Cultural Tour of Rwanda, Nyiragongo volcano and Idjwi Island Fishing villages in Congo (6 Days)

Join Virtuoso Africa safaris on this tour takes to visit Nyiragongo volcano and Idjwi island in Congo; the cultural town of Butare; and Gisenyi and Kibuye both located at Lake Kivu in Rwanda. The Nyiragongo volcano (3470 m) erupted on the 17th of January 2002 and destroyed part of Goma town. The eruption destroyed the homes of 120 000 people and caused between 70 and 100 victims.

Itinerary for Cultural and Volcano climbing in Nyiragongo

DAY 1: Arrival in Kigali
On arrival at Kanombe (Kigali) airport you will be met and greeted by our smiling Driver guide who will transfer you to Kigali City.  O/N: Hotel La Palme (FB)O/N: Hotel des Mille Collines/Hotel Chez Lando or similar (D).

Day 2: Kigali – Butare.
After breakfast you will depart for Butare the second largest city of Rwanda and is regarded as the intellectual city of Rwanda. It hosts the National Museum, several academic (University) and research institutions. On your way to Butare you will visit Nyanza (currently Nyabisindu) the former Mwami’s palace (King’s palace) and the seat of the feudal monarchy.

DAY 3: Butare, Gitarama to Kibuye
We will drive to Kibuye on the stunningly beautiful Lake Kivu to Gisenyi; through beautiful countryside, crossing valleys full of agricultural produce. Kibuye which is one of the three resort town on Lake Kivu is the most beautiful. Arrive at lunch time. After Nyungwe, most participants will welcome that relaxing moments on the shores of Lake Kivu! Take a boat out on the lake to see the various islands. Swim in the refreshing, bilharzias-free waters of the Lake or stroll about in the nearby villages rambling across a number of hills. Rest of the day at leisure. O/N: Molia Hill Resort Kibuye (B-L-D)

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DAY 4: Kibuye Gitarama – Gisenyi
After breakfast, either drive to, or have an enjoyable speed-boat trip to Gisenyi (on payment of a $220pp boat supplement + visa fees $110). The trip is not only an encounter with local people; fishermen, fishing villages but also with the residents of Idjwi Island (Congo) who are rowing long distances in their dugout canoes to visit the Rwanda markets.

You will be picked up in Gisenyi for lunch and if time allows we make arrangements to cross the border to Goma (Optional). Goma was devastated by the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano. The visit shows the fantastic capabilities of the local population to overcome this natural catastrophe!

Overnight at Stipp Hotel or Serena Kivu Sun on a Full Board basis.

DAY 5: Gisenyi Kigali
Visit Ross Carr’s Imbabazi Orphanage. Stroll about at lake and visit other local villages. Imbabazi Orphanage was founded by Mrs Rosamond Halsey Carr in late 1994 at Mugongo to care for the genocide orphans. Rosamond Halsey was a young American fashion illustrator when she married an adventurous hunter-explorer, Kenneth Carr. Together they journeyed to then “Congo Belge” (now Congo DRC) in 1949 but where they later came to a pungent divorce. Kenneth left but Rosamond stayed in Congo until 1955.  From there on she moved to northwest Rwanda where she stayed for the next 50 years. She witnessed all Rwanda’s historical events, including the vinegary genocide of 1994. She is the author of Land of a Thousand Hills: my life in Rwanda.

Lunch and we transfer back to Kigali for overnight at your hotel. [Approximate driving time: 4 hours] O/N: Chez Lando Hotel or Mille Collines (B-L)

Day 6: Kigali visit and departure
Go for a tour of the city (optional) including a visit the markets, the handicraft shops and the Genocide Memorial Centre at Gisozi, which takes a few hours. It’s a touching visit! Time permitting, visit the Nyabugogo market, the Moslem quarter in Nyamirambo, and the Franco-Rwanda cultural centre. Many hotels and restaurants prepare local dishes. Buy crafts.

Transfer to Airport for departure. (B-L)

Tour Ends.

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