Best Places To Visit In Rwanda
Looking for the best places to visit in Rwanda for safari? Rwanda is among the smallest countries on the continent of Africa, its genocide ended in 1994. Then from there, Rwanda has been increasing in all sectors of the economy. The country is called “a land of thousand hills” Rwanda has improved in the development of agriculture, tourism, and infrastructures. The capital city of Rwanda is Kigali and it is the 3rd most organized and cleanest city than others in Africa. The new government has favored the growing tourism industry due to the increased number of tourists. Rwanda is seen as a good example that other African countries can follow because of its great economic transformation, good governance structure, stability, and peace.
When it comes to tourism, the Rwanda Development Board has support in promoting her tourist destination and national park. The Board has also teamed up with Arsenal Football Club to promote their tourist destinations by using the club’s official kit. Now Rwanda is known by many people worldwide and this is the reason why the number of tourists increasing in the country. The development of the tourism industry has also helped in the improvement of the tourism infrastructure like hotels, lodges, airports, roads, and hospitals.
Rwanda National parks
Rwanda has only 4 national parks and these parks offer something special in terms of wildlife, natural setting, and terrain. For instance, the Akagera national park offers an amazing experience because it is the only park in the country where one can sight the big 5 mammals which includes; buffaloes, elephants, leopards, lions, and rhino, volcanoes national park consists of bamboo and montane forests with the unique mountain gorillas which the most tourist attraction in the park. Gishwati- Mukura and Nyungwe national parks offer similar wildlife and environment, wildlife like smaller primates and chimpanzees. But the Nyungwe forest national park has other tourist attractions which are not in Gishwati-Mukura national park like the forest canopy walk and the high concentration of primates.
The following are the 4 national parks in Rwanda and other best places to visit in Rwanda for a holiday tour or safari;
Volcanoes National Park.
The Volcanoes national park trenches to the Virunga conservation areas. The northwestern region of Rwanda is where this amazing park is found. It is also near the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. Volcanoes national park is found in the Musanze district which covering about 107 kilometers from the capital Kigali. The park has a hilly land with bamboo and montane forest which makes it an amazing home for mountain gorillas. Golden monkeys and mountain gorillas are increasing in the forest because of the very cool temperatures, dense forests, and mountainous landscape. The forest is home to over 320 mountain gorillas with 10 habituated gorilla families which are already for tourism. These primates are critically endangered and only about 1000 remain on the earth. If mountain gorillas are not protected, they could easily become extinct. This is the reason why volcanoes national park was established to protect and conserve them. Other natural habitats for mountain gorillas are Virunga national park in Congo, Bwindi forest, and Mgahinga National Park of Uganda. Volcanoes national park is popularly known as a home to mountain gorillas but there are also other wildlife species to see and these include; hyenas, bushbucks, buffaloes, duikers, hyenas plus several primate species such as golden monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, and colobus monkeys. The park is also a good ideal for bird watching with over 176 bird species. Volcanoes national is blessed with a lot of tourist attractions, it is even home to five volcanoes which include Muhabura, Gahinga, Karisimbi, Sabinyo, and Bisoke. The major tourist activities in the park are golden monkey trekking, mountain gorilla trekking, hiking one of the five volcanoes, and visiting the grave of Dian Fossey and others.
Nyungwe forest national park
Nyungwe forest is one of the national parks in Rwanda and it is the second park in the country after Volcanoes national park. It is found in southwestern Rwanda on the border of Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Nyungwe forest is among the newest national park in the country because it was established in 2004. It is also covered by Afro-montane forests and equatorial and its afro- montane is the largest than other destinations in Africa. Nyungwe forest national park is a natural habitat for 75 mammals, 13 primate species, and about 300 bird species. The most tourist activities to do in the park are forest canopy, small primate tracking, chimpanzee trekking, bird watching, while on your primates tracking, you can see the chimpanzees, Angola colobus monkeys, silver monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabeys, vervet monkeys, golden monkeys, black and white monkeys, and Mona monkeys. A nyungwe forest is also a good place for bird lovers and they can sight birds like Rwenzori turaco, Regal sunbirds, Rwenzori nightjar, Chaplin’s flycatchers, Rwenzori batis, Rockefeller’s sunbird, and others. The Canopy walk in Nyungwe is an amazing experience that cannot be found elsewhere in Africa.
Akagera national park
This amazing national park is found in the eastern region of Rwanda. Its landscape and wildlife species are different from other parks in the country. The park is covered by swamps, lakes, savannah grassland, and woodland. Akagera national park is one of the oldest national parks in Rwanda, as it was established in 1934. The park is commonly known as a home to 5 big animals like Lions, Buffaloes, Elephants, Rhinos, and leopards. Other mammals to see in the park are hyenas, giraffes, hippos, warthogs, zebras, antelopes, kobs, and crocodiles. There are also water bodies in Akagera national park which includes; lake Shikani, lake Ihema, and river Kagera. The common tourist activities are bird watching, game drives, and boat cruises along Lake Ihema.
Gishwati-Mukura national park.
These are different forests and one is known as Gishwati and Mukura. These two wildlife conservation areas were combined in 2015 by the government of Rwanda and become a full national park. Gishwati-Mukura national park is the newest park in Rwanda and this is the reason why it is not more visited than other national parks in the country. It is home to golden monkeys, chimpanzees, red-tailed monkeys, L’hoest monkeys, and blue monkeys. The government is also planning to positions it as the best place for birding in Rwanda. Apart from primates tracking, you can do nature walks and see a lot of bird species, flowers, reptiles, and butterflies.
Other interesting places that you can visit in Rwanda on a tour
Kigali city tours
Since the end of the genocide ended, Kigali city has developed to the extent that it is the 3rd city in Africa because is one of the most organized and cleanest cities. Activities to do while on a tour of the city are visiting several areas like historical sites, the conference oval, architectural structures, restaurants, night clubs, the genocide memorial center, Amahoro stadium, city markets, the former presidential palace, and the hotel des Mille Collines of the Hotel Rwanda movie.
This amazing lake is situated in the western region of the country. This lake is popular because of the boiling methane gas that lies under the shores. The lake offers beautiful views, resorts, and beaches. Lake Kivu is blessed with a lot of tourist activities one can do while at the lake and these include; boat riding, swimming, photography, picnics, sunbathing, sightseeing, and island hopping. You do not need to worry about where to spend your night while at Lake Kivu because the lake is near one of the best hotels in Rwanda which is known as Serena hotel and it offers classic services.
Visit and explore the different sites in museums, cultural centers, and Kigali Genocide memorials sites
Besides visiting Rwanda national parks, there are other best places to visit in Rwanda for a safari tour such as the unique culture. Rwanda’s culture is indisputable. Though genocide ended in 1994 it has left unforgettable history, which helped to unite Rwandans. Rwanda has one culture known as Kinyarwanda but before the genocide, they were separated into cultural centers like Hutu, Tusi, and the Batwa. You can see this new unity when visiting the Iby’iwacu cultural village in Musanze district. These days they are known as the Gorilla Guardians Villages. The Centre presents all about the Kinyarwanda culture. The Centre is amazing because of the musical performances, and wonderful traditional dance. On your tour, you will also get an opportunity to visit women’s craft projects, local brick layering factories, traditional medicine, local beer makers, and others.
Besides the culture, there are a lot of historical sites and museums in Rwanda which are found in Kigali city plus other areas. They all related to the events during the genocide and some museums presenting things of Rwanda’s present and past. Some of the major genocide memorial centers are the Murambi genocide memorial, the Bisesero genocide memorial site, the Gisozi genocide memorial Centre and the Nyamata church. Those who are interested in visiting museums can go to the Kandt house museum, the King’s palace museum, and others.
Should you have need to find more information about the best places to visit in Rwanda for a safari holiday or tour, just get in touch with Africa Adventure Vacations; our customer relations department will be able to assist.