All about Rwanda Safaris; Would you like to travel to Africa on luxurious vacation? Then, Rwanda should be your next safari destination. This beautiful country is particularly famous for being a luxurious gorilla trekking destination. This exciting activity is one of highlights that make Rwanda safaris worthwhile and memorable. Rwanda is located on the edge of the central volcanic tropics and lies within the Great Western Albertine Rift Valley. Another name for this East African country is “A land of a thousand hills.”
Rwanda has only 4 National Parks which include; Akagera National Park, Volcanoes National Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park and Giswati-Mukara National Park. Visiting these parks will reward you with amazing encounters such as gorilla trekking, wildlife viewing, chimpanzee tracking, mountain climbing, bird watching, canopy walks, exciting boat rides and the Kigali city tour where you will explore the genocide memorial museum.
This spectacular safari destination welcomes all groups of travelers; below budget, on budget and above budget, to fully enjoy all the wonderful adventures therein. It is also important to appreciate that since the bloody 1994 massacre, the country has registered a significant level of development as compared to some of the neighboring countries.
Highlights of a Rwandan Safari
There are various highlights that make Rwanda safaris remarkable and they include;
This is one of Africa’s most tremendous tourist adventures. Rwanda is among the few countries that is blessed to host the world’s remaining mountain gorillas. The tropical steep slopes of Volcanoes National Park are home to half of the gorillas living in the Virunga Conservation Area. The park has over 10 habituated gorilla families, which means that over 80 trekkers can visit the gorillas at a time (each group must have only 8 individuals).
Rolling into the thick forest, trekkers walk through the swampy valleys and bamboos searching searching for these amazing endangered creatures. After forming groups of 8 trekkers and going through the briefing session, the activity then begins under the leadership of an armed ranger guide. After spending hours of hiking and sloping you will finally meet the gentle giants and have an hour in their presence.
Golden monkey tracking
The golden monkeys are beautiful endangered primates which are endemic to the Central African forests. Golden monkeys live in larger communities and tend to live in high places, however, these primates are habituated for the close-up encounter.
Rwanda is endowed with several primates and larger apes. Chimpanzee trekking, just like gorilla trekking, offers a rewarding and satisfying safari. Chimpanzees are residents of Nyungwe Forest National Park and are habituated so that travelers can have a safe and exciting close up encounter.
Besides chimpanzees, Nyungwe Forest National Park is home to several other primates species such as the L’Hoest monkeys which are endemic to the Albertine Rift.
Wildlife game viewing is one of Africa’s major highlight of any safari. The Akagera National Park is Rwanda’s center for game viewing. In fact, a safari vacation to Rwanda without Akagera is an incomplete trip. That said, an adventure in savannah parks on a game drive can be such a perfect experience.
Game viewing activities include, game drives, boat cruise and nature walks, which are all possible at Akagera National Park. You will definitely get an opportunity to see the Big Five animals, herds of antelopes, zebras, giraffes, hippos, and many others. There are also several bird species that will supplement on the perfect view during your adventure.
Visiting the Genocide museum
Rwanda faced the most miserable time of the 1994, where the massacre of the minority Hutu people was declared by the Tutsi. After the peace was restored, several genocide museums were constructed to commemorate the innocent people that lost their lives in the Massacre. Right from Kigali to Musanze and other en-routes, there are mass graves and museums that narrate the horrible time that once happened in Rwanda.
These stunning museums were constructed in the memories of over millions of people who were buried in a single mass grave. The museums further explain the story behind the brutal bloodshed of the 1994 genocide. The memorial site serves to educate about how the Genocide against the Tutsi took shape and examines genocide in the 20th century.
Museums include Kigali genocide museum, the Murambi Genocide Memorial Centre, Bisesero Genocide Memorial Centre and Ntarama Genocide Memorial Centre, the Nyamata Genocide Memorial Centre and the Genocide Memorial Centre in Nyarubuye.
All National Parks in Rwanda
Rwanda currently has four national parks that top the list of the best tourist destinations in the country.
Volcanoes National Park
This park is located in the Northern side of Rwanda. It is formed of dormant volcanos and rolling landscape that has statured Rwanda as a land of a thousand hills. This beautiful rain tropical volcanic park is a continuation of the Virunga Conservation Areas. It is also one of the most amazing volcanic tropics that harbors some of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas.
The park’s fame started earlier during the times of featured USA Zoologist Dian Fossey who strived to see that gorillas have a next generation. Volcanoes is a rich montane eco-system and a UNESCO heritage site due to unique central African flora. The park was named after a chain of dormant volcanoes that brands it like the Karisimbi, Bisoke and the Sabinyo which overlooks all the three neighboring countries.
The volcanic tropical rainforest is home to the endangered mountain gorillas, endemic to the golden monkeys, and as well hosts over 400 bird species, alongside several primate species. Volcanoes National Park is a luxury gorilla trekking destination. Other adventures done here are; golden monkey tracking, volcanic hiking, visiting Dian Fossey’s tomb among others.
Nyungwe National Park
Nyungwe Forest National Park is rated to be among Africa’s oldest forests, this is attributed to its biodiversity and spectacular beauty. Besides the beauty, it’s Rwanda’s primate capital with about 13 primate species recorded as well as the chimpanzees (which are a major attraction).
There is also a canopy walkway in the forest which is perfect to viewing beauty’s beauty from above. Nyungwe forest is endowed with about 1,068 plant species and 140 orchids, at least 120 butterfly species and almost 75 mammals.
Major tourist activities at Nyungwe Forest National Park are chimpanzee tracking, forest walks, canopy walks, and bird watching.
Akagera National Park
The Akagera National Park is a point where the East African savannah stretches to the Central African tropics. The largest and only savannah park in Rwanda located in eastern region bordering Tanzania. The Akagera National Park is a low-lying plain decorated with Savanah, Woodlands, wetlands and several lakes.
Real savannah safari are experienced in areas, Akagera National Park is a perfect idea for game viewing. And chance to watch some of the Big Five Games is only the Akagera savannah plain. One of the richest parks in terms of accommodating several of the species.
This rich eco-system ranges from savannah, woodlands, swamps, several lakes and rivers, and montane forests. Among the water bodies is the Kagera River where the park instigates its name and the Lake Ihema known for several unique adventures in Rwanda.
The best time to visit Rwanda
Rwanda being placed in the tropical-savannah position where the Central African tropics meets with the East African savannah makes Rwanda a country that has a warm climate. The country mainly has two weather conditions drier and wet seasons. Rwanda’s best time for safaris is always the drier season that happens between June to September. The drier season is fittest for watching the mountain gorillas, as trekkers forgo the muddy struggles. However, the country being a warm country into the equatorial realms can be visited all year around.
Uniqueness about Rwanda Safaris
Africa’s Luxury destination
Rwanda was position a luxury gorilla tracking destination considering various factors. Though, gorilla trekking is Rwanda’s most selling adventure activity, it’s important to note that gorilla trekking in Rwanda is not any ones wish. The rates of a permit to trek in Rwanda sometimes is the full budget to some traveler. Gorilla trekking in Rwanda a permit costs $1,500 to trek per day. It’s over doubles the counterparts like Uganda and DR Congo. Rwanda has over 10 habituated gorilla families, meaning a reasonable number of trekkers have a chance to find the gorillas than any other destination with the Virunga Conservation Area.
World class canopy walks
The world’s best canopy walkway, it’s set above one of the Central African misty tropical rainforest. Nyungwe scoops a position on the top 5 best tourist destinations in Rwanda. Looking out for the best places to enjoy your relished safari trip in Rwanda, then think of walking on the swinging 70m suspension. The old fashioned hyped bridge is a point to watch the hovering mist, over 13 primate species and feeling the melodies of birds under tree branches. The Nyungwe Forest National Park is the perfect destination of watching the endangered chimpanzee species. The all canopy walk starts with hiking down within the sticky grounds for a walk of about an hour, to reach the swinging canopy.
Meeting Rwanda’s newly born baby gorilla which are named every year. The Kwita Izina is the brought from the traditional naming custom of the Rwandans children in the presence of families and friends. This is a global event which is organized annually and attracting several iconic ruling, political, and influencing figures. The gorilla Naming event is a unique feature only for Rwanda that celebrates nature. Several iconic features lead the naming session, for example, the Kwita Izina 2022 was led by King Charles III, who by then was a prince.
Gisozi Genocide Memorial
Rwanda’s largest holocaust museum and the largest in East Africa located in the Kigali city, Rwanda’s capital. In 1994, about 500,000 to one million people were killed in a red blood human massacre. The Rwanda holocaust genocide happened when the extremist Hutu government launched a massacre against the minority Tutsi.
This devilish mass killing occurred openly throughout the land of Rwanda in church, schools, government buildings, homes, roads and any gathering places. After this kind of violence, and the set stability. Several museums demonstrating the evil act were built among which is the Gisozi genocide museum. The museum contains several of historical artefacts from the genocide.
Rwanda is almost the only African country in the sub-Sahara region which uses one local language. Not like other African countries that have several languages spoken from different ethnic groups. The Twa, Hutu and Tutsi people all use Kinyarwanda language as their traditional language of communication. However, Rwanda uses two foreign languages, French and English which was added recently.