Rwanda Budget Safaris

Budget Safaris
rwanda gorilla monkey
Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park is popularly known for gorilla trekking trips in Rwanda. Important to know is that the park
silverback gorilla rwanda
The 2 day Gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda begins from Kigali to Parc des Volcans/Volcanoes National Park and then back
gorilla safari
3 Days safari to Rwanda to visit the endangered mountain gorillas. Both luxury and budget options available.
Rwanda primate safari
This 4 days Primate safari is highly recommended with gorilla and Golden Monkey trekking as the  main highlight of the
4 days gorilla safari
Tracking of the mountain gorillas will take place in Volcanoes National Park which has a total of 400 mountain gorillas
rwanda safari holiday
This 5 day safari will take you to Volcanoes National Park to see the mountain gorilla and the golden monkeys.
rwanda safari vehicle
Visit the best of Rwanda on this 7 day trip full of various activities.
rwanda safari holidays
This safari features the very best of Rwanda, trek the mountain gorillas, see the golden monkeys, a game drive in

Factors Determining The Budget or Cost Of Your Safari in Rwanda

The length of time you spend on your gorilla trekking adventure, in Rwanda plays a role in determining the budget required. According to a report by the Rwanda Development Board even a condensed yet fulfilling gorilla trekking experience typically requires a commitment of 2 3 days. During this time you may be limited to encountering one gorilla family as navigating the terrain takes up a portion of your time leaving less opportunity for fully immersing yourself in unique primate interactions.

For an experience within Volcanoes National Park, which is the main hub for gorilla trekking in Rwanda and spans approximately 160 square kilometers it is advisable to allocate at least 2 to 3 days. This allows for time to acclimate to the surroundings engage in gorilla trekking activities and also explore attractions nearby such as golden monkey tracking or paying a visit to the historic Dian Fossey tomb.

If you wish to extend your exploration beyond Volcanoes National Park and venture into parts of Rwanda like Akagera National Park known for its wildlife including lions, elephants and giraffes or Nyungwe Forest National Park which is home to 13 primate species it would be wise to add additional days to your itinerary.

Keep in mind that there are costs associated with obtaining gorilla trekking permits. As of 2023 non Rwandan adults are required to pay $1,500, per trek.
Considering the aspect it is crucial, for travelers on a budget to take into account the costs involved as they can have a substantial impact on the overall expenses of embarking on a trek. However with thorough planning, coupled with budgeting it is indeed possible to turn the dream of going on an affordable gorilla trekking adventure, in Rwanda into a reality. Within a period of 2 to  5 days one can fully immerse themselves in the landscapes. Unique primate interactions that Rwanda has to offer without burdening themselves financially. The key lies in planning that takes into consideration not an enriching wildlife experience but also respects ones financial limitations.

Choosing Between Group Safari, Self Drive or Private Tours.

When it comes to planning a safari in Rwanda, one of the decisions you’ll face is choosing between Group, Self Drive and Private tours. Each option has its features, benefits and potential limitations that can have a significant impact, on your budget. Lets take a look at each choice and delve into the associated costs.

Group Safaris

If you’re on a budget Group safaris are often considered the cost option and are quite popular among travelers looking to save money. However it’s important to note that these tours may lack flexibility and exclusivity.

On average a Group safari in Rwanda will cost you around $180 $300 per day. This price generally covers transportation ( in shared vehicles) accommodation, most meals and activities planned out in advance as part of the itinerary. Typically these group tours accommodate up to 10 travelers.

It’s worth being cautious of cheap budget packages priced around $100 per day. These offerings often exclude experiences like visiting Volcanoes National Park which is renowned for its mountain gorilla population.

Self Drive Safaris

For those seeking freedom and flexibility to guide their adventure Self Drive safaris provide an option. However they require planning to avoid expenses.

Renting a vehicle for a self drive safari typically costs $60 $90, per day inclusive of insurance coverage.
If you decide to hire a driver it will cost you a $40, per day. If you opt for vehicle camping you can expect to pay around $20 per day for a rooftop tent, which’s a safety feature when camping out in the wilderness.

Keep in mind that there are also park entrance fees to consider. Akagera National Park charges $50 Nyungwe Forest National Park charges $100 and Volcanoes National Park has a fee of $1,500 for a gorilla trekking permit (as of 2023).

Private Safaris

When it comes to safaris they offer a deal of flexibility and can surprisingly be budget friendly when traveling with a group. The cost of a safari can vary depending on the level of luxury you choose. Generally starts at around $350 per person per day. This price includes use of a vehicle your own private guide, accommodation, meals, park fees and certain activities.

Do keep in mind that specific activities may come with costs. For example if you’re interested in golden monkey tracking in Volcanoes National Park it would cost $100 per person. Similarly if you want to experience the canopy walk in Nyungwe Forest National Park that would add $60, per person to your expenses.

Additional Budget Safari Costs Not Included in the Package

When planning your experience, in Rwanda there are some expenses to consider that may not be included in the safari package. These include flights, visa costs, vaccinations, tipping and travel insurance. Lets take a look at these factors.

International Flights

While some safari companies may include flight costs in their packages you also have the option to book your flight. This can be advantageous if you have frequent flyer points or access to deals. As of 2023 the average round trip flight cost from New York to Kigali Rwanda ranges from $900 to $1,300.

Visa Costs

All foreign visitors traveling to Rwanda are required to obtain a visa. This can be done either upon arrival or online before your travel dates. It’s important to note that tour operators usually do not cover the cost of visas so it is your responsibility to handle this expense. As of 2023 a standard single entry tourist visa for Rwanda costs $50 per person.


Prior to traveling to Rwanda it is advisable to consult with your healthcare provider or a travel doctor regarding recommended vaccinations. The CDCs guidelines for 2023 suggest vaccines such, as Hepatitis A, Typhoid fever prevention measures, Meningitis prevention measures and Malaria prophylaxis.

Make sure you stay updated on the COVID 19 entry requirements, for Rwanda. They may ask you to show a PCR test taken within 72 hours of your arrival.

Tipping on a Budget Safari

When it comes to tipping it’s not mandatory in Rwanda. Its customary to leave a tip for service. In restaurants, hotels and taxis its generally considered appropriate to give a 10% tip based on the bill. At lodges it’s common to give a tip when leaving and those gratuities are usually shared among the staff. Guides should be tipped separately at around $10 per day per guest. For lodge staff a tip of $5 per guest is typical while transfer drivers usually receive $2 $3 per guest.

Travel Insurance Rwanda

Before going on your adventure it’s crucial to have travel insurance in place. This will ensure that you’re covered for any emergencies or trip cancellations that may occur during your journey. While accidents are rare being prepared with coverage is always wise. You can compare insurance policies online. Seek recommendations, from your tour provider.

Best Time For A Budget Safari in Rwanda

Early December; The first half of December is often underrated for visiting Rwanda. It’s a time when there are tourists resulting in off peak rates and attractive deals. After the November rains the landscapes become lush and beautiful creating a backdrop for your safaris.

Low Season (April May); Opting for a Rwandan safari during the season of April and May also known as the ‘long rains season comes with its unique advantages. While the weather may be hot and humid with showers you can take advantage of reduced prices and fewer tourists to have personalized wildlife encounters and secure deals on accommodation and safari packages.

Shoulder Season (October November); The months of October to November often go unnoticed as a time to visit Rwanda. During this period there are usually rain showers and vibrant green surroundings. With tourists both safari experiences and accommodation prices tend to decrease making it an ideal time for budget conscious travelers. Additionally this is when Rwandas birding season is in swing offering opportunities, for avid birdwatchers.

Budget Friendly Destinations in Rwanda

Rwanda is well known for its mountain gorillas. It also offers some amazing budget friendly national parks and safari attractions that make wildlife adventures more affordable. Lets take a look, at some of the cost options available;

Akagera National Park

As the only savannah park in Rwanda, Akagera National Park provides a experience with entry fees for non residents at around $40 per person. Here you can spot the five”. Lions, elephants, buffalos, leopards and rhinoceros. As well as a wide range of bird species.

Nyungwe Forest National Park

Renowned for its primates, chimpanzees Nyungwe Forest National Park charges $50 per person for non residents. Besides tracking chimpanzees visitors can explore the parks plant life. Enjoy an exciting canopy walkway adventure.

Volcanoes National Park

While gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park can be quite expensive there are budget alternatives available. Golden monkey tracking is an option and costs around $100 per person. Additionally you can embark on hikes to visit the Dian Fossey tomb at a price of $75, per person.

Lake Kivu

You can visit Lake Kivu, which’s the lake, in Rwanda for free. Here you can enjoy views take boat trips go bird watching and interact with the communities. While it may not be a destination Lake Kivu is a peaceful natural attraction that adds richness to any Rwandan trip.

Rwanda Historical Tour

If you’re interested in exploring Rwandas history and culture but not necessarily looking for a park experience consider taking a tour of Kigali City. This vibrant capital city offers insights into the country’s past and present. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial (donations are accepted) explore markets and appreciate the art galleries.

Rwanda Cultural Experience

For an experience that emphasizes community engagement I recommend participating in community based eco tourism initiatives such as visiting Iby’iwacu Cultural Village, near Volcanoes National Park. For a fee ranging from $20 to $30 you’ll have the chance to learn about Rwandan culture, traditional practices well as enjoy music and dance performances.

Rwanda Budget Safari Types

When it comes to planning a safari in Rwanda you’ll find two options to choose from; camping safaris and lodge safaris. Each option offers its experiences and price ranges depending on factors such, as your tour operator, group size and preferred destinations.

Camping Safaris

Camping safaris provide a nature experience at an affordable cost. On average an all inclusive camping safari in Rwanda can range from around US$150 to US$350 per person per day. This fee typically covers transportation, camping equipment, park fees, knowledgeable guides and specified meals. However keep in mind that the costs may vary based on your chosen tour operator and the size of your group. Some operators might offer prices while others may charge extra for services or exclusive locations. If you have a budget and are interested in secluded or highly sought after destinations the costs could go up to around US$450 to US$650 per person, per day.

Lodge Safaris

On the hand if you prefer a blend of comfort and adventure during your experience lodge safaris are an excellent option to consider.
A safari, at a tier lodge in Rwanda typically costs around US$350 per person per day. If you prefer a safari tailored to your preferences the price range can be from US$400 to US$700 or even higher per person, per day. The higher cost usually covers the inclusion of lodges, private guides and exclusive destinations.

Rwanda Budget Friendly Lodges By National Parks

Volcanoes National Park (Gorilla Trekking):

Kinigi Guesthouse:

    • Accommodation: Basic rooms with shared facilities.
    • Price (as of 2023): From US$60 per person per night.
    • Amenities: Restaurant, bar, and proximity to the park headquarters.

Muhabura Hotel:

    • Accommodation: Budget rooms with ensuite bathrooms.
    • Price (as of 2023): From US$100 per person per night.
    • Amenities: Restaurant, bar, and views of the surrounding volcanoes.

Akagera National Park:

Dereva Hotel:

    • Accommodation: Budget rooms with ensuite bathrooms.
    • Price (as of 2023): From US$80 per person per night.
    • Amenities: Restaurant, bar, and close proximity to the park entrance.

Akagera Game Lodge:

    • Accommodation: Affordable rooms with ensuite bathrooms.
    • Price (as of 2023): From US$120 per person per night.
    • Amenities: Restaurant, bar, swimming pool, and views of Lake Ihema.

Nyungwe National Park:

Gisakura Guesthouse:

    • Accommodation: Basic rooms with shared facilities.
    • Price (as of 2023): From US$50 per person per night.
    • Amenities: Restaurant, bar, and proximity to Nyungwe Forest.

Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel:

    • Accommodation: Budget rooms with ensuite bathrooms.
    • Price (as of 2023): From US$100 per person per night.
    • Amenities: Restaurant, bar, and panoramic views of the surrounding area.