Secure your spot on the trip and book now by paying your deposit of USD 2000$/person.
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…
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!
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.
May 21st, 2022
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!
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!
We really do mean it. This is the TRIP OF A LIFETIME! But you don’t need to take our word for it. Have a listen to our 2019 travelers:
Solo Travelers can choose to:
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.
Following the sign-up fee (USD 2000$/person), the remaining balance will be due in 2 installments:
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!
We currently accept US DOMESTIC BANK TRANSFERS, INTERNATIONAL 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:
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:
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.
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.
We do realize this is quite an expensive trip, and we’d like to point out the main reasons why this is so:
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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).
Here are some essential items to consider for your trip to Rwanda:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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”.