Commonly referred to as the Land of a thousand hills, Rwanda offers remarkable and unique safari experiences. From the stunning rolling hills to friendly people, Rwanda is blessed with an amazing biodiversity. These range from amazing wildlife found in the savannah plains of Akagera National Park and the bird life in the untouched tropical forest of Nyungwe. Rwanda is mostly famous for the endangered mountain gorillas. Tourists who visit Rwanda, testify a clean city (Kigali), high internet penetration – including WI-FI on public buses, a developed road network, and high security. The small landlocked country has much more to offer. Below are some of the reasons why you should visit Rwanda.
Trips To Inspire
Safari Attractions in Rwanda
THE GENTLE GIANT; MOUNTAIN GORILLA
Mountain gorillas are the highlights of any African Safari. These endangered gorillas are trekked in the Volcanoes National Park. The conservation efforts of Rwanda have greatly improved the gorilla’s survival. They are threatened by the loss of habitat and poaching. Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is restricted to a certain number of visitors per day. Due to the high demand, you are advised to book your gorilla safari in advance.
On your Rwanda gorilla tours, you will get to trek through the thick vegetation in search of the gorilla family. Upon sighting a family, you are allowed an hour with the gorillas, as your learn about their family formations, background and their closeness to humans. You get to watch as they feed, play and groom one another. The brown eyes of the big silverback are intriguing, as if he is looking into your soul. The young are playful, swinging from tree branches. The juveniles can be seen beating chests, a practice they imitate from elders – the silverbacks. Others will come close to you, playfully tagging at your trousers.
DIAN FOSSEY’S HOMESTEAD
Compliment your gorilla trek with a visit to Dian Fossey’s former research home. Dian is famous for her contribution in gorilla conservation and protection her work in studying these primates. During her study, she was able to gain the trust of the gorillas that had been traumatized by constant poaching. More to that, her staff played a big part in protecting the gorillas through patrols.
On your Rwanda tours, please ensure to take a tour to Dian Fossey’s grave shrine. Following in her footsteps, endears one to her, through her conservation story. A guided hike, booked in advance, through thickets of the forest, takes you to Dian’s resting place alongside her favorite gorilla Digit and her gorilla friends. The time spent at her grave site will create intimate safari moments.
Do you at times wonder where to enjoy the outdoors? Rwanda is the perfect destination for you. Rwanda offers guided adventure hiking tours. Nyungwe National Park and Volcanoes National Park offer spectacular trails leading to breathtaking landscapes. For experienced hikers, Mount Karisimbi offers a challenging hike. The peak rises to an elevation of 4,507 meters and is snowcapped. A two-day hike to the top in well worth it! This mountain top gets you to view other peaks such as East Africa. However, the most visited mountain in the Virunga region is Mount Bisoke. The hike is about 6-7 hours and takes you through the farm lands, forests and the reward of a crater lake is at the summit.
The hikes in Nyungwe national park offer memorable trails through untouched flora and fauna fresh water springs, fall and old century tree species. Primates, birds, waterfalls, towering trees and canopy trails, offer unrivalled experiences from tree tops. On your Rwanda tours, you can visit the former gold mine or indulge in the photography of the wildflowers on the Igishigishigi Trail.
Although Rwanda is famous for her mountain gorillas, the country is home to various species of primates. These include; golden monkeys, chimpanzees, blue monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys grey checked mangabeys, l’hoest’s monkeys, vervet monkeys and many more. Nyungwe National Park is the prime destination for chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda. These apes are human like, in facial structures and behavior. They share more than 95% of their DNA with humans. An encounter with these primates is a thrilling experience. The trek through the forest with lead you to cross paths with the chimp families as they feed and interact with other. Black and white colobus monkeys can also be seen at the edge of the Nyungwe forest during your trek. The expert guides will help with locating families on your trek.
Golden monkeys are another primate species that offer thrilling encounters on your African Safari. They are golden in color and live in the bamboo forests of volcanoes national park. They are swift and need a fast and study hand to get nice clear pictures.
CULTURE OF RWANDA
Heritage Safaris strives to ensure the preservation of the Rwanda culture through coordinating the tours within local communities. During your cultural tour, you will interact with the locals their beliefs, ancient art, music and crafts. You can take part in local beer making or a mock session of a traditional wedding ceremony.
More to that, these tours are a source of income to the local communities surrounding parks. Community tours are another way to support and empower their local community projects such as schools, health centers, other welfare projects.
Rwanda offers spectacular wildlife safaris including the Big 5 safaris similar to those in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Akagera national park is the ultimate wildlife destination in Rwanda. With the reintroduction of lions in 2015 and rhinos in 2017, the park is able to offer more variety of wildlife. Due to the conservation efforts of the government, the wildlife in the park has thrived. Over 500 bird species are found in Akagera making it a birder’s haven.
With over 1200 mammal species, lions, hyenas and leopards are the major predators in the park. The herbivores include; zebras, waterbucks, sitatunga, eland, duikers, hippos, elephants, topi and many more. Primates include; blue monkeys, bush babies, olive baboons and vervet monkeys. Our Rwanda Tours take you to the prime destinations for spectacular wildlife encounters.
Kigali the capital city of Rwanda, is a business hub of the country. It has become a conferencing hub, most recently. Adorned with scenic hillsides, the city is carefully established on several hills planned. A section of the town is reserved for administrative and government infrastructure while another section is reserved for local markets and shops. Kigali is the cleanest city in Africa. It is also one of the friendliest cities in Africa with a youthful population. On your Rwanda tours, a cosmopolitan ambience compliments your wilderness adventures. More to that, the activities around Kigali city are a blend of both culture and history. As Rwanda finds its way out of a tainted past, Kigali offers a beacon of hope for a brighter future.
Every corner, every winding road avails new adventure. The artistically displayed artifacts at the various museums and art galleries allow you to explore the country’s rich culture. For the geology enthusiasts, the three sections of the Richard Kandt museum offer amazing displays of the Country’s ecological resources. The Inema Art center reveals more about the modern. The Ivuka Arts center offers you the chance to have front row seats as the craftsmen bring their creations to life. Nivo Art gallery, a project that shows how art is helping street children is another great place to visit. Also add varieties such as Envision Rwanda, Choose Kigali…., Azizi life, etc
In 1994, the world watched as the unthinkable happened. The country was torn apart by the genocide that claimed over 1 million lives. However, as the phoenix raises, Rwanda has emerged united and stronger as a people. In commemoration of the lives lost, memorial centers were set up. The Kigali Genocide memorial gives a 2-3 hour orientation of events that occurred on this site. On this memorial site, 259,000 people were buried here. Every display offers an emotional story of Rwanda. In there, is a dedicated section for children who lost their lives. Other genocides like the Holocaust, Bosnia, Armenia, Cambodia and South west Africa are highlighted.
Another chapter is showcased at the Nyanza Genocide memorial. Proceeding by the Belgians’ killing, 2,000 Tutsis including 400 children were taken from the school which acted as a hideout and murdered in nearby garbage dump. The most brutal murders were at Ntarama and Nyamata churches. The remains, the blood stained walls, bullet holes, wooden caskets and sharpened stakes reveal an emotional era in the history of the country. As clients begin their tours, they find it hard to understand the resolve of this country to transcend above it’s tragic past. The joyful welcoming people in Rwanda today strike many in comparison to their dark past. This is largely due to Rwanda’s dedication to a better and brighter future for her people.
RELAX AT THE PRISTINE BEACHES
In contrast to the wildlife, gorilla trekking in the primeval forest and chimpanzee trekking, Rwanda offers relaxing adventure on the pristine beaches of Lake Kivu. Lake Kivu, a 2700 square kilometers mass of water offers some of the best beach adventure in central Africa. Go sailing, fishing and relax to rejuvenate from your adventures on your Rwanda tour.
On the shores of the lake lies Gisenyi, a tranquil lakeside town with amazing accommodations. Relax by the sandy beaches dotted by palm trees. The pine forest on the hills are inviting. Enjoy a nature walk, spot the different bird species and enjoy the magnificent views. Take a swim in the predator free waters. Indulge in the different water activities like canoeing, kayaking and many more. Hike or cycle on the never ending hills that make up Rwanda. The 5-7 day Congo Nile trail is quite an adventure to cyclists and hikers!
With an estimated 700 bird species, Rwanda offers amazing birding safaris. Nyungwe national park is the Rwanda’s ultimate birding destination on your Rwanda Tours. The forest is home to over 310 bird species. Some of these bird species are endemic to the Albertine rift. Some of the birds found here include; Handsome francolins, Regal and blue headed sunbirds, red faced woodlands warblers, Rwenzori Turaco, mountain sooty boubous, strange weavers, Papyrus gonoleks and many more.
Volcanoes national park has 18 recorded bird species, 13 endemic to the Virunga and Rwenzoris. Some of the birds found here include; Red throated wrynecks, black and white mannikins, cinnamon braken warbles, white tailed flycatchers and many more. Akagera National park has her fair share of bird species. Some of the 500 bird species include; Bearded woodpeckers, splendid starlings, African hawk eagles, African open bill storks, martial eagles, western banded snake eagles, white headed vultures and many more.