Rwanda has long been seen as the premiere destination for gorilla tracking, but today more than ever there are dozens of reasons to extend your stay, starting with the 13 species of primates and East Africa’s only canopy walk, all to be found in the dense rainforests of Nyungwe Forest National Park. Still, it’s hardly a surprise that Rwanda developed its reputation for Gorillas; experts estimate that there are only 780 mountain gorillas still in existence anywhere on earth, and one third of these majestic creatures can be found in Volcanoes National Park alone. With the recent re-introduction of lions to Akagera National Park in the east, Rwanda has truly come into its own as a full-fledged safari destination, and to top it all off, it’s not even a day’s drive between each of these world-class attractions.
- Gorilla Trekking - Gorilla tracking in Rwanda is often described as “life changing” and with good reason. With only an estimated 780 Gorillas left in the world, to see these gentle creatures in their natural habitat is a truly unique and unbeatable experience.
- Primate Tracking - Chimpanzees, Black-and-white colobus monkeys, and the endangered Golden monkey.
- Birding - Rwanda is amongst Africa's most exciting birding destinations.
- Within this relatively small and compact country, there over 1450 bird species, of which 27 are Albertine Rift endemics.
- Congo Nile Trail – Lose time along the lake in Rwanda's wildest corner.
- Cultural experiences - Centuries of music, dance, history and hospitality are awaiting you in Rwanda.
- Delve into some natural and cultural lore at the Musanze Caves.
- Safaris - Experience a classic African Safari in beautiful Akagera National Park.
Some ideas of adventures to Rwanda...
As with all the itineraries on our website, these are just examples of what is possible. After listening to you, we will plan your obligation free itinerary taking your budget and individual needs into consideration. Contact us today to start planning your dream adventure to Africa.
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SNEAK PEEK - RWANDA
Area : Rwanda is a landlocked East African country. Its green, mountainous landscape has earned it the nickname “Land of a Thousand Hills.” The renowned Volcanoes National Park is home to mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. Bordering Congo and Uganda, the park encompasses 4,507m Mt. Karisimbi and four other forested volcanoes. Kigali, the nation's sprawling capital, has vibrant restaurants and nightlife.
Population : 11.78 million
Language : Kinyarwanda, English, French
Capital : Kigali
Currency : Rwandan franc
Climate : Rwanda can be visited and enjoyed any time of the year. Temperatures average around 24°C (75°F), except for in the higher mountain areas where it ranges from 10°C to 15°C (50°F to 60°F)
The dry season which lasts from mid-May to mid-October, is the best time to track, hike and mountain climb, however, it is not as “green” as the wet season, which spans the other half of the year.
mid-October to mid-May.
The Northeast has a lot more rain due to the volcanoes being covered in rainforest. Karisimbi (the highest peak in Rwanda at 2,507 meters) is usually covered with snow.
When to go:
Gorilla Trekking - this is during the short dry season from mid-December to early February or over the long dry season months of June to September. These periods offer by far the easiest hiking conditions and the lowest malaria risk.
Chimpanzee trekking - In Nyungwe during the two rainy seasons - mid-February to early June and mid-September to mid-December - as the apes are easier to locate. Food is harder to find in the dry season and the chimp families often range far into the forest interior.
How To Get There
Rwanda's International Airports : The main airport in Rwanda is Kigali International Airport. It is located 10 km East of central Rwanda.
Getting to Rwanda : Kigali currently receives direct flights from Nairobi, Entebbe, Bujumbura, Addis Ababa, Kilimanjaro, Brazaville, Douala, Libreville, Mombasa, Mwanza, Brussels, Amsterdam, Dar es Salaam, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Juba, Lagos, Lusaka, Doha and Dubai.
POINTS OF INTEREST
Kigali : This attractive city and its central location makes it a great base from which to explore the rest of the country. Built across several of Rwanda's thousand hills, Kigali is a modern and scrupulously clean city with many fine cafes, bars and restaurants as well as markets and handicrafts shops.
Nyungwe Forest : This forest covers some 1000 km² in the southwest of Rwanda and is an area of huge biodiversity.
Primates are the main attraction here, with some 13 species identified, including some habituated groups of chimpanzees and colobus monkeys which can be viewed on guided treks through the park. Other primates include L'Hoest's monkey, owl-faced monkey, silver monkey and red-tailed monkey. It is also an excellent place for bird watching with some 270 species found here. There are many diverse and beautiful walking trails throughout Nyungwe Forest which can be explored on guided tours.
Akagera National Park : The park provides a traditional East African safari in a Rwandan setting, located in the savannah landscape along Rwanda's eastern border with Tanzania. Though quite a small park (and not in the same league as the famous East African reserves), it has populations of many of the African mammals of interest including elephant, buffalo, giraffe and hippos, as well as small numbers of leopards and lions. It also has excellent bird watching opportunities with some 530 species noted, such as shoebills and red-faced barbets.
Volcanoes National Park : A forested area in the Virunga Mountains bordering Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This is Rwanda's premier tourist attraction, with the mist-covered volcanoes of the Virungas being one of only two locations in the world where a
habituated family group of mountain gorillas can be tracked (the other is Bwindi National Park in Uganda). It was here that Dian Fossey lived and died, studying and protecting the gorillas, her efforts made famous in the film 'Gorillas in the Mist'. The opportunity to trek to a gorilla family and spend an hour in close proximity observing these remarkable creatures is one of the most thrilling wildlife experiences on Earth.
Lake Kivu : -Runs for 100km along Rwanda's western border with the Congo and is Africa's highest lake at 1460m. There are three main port towns on the Rwandan lakefront. Rubavu (formerly Gisenyi) on the northern shores with beaches on the lake and stunning views of the Virunga volcanoes, is the most developed town for tourists. Karongi (formerly Kibuye) towards the centre of the lake is the most beautiful of the lake ports and easily reached on a good quality road from Kigali, while Rusizi (formerly Cyangugu) in the south is the most remote and least visited port town. Lake Kivu is an excellent place for relaxation for a few days between gorilla tracking, safaris and trekking or simply to escape the big city of Kigali.
Genocide Memorials : Rwanda has made remarkable progress since the 1994 genocide but it's important for both Rwandans and visitors alike to learn about what happened and remember the victims.
Virunga Mountains : The main attraction for visitors to the Virunga Volcanoes is the chance to track mountain gorillas. However there are also several excellent trekking options here with several of the volcanoes being opened to hikers.