Discover Rwanda’s iconic destinations
Found between the iconic safari destinations of Kenya and Tanzania, Rwanda offers guests some of the best primate tracking on the planet – set against the backdrop of its endless green hills and soaring mountainsides.
With over half of the world’s remaining mountain gorilla population, it’s no surprise that the majority of guests visit Rwanda to track and view our highly endangered cousins. Rwanda is superb for primates in general, including the fun-loving Sykes monkey, the Golden monkey and the boisterous chimpanzee in the Nyungwe Forest.
Despite a turbulent past, Rwanda is a safe and friendly destination – testament to the resilience of its people. For guests seeking a deeply enriching safari, Rwanda offers an experience that is difficult to find anywhere
DESTINATIONS TO VISIT
NYUNGWE FOREST NATIONAL PARK
The remarkably accessible Nyungwe Forest National Park contains the largest remaining tract of montane rainforest in East Africa. Montane rainforests are a rare and unique ecosystem, found only in mountainous areas above 1,000m/3,281ft within the tropical belt. The main attraction is primates including chimpanzees. Another highlight is the suspended canopy walk, offering a bird’s eye view into the dense forest.
Although not a classic safari destination, Nyungwe Forest National Park has a good variety of animals. Forest wildlife is often difficult to spot, but primates are the exception. Thirteen species are present, including chimpanzees and Rwenzori colobus monkeys which can both be tracked on separate activities. Another highlight is the terrestrial l’Hoest’s monkey which can often be found along the main road and in the campsite.
VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
Volcanoes National Park (also known as Parc National des Volcans) is arguably the best place in the world to observe the critically endangered mountain gorilla. This is where Dian Fossey started the habituation of these gentle giants decades ago. Other activities in the park include golden monkey trekking, a hike to Diane Fossey’s former camp, and the more strenuous volcano summit.
Aside from mountain gorillas, a habituated troop of golden monkeys can be tracked. This rare species is an Albertine Rift endemic. Buffalo and elephant are quite common in the forest, but they are skittish and rarely seen. Smaller animals present include bushbuck, bushpig, giant forest hog, black-fronted duiker and spotted hyena.
AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK
Akagera NP is Rwanda’s only savannah reserve and is again a Big Five destination after the recent reintroductions of lion and black rhino. Other animals include elephant, buffalo, giraffe and hippo. In terms of pure wildlife viewing, Akagera can’t quite compete with the more famous parks in Kenya and Tanzania. However, the park is very scenic and the birdlife is particularly rewarding.
Wildlife numbers are on the increase in Akagera NP and animals are slowly becoming less skittish (problems have included human encroachment and poaching). Buffalos are easily seen, and elephants are quite common. Leopards are around, but very secretive. Lions were reintroduced from South Africa in 2015 and there were 19 in the park as of early 2018, along with the same number of black rhino, which were reintroduced in 2017.
The Kigali city tour offers you an authentic outlook of Kigali which hosts some of the “thousand hills” in Rwanda. You can take this tour as part of your Rwanda safaris like gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking, Rwanda cultural tour or Rwanda birding safari where you can add one day Kigali city tour or half day city tour. Kigali is the capital city of Rwanda and the country’s vibrant commercial center with all year round moderate climate allowing you to visit any time of the year. It is one of the cleanest and safest of Africa’s cities attracting numerous visitors and investors yearly. In the recent past it has hosted several high level conferences and activities bringing a number of delegates from all over the world.