanda’s most attractive of lake ports, nestled in a series of interwoven and undulating hills and offering visitors spectacular views of the lake, its islands and the stunning surrounding countryside. It is considered one of Rwanda’s hidden treasures, with its lush green hills and peaceful breeze. On the way, we will visit the L’Esperance Orphanage located in Kigarama on the way to Kibuye and witness firsthand how generous organizations and donations from individuals have helped this Children’s Village to thrive and have funded various innovative projects in and around the Village. Overnight in Kibuye.
Accommodation: From Luxury, Mid Range to Budget
Meals: Full Board

Day6: Transfer to Musanze via Gisenyi

Transfer to Musanze through crater Congo Nile. Arriving in Gisenyi we will first drive around the shower of Lake Kivu to visit the local fishing village, the hot water spring, the border between the democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda to see the Lava of the last eruption of the Nyiragongo Active Volcano.
We will proceed to Musanze, arriving in Musanze after checking in to your hotel we will go to visit the Ibyiwacu cultural village.
Iby’Iwacu (literary means, treasures of our home, our heritage) is the village of former poachers to the mountain gorillas who abandoned poaching and decide the new local life and help in the conservation of the nature.
To this village you will learn much about the ancient Rwandan Kingdoms, the way they used the target of arrows when hunting, the traditional doctor and his medicine, their traditional dances that are more interesting and meaningful and so many others.
Here you will meet different Local people have a chance to interact with them and as well follow up their testimonies on how they used to hunting animals.
Accommodation: From Luxury, Mid Range to Budget
Meals: Full Board

Day7: Rusumo Falls, Snake Man and the Rwandan Magic

Today we will travel along the twin lakes Burera and Ruhondo, admiring the beautiful view.
Arriving in Butaro district we will be able to visit the Rusumo falls! One of the water bodies that supply the twin lakes and also the source of the hydro power in this region.
After the visit to the falls we will proceed to visit the snake man who calls his snakes by using a traditional whistle.
In this visit we will enjoy the traditional meal for lunch and in the afternoon we go to spend time with great spiritual power, where the old shamanic ways are still alive and shamans can trace their lineage back through ancestors going back many hundreds, if not thousands, of years. It is about finding your humanity, and an understanding that my humanity is bound up with your humanity. It is also about respect for the old ways, the elders and our communities. It is about working with dreams, nature, the plant spirits and our ancestors (both our blood lines and our spiritual families).
Drive back in Musanze for your dinner and overnight.
Accommodation: From Luxury, Mid Range to Budget
Meals: Dinner

Day8: Musanze Caves – Transfer to Kigali

After a leisure morning breakfast we head to visit the Musanze Cave. This is a 1800 Meters walk inside the cave.
Musanze Cave is a rather young lava cave in the Albertine Rift Valley. The volcanism started here with the Cretaceous 65 Million years ago, and is still going on. The cave was formed by a lava flow from the Bisoke and Sabyinyo volcanoes. It has a huge, 10m high, entrance portals and a length of two kilometers. Multiple roof collapses, which are common for lava caves, make a total of 31 entrances.
However, this is not the average lava tube, it is a much rarer type of cave called blister cave. Volcanic gas bubbles or blisters were collecting in solidifying lava and so the blisters solidified and became caves. The cave is a series of huge oval chambers, many of them connected, but not all of them. The result is actually number of caves which all together are called Musanze Cave.
Some of the Musanze Caves contain the remains of early human inhabitation. Two caves were excavated in 1983 by Van Noten. He called them Akameru and Cyinkomane, names which are forgotten now, as all caves are called Musanze Cave. Probably this is a result of the recent genocide, the whole town was renamed some time ago from Ruhengeri to Musanze. As a result the name Musanze Cave can not be older than this change of the town name.
After the visit to the cave we will go to visit the local market, the art and craft market for souvenirs before we head to Kigali for your out bound flight- End of Service

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