Rwanda, Land of a Thousand Hills
Rwanda is best known for being the home of the Mountain Gorillas and lately as one of the most progressive countries in Africa, with a turbulent history and incredible reincarnation. It is a land of great diversity and beauty.
Despite its small size, Rwanda is truly remarkable!
Rwanda is a lush country of endless mountains and stunning scenery. Popularly known as the “Land of a thousand Hills”, Rwanda has five volcanoes, twenty-three lakes and numerous rivers, some feeding the source of the great River Nile. The landscapes in the green country are truly breathtaking; take the example of the shores of Lake Kivu which conceal some of the best inland beaches on the continent while Volcanoes (PNV) & Nyungwe Forest protects extensive tracts of montane rain forest.
HIGHLIGHTS OF A RWANDA SAFARI
Parc National des Volcans
Take a hike along the forested slopes of the Virungas in search of silverback gorillas and golden monkeys.
This is in the Volcanoes National Park which is the Rwanda section of the Virungas. Comprised of five Volcanoes – the highest Karisimbi, is more than 4500m and are some of the most beautiful sights in both Rwanda and Africa.
LAND OF 1,000 HILLS
Home of The Mountain Gorilla
Current Time in Kigali – Rwanda
The gorillas of Parc National des Volcans were first studied by primatologist George Schaller although they were thrust into the international spotlight during the life of Dian Fossey. Whereas most tourists to the park are understandably driven by the desire to have a face to face encounter with real gorillas in the Mist, there is good reason to stay in the area once you have finished tracking. This is due to the troop of golden monkeys which can only be seen in the Virungas, as deforestation and population growth in the Great Lakes region has greatly affected their home range.
Nyungwe National Park
Trek through steamy rain forests in search of colobus monkeys and chimpanzees in Rwanda’s most important area of bio diversity
Chimp trekking is Nyunwe’s strongest draw card. Hiking through equatorial rain forest in search of our closest living genetic ancestor is an unparalleled wildlife experience that is certainly on par with gorilla tracking.
Nyungwe Forest is rated as Africa’s highest priority for forest conservation. Within the National Park, you will find no less than 1000 plant species including rare endemic orchids, 13 species of primates including more than 500 chimpanzees, 75 species of mammals, at least 275 species of birds and an astounding 120 species of butterflies. Little can prepare you for the experience of watching chimpanzees tumbling down from the canopy and racing along the forest floor, all the while being mesmerized by the sound of their distinctive ‘pant- hoot’.
Whereas chimps tend to garner most of the spotlight in Nyungwe, the park’s second billing is a habituated troop of about 400 Angolan colobus monkeys, the largest group of arboreal monkeys in all of Africa.
Location: East Africa
Entry: Kigali Airport
Official languages: Kinyarwanda, English, French
Currency: Rwandan franc
Population: 11.78 million (2013) World Bank
Kick back with a passion fruit cocktail on the sandy shores of Lake Kivu.
Land locked Rwanda may be a long way from the ocean, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a beach holiday here. Rwanda’s eastern border with the DRC runs along the entire length of Lake Kivu which has a maximum depth of 500m, and is one of the 20 deepest and most voluminous lakes in the world.
Enjoy the white sandy shores of Lake Kivu, Africa’s sixth largest lake surrounded by extensive tropical gardens. The tastefully open-plan Lake Kivu Serena Hotel offers the ideal destination in Rwanda for an extended holiday or simply a week-end escape all within a few hours drive of both the Rwandan capital, and the glorious Volcanoes National Park (home of the world famous mountain gorillas)
Kigali Memorial Centre
Confront the horrors of the genocide at this haunting memorial on the outskirts of the capital. Why did Rwanda descend into 100 days of madness? The Kigali Memorial Centre explains it as best as it can.
More than a memorial for Kigali, more than a memorial for Rwanda and its tragedy, this is a memorial for all of us, marking the Rwanda genocide and many more around the world than never should have come to pass. The Kigali Memorial center is a must for all visitors to Rwanda wanting to learn more about how it was that the world watched as the genocide unfolded in this tiny landlocked country.
An informative tour includes a background on the divisive colonial experience in Rwanda and the steady build up to the genocide. You will see sections on the cold and calculated planning of the genocide and its bloody execution, a room full of photographs of Rwandan victims of the genocide, another to the innocent children who fell victim to the killers’ machetes and a section dedicated to informing visitors about other genocides that have taken place around the world to set Rwanda’s nightmare in historical context.
RECOMMENDED RWANDA SAFARI ITINERARIES
All our tours are born out of a desire to share authentic African Safari experiences. Offering travellers individual journeys, designed to match your interests, tastes and budget, we provide tailor-made tours to Rwanda’s most famous top destinations. Enquire with our team of experts to start planning your safari journey today.
Akagera National Park
Hugging Rwanda’s eastern border with Tanzania, Akagera National Park covers about 1,120km² and is one of Africa’s oldest national parks, first gazetted in 1934.
The north of Akagera is mostly fairly low-lying grasslands and savannah plains, similar in feel to the ‘traditional’ safari areas of East Africa. To the west are rolling hills and valleys more typical of Rwandan countryside while to the east, the Akagera River feeds into a series of lakes, marshes and papyrus swamps that constitute central and eastern Africa’s largest protected wetlands. So, for a fairly small National Park, an Akagera safari can be extremely diverse with a variety of habitats, wildlife and birds, and some lovely scenery.