Rwanda - Trek Twice & Golden Monkeys + Zanzibar (Northeast coast)


Trek twice the gorillas and visit the golden monkeys! The little-known golden monkey (cercopithecus mitis kandt) is listed as "endangered". Next to this trip you can fly to Zanzibar to find the best place to see the red colobus monkey and to have a superb beach holiday with one of the best snorkeling sites of the Idean ocean!

Magic Safaris Proposal for Zanzibar

The extension can be tailor-made to your wishes!

The east coast of Zanzibar is lined with powder-white beaches which look towards a long barrier reef, about a kilometre offshore. Inland you’ll find small fishing villages and a variety of places to stay. Swimming at low tide at the east and northeast coast is impossible unless you like a very long walk. But the walks across the lagoon to the barrier reef are part of the attraction.

The main reason for coming here is for the superb diving and snorkeling! And when snorkeling or scuba diving appeals, the Mnemba Atoll on the northeast Coast (a shallow expanse of coral reef with a tiny island) is a must-do.


Duration : 11 Days
Travelstyles : Tailor-made, Special Interest, Beach Holidays
Activities :  Diving & Snorkeling, Gorilla Trekking, Guided Nature Walks & Hikes.
Parks & places :  Genocide Memorial Centre - Gisozi & others, Iby'Iwacu Cultural Village - Volcanoes NP, Volcanoes National Park


Itinerary

Day 1 : Arrival and transfer to Kinigi (Volcanoes NP)

Murakaza neza mu Rwanda! (Welcome to Rwanda!) Meet and greet at the Kigali International Airport by your Magic safari driver-guide. Depending on your arrival time, your driver-guide may propose you a visit of Kigali city which includes the Genocide Memorial centre at Gisozi. Transfer to Kinigi at the foothills of the Volcanoes, the trip will take max. 2 hours. Hotel accommodation at your choice. (L-D)

Flights: There are daily flights to Kigali out of Nairobi with Kenya Airways and Rwandair Express. Furthermore there are 4 flights a week Kigali-Kilimanjaro (Tanzania)-Kigali with Rwandair Express and daily charters flights can be organized with Coastal Aviation from/to most Tanzanian National Parks. This makes it easy to combine your short gorilla safari with another East-African safari!
Ask us for prices, we issue your tickets!

Accommodation : Hotel La Palme (**), Sabyinyo Lodge (****), Virunga Lodge (****)
Parks & places :  Volcanoes National Park

Day 2 : Gorilla Tracking

After breakfast, you will depart for the Headquarters of the Park where your driver-guide will accomplish the necessary formalities for you. You will meet your ranger guide(s) for a briefing about the greatest animal experience ever! 

Magic Safaris will drive you to the slopes of one of the Virunga volcanoes for your trekking. After the trekking, if time allows lunch at Ruhengeri and an excursion to explore the beautiful lakes in the region (Lake Bulera & Ruhondo). Overnight at Kinigi. Your guide will make the necessary arrangements for the next day. (B-L-D)

Accommodation : Hotel La Palme (**), Sabyinyo Lodge (****), Virunga Lodge (****)
Activities :  Gorilla Trekking
Parks & places :  Volcanoes National Park

Day 3 : Second Gorilla trekking

After breakfast, you will report to the headquarters for your second trek to a different gorilla group. If you love to hike and enjoy a great sense of achievement,  we advise you to take one of the groups with a longer hiking distance. (B-L-D)

The Susa group with more than 30 members is the most challenging gorilla group to be visited in Rwanda. The gorilla group is located at the Karisimbi volcano about one hour drive from the park headquarters. The trekking usually last for the whole day. Good physical condition is recommended!

Accommodation : Hotel La Palme (**), Sabyinyo Lodge (****), Virunga Lodge (****)
Activities :  Gorilla Trekking
Parks & places :  Volcanoes National Park

Day 4 : Visit of the Golden Monkeys - transfer to Kigali

After breakfast, a 3rd report to the headquarters for a visit to the golden monkeys. A visit to the golden monkeys (cercopithecus mitis kandti) is very different experience from gorilla-viewing, the monkeys react and interact differntly; they will keep on playing hide-and-seek much to the delight of the visitors. 

After the trekking, visit of the Iby'Iwacu traditional village (a community based tourism project where the local community displays the traditional ways of living). On your way to Kigali, several stops will be made to admire the scenery. Rwanda is the country of the thousand hills! Overnight at your hotel. (B-L-D)

The golden monkeys live only in the Virunga Conseravtion Area. They have been well habituated and there are 2 troups.The Kabatwa troop is located not so far from the Park headquarters and the Musanga troop lives near the Karisimbi and has a much longer walking distance.Another experience with excellent photo opportunities!

Accommodation : Hotel Chez Lando (***), Laico Umubano (***), Milles Collines (****), Ninzi Hotel (**), Serena - Kigali (*****)
Activities :  Guided Nature Walks & Hikes.
Parks & places :  Iby'Iwacu Cultural Village - Volcanoes NP, Volcanoes National Park

Day 5 : Kigali - Zanzibar (Unguja)

Transfer to the airport and departure to Zanzibar. Fly to Nairobi and have a connecting flight to Zanzibar. There are several flight a  day!

Arrival at the airport to meet our company representative who will transfer you at the hotel of your choice in Stone Town. You will have a briefing about your stay. 

There is a huge range of hotels in and around Stone Town fitting different budgets.  Stone Town can be noisy and we therefore recommend one of the hotels at the waterfront. 

Depending on your time of arrival you can make an excursion to Prison Island or book the sunset cruise, an excursion on a traditional Dhow, starting in the late afternoon and cruising along the Zanzibar (Unguja) coast. Romantic!

Stone Town: For many centuries there was intense seaborne trading activity between Asia and Africa, and this is illustrated in an exceptional manner by the architecture and urban structure of the Stone Town. Zanzibar has great symbolic importance in the suppression of slavery, since it was one of the main slave-trading ports in East Africa and also the base from which its opponents such as David Livingstone conducted their campaign.

Accommodation : 236 Hurumzi (***), Africa House (***), Beyt al Chai (****), Dhow Palace Hotel (***), Mbweni Ruins Hotel (***), Mtoni Marine (****), Serena Inn (*****), Tembo Hotel (***)

Day 6 : Discovery of Stone Town

Our Guide will pick you up after breakfast for a half-day guided historical tour. Stone Town is the cultural and historical heart of Zanzibar and very fascinating. The best way of getting around the town is on foot. Distances are relatively short and most of the streets are too narrow for cars. During your historical tour,  your guide will show you the most important places not to miss: The House of Wonders with its balconies, which houses the Zanzibar National Museum of History and Culture, the Portuguese cannons, the Arab Fort, the Great Slave Market and much more.

In the afternoon we recommend you to continue your discovery of  Stone Town.  You can spend many idle hours and days just wandering through the fascinating labyrinth of narrow streets.The guided tour in the morning will help to find your way in Stone Town.

You can do some shopping; a good place to start with is the Central Darajani Local Market on creek Road. Do not buy the first thing you see, take your time and you must always bargain with the vendors or try to set the prices off against each other. This is their way of doing business!

There are  good tourist shops in Stone Town: Zanizbar Gallery (Kenyata Avenue), Memories of Zanzibar (opposite the post office) and Hurumzi Art & Craft Gallery (Hurumzi Street). 

At the end of the afternoon we propose you to experience one of  Zanzibar’s oldest tradition for a rendez-vous at the "Sunset Bar " at the Africa House Hotel along Shangani Road. Enjoy with a drink the fantastic panorama as the sun sets over the magical Indian Ocean!

In the evening you really need to visit the Forodhani Gardens. The name “forodhani” means a ship’s cargo or a reloading place. This alludes to the slave trade, when slaves landed here and were being taken to the market. You can relax here during the day but the place really comes alive after sunset. Then it hosts the best street food market with an enormous variety. It’s one of the cheapest places to eat but it’s always good to check if everything is really fresh (especially in low season) .

Overnight at hotel of your choice. B/B 

Stone Town is a UNESCO world heritage cultural site: It's a fine example of the Swahili coastal trading towns of East Africa. It retains its urban fabric and town scape virtually intact and contains many fine buildings that reflect its particular culture, which has brought together and homogenized disparate elements of the cultures of Africa, the Arab region, India, and Europe over more than a millennium. 



Accommodation : 236 Hurumzi (***), Africa House (***), Beyt al Chai (****), Dhow Palace Hotel (***), Mbweni Ruins Hotel (***), Mtoni Marine (****), Serena Inn (*****), Tembo Hotel (***)

Day 7 : Jozani Forest Tour and transfer to the Northeast

Early morning departure from your hotel at Stone Town. 

The best time to visit Jozani Forest is early in the morning or late in the afternoon when wildlife is at its most active. Jozani Forest is part of the Jozani-Chwaka Bay National Park. There are several nature trails, so you can stay an hour or a half-day. An official guide is recommended and obligatory if you want to see the monkeys inside the Forest.  The light in the morning is superb for photographing the Zanzibar Red Colobus Monkeys.

The brackish water that flows through the mangroves is a nursery ground for hundreds of species of tropical fish. Bird life is also good.

After your guided nature walk transfer to your hotel at the Northeast Coast. Enjoy your afternoon on one of the most picturesque beaches imaginable! 

Accommodation : Bluebay Resort(*****), Mnarani Cottages (***), Ocean Paradise (*****), Pongwe Hotel (***), Ras Nungwi (*****), Shooting Star (***), Sultan Sands (****)

Day 8 : Relaxing at Northeast Coast.

Off shore at the Northeast Coast.

- Visit to the Mnemba Atoll.

This stunning coral atoll was recently declared a marine conservation area, offering a unique opportunity to both divers and snorkellers to experience the best of Zanzibar’s underwater world.

Whatever your level of experience, the reefs are perfect for snorkeling or scuba diving. You will find a variety of corals and fish life. Visibility for diving is at its best in January but sea conditions are calmest in late October and November. You have several reefs, each with their own specialities. Take care to dive with a recommended PADI-accredited dive centre!

- Mnemba Island is a private island with one of the most exclusive accommodation and has been renowed as one of the most romantic ocean destinations in the world, offering a privacy and rustic exclusivity unparalleled on the African coastline.

Accommodation at your choice.

Accommodation : Bluebay Resort(*****), Mnarani Cottages (***), Ocean Paradise (*****), Pongwe Hotel (***), Ras Nungwi (*****), Shooting Star (***), Sultan Sands (****)

Day 9 : Relaxing at Northeast Coast.

Relaxing at the beach

Most of the larger hotels offer a host of activities including reef walks, sailing and water sports. But you can also visit the tiny fishing village of Pongwe. The beach with unbelievably clear water an swaying palm trees are a real dream.

The hotels we propose at Kiwengwa try to be in tune with the local life and made efforts to minimize its environmental impact.

Accomodation at your choice.

Accommodation : Bluebay Resort(*****), Mnarani Cottages (***), Ocean Paradise (*****), Pongwe Hotel (***), Ras Nungwi (*****), Shooting Star (***), Sultan Sands (****)

Day 10 : Relaxing at Northeast Coast.

Another active snorkeling or diving day or a day at leisure in the accommodation of your choice.

Depending on the departure time of your flight it might be necessary to return to Stone Town for overnight. You can choose to leave in the morning and spend a half day at Prison Island or if you have missed the sunset cruise book it for the late afternoon at Stone Town. 

Alternatively you can stay at Mtoni Marine Centre which is on the waterfront North of Stone Town (15 min). Another option is Mbweni Ruins Hotel South of Stone Town (10 min).

Accommodation : Bluebay Resort(*****), Mnarani Cottages (***), Ocean Paradise (*****), Pongwe Hotel (***), Ras Nungwi (*****), Shooting Star (***), Sultan Sands (****)

Day 11 : Departue

You will be picked up at your hotel to be transferred at the airport for your depature! Zanibar International Airport (Kisauni) lies 6 km South of Stone Town.

Please keep in mind that there is a departure tax of $ 30 at the airport! The airport tax is not included in your ticket!