Rwanda is a hidden gem of flora and fauna as a few people know about it but whoever visits this amazing country only has special remarks for it.
Things to See
The Mountain Gorillas
For starters, Rwanda is a home to the endangered species of mountain gorillas which are located in the forested Virunga ranges in the north eastern part. It has a third of the population of mountain gorillas in the world. The world has less than 900 mountain gorillas and Rwanda has about 320. The mountain gorillas are one of the most popular tourism products in the world due to the lifetime experience one cultivated on the encounter. These animals are so special as they are so intelligent and one may thinks that they are real humans the way they relate socially within their families. They have so much respect for the silver back the alpha male gorillas and everything around the family rotates around him. They also have the ability to use tools like tree branches and leaves to build their homes and also gather food. Words cannot explain the real gorilla safari experience unless someone physically visits the mountain gorillas in the bamboo forests of the Volcanoes National Park in northern Rwanda.
Moving away from the gorillas, Rwanda has the largest montane forest in East Africa Nyungwe forest. This a forest that inhabits 13 different species of primates the most notable ones are chimpanzees, red tailed monkey, black and white monkeys and grey cheeked mangabey. These primates are amazing to track as they are so playful and also very intelligent in the way they do their day to day activities the chimpanzees in particular. While in this amazing forest, the visitor is able to encounter beautiful bird species and butterflies that color up the sky. Another unique attraction in this forest is the canopy walk, here the visitor trek around the forest on an 50 meter elevated trail from the ground and have the opportunity to have a good aerial view of the forest.
Rwanda’s authentic traditional culture is worth to experience. This can be encountered by visiting the different traditional and historical sites of Rwanda like the genocide memorial centre, the market place, the presidential palace, museums and also the cultural villages like Iby’iwacu. Getting to know more about Rwanda and mix and mingle with the traditional cultural of Rwanda gets one close to nature. With meeting the mountain gorillas, the primates in Nyungwe and mixing and mingling with traditional culture one gets to know mama nature more.
Places to Visit
Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes has a wealth of adventure after you’ve trekked with gorillas: hike the Dian Fossey Tomb Trail or explore the Musanze caves.
The “Parc National de Volcans” (or PNV as it’s known by locals) lies along the Virunga Mountains, with 8 ancient volcanoes, which are shared by Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Just a short two hour drive from Rwanda’s capital of Kigali, the park is a central location for exploring some distinctly Rwandan experiences. While a visit to the mountain gorillas is often at the top of a bucket list, the dramatic landscape also offers thrilling hiking and visits to the fascinating golden monkeys.
Enjoy lakeside sports at Lake Kivu – Rwanda’s coastal adventure hub! Wind-surfing, swimming, or boating.
If you’re surprised that Rwanda has a beach – you’re not alone. Rubavu (also known as Gisenyi) is a waterfront town located on the shores of Lake Kivu, one of Africa’s great bodies of water. At only an hour away from Volcanoes National Park, Rubavu is a great way to unwind after trekking with the gorillas and golden monkeys.
Located in the South West corner of Rwanda, Nyungwe National Park is an untouched natural rainforest that is filled with exciting biodiversity.
This majestic rainforest is filled with nature and wildlife experiences for you to emerge yourself in. Hiking or even biking the beautiful terrain, trekking to the famous chimpanzees, experiencing the canopy walk, witnessing beautiful birds, relaxing by waterfalls are just a glimpse of activities that Nyungwe offers.
Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre
Kigali is the dynamic capital at the heart of Rwanda.
The people of Rwanda embrace peace and reconciliation. They are committed to fight the ideology of genocide. The memorials found throughout the country are moving testimonies in memory of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and the people who lost their lives. Inaugurated on the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, the Kigali Genocide Memorial at Gisozi is where 259,000 victims have been buried. This memorial also serves to educate how the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi took shape and examines genocide in the 20th century.
Akagera National Park
A stunning National Park where the past has been revived
Akagera National Park is located in the north east of Rwanda along the border with Tanzania. It is named after the Akagera River that flows along its eastern boundary and feeds into a labyrinth of lakes of which the largest is Lake Ihema. The forest fringed lakes, papyrus swamps, savannah plains and rolling highlands combine to make Akagera amongst the most scenic of reserves anywhere in Africa. It has exceptional levels of biodiversity and forms the largest protected wetland in central Africa.
Congo Nile Trail
The Congo Nile Trail is a trail along Lake Kivu that extends from Rubavu, continues through Rutsiro via the Karongi, Nyamasheke districts and ends at Rusizi District.
227 km (141 miles) of beautiful landscapes, including rolling hills and clear waters. The entire trek can be completed in a 10- day hike. However, the trip can be done in sections if travelers do not have the time to complete the entire trail. Trails give stunning views of the Lake Kivu coastline and offer adventurous travelers an exciting way to discover Rwanda.