Travel Guide to Rwanda : Rwanda dubbed as the Land of a thousand of hills is a great African Safari Destination offering spectacular wildlife encounters from tracking chimpanzees and monkeys in Nyungwe National Park to trekking deep into the forests of Volcanoes national park searching for endangered mountain gorillas.
In addition to wildlife and mountain gorillas, there are so many reasons to visit Rwanda – the Land of a Thousand Hills such as visiting and relaxing on the shores of Lake Kivu, hike or cycle along the Congo – Nile Trail, visit rural villages and interact with the locals, trek to Dian Fossey’s grave at Karisoke or take a walk tour of Nyamirambo in Kigali City.
Where to go in Rwanda
Best sites to visit on a Rwanda safari include Kigali City, Volcanoes National Park “Parc Nationals des Volcans”, Nyungwe Forest National Park, Akagera National Park and Lake Kivu.
What to do in Rwanda
Rwanda offers a number of memorable and exciting safari activities do during your Rwanda holiday and these are as follows
- Visit the Genocide Memorial Center in Kigali, the center is a permanent memorial to many people who lost their lives during the 1994 genocide
- Track the endangered mountain gorillas and golden monkeys in the thick forests of Volcanoes National Park
- Trek to Dian Fossey’s grave located in a beautiful meadow nestled between the Karisimbi and Visoke Volcanoes and learn more about gorilla conservation in Rwanda and Dian Fossey’s personal story and her conservation efforts.
- Visit and see the spectacular Ndaba Falls at Lake Kivu
- Take a walking tour on the streets of Nyamirambo in Kigali with the Nyamirambo Women’s Center, a local NGO that provides free education for women and promotes gender equality in Rwanda
- Hike through the dense forests of Nyungwe National Park to track chimpanzees, L’Hoest’s monkeys, owl fenced monkets blue and golden monkeys and black and white colobus monkeys.
- Hike or cycle along the Congo – Nile Trail, a 227 kilometers long trail running from Gisenyi to Kamembe along the scenic shores of the beautiful Lake Kivu.
- Hike the three Virunga volcanoes of Mount Gahinga, Mount Sabyinyo or Mont Muhavura
- Have a walk across Nyungwe’s Canopy Walkway – a 200 meter bridge suspended between giant trees, 50 meters above the forest
- Visit Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village in Volcanoes National Park and Kitabi Cultural Village located at the entrance to Nyungwe Forest National Park
- Enjoy nature walks and bike rides around Lake Kivu
- Birding and butterfly watching in Nyungwe National Park
- Visit the Caplaki Craft co-operative in Kigali where you will find local craftsmen in wooden huts selling handcrafts
- Relax on the stunning palm fringed beaches of Lake Kivu, kayak on the calm waters or take a boat trip to the nearby islands.
Travel Guide to Rwanda : Gorilla Tracking Rwanda
Gorilla trekking is the most sough for safari adventure in Volcanoes national park offering visitors an encounter with the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat, to participate in gorilla trekking you need to have a gorilla permit.
Gorilla permits in Rwanda currently cost US$ 1,500 per person, only 80 permits are available each day.
During the trekking, you are escorted by professional guide and a tracker into the forest’s path in search of your allocated gorilla family, the high altitude and the steep, slippery trails can make the trek exhausting but it is definitely worth the effort to spend time with mountain gorillas in the wild.
Duration and difficulty of the trek is one of the key elements in determining which gorilla family you wish to undertake, a gorilla trek lasts from 30 minutes to 8 hours depending on the exact location of the specific gorilla family you are tracking.
You do not need to be super fit, however it is helpful if you have a reasonable level of fitness.
You must be 15 years of age to track gorillas
When to Visit Rwanda
Rwanda’s climate consists of four seasons that is long rainy season (March – May), long dry season (June – September), short rainy season (December – February). Throughout the seasons, temperatures don’t vary much with warm days and cool nights particularly at altitude.
If your main reason to stay to visit Rwanda is track mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park in the north – west of the country, the best time to travel is during the dry period from June to September, although you can track gorilla throughout the year.
The rainy season from March to May and June to September are the best times for tracking chimpanzees.