Day 1: USA
Board your international flight to Addis Ababa.
Day 2: Kigali
Arrive early morning into Addis Ababa, with a convenient connection flight to Kigali, Rwanda. After clearing customs, be met & transferred to your hotel. Enjoy the evening at your leisure.
Day 3: Musanze
After breakfast drive to the Buzuri primary school where you have the opportunity to observe students in class. After class, you will have the chance to interact with the children & learn more about their lives in Kigali. This friendship & cultural exchange is enriching & inspiring to both the children & yourself. After lunch at the school, you will have the opportunity to tutor the students in English & engage in further conversation. Rwanda recently changed their national language from French to English & there is great demand from students who will be eager to practice & learn from you.
Day 4: Musanze
Drive north towards Volcanoes Nation Park to spend the day at The Ibyi’wacu Village. You will be a visitor with a purpose as you will partake in the day-to-day activities & immerse yourself in the ethnic Batwa community life. You will be busy supporting villagers within their work on the fields & at their homes. Activities will vary, collecting forest products, carrying water, planting potatoes, feeding sheep & goat. During this interactive experience while teaching the children English & learning Kinyarwanda language, you will also learn about traditional ethnic handicraft like pottery.
Day 5: Musanze
Early this morning meet with your respective park rangers, who know the various Gorilla families quite well. These rangers know where the gorillas were the day before you arrived. It is then a simple matter of going to that spot & picking up their trail. The object is to meet up with the family about mid-morning, a traditional time when they cease feeding & rest for about an hour. Some Gorilla families are found in one hour but there are known cases where the trek lasted for as long as 8 hours. After returning to the hotel for lunch, enjoy the afternoon of leisure by visiting nearby markets in the town of Musanze.
Day 6: To Gisenyi
Return to the entrance of the Park early this morning to see the Golden Monkeys. It is now believed the only feasible population of these Golden Monkeys resides only in Volcanoes National Park. They are beautiful & endangered primates which have become quite habituated to humans, making it possible to observe them closely. After lunch travel to Gisenyi, a resort town on the shores of Lake Kivu with three sandy beaches.
Day 7: Gisenyi
This morning visit the Noel Nyundo Orphanage, the oldest & largest orphanage in Rwanda. It is home to almost 700 children with young orphans aged between a few days up to their early twenties. This visit today will be an inspiring experience. You will have the opportunity to spend time with the children, teach them some games, songs & help with the cooking and tutorial school work. Interact with these children during lunch before returning to your hotel.
Day 8: To Kigali
This morning visit the Pfunda Tea Company, an incredible opportunity to understand more about the tea industry, an important backbone of the Rwandan economy. Upon arrival, you will meet with the authorities at the factory & be escorted on a tour of the facilities to understand more about the process. Continue to the tea plantation meet local farmers and assist them with picking tea leaves. Enjoy lunch while some of the local female artisans demonstrate how to make traditional Rwandan baskets from banana fibers.
Day 9: Return USA
Late this morning enjoy a city tour of Kigali, visiting the Gisozi Memorial built in April 2004 on the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocides. This Center is built on a place in Kigali where over 250,000 people were buried after the genocide. Continue to a local market, well known for its local fabric. After lunch, continue to the airport to board your return flight home.