December 15, 2020

Would you like to see something different on your next African safari? Think of visiting Rwanda, a relatively small country in Central Africa. To many travelers, Rwanda is that destination that offers a chance to track the mountain gorillas in the bamboo forests of the Virunga Volcanoes. However, there is more to be done on an African safari and you should start thinking about Rwanda beyond just being the Land of a Thousand Hills! From magical treks to see the rare mountain gorillas and golden monkey tracking in the Volcanoes National Park to big game viewing in Akagera National Park, there is a lot to do on your next trip. Think about indulging yourself in the lush Nyungwe Forest, hiking the conical Virunga Volcanoes, there are more rewarding experiences if you choose to travel to Rwanda.

Despite its dark past that recalls images of the horrific genocide, today Rwanda stands out as an unusual travel destination with a lot to offer to even the most seasoned travelers. A Rwanda safari during this festive season guarantees a lifetime experience. Check out a list of five epic experiences you should expect intake Rwanda on your next holiday;

Gorilla trekking

With an estimate of only 1063 mountain gorillas still thriving on earth, a glimpse at these Great Apes in Rwanda is undoubtedly a lifetime experience. It is a must-do experience on Rwanda safari and this is offered only in the country’s Volcanoes National Park. This jealously protected national park is perched in the Ruhengeri region, approximately 2 to 3 hours’ drive from Kigali and 3-4 hours’ drive from Kisoro/Kabale.

Like other gorilla tourism destinations, gorilla treks in Rwanda like others are restricted to only 8 visitors. With only 12 habituated, it translates into 96 gorilla permits being available each day to tourists looking to gorilla watching in Rwanda. Each of the gorilla trekking permits in Rwanda cost US Dollars 1500 per person. Considering the high demand, we advise all prospective tourists to book their gorilla permits early at least 2-4 months before the actual date of traveling to see the mountain gorillas. Contact a local tour operator and you shall get your permit booked as soon as possible. You can also look at the several trip itineraries and choose out the best gorilla tour package.

Golden monkey tracking

Golden monkey tracking is another epic experience worth taking part in on a safari tour through the Virunga ranges of Rwanda. Golden monkeys are among the topmost sought-after creatures in Rwanda and they share the same habitat as mountain gorillas. A hike to see golden monkeys is such a memorable on-foot experience Rwanda has to offer the world and you can be part of this while on Rwanda safari in Volcanoes National Park. Golden monkeys are strikingly unique creatures with bright, golden fur contrasting against the lush green tropical rain-forest.

Go enjoy safari in Akagera National Park

While much of Rwanda is characterized by equatorial rain forests, the Eastern part of Rwanda is quite different. It is occupied by the dry and flat savanna lands that extend from Tanzania to form the beautiful Akagera National Park. Managed by the African Parks, Akagera National Park offers tourists an opportunity to enjoy a traditional safari that includes game viewing through the beautiful savanna lands.

During a relaxing game drive through the park, you have a great sight of a multitude of wildlife most especially big games that include elephants, hippos, antelopes,   and more while cruising through different habitats that include standard savanna grasslands, swampy areas, shrubs as well as forested areas.

The 1122sq.km savanna park shelters a diversity of savanna dwellers including warthogs, lions, elands, waterbucks, Masai giraffes, Kudus, roan antelopes, buffaloes, hippos, rhinos, leopards, birds majority of these are possible to sight on a game drive or a launch cruise. Akagera National Park is composed of 3 main areas; Swamplands, High mountains, and Savannas. In your 4×4 safari car, you won’t only have 360 degrees views of savanna wildlife but also the park’s breathtaking landscape.

Undertake a canopy walk

Popular for its lush montane rainforest, Nyungwe Forest National Park is an exceptional Rwanda safari park offering the only canopy walk experience in East Africa. It takes you on a suspension bridge on Nyungwe Forest canopy walkway stretching about 164 feet from the ground. Go canopy walk and enjoy the most breathtaking views of Nyungwe Forest sceneries, primates, birds. This 1000sq.km protected area is endowed with 13 species of primates. These include blue monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, baboons, black and white colobus monkeys.

Explore the Rwanda genocide sites

Rwanda like other states features a unique history and the 1994 tragic event still offers a touching experience in Rwanda’s history. The 1994 Rwanda genocide left hundreds dead and many homeless. Insight about this tragic event can be best understood on tour in any one of the many genocide memorial centers like Kigali/Gisozi genocide site, Murambi genocide center.

So while Rwanda is best known for gorilla trekking, there are lots of amazing adventures that you can experience in this beautiful country. When you choose to travel to Rwanda, you will get to know why Rwanda earned the well-deserved moniker of “Le Pays des Mille Collines”!

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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