3 Stars Lodges
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Rwanda’s capital and biggest city stretches across lush undulating hills surrounded by towering mountains, the largest of which is Mount Kigali, rising 1850 metres above sea level. Kigali is the country’s financial, commercial and cultural hub, served by an international airport and featuring a wide range of accommodation options. It also offers a collection of restaurants and points of interest, including the Kigali Genocide Centre, an atmospheric market and numerous craft shops. With its interesting architecture, busy streets, meandering boulevards, and green hillsides, Kigali is said to be one of the most attractive cities in Africa and is definitely worth a visit.
- TBA: Arrival time flight time into Kigali.
- TBA: VIP meet & greet through immigration procedures.
- TBA: Pick up from Kigali International Airport for a short transfer to the hotel.
- TBA: Arrival at Serena for Check-in.
- TBA: Dinner and overnight stay at your hotel.
Overnight: The Retreat by Heaven
Town & Country and The New York Times describe The Retreat in Kigali as one of the top boutique hotels of the world. The American owners of Heaven Restaurant created The Retreat, a 20-room luxury boutique hotel located on a tree-lined street steps from Kigali City Center and 20 minutes from the airport. 8 new luxury pool villas are now open and recently hosted Prince Charles! The Retreat is Kigali’s first eco-friendly resort and features solar electricity, organic toiletries, locally-crafted furniture from a Tanzanian sustainable teak farm, outdoor showers, private terraces, a yoga and meditation deck, spa, large heated saltwater swimming pool with jacuzzi and diving rocks, and an open-air fitness center. Fusion Restaurant and its Swahili-inspired bar, located at The Retreat, offer delicious farm-to-table international cuisine, while Heaven Restaurant (reached through the Retreat’s “Stairway to Heaven”) offers an innovative modern African menu. The Retreat is the perfect choice to host guests for first 2 nights or several days as it offers innovative, curated cultural experiences and exciting activities onsite and around Kigali. From public health to hospitality, co-owners Alissa & Josh Ruxin created Heaven Restaurant in 2008 to provide jobs and vocational training in hospitality, to date, Heaven and The Retreat have trained over 2,500 Rwandans in hospitality skills.
Luxury Pool Villa
Room size (Indoor and outdoor private living space): 120 m²
This room features:
1 King Bed (Emperor King size – 2 meter x 2 meter)
(All beds can be configured as Twin setup; 2 pool villas can be adjoining)
Sofa bed opens into a child bed
Private salt water heated plunge pool
Lush private front and back gardens with outdoor showers
Internet – Free WiFi
Entertainment – 65″ Plasma TV with Netflix
Food & Drink – Refrigerator, minibar, Luxury coffee/tea maker, complimentary unlimited purified water and 24-hour room service
Sleep – Pillow-top bed, Organic UK Naturalmat mattresses, British linens, a duvet, a pillow menu, and turndown service
Bathroom – Private bathroom with indoor and outdoor rain showers, organic amenities (shampoos, conditioner, body lotion), double Duravit sink, wood vanity
Floors – Engineered Oak
Practical – Safe, desk, and phone
Comfort – Air conditioning and daily housekeeping
Practical: One villa has Private Back Entrance for VIP/Exclusivity, one villa is wheelchair accessible
Room rate for Luxury Pool Villas is inclusive of the following amenities:
1 welcome complimentary 30mins massage (valid once per client), Fruit Basket, Snacks Jar, Welcome Amenity Plate, Complimentary Minibar on a daily Basis and a Customized Gift
Volcanoes National Park
Bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo in Rwanda, and set high on the jungle-covered slopes of the volcanic Virunga Mountains, the Volcanoes National Park is best known as a sanctuary for the region’s rare mountain gorillas. Visitors flock here to experience face to face encounters with these intriguing creatures. Regulated treks through the reserve allow visitors to spend an hour at a time with these incredible primates in their natural habitat. While the gorillas are without a doubt the main draw card, visitors can also look forward to exploring a network of scenic hiking trails, with the beautiful day hike to the Crater Lake on Mount Bisoke being a particular highlight. Make sure to visit the fascinating Karisoke Research Centre and the tomb of the world-famous Dian Fossey.
- 0800: Begin the day with a morning breakfast.
- 0900: Meet with your guide. Eric Manzi.
- 0920: Visit the KigaliGenocide memorial centre.
- 1030: Transfer to Volcanoes. Travel time 2.5hrs.
- 1300: Arrival at your Lodge.
- 1315: Lunch for the day and spend the rest of the afternoon on relaxation.
- 1500: The rest of the afternoon is for relaxation around the lodge.
- 1800: Dinner and overnight stay at your Lodge.
Overnight: One & Only Gorilla’s Nest
Cushioned in the foothills of the breath-taking Virunga Volcano range, One&Only Gorilla’s Nest makes the magical possible as you enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime, personal encounter with the rare and majestic mountain gorilla, roaming free in its own natural habitat. Offering an exclusive front-row seat to the world’s most popular mountain gorilla sanctuary. You’ll be captivated as exotic colourful birds and one of the planet’s greatest array of primate species flourish before your eyes and welcome you into their world. Then retreat to your own world, a spectacular modern haven, where every creature comfort is yours to behold. An all-inclusive resort, guests can look forward to savoring locally inspired dishes and taking part in two complimentary daily on-resort experiences.
Forest King Lodge
Experience an undisturbed connection with the vast forest beyond, lounging in your luxurious king-sized bedroom, sound tracked by the soothing crackle of local wood in the fireplace. Watch the floor-to-ceiling glass disappear and let the scents and sounds of nature flow in. Follow them out to your secluded open-air viewing deck, enjoy an invigorating al fresco shower or spend precious time relaxing in your standalone bath with undisturbed private views.
Alternate: Singita Kwitonda Lodge
Boasting breath-taking views of the Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura volcanoes and surrounded by high-altitude forests, Singita Kwitonda Lodge offers an experience unlike any of Singita’s other destinations. With its exceptional natural beauty, environmentally conscious luxury and transformative, purpose-driven experiences, the lodge was designed in response to this remarkable location, and the eight contemporary suites (as well as the private four-bedroom villa – Kataza House) are linked by volcanic rock pathways to the central lodge.
The interiors emphasise local design and handcrafted details adorn the carefully planned spaces. Layered textures and colours enhance the reflective quality of this tranquil haven and an experiential enclave offers free-flowing indoor and outdoor areas. A convivial fire pit, interactive kitchen, bar-deli and wine cellar complete the picture.
- 0600: Begin the day with a morning breakfast.
- 0630: Transfer to the park headquarters for gorilla trekking briefing.
- 0800: Start the gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park.
- 1200: Estimated time of returning from the jungle.
- 1230: Transfer back to the Lodge.
- 1300: Lunch at the Lodge.
- 1500: Visit Iby’ Iwacu cultural village.
- 1800: Dinner and overnight stay at the Lodge.
|Gorilla Trekking Volcanoes National Park|
|Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village|
Gorilla Trekking Volcanoes National Park
Gorilla Trekking in the Volcanoes National Park offers visitors the unique opportunity of discovering the 10 families of gorillas that live within the national park. Visitors can enjoy a cup of coffee before the trek starts and will be separated into groups of 8 depending on their physical abilities. Each group is guided by a guide and two scouts who are well trained in emergency situations. The amount of time set aside per trek is different depending on where the gorilla family is situated. Some trips may take as little as half an hour and some taking the better part of the day.
Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village
Offering an adventurous stay in a traditional rural, Rwandan village that has existed for centuries living with and next to mountain gorillas in Parc National des Volcans. Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village gives you a rare chance to meet local people, in their environment, with a taste of our culture and traditions. The community you visit will genuinely welcome you as a special guest while they proudly present to you aspects of their traditions and beliefs. This will truly be an experience of a lifetime as you home stay with the community and become part of their family
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Located in south-western Uganda, the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is said to be Africa’s oldest rainforest. It is world-renowned for its excellent gorilla-sighting opportunities – the forest is home to half of the remaining mountain gorillas on earth. This gorilla experience takes place among a rugged landscape of dense jungle, cascading waterfalls, sparkling mountain streams, deep valleys, and steep ridges. The untouched forest has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its breath-taking natural beauty and unique ecological significance, and aside from the amazing gorilla interactions, there are other draw cards such as a network of forest walks, over 340 species of bird to spot, and a variety of brightly-coloured butterflies to identify. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the spectacular Virunga Volcanoes, three of which are still active.
- 0600: Begin the day with a morning breakfast.
- 0630: Transfer to the park headquarters for the golden monkey trekking briefing.
- 0800: Start the Golden monkey trek.
- 1130: Estimated time of returning from the jungle.
- 1200: Transfer back to the lodge and have Lunch.
- 1300: Drive off to Bwindi Uganda.
- 1700: Estimated time of arrival at Gorilla Heights Lodge.
- 1800: Dinner and overnight stay at Gorilla Heights Lodge.
Overnight: Gorilla Heights Lodge
Gorilla Heights Lodge is located in Nkuringo, Kisoro district in South Western Uganda. The lodge provides airport pick-up services from Kisoro airport to the lodge. The lodge features 15 cottages that all derive their names from the attractions surrounding the lodge. Elegant dining offering a variety of buffets, set menus, theme nights and ‘a la carte’ menu, serving local and international cuisine is available. The lodge also has a heated swimming pool and a spa facility with a steam bath and Sauna.
- 0600: Begin the day with a cup of coffee.
• 0630: Ready for a morning transfer to the park headquarters for your gorilla trekking briefing.
• 0800: Gorilla trekking starts
• 1330: Estimated time of returning from the Jungle
• 1400: Refreshment at the lodge.
• 1500: Batwa Cultural Visit.
• 1900: Dinner and overnight stay at Gorilla Heights Lodge.
|Gorilla Trekking Bwindi Impenetrable Forest|
|Batwa Cultural Village|
Gorilla Trekking Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Wake early for a hearty breakfast to give you the energy needed for gorilla trekking. Before 8:00 am, report to the ranger station for registration and a talk by one of the rangers. The guides will then take you through the bush, pushing your way through the undergrowth, to track the gorillas. (Please note this trek can take from 30 minutes to 5-6 hours). A reasonable degree of fitness is required, as well as a sturdy pair of walking shoes. Sit in the forest among the gorillas, listening to them ‘talk’ to one another, and marvel at the sheer size of the dominant male, the Silverback. It is an extraordinary feeling sitting in the dense rainforest knowing you are with a few of the last remaining mountain gorillas. It’s amazing to think there are only about 650 of these beautiful creatures left.
Batwa Cultural Village
The Batwa Cultural village is where the Batwa (Pigmies) still live in the same way they used to years ago in tree houses. The Batwa only began leaving their forest homes around 15 years ago and they have been able to remain on this land thanks to the support of a generous American benefactor who donated the land back to them and created a cultural program. The fees from visiting tourists and are given to the Batwa project and they delight in welcoming visitors to their village and demonstrating how they make weapons, dance, make fires using sticks and cook.
- 0600: Begin the day with a cup of coffee.
• 0700: Transfer to Kisoro Airstrip for your flight back.
• 0820: Fly to Entebbe. Airport.
• 1125: Estimated time of arrival at Entebbe Airport for your connecting flight.
• 1200: End of service.