Known as ”The Land of a Thousand Hills”, Rwanda is surprisingly rewarding. This remarkable country is blessed with extraordinary scenic beauty, spectacular biodiversity and astonishing wildlife that roam its volcanoes, montane rainforest and sweeping plains.
Discover the haunting beauty of Rwanda’s dense rain forests, the open-hearted warmth of its people and the life-affirming presence of its mountain gorillas. The Volcanoes National Park is home to the endangered mountain gorilla and a mosaic of ecosystems. Close encounters with gorillas are carefully managed, as expert guides lead limited numbers of visitors up bamboo-covered slopes, to spend an awe-inspiring hour witnessing these gentle creatures in their natural habitat. A truly transformative experience.
Visitors can also trek to meet chimpanzees as well a host of monkeys – alongside olive baboons as well as the nocturnal potto and bush babies. Chimpanzees are found in the Nyungwe National Park as well as in smaller number in the Gishwati Forest.
Part of Africa’s Great Rift Valley, Lake Kivu in the west of Rwanda, is surrounded by magnificent mountains and has deep emerald green waters covering a surface area of 2,700 km2. On the edge of the lake lies Rubavu, once a colonial beach resort, its waterfront is scattered with fading old mansions, hotels and trendy bars. Half way along the lake is Karongi, a popular beach resort with hillsides covered in pines and eucalyptus serve as a backdrop to the sparkling lake. The Congo Nile Trail extends 227m² kilometres north and gently curves back and forth through hills and mountains beside the lake with eucalyptus trees lining the road and every inch of the hills terraced with bananas.
Central Africa’s largest protected wetland in the Akagera National Park is once again home to the Big Five, following the reintroduction of seven lions in 2015 as well as 18 Eastern black rhinos. Leopard, hyena and side-striped jackal make up the larger predators in the park. Notable plains game include elephant, buffalo, topi, zebra, waterbuck, roan antelope and eland. A boat trip on Lake Ihema, in the south of Akagera, offers a delightful opportunity to see hippos and Nile crocodiles
Kigali Genocide Museum – a memorial at Gisozi acts as a moving testimony of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and the 250 000 people who lost their lives.
Gorilla Trekking – at the latest count, there are approximately 1,000 mountain gorillas in the wild, with 604 in the Virunga Massif. 10% of the revenue from the permits is channelled towards local communities.
Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe – Chimpanzees, golden monkeys and other primates live alongside hundreds of brightly-coloured birds, orchids and butterflies.
Agahozo Shalom Youth Village – empowers orphaned and vulnerable Rwandan youth to build lives of dignity and contribute to a better world. Day and overnight visits can be arranged.
Hotel Rwanda – the scene of the epic movie that captivated the world is popular for sundowner drinks.
Lake Kivu – is Rwanda’s largest lake and the sixth largest in Africa. Visitors can cycle its shores or kayak in the lake.
Canopy Walkway – suspended above a ravine in the verdant montane rainforest of the Nyungwe National Park, the 200m long canopy walkway provides an exhilarating perspective on the ancient treetops and wildlife.
GOOD TO KNOW
Capital of RWANDA
Rwandan Franc (RWF)
Pleasant tropical highland climate. In the capital, Kigali, the average daily temperature is about 21°C. Long rainy season lasts from about March to May. Then from June to mid-September is the long dry season; this is generally the best time to visit if you have the choice.
The Hutu (84%), Tutsi (15%) and Twa (1%) people.
English, French, Kinyarwanda
GMT + 2hours
“I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up that I was not happy.”