Rwanda is a country located in East and Central Africa. It is boarded by Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. The country is elevated and it’s covered in mountains in the western part of the country and savannah in the eastern part. The climate of Rwanda is moderate to subtropical having two dry seasons and two rainy seasons each year. Rwanda is quite a stable, safe landlocked country.
Kigali the capital city of Rwanda is clean and cool. It has various accommodation places you can stay at from as low as $60 a night. You can make arrangements to be picked from the airport. The centre of the city has nice restaurants you can eat meals at places like the Great Wall of China restaurant, Shokola Lite, Africa Bite and Café Magda.
Mention Rwanda to anyone with a small measure of geopolitical conscience, and they’ll no doubt recall images of the horrific genocide that brutalized this tiny country in 1994. But since those dark days a miraculous transformation has been wrought and today the country is one of tribal unity, political stability and a promising future. —–Lonely Planet-
Rwanda is well known for mountain gorillas – an endangered species found only in the border areas between Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The home of the Rwandan gorillas is the Volcanoes national park in Kinigi, close to the border with DRC. Communities around where the gorillas are trekked benefit from as they get a percentage.
Gorilla permits and Monkey passes can be got at the RDB offices in the centre of the town or east of Kigali within the working hours.
Attractions in Rwanda
Nyungwe National Park
It is home to a variety of plants, animals, and habitats. This forest is in the Albertine Rift, a mountainous section of East Africa that, as a whole, harbors more endemic birds, mammals, and amphibians than any other region in Africa. Nyungwe is the largest protected area within the Albertine Rift. Lake Kivu Visible from points in Nyungwe, it is one of the Great Lakes of Africa and the fifteenth largest in the world.
It is a five hours drive from Kigali and you can spend the night at the Hilltop Hotel. It’s a great hotel with an incredible view and welcoming staff and good meals. While here you can do chimp trekking. It can be organized by your chosen tour operator. You have to be prepared for the trek to see the chimpanzees.
Nyungwe is the place for bird watching with about 310 bird species, 26 of these endemic. Nyungwe is still undiscovered. Mount Bigugu is the highest point of the park. Nyungwe is a home to a high concentration of chimpanzees and it’s sometimes a noisy place. Other primates in the park include Lhotse’s and Ruwenzori colobus monkeys.
Highlights of the Park
- Primate tracking adventures
- Hiking and walking trails
- Eco-tourism attractions
- Camp sites near Uwinka Visitor Center
- Orchid Ogling
Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park is located in the northwest of Rwanda and borders Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda and Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo. It’s the place for mountain gorillas in Rwanda. The park is a home to eight volcanoes of the Virunga Mountains (Bisoke, Gahinga, Sabyinyo, Karisimbi and Muhabura which are covered in bamboo and rain forest. Dain Fossey the zoologist used to have a base here and her tomb is here.
- Gorilla safaris – with about 10 gorilla groups currently.
- Climbing of Bisoke volcano
- Climbing of Karisimbi volcano – this is a two-day trek with overnight camping at an altitude of 3,800 m.
- Tour of the lakes and caves.
- Visiting the tomb of Dian Fossey.
- Golden monkey visits.
Kinigi guest house is a great location for gorilla trekking as its only 300m from the RDB offices where the met up is in the morning.
Popular Gorilla Safari Packages in Rwanda
Below are some of the popular gorilla tours and safari packages in Rwanda – Africa.
Akagera National Park
It is located at the border with Tanzania on a low altitude. It has swamps and lakes the follow in the course of Akagera River, referred to as the remote source of the Nile. The Park landscape is diverse with tangled acacia woodland intermingle d with open grassland, hills and thick forest. The following animals can be seen; herds of Buffalos, zebras, elephants, antelopes, impalas, oribi, bushbucks, rare roan, cape eland, Leopard, hyena, hippos, crocodiles.
An aerial game flight is possible above Akagera National Park, which is a truly memorable way to see the wildlife and scenery. It’s an exciting adventure
Highlights of the Park
- Game drive
- Boat ride on Akagera
- Bird Watching
Accomodation at Akagera National Park can be found at Ruzizi Tented Lodge, this tented Lodge is the first of its kind in Rwanda. Ruzizi is built on the shores of Lake Ihema, Rwanda’s second largest lake, in a tract of unique dry forest. Ruzizi Tented Lodge was started in January 2012 and completed for opening in October 2012. There are only 7 tents, allowing a maximum of 14 guests, contributing to a quiet an intimate retreat. The Lodge is entirely powered by solar energy and the lodge prides itself on being environmentally
Akagera Game Lodge is another accommodation option within Akagera National Park. It has fantastic views over Lake Ihema, with a large swimming pool perched on the edge of the savannah.
Kigali Genocide Memorial Center
One of the most known historical events is the tragic Rwandan Genocide which took place for 100 days in April. The Kigali Genocide Memorial center in Kigali commemorates the genocide, and explores other genocides around the world. The genocide memorial is a place for everyone to reflect on the past and the future. The memorial opened in April 2004, ten years after the genocide. The Aegis Trust, a UK based organizing dedicated to preventing genocides, created the concept for the memorial and today they manage it.
Entry is free of charge. A useful audio guide is available for 9000RWF and a tour takes about one hour. The memorial is open every day from 8am to 5pm, but the last entry is at 4pm. Rwanda has many fascinating museums and memorials that are worth visiting on your trip.
Many other cities and town have their own genocide memorials and you can ask for directions at any tourism information stand.
Congo Nile Trail
The Congo Nile Trail is an exciting ten day hiking experience, which covers a wide range of fascinating attractions on Lake Kivu shores, with a distance of 227 Kilometers stretching from Rubavu to Rusizi via Karongi and Nyamasheke districts.
The trail offers among other attractions the best coffee and tea experiences, with sceneries beautiful beyond imagination. The Congo Nile trail includes eight amazing base camps, two extra ordinary paths and four bonus diverse sub trails, which are all, added value that make up this breath taking hiking experience a life time one.