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All-Inclusive Luxury Rwanda with Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

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Why Travel With Us?

  • All meals included, all 100% plant-based. Here's your chance to try local favorites!
  • Hand-picked tours & activities specifically catered by vegans, for vegans
  • Emphasis on wildlife with visits to sanctuaries, refuges & shelters
  • Deluxe accommodation with a focus on location and comfort
  • Two tour leaders per trip for ultimate attention & service during your adventure
  • Travel the world with fellow vegans and create life-lasting friendships

Getting Started With World Vegan Travel

  • Trip Length:10 days / 9 nights
  • Trip Dates:21-30 November, 2022
  • Start Location:Kigali, Rwanda
  • Trip Price:USD 14450$/person
  • End Location:Kigali, Rwanda
  • Single Supplement:USD 1000$
  • Group Size:18-24 travelers
  • Sign Up Deposit:USD 2000$/person
Gorgeous scenery, friendly people, history, culture, rainforests, volcanoes, chimpanzees, Dian Fossey center, delicious vegan meals … and GORILLAS!  Experience all of this — and more!! — along with animal advocate Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.  This really is the TRIP OF A LIFETIME!
joyful vegan trip logo
We're going back to Rwanda!

A World Vegan Travel and Joyful Vegan Trips classic is returning, as we head over to one of Africa’s most beautiful countries, Rwanda.  If you missed out last time, this is your chance to experience this incredible destination in comfort with all 100% plant-based meals included, and with author/podcaster/activist Colleen Patrick-Goudreau there with you!

This trip offers something for everyone: a vibrant culture, jaw-dropping scenery, wildlife adventures, and luxurious relaxation. This is it. The trip you’ve been saving for. The trip you’ve been dreaming about. ​The trip of a lifetime!

The “Land of a Thousand Hills” definitely lives up to its name.  It’s a gorgeous country with beautiful mountains, forests, and squeaky clean cities.  For vegans and animal lovers, it also means close (and respectful) encounters with chimpanzees and golden monkeys… oh, and gorillas too…  

…GORILLAS!! 

The endangered mountain gorillaslive in only one place on Earth, and we’re taking you there!

Rwanda has emerged from its troubled past to become one of Africa’s safest, cleanest, friendliest and most progressive countries.  It is quickly establishing itself as a leader in wildlife conservation and — along with its high-end lodges and quality-over-quantity tracking permits  becoming a shining example of sustainable tourism (they’ve banned plastic bags!).  

We’ll start our adventure in the capital Kigali, with a visit to two very poignant genocide memorials to bear witness to the sad 1994 events.  You’ll also have some free time to explore the city, perhaps even going on a walking tour of a typical Kigali neighborhood.

Next up is a stay in Nyungwe National Park, home to dozens of varieties of monkeys, including the main attraction, chimpanzees!  You’ll never forget hiking through dense rainforest while hearing the cries of the chimps high above.  The first time you spot one will forever be etched in your memory! 

We’re then off to the north, with a stop on the coast of Lake Kivu, not far from the Congolese border.  Here we’ll participate in Rwanda’s unique Umuganda: on the last Saturday of every month, businesses close as citizens across the country, and from all walks of life, participate in communal work, from simply cleaning up the streets to helping build a local school or road.   There’s no better way to get to know your fellow Rwandans than to join in and help out for a couple of hours.  Expect lots of singing and dancing and friendly smiles all around!

Our final destination on this trip is a doozy: Volcanoes National Park.  After a visit at the Dian Fossey museum, and a morning out tracking the local golden monkeys, we’ll go deep into the mountains on what promises to be the highlight of the trip — and one of travel’s greatest adventure — as we spend 1 hour with your our long-lost cousins, the mountain gorillas.  Trust us: absolutely nothing — NOTHING! — can prepare you for this moment!   Click here to get a feel of what that’s like!

Our accommodation throughout will be very comfortable, especially in Nyungwe and Volcanoes National Park, where we’ll spend our nights at the world-famous One & Only resorts.  

With all it has going for it, a trip to Rwanda isn’t without its hurdles and logistical complications — especially food-wise.  This is where we come in.​   Colleen and her team of experienced tour leaders and guides have worked very hard to create a trip that will showcase this amazing country and people, while focusing on giving our fellow vegan (and vegan-friendly!) travelers an array of experiences and activities that are in line with their particular interests.

So come support the conservation of gorillas, golden monkeys, and chimpanzees by visiting them in their natural habitats, and experience it all in deluxe comfort with all meals included, all 100% VEGAN, all the time!

Rwanda, here we come! 

Why You'll Love This Trip
  • incredibly luxurious resorts (One & Only) in Nyungwe and Volcanoes National Parks
  • all meals (breakfasts, lunches, dinners & snacks) included, all 100% plant-based!
  • spend an unforgettable hour face-to-face with mountain gorillas
  • jungle trekking to see chimpanzees and golden monkeys
  • participate in Umuganda, Rwanda's unique mandatory community work
  • deluxe 5-star hotel in downtown Kigali, near many sights and shopping
  • bear witness at two genocide memorials near Kigali
  • 4-star hotel by the shore of beautiful Lake Kivu, with private beach
  • behind-the-scene private visit at the Dian Fossey Center
  • lots of surprises and spoiling along the way
  • experience it all with ~20 new friends, and bestselling vegan author, podcaster, and animal advocate Colleen Patrick-Goudreau!
See what it’s like to see gorillas face-to-face in Rwanda!
Trip Info

Trip Price

USD 14,450$/person

Single Supplement

USD 1000$/person – please note that due to the uncertainty of COVID19 for the foreseeable future, we may not be able to allow singles to share a room.  Please see our booking terms & conditions for more info.

Trip Host

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau    meet your host!

Group Size

18-24 travelers

Meeting & End Location

Kigali, Rwanda

Trip Confirmation Deadline

May 21st, 2022

Price Includes

  • all meals, from breakfast to dinner, all 100% plant-based, all delicious!
  • pickup and transfer from Kigali International Airport
  • all general drinks (water, juice, coffee, tea, wine, beer) during included meals
  • live Q&A before the trip to ask your questions to the tour leaders and Colleen
  • all wildlife and tracking permits for Golden Monkeys, Chimpanzees & Gorillas
  • guided visits to two genocide memorial near Kigali
  • 4-star hotel in Lake Kivu
  • all ground transportation in Rwanda
  • 5-star hotel in Kigali
  • one day of laundry during the trip
  • 5-star luxurious resorts in Nyungwe and Volcanoes National Parks
  • quality time with Colleen during the trip, including talks, Q&A, etc.
  • private guided visit at Dian Fossey museum
  • amenities bag with some travel essentials
  • all tips to drivers, guides, porters and trackers for all included activities
  • two professional English-speaking tour leaders
  • professional & knowledgeable local drivers and guides
  • porters during chimpanzee and gorilla tracking activities

Price Excludes

  • your airfare to/from Rwanda
  • medical travel insurance (mandatory)
  • visa costs (please see FAQ)
  • premium brand alcoholic drinks
  • optional activities outside of what we've planned (see itinerary for more detail)
  • donations to any memorials or nonprofit organizations we visit
  • extra snacks, drinks, alcoholic beverages and meals outside of what's included (see itinerary)
  • tips for guides/drivers on non-included activities, or to hotel staff (completely optional)
Our Rwanda Accommodations

Since this is a trip of a lifetime, we’re going to make sure we stay in the best possible hotels in terms of location, and comfort, including 2 incredible resorts that would be the highlight of the trip if it wasn’t for those gorillas!

In Kigali, we’ll spend our first 2 nights and our final night together at the Kigali Marriot.  Expect modern and spacious rooms, and a very central location within easy walking distance to downtown, great restaurants, cafes and the moving Belgian Peacekeepers Memorial.

In Gisenyi, where we’ll participate in Umuganda, we’ll stay overnight at the Serena Lake Kivu, situated right on the edge of Lake Kivu.  The hotel has beautiful grounds, a welcoming pool and even a small sandy beach!

But it’s in the National Parks where we’ll really step it up!

In Nyungwe, home to many species of birds, monkeys and chimpanzees, we’ll be staying 2 nights at the One & Only Nyungwe House.   Dramatically located right on the edge of the national forest itself, it has its own working tea plantation and plenty of fun activities for you to enjoy… if you can get pry yourself out of your gorgeous room first! 

Finally, in Volcanoes National Park, where we’ll visit Dian Fossey’s museum, the golden monkeys and experience an unforgettable hour with the mountain gorillas, we’ll spend 3 incredible nights at the brand new One & Only’s Gorilla’s Nest.  This is such an incredible property that we’ve even built in a free days here so you can choose to enjoy one of the properties’ many complimentary activities, book a river canoe ride, hike a volcanoe or head out on the long trek up to Dian Fossey’s grave.  Of course, there’s nothing wrong with staying put at the hotel with a book and wine in-hand, or perhaps a nice visit at the spa! 

Have a look at some video of the two One & Only properties we’ll be staying at, and start dreaming!

ONE & ONLY NYUNGWE HOUSE

Nyungwe National Park

ONE & ONLY GORILLA'S NEST

Volcanoes National Park
Itinerary

Do note that the itinerary below is subject to change. Some activities, times and even days may get switched around, but once you sign up you will be kept updated. Please rest assured that if anything does change, it will be for the best and make the trip even better. We’re hoping that the itinerary below should, at the very least, whet your appetite — pun definitely intended!

Joyful Vegan Trips

DAY 1

Arrival in Kigali

​Today is arrival day.  How exciting!!   Once you’ve passed immigration and customs, you’ll be transferred to our hotel, and your home for the next 2 nights.  Located in downtown Kigali near some shopping areas and within walking distance to the Belgian Peacekeepers Memorial, it’s the perfect location to ease into Rwanda and central Africa.

You will notice right away how clean Kigali is!  Indeed, the country has completely banned plastic bags, so make sure you aren’t carrying any as there are sporadic luggage checks at the airport!

​Our trip officially starts at around 5pm, with a welcome meeting where we’ll introduce ourselves over a glass of bubbly (of course!) before moving on to our welcome feast.  Come hungry! 

​** Please ensure you arrive early enough in Kigali to get from the airport to our hotel (approximately 1.5hrs, including the often long immigration process) with enough time to check in and freshen up before our first meeting and dinner.  If you decide to fly in a few days early, do let us know if you need us to book any extra night in our Kigali accommodations.  We will be sending out costs several months before the trip’s start date.

Accommodation: Kigali Marriott hotel

Included:

  • airport pickup
  • welcome drinks
  • gift bag
  • welcome dinner (drinks included)

Excluded:

  • breakfast & lunch

DAY 2

Kigali & Genocide memorials

After our amazing VEGAN breakfast, we depart for a day of sadness and remembrance.  First stop will be the Ntarama Genocide Memorial, a  church where mass killings occurred during the 1994 genocide; more than 5000 people were killed here, seeking refuge in the one place they thought they would be safe.   The church is located about 30 kilometers south of the capital city of Kigali.   We will visit the site and learn more about the unity and reconciliation commission.

We’ll then continue on to our next stop, Nyamata, yet another church where around 2,500 people were killed.  It has become emblematic of the barbaric treatment of women during the genocide.

We’ll be back in Kigali in time for lunch at a local vegetarian restaurant.  Afternoon is free, and we can help organize a few outings.  For those who want to continue the Rwandan genocide story, an optional visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre is highly recommended.   If it’s too much for one day, we recommend you spend an extra day in Kigali after the trip is over.  This is also a worthy sight for those arriving a day or so early.

Other options for your afternoon are various art galleries in town, the old Presidential Palace (where you can still see the remains of the crashed presidential plane!), or simply relax and take care of your jet-lag by relaxing by the pool.

Dinner will be served at our hotel as we have an early departure tomorrow! 

Accommodation: Kigali Marriott hotel

Included Activities:

  • guided visits to Ntarama and Nyamata Genocide Memorials

Included:

  • all meals & drinks
  • transportation
  • tips to memorial guides

Excluded:

  • donation (completely optional) to the Genocide Memorials
  • premium alcoholic drinks during meals

DAY 3

Nyungwe Forest National Park

After an early breakfast, we pack up and leave for a long day of driving (~6 hours) to Nyungwe Forest National Park.   While it’s a long drive, it’s also absolutely stunning.  You will definitely see why Rwanda is called the Land of a Thousand Hills.  The beauty of the landscape and people we pass by along our route will stay entrenched in your memory forever.

We’ll stop en-route for lunch in a local restaurant by the big Lake Kivu, which serves as the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.  This will be a great way to stretch our legs and take in the fresh mountain air.  All those hills means Rwanda is at a near constant high elevation, and despite its neighbors experiencing torrid hot weather, we should be in relative balmy comfort!

​​A quick look at our home for the next 2 nights, the One & Only Nyungwe Forest House, and you will surely agree the long drive was more than worth it!   Set amidst a stunning tea plantation and on the fringe of the national forest, the lodge is in one of the most stunning locations in the world.  After some time to freshen up, we’ll have a welcome drink and wonderful vegan dinner. 

Accommodation: One & Only Nyungwe Forest House

Included:

  • all meals & drinks
  • transportation
  • laundry

Excluded:

  • premium alcoholic drinks during meals

DAY 4

Chimpanzee Tracking

in Nyungwe National Forest

After another early breakfast, we drive over into the park and on to our starting point for our chimpanzee trek (6am-10am).   

There are two species of chimpanzee in Africa: the Bonobo and the Common Chimpanzee Pan troglodytes (often shortened to Chimpanzee, and sometimes referred to as the Robust Chimpanzee).  At about only 400 individuals, the population of chimps in Rwanda is unfortunately endangered.   For this reason, it must be noted that it’s not guaranteed we will see chimps as they are unpredictable and can move long distances in one day — and we respect their right to do so.  Still, our brilliant team of early trackers will do their very best to help us get some sightings, and it is more common than not to spot them.

Nyungwe National Park is the largest block of mountain forest in East and Central Africa and it is an incredibly rich area of biodiversity.  You can expect to see a myriad of other monkeys swinging in the trees and keeping a close eye on us throughout our jungle trek.  NOTE: there is definitely some climbing up and down the hillsides, so it requires some stamina and good walking shoes.

​​Once done, we’ll head back to the resort in time for lunch.  The afternoon is free, with some fun and exciting options for those who still have the energy.  A good example is the canopy walk, which is set 50 meters (165 feet) above the ground with a 150-meter (492 feet) walkway, and allows visitors to see the forest from above the trees and be at eye-level with birds and monkeys that inhabit the upper stories of the forest.   Other options include nature walks in the forest or, of course, simply lounging back at the pool or on your balcony with a book and drink in hand.

Dinner will be at the lodge.

Accommodation: One & Only Nyungwe Forest House

Included Activities:

  • Chimpanzee tracking
  • several complimentary activities at our resort

Included:

  • all meals and drinks
  • chimpanzee tracking permit
  • porter during the trekking
  • all tips for the guides, trackers and porters
  • laundry

Excluded:

  • premium alcoholic drinks during meals

DAY 5

Lake Kivu

After breakfast, you have a free morning at our wonderful resort.  You can choose to simply relax, go on the canopy walk, or perhaps on the optional nature walk to Kamiranzovu waterfall.   Along the way, you can expect at least 200 tree species over 280 bird species and more than 100 different types of colorful butterfly which make it a true feast of the senses for the nature lover.

After lunch, it’s time to say our goodbyes to this amazing part of the world and get back into our vehicles for the 5-hour journey to our next stop: Gisenyi, Rwanda’s largest port on Lake Kivu.  While it’s a long drive, we will once again be treated to a non-stop gorgeous show from Mother Nature as we follow the coast of Rwanda’s biggest lake the entire way.  We will arrive in time for a late afternoon check-in.  

​The afternoon is spent at leisure on the shores of Lake Kivu, right across the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or resting at our 4-star hotel and its own private beach

After a leisurely afternoon, we’ll have welcome drinks and dinner at our deluxe hotel, the Serena Lake Kivu.

Accommodation: Serena Lake Kivu

Included Activities:

  • many possible complimentary morning activities at the One & Only Nyungwe Forest House

Included:

  • all meals and drinks
  • transportation

Excluded:

  • premium alcoholic drinks during meals

DAY 6

Umuganda & Dian Fossey museum

Wake up to the magnificent sounds of the beach…and a nice vegan breakfast! 

This morning we join Rwandans from all walks of life on their monthly mandatory community service.  Umuganda is a unique Rwandan holiday, reborn in its modern form as part of the country’s reconstruction efforts after the genocide.  Nowadays, it’s a country-wide event where people ranging from workers to Presidents come together in a near-party atmosphere to clean the streets, fix a road, build a school, etc., all with plenty of singing and dancing in between chores.  It’s an absolute honor and privilege to be able to join our gracious hosts for a few hours, and something your will not soon forget! 

We’ll have lunch back at the hotel before heading over to Ruhengeri (1 hour) and the Dian Fossey Karisoke Research Center.  Founded by famed primatologist and conservationist Dian Fossey — Colleen’s hero!! — we’ll get a private behind-the-scene guided tour of the museum and learn about the center’s amazing work they have done (and continue to do!) in supporting the local gorilla population and regulating visits to the several human-acclimated families.

We’re then off to our home for the next 3 nights, the absolutely incredible One & Only Gorilla’s Nest.  This 5-star resort is a new addition to the area and very much as beautiful and luxurious as its sister in Nyungwe.   We’ll get there just in time for you to unpack and join the rest of the group for a delicious dinner.

Accommodation: One & Only Gorilla’s Nest

Included Activities:

  • Umuganda
  • private guided tour of Dian Fossey’s museum

Included:

  • all meals and drinks
  • transportation
  • entry cost and tip at the Dian Fossey museum
  • laundry at the One & Only Gorilla’s Nest

Excluded:

  • premium alcoholic drinks during meals

DAY 7

Free Day in Volcanoes National Park

We’ve done lots of traveling so far, and so today should be very welcomed indeed.   You have a full free day to enjoy the area!

The One & Only offers a plethora of complimentary activities, ranging from guided nature walks, learning about Rwandan coffee, go for a bike ride, explore the chef’s garden, etc., the choices are many.  You can have a look at their offerings here

You can also opt to book one of many activities on offer in the park.  How about a canoe ride down the river?  Or hike up a volcano?  Or the hard and muddy trek up to pay your respect at Dian Fossey’s grave?  Your tour leaders are on hand to help you build you own perfect day. 

Of course you can just choose to stay put and enjoy the incredible resort, with a book and glass of wine in hand.    Or book a treatment at the spa!  This is the perfect time for you to relax and recharge before tomorrow’s big day! 

Accommodation: One & Only Gorilla’s Nest

Included Activities:

  • many complimentary activities at the resort

Included:

  • all meals and drinks
  • transportation
  • laundry at the One & Only Gorilla’s Nest

Excluded:

  • optional activities outside the resort (hikes, canoe rides, trekking, etc).
  • premium alcoholic drinks during meals

DAY 8

Gorillas!!!

Ok, this is it!   The big day!  We won’t lie: this is the highlight of the trip.  It may well be the highlight of your life!

After an early breakfast, we head over to the National Park headquarters to meet our guides for the day.  Here we will be divided in a few different groups.  Each group will be assigned one human-habituated gorilla family.  Some will require a few hour’s walk, some will require much, much more.  There is no way to guarantee which family you will be assigned to, so please come prepared for a lot of walking.  If your family isn’t too far, then you can view this as a bonus.  Otherwise enjoy the hike (it burns calories!!!) and know that the reward is more than worth it.  Do note that it is possible to employ a porter on the spot for about 15$-20$, to help carry your backpack.  This can be quite useful as it allows you to enjoy your trek a bit more, but also give a local some much-needed work.  Remember, you’re on holiday and this is supposed to be the best thing ever!! 

There is also no guarantee that you will meet up with a big family or one that is active (gorillas sleep and lounge a lot). Each family is different and there’s bound to be a group that will have a bigger or more active family than another.  It’s just the nature of, well, nature, but regardless, you will get to see some mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. 

In any case, once we complete the park formalities, you will embark on a once-in-a-lifetime experience of trekking to see mountain gorillas.  This is truly a life-changing experience, and absolutely nothing can prepare you with your first glimpse of a gorilla munching away on a leaf. 

Once you spot your family, you are allowed to spend 1 hour watching your closest long-lost cousin, and trust us, this is going to be an hour you will never, never forget.  This is perhaps one of the most breath-taking wildlife experiences on Earth!  While you’ll be asked to stay a certain distance from them, the gorillas don’t tend to adhere to these rules so expect some close encounters with these awesome giant primates.  You’ll stare at each other blankly not knowing who will break the long silence first.

Tracking the gorillas through the light mountain forest on the slopes of the Virunga is a magical experience in itself.   These massive primates are extremely rare, with around 880 living today, so for some — if not all groups — this can demand a fairly strenuous hike. You should expect up to six hours or longer at a relatively high altitude.  Anything less will just have to be a nice bonus.   For this reason, we encourage for your own enjoyment to make sure that you are perfectly fit and healthy.

We then return for lunch at our lodge on an absolute high.  Afternoon is free for you to relax, upload some pictures, or indulge in some more optional activities, before our “we just saw gorillas!!” party in the evening!  

Accommodation: One & Only Gorilla’s Nest

Included Activities:

  • gorilla tracking

Included:

  • all meals and drinks
  • Gorilla tracking permits
  • porter for the gorilla trek
  • all tips for guide, trackers and porters
  • evening party

Excluded:

  • premium alcoholic drinks during meals

DAY 9

Golden Monkeys

… and back to Kigali

Is there anything better than waking up in the Volcanoes National Park!??

…no. 

This morning we set off on our Golden Monkey trekking in the Volcanoes National Park. Entering dense stands of bamboo interspersed with open glades, we will make our way deep into golden monkey territory.   Guides will lead us to the groups of ‘habituated’ golden monkeys – monkeys that have become accustomed to human presence.

Though viewing is kept to a maximum of one hour, travelers can get an up-close look at the golden monkey in its natural habitat. Adult monkeys frolic in plain view, feeding on bamboo leaves and leaping from perch to perch. Females carry their young, completely comfortable among onlookers.   They are incredibly cute! 

We’ll return to our lodge for lunch before packing up, saying our sad goodbyes to this incredible region of the world, and head back to Kigali (~2.5hrs).  

Once there we’ll check into our hotel, shower up, and enjoy our final goodbye drinks and feast, where we’ll exchange emails and photos and hopefully plan to meet again!  It’s our last night so we’ll make it count! 

Accommodation: Kigali Marriott Hotel

Included Activities:

  • Golden Monkey tracking

Included:

  • all meals & drinks
  • Golden Monkeys tracking permits
  • all tips for guides and trackers
  • transportation
  • final dinner feast

Excluded:

  • premium alcoholic drinks during meals

DAY 10

Depature Day

Today is unfortunately departure day.  Nothing is planned today except for your transfers to Kigali airport… unless you decide to extend your stay in this little stretch of paradise, of course! 

One great reason to stay is to head out for a safari in Akagera National Park.  While you could go there and back to Kigali in one day, we highly recommend you spend at least 1 night in the national park.  Let us know if you’re interested and we’ll help you plan the perfect trip extension!

Other options are to visit neighboring countries.  You’re in the heart of Africa after all!  Some suggestions, to name a few:

  • Uganda is just up to the north, and also has gorillas (cheaper permits as well) and lots of other animal spotting opportunities.    Like lions in trees! 
  • there are other great safari opportunities in neighboring Tanzania and Kenya, though we would suggest choosing your locations carefully as there can often be many vehicles surrounding wildlife which feels disruptive.  Zambia is also recommended.
  • need more exercise to burn all those CPG RWANDA trip calories?  A 6-to-8 day (we recommend 7 minimum!) trek up Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is the perfect antidote and one of the most rewarding adventure .  Let us know if that’s up your alley as we know some great local guides. 
  • need some beach time?  Then Zanzibar (Tanzania) is a great place to relax for a few days with nothing to do than remember this trip, and dream of the next one ;)

Whatever you decide, after breakfast it’s time to say our goodbyes with a final word from Colleen and a (orange juice) toast to fantastic memories and new friends!  Until next time!! 

Included:

  • breakfast
  • transfer to Kigali airport

Excluded:

  • lunch & dinner​
  • accommodation
  • premium alcoholic drinks during meals
Your Journey

Booking Terms & Conditions
Solo Travelers
How To Join
Payment Schedule
Payment Methods & Fees
Cancellation Policy
Important Notes

Solo Travelers can choose to:

  • get their own private room by paying the single supplement of USD 1000$.  (see notes on availability below)
  • share a room with another solo travelers of the same gender at no extra cost (please terms see below)

SINGLE ROOM AVAILABILITY: due to the number of rooms at our Nyungwe and Volcanoes National Parks resorts, a maximum of 4 single rooms will be available for booking and they will be available on a first-come-first-served basis.

SHARING ROOM WITH ANOTHER SOLO TRAVELER: please note that sharing a room may not be possible if COVID19 is still an issue in Rwanda.  We don’t foresee this will be the case in late 2022, but if it should arise that we can no longer offer a single room, then solo travelers will need to pay the single supplement (1000$).  Signing up as a solo traveler means that you agree to pay the single supplement should we no longer be able or allowed to offer shared rooms to our solo travelers. 

We  expect this trip to sell out quickly so ensure your spot on the trip and sign up early by paying the sign-up deposit (USD 2000$/person).    

The deadline for this trip to be confirmed will be May 21st, 2022.  If the trip isn’t confirmed by or before that date, the sign-up fee will be fully refunded.  If the trip is confirmed, the sign-up fee and subsequent payments are non-refundable. Please see our cancellation policy section below for more information.

In order to sign up, fill in the form on this page.  Any problems or questions?  Email us!

If you are signing up as a solo traveler, do so quickly!  We have limited single rooms.  Please read our single travelers section for more information and the single supplement cost.

Following the sign-up fee and trip confirmation, you will need to pay 50% of the trip’s cost by May 28th 2022, with the final payment coming 3 months before the trip’s date: August 21st, 2022.

 

PAYMENT SCHEDULE
Following the sign-up fee (USD 2000$/person), the remaining balance will be due in 2 installments:

  • May 28th, 2022: 50% of remaining balance
  • August 21st, 2022: final balance.   This is non-negotiable.  If you do not pay the balance for your trip, your place will be given to another individual and your payments until then will be forfeited.

We can work with you on a payment plan:  pay your trip in the usual 2 installments, or opt for several.   Contact us to discuss what works best for you!

PAYMENT METHODS
We currently accept US DOMESTIC BANK TRANSFERSINTERNATIONAL WIRE TRANSFERS and CREDIT CARDS PAYMENTS.  Once you sign-up, we will send you the necessary information for you to make your payment.

EXTRA PAYMENT FEES
Online Bank Payment – US only: also called eCheck or ACH, we do not charge a fee for this, although your bank may do so.   Please inquire with them directly.

International Wire Transfer: for those outside of the US.  We do not charge any fees for this method, although your bank most likely will.  Please inquire with them directly, and do mention that our bank is located in Mauritius, so they can give you the correct fees amount.

Credit card payment​: the following fees will be added to the total:

  • 2.9% for Visa and MasterCard
  • 3.9% for American Express

Since our trips are highly catered and made of activities that need a lot of planning and organization, all payments (the initial sign-up fee, 50% deposit and final payment) are all non-refundable.     This is because we must forward payments for accommodation, transportation, suppliers, etc. very early on, in order to privatize our accommodation, activities and our meals.

The Covid-19 pandemic has arguably introduced some degree of anxiety and incertitude regarding international travel.   Our policy is that, should there be a need to cancel the trip (ie covid19 reasons, natural disaster, human conflict, etc) before the trip’s deadline, then the sign-up fee (only) will be refunded, minus processing fees (ie bank, transfer, etc).   These are usually small amounts.

If the trip needs to be canceled once we have started to accept the post-signup fee payments (50% deposit and final remaining balance), we will strive to refund as much as possible or offer a voucher for future CPG Vegan Trips, whichever we can best negotiate with our on-the-ground partners and suppliers.    We will really try our best! 

Please note that the refund of your sign-up fee will only apply if we cancel the trip.  Our policy is to not run a trip if Covid-19 imposes too many restrictions for the enjoyment of the trip, such as: 

  • border closings/lock-downs
  • flight limitations
  • mandatory quarantine on arrival and/or upon return to home country
  • substantial spike in local cases
  • local restrictions imposed on our activities, restaurants, hotels, etc., that make it unfeasible for us to provide you with a trip of a lifetime! 

If the trip does go ahead (ie none of the above apply) and you are unable to attend the trip for any personal reasons, even related to covid-19 (ie your own country changes its travel/quarantine policy, you contract the virus, etc), there is unfortunately no refund.  The trip needs to be canceled by us, if we believe it can not run in accordance with our high standards of quality. 

Should you still need to cancel for any reason once you have signed up, we will offer your spot to the first person(s) on the waiting list.  If we are able to fill your spot, we will refund all payments made, minus processing fees.    Having said that, do note that there is no guarantee we will be able to fill up your spot.  For this reason, again, it is a good idea to get solid trip insurance when you first sign up.

​​Arriving late or leaving a trip in progress will not result in a refund, and no refunds will be made for any unused portion of the trip. 

TRAVEL MEDICAL INSURANCE​ – MANDATORY

This is a World Vegan Travel requirement. You will need to provide a policy and emergency contact number in order to join the trip. This can be done just prior to the trip’s date.

Trip Insurance (ie. covering your flight tickets, luggage, etc.) is definitely recommended as well, but not mandatory.

ITINERARY
​The itinerary is therefore subject to change, especially if we find an experience that we believe would make the trip even better. 

DIET RESTRICTION & ALLERGIES
​We do try to accommodate everyone’s food restrictions, especially allergies.   We can only do so if you let us know of any requirements when you sign up.  We begin working with all our hotels and restaurants a long time in advance, and meals are usually locked several months before the trip.  At this point, it is often no longer possible to change menus.   

​In other words: it is your responsibility to alert us of any dietary requirements, restrictions, allergies and needs, when you sign up.

FAQ

​TOUR PRICE REASONING

We do realize this is quite an expensive trip, and we’d like to point out the main reasons why this is so:

  1. The permit costs for animal tracking are quite high, with the gorilla tracking permits in particular being the most expensive in the region.  This permit alone accounts for 1500$ of your trip’s cost.  We still feel it’s completely worth it, especially since your money goes toward not only an extraordinary experience, but also directly back into the Volcanoes National Park and their great education & outreach projects, as well as their gorilla conservation programs.
  2. We are staying at two incredible One & Only properties, for a total of 5 nights.  These all-inclusive resorts are very expensive, but we believe that it’s very much worth the cost, as a stay in these incredible properties definitely contributes immensely to your trip being memorable and unforgettable. 
  3. As this is, for many, their first trip to the Africa of their dreams, we’ve constructed an itinerary that truly makes this the adventure of a lifetime by privatizing most of our meals and activities, and choosing the very best accommodation possible in terms of comfort and location.  This may well be your only time in this part of the world, so we make it count!
  4. Compared to many other tours to the region, we are comparatively priced, especially when taking into account that we include all meals and (non-premium) drinks, all tips for every driver, guide and tracker on our included activities (this can add up!!), porters when tracking to see the chimpanzees and gorillas, and a few extras like a gift bag and even a laundry day.  You are also supported by 2 experienced tour leaders, a team of experienced local guides, and, of course, this is your chance to travel with author and animal advocate Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.
  5. finally, this may very well be the only vegan tour to the country, and our costs include not only the lengthy and hard work done with all of our hotels and restaurants, but also the importation of a few vegan ingredients that aren’t found yet in Rwanda! 

WHAT ARE JOYFUL VEGAN TRIPS?

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau and World Vegan Travel work closely together to create JOYFUL VEGAN TRIPS, which are specifically curated by Colleen to ensure the high quality that she has come to be known for.  All trips include activities and dedicated time with Colleen, such as Q&A session, round-table discussions, sharing, and more.

CAN I SIGN UP AS A SOLO TRAVELER?

Absolutely!   We have many people on our trip that sign up as solo travelers.   You can choose to share a room with another solo travelers, or pay the single supplement to get your own room. 

Do note that we only have 4 single rooms available, so if that’s what you need, sign-up quickly! 

​FLIGHTS, VISAS & VACCINATION

FLIGHTS
​You are in charge of your own flights to and from Rwanda.  We ask that you try and arrive in KIGALI early on the 1st day at the very latest, so you can allow enough time to go through the immigration and baggage retrieval process and the drive to our hotel and still be able to freshen up and rest up a bit before our first meeting and welcome dinner.   We would estimate the time between landing and arriving at the hotel to be about 1.5hrs.  Our first meeting is traditionally at 5pm.

Regardless of your arrival date, we will provide an airport pickup. 

Please note that check-ins at our hotel are not guaranteed BEFORE 3PM.  We will try and have the hotel accommodate early arrivals, but it’s possible you will be asked to wait until a room becomes available.  We are situated right downtown, so worst case it’s nice and exciting to go and explore the neighborhood!

Our trip finishes up in KIGALI so book your return or ongoing flight from there.   You may also decide to stay in Rwanda or in the region a little longer, and if that’s the case let us know if we can help with your ongoing travel (ie accommodation, transportation, ideas, suggestions, etc).  We will be providing airport transfers on our final itinerary day only, until afternoon.

VISAS
As of January 1st, 2018, all nationalities coming to Rwanda are now eligible for getting a visa on arrival.   The visa costs is $50 USD.   This is payable upon landing at Kigali airport.  Please have cash with you. 

Regarding vaccinations:  there are no compulsory vaccinations required for entry to Rwanda unless you are arriving from an area infected with Yellow Fever, in which case a Certificate of Inoculation against Yellow Fever is required from travelers.

We will update all our travelers concerning the requirements of entry in regards to COVID19.  It could be that you will need to provide proof of vaccination or a negative test.  

For all other vaccines, we strongly recommend you consult directly with your doctor or health professional to make sure you are getting the proper care.   They will assess your particular health risks before recommending vaccines and /or antimalarial tablets.​  

Typically, the recommended vaccinations are Typhoid, Hepatitis A & B, Polio, cholera, yellow fever, rabies and influenza.      As mentioned above, please chat with your doctor to decide on which ones to get, if any. 

Since we will be hiking in jungles (when tracking monkeys and gorillas) and therefore possibly exposed to mosquitoes, having anti-malarial medication could be a good idea.  Make sure to bring your mosquito repellent, and use long sleeves and trousers during evenings/ morning times as a prevention of getting bitten. 

Medical facilities are common throughout Rwanda, with the best services provided in Kigali.   Do note that some medicines and prescriptions may be hard to find here, so come well prepared.

CPG TRIPS and WORLD VEGAN TRAVEL hold no responsibility for any medical issues resulting from your lack of vaccination.

​DO I NEED INSURANCE?

Yes, you will need medical travel insurance.  This is a requirement from World Vegan Travel.  We need to know that you are fully covered in the event of a medical emergency, including repatriation.  You will need to send us your policy detail and emergency contact number before the trip’s start date.

WILL IT BE SAFE TO TRAVEL IN 2022?

While of course we cannot predict the future (2020 sure emphasized that point!!) many things are pointing to a yes.   Airlines and some medical and travel experts do believe that things look good in terms of returning to some kind of normal by early-to-mid 2021. As our trip is in November of 2022, we sure hope that this is enough time for the pandemic to subside somewhat.

Rwanda has also done incredibly well with COVID, being one of the shining lights in the world in terms of overall (low) numbers of infections and deaths.

We will also mostly be traveling as a group, which means we will not be taking any public transportation (we have our own vehicles).   We will be with other tourists when tracking gorillas (and possibly chimpanzees) and with local Rwandans during Umuganda, but these activities will proceed only if they are deemed safe by the authorities. 

Overall our time in Rwanda will mostly be somewhat contained, as much as one can when traveling (compared to solo traveling, where you stay in a different hotel each night, etc). Many experts have stated that group travel may be the safest way to travel for a while in the post covid-19 days.

You can read more about our COVID-19-related policies and precautions here.

CAN YOU HELP WITH BOOKING OUR FLIGHTS AND ONGOING TRAVEL?

As we are not a travel agency or booking agents, we can’t book any flights or ongoing travel (ie hotels, transportation, etc) for you. However we can surely help with recommendations, suggestions and tips as you look into flights, or extending your holiday. It never hurts to ask, so don’t hesitate to contact us with any queries whatsoever!

WHAT WILL THE WEATHER BE LIKE?

Rwanda has a temperate tropical highland climate due to its high elevation.  Most of the country is located on a plateau, around 5,000 feet (1500m) above sea level, so for most of the year, and despite being just south of the Equator, Rwanda enjoys pleasantly warm day temperatures and cool nights all year round!   Still, they do have a dry and rainy season… 

At the time of our visit, we will be in Rwanda just before their 2nd (and shorter) dry season.  This means we might run into some rain here and there, but the downpours are quick and very rarely last more than a couple of hours.   It usually doesn’t affect travel too much.  But it can mean that the trails when gorilla trekking may be a bit muddy.  No worries, we can clean up in our beautiful resort! 

You can expect daily high temperatures are around 79°F (26°C), rarely falling below 75°F(23°C) or exceeding 83°F (28°C).   Daily low temperatures are around 62°F (16°C), rarely falling below 58°F (14°C) or exceeding 65°F (18°C).

WHAT SHOULD I PACK?

Here are some essential items to consider for your trip to Rwanda:

  • Bring light layers of clothing. It can be warm-to-hot during the day, but it can get cooler at night.
  • Sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun. Sunscreen is available in Rwanda but it can be quite expensive.
  • Insect and mosquito repellent is important to have. Practice all precautions against mosquito bites to avoid malaria and zika.
  • Comfortable walking shoes make exploring much easier. Roads can be muddy and uneven. Simple sandals won’t cut it.
  • a small umbrella could prove handy if you’re out and about and it starts to rain (usually not very long)

Overall, this means light (preferably) cotton or linen material.  Skirts, dresses, light shirts and light pants should do the trick.  Jeans are ok, but heavy and bulky.   We’ll have a laundry day included as well, so no need to over-pack.  Otherwise, and since we usually stay 2 nights in each location (except for Lake Kivu), laundry is easy and accessible everywhere (at extra cost).   Your guide will help you.  You just need to ask!   

Suitcases: we highly recommend that you bring SOFT SHELL LUGGAGE as we will need to fit quite a few in our land vehicles.    They are easier to stack and fit in tight spaces.

Smaller is always better, but a normal-sized luggage is ok.  We don’t have any domestic flights and will be going from location to location in our own vehicles so the times you need to carry your own bags will be quite limited.   Please try and stick to one suitcase per person, plus your laptop bag/day backpack, but this is mostly due to space in our vehicles than your own discomfort at actually having to carry anything around (there are porters everywhere).

Avoiding shorts and wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts is best, for both men and women, as it shields you from the sun (even if it’s cool, don’t forget that Rwanda lies at a high elevation and a bit closer to the sun!) and, of course, mosquitoes!   Those pants that have zips transforming them into shorts are ideal. 

We do have a few days of tracking animals.  Golden monkeys aren’t too strenuous, but you should expect a lot of jungle walking as well as uphill/downhill and very possibly mud (these are rain forests after all!) when tracking both the gorillas and chimpanzees, so do bring adequate footwear and walking gear.   This means well-broken into hiking shoes with comfy socks and good grip!   A hat is also recommended. 

Don’t forget binoculars!  The forests are full of birds and many other types of monkeys, etc.  Plus chimpanzees have a habit of staying up high in the trees!  If your camera has a decent zoom lens, you’ll be the group’s hero.  Prepare to share your pictures 😉

At no time will you need to dress up for our meals, so forget about suits and Sunday dresses.  Likewise, bring some comfy shoes for when we’re traveling and staying put at hotels, or simply walking around town or a village, but leave anything dressy at home.

Our hotels all have toiletries so there’s no need to pack shampoo and soap unless you want to try and minimize waste.  Don’t forget:

  • sunscreen and mosquito repellent
  • sunglasses

​WILL THERE BE INTERNET ACCESS DURING THE TRIP?

Our hotels all have internet, and we will have WIFI in the vehicles.  Do note that the connection in the latter may be spotty at times.

​HOW MUCH MONEY SHOULD I BRING?

For the most part, this is an all-inclusive trip.  We provide all accommodation, transportation, activities, meals and drinks.  You will only need cash for extra purchases such as souvenirs, spas, optional activities and extra drinks outside of what’s included.  There are ATMs in the big cities.  For us, this means Kigali and any town we hit while traveling from location to location, but not so much in the areas where we stay the night.   If you are in need of an ATM, please let your tour leader know so they can plan a stop.

Outside of Kigali, you should expect minimal chances to use your credit cards (mostly visas and MasterCard.  Best to forget about American Express).  

The tour leaders will be carrying extra cash.  If you decide to go on an optional activity at the last minute but don’t have enough money, we will be able to help you out and you can simply pay us back when we find an ATM.

During meals: we will provide non-premium drinks (soda, wine, beer, coffee, tea).   Any premium drinks on top of what’s provided will require you to pay the suppliers (ie hotel, restaurant) directly.   We will make it very clear how much is included before each meal. 

We also include tips for all our activities.  For all optional activities, you should budget tips around 5$-10$ per person.  This is the way in Africa.

Tipping hotel and restaurant staff is not necessary and entirely up to you.  If you like to tip service staff, please bring some extra US cash.

​I HAVE A DIETARY RESTRICTION (ALLERGIES, GLUTEN-FREE, ETC)

This is generally not a problem, but we do need to be informed at the time of booking so we may prepare the meals accordingly. Please be as precise and detailed as possible. Once on the trip, it is difficult and/or not possible to change our meal plans.

HOW MUCH TIME WILL I HAVE WITH COLLEEN?

Colleen (and her husband David) is very much another traveler in our group and will be taking the same vehicles and participating in the same activities as the rest of us. You can approach and talk to her at any time, just like anyone else. Having said that, do remember that she will be as tired as everyone after a long day of travel or sightseeing, so we should just be respectful of that as we are of anyone else. ​​

HOW MUCH PHYSICAL ACTIVITY CAN I EXPECT?

This trip does include at least 2 days of heavy hiking (gorillas and chimpanzees) so you WILL need to be physically fit enough for these undertakings.  You don’t need to be the fittest person on your block, but you should be ready to hike up and down hills in a wet and hot jungle for several hours, on two occasions.  So while you can certainly join the group and skip those two activities, we feel your overall enjoyment will be hindered a bit as they are definitely the highlight of the trip! 

It’s important to note that for these 2 activities, we will be hiring local porters that can help you not only with carrying your bag, but hold your hand during tricky parts and generally do everything they can to get you to the chimps and gorillas.

For gorillas: if you have an ailment or a bit of hard time with long hikes, we can ask the National Park to assign a gorilla family that isn’t too far off into the mountain.  However, while in the past our requests have been honored, there is simply no guarantee that they will do so this time.    For the chimpanzees, they live deep in the bush and up trees, so there’s no way out of having to run up and down thick jungle to see/find them 😉 

If the gorilla hike is the only thing stopping you from joining the trip, please contact us as we may have extra space and be able to negate the high cost of gorilla permits for you.   There is no guarantee, but it doesn’t hurt to ask! 

 

IS THERE AN AGE LIMIT TO JOIN THE TRIP?

Youth above 16 years young are welcome.    We are currently not accepting any younger children. ​

There’s no upper age limit, though do note that there is a fair amount of walking on this trip. 

HOW SAFE IS RWANDA?

Rwanda has emerged from its troubled and horrific past to become one of Africa’s shining beacon in terms of safety and cleanliness.    And while there are pockets of instability, mostly due to its volatile neighbors, we will always be staying within safe areas and have local experienced guides to ensure we don’t stray into problematic areas.

Serious crime or hostility aimed specifically at travelers is very rare, and there’s no more to worry about here than in most other countries.  The most common crimes that are reported are robbery.  The biggest city and capital, Kigali, may well be a genuine contender for the safest capital in Africa, though, as in any big city, take care at night and don’t take unnecessary risks.  Don’t display cash, avoid walking at night in areas you aren’t familiar with, and basically use the same common sense you do at home.  

Day-to-day though, you will only encounter friendly locals and, due to how clean the cities and countryside is, wonder if you’re in Africa or not.  Kigali is safer than many western cities.  And while we are traveling in areas where we will be in close contact with animals (gorillas, chimps) we will have local and experienced guides and trackers to keep us safe. 

WHAT LANGUAGES DO THEY SPEAK IN RWANDA?

English and French are both official languages, and many residents (particularly in urban areas) will speak one or the other in addition to Kinyarwanda.   In practice though, English is by far more popular, with the number of french-speakers decreasing, except perhaps near the borders with the Democratic Republic of Congo (where French is the official language) or by DRC expats.   

Everyone in the tourist trade, as well as most young people, will speak ENGLISH while the older population may speak at least a bit of English (and a lot of French). ​

Kinyarwanda is the chief spoken language in Rwanda. It is also spoken in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo and in the south of Uganda (Bufumbira-area). Kinyarwanda is a language of the Bantu linguistic family. It is closely related to Kirundi spoken in the neighboring country Burundi and to Giha of western Tanzania.   Still, English remains the language of business and trade, hence its popularity and fluency across the country. 

LGBTQ TRAVELLERS

World Vegan Travel and Joyful Vegan Trips aim to be a safe place for all LGBTQ travelers. We have a zero-tolerance policy on discrimination of any sort.

Overall, travel to Rwanda for the LGBTQ community is safe. As a visitor to Rwanda, your sexual preferences and identity are your private business, and are generally of no interest to others. Rwandans tend to be very welcoming to all tourists, regardless of their sexual orientation.

That said, openly amorous behavior, for both hetero- and homosexual couples, can cause offence, especially in rural areas, so we’d still advise all our travelers to be cautious, regardless of sexual orientation. In general, we’d suggest that you stick to a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach while travelling.

While same-sex marriage remains illegal, there are no laws against homosexual behavior (unlike neighboring Uganda).    Since debating the issue in 2009, Rwanda has pushed ahead to progress human rights for its LGBTQ citizens.  In the region, Rwanda is therefore known as something of a haven for LGBTQ citizens alienated from neighboring countries.  

In 2011, the Rwanda government signed the UN statement condemning violence against LGBT people, joining a further nine African countries in supporting LGBT rights. Then, in 2016, President Paul Kagame delivered an outspoken address stating that living as an LGBT citizen in Rwanda “…hasn’t been our problem. And we don’t intend to make it our problem”.