Rwanda “The Land of a thousand hills” is among the dominant destinations to visit in Africa with vast and wide scope of wildlife primates and species in its established and gazetted destinations which are located in different corners of Rwanda.
Rwanda is located in the Eastern part of the African Continent bordering Democratic Republic of Congo in the West, Uganda in the North, and Tanzania in the East and Burundi in the South, it has five volcanoes, 23 Lakes and enormous rivers with some forming the source of the River Nile.
Wildlife spectacles in Rwanda include Mountain Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Golden Monkeys, African Big Fives which include African Elephants, Leopards, Buffaloes, Rhinoceros, Lions, Giraffe, Zebras, Antelopes, Bush babies, Baboons, Impala, Hippopotamus, Reptiles like Python, Black Cobra, Gabon Vipers, Crocodiles, Lizards, insects like Butter flies, bees, tsetse flies, Monkeys (Black & White Colobus, Blue, Red-tailed and Vervets) and more. Below are the best places to go while in Rwanda for your discoverable Safari vacation.
Volcanoes National Park
As far as Rwanda’s tourism this is the turning point geographically lying in the Northern corner of Rwanda bordering Virunga National Park of Democratic Republic of Congo.
It was established to provide home to the remaining World’s Gorilla population, it includes Rwanda’s highest points Mountain Karisimbi, mountain Nyiragongo and Mountain Nyamuragira.
This Park is characterized with tropical rain forest, Savannah grasslands, and Bamboo forest where Golden monkeys are residents, although this park is mostly known for the shy endangered Mountain Gorillas.
It also has different other Primates and Species which include Golden Monkeys in places covered with bamboo forests, Black & White Colobus Monkeys, Red tailed Monkeys, Blue Monkeys, Vervets, Baboons, Antelopes, and different bird species. Below are some of the activities done while in Volcanoes National Park.
From this volcanic massif you will experience the gorilla safari. This involves following the established routes in a group of about eight people plus the park ranger leading you into the Jungle in search of these shy endangered Mountain Gorillas very excited and interested to see them playing with their young ones, feeding, laughing and take photos of them for memories.
After locating their presence you are allowed to stay with them for only one hour and vacate the place. This activity requires you to buy a permit which issues you permission and it costs $1500 USD per person which is always paid in advance such that your permit is processed in time.
Golden Monkey Tracking. This is another genuine activity done in Volcanoes National Park which involves visiting the forests of this park in search of these Golden Monkeys very excited to see them swinging on the bamboo trees, feeding on young bamboo shoot.
Golden Monkeys are mostly found in parts covered with bamboo forests since they mostly like feeding on bamboo shoot, stem, flowers and some fruits. The permit for tracking these Golden Monkeys in Volcanoes National Park costs $100 USD per person.
Visit Dian Fossey Grave Yard. This involves hiking from the starting point up to the grave yard where this eco tourist was buried.
Dian Fossey is an eco – tourist who started the campaigns driving the conservation programs supporting the life of a Gorillas. This hiking activity takes a full day and it costs $75 USD per person.
Nyungwe Forest National Park.
Very deep in the South western part of Rwanda is where Nyungwe Forest National Park is located within the Albertine Rift Valley Area.
It is home to the region’s largest and oldest remaining patches of mountain rain forest and number of eco – systems from rain forest, bamboo, grassland, Swamps and bog habitats.
It protects one of the region’s largest and oldest remaining patches of montane rain forest plus being home to over 310 species of birds.
This Park is the most important ornithological site in Rwanda; it is increasingly being sought out for the incredible birding opportunities, particularly the numerous Albertine Rift endemics. There are more than 240 tree species, more than 140 colorful orchids and more than 1050 plant types such as the giant Lobelia.
Of these plants 250 are Albertine Rift Endemics, Mountain Bigugu is the highest mountain in the park reaching an altitude of 2950m.
There are 13 Primate Species including the habituated chimpanzees, a number of mammals and large variety of other species with in the park.
A hundreds of butterflies and only a small number of snake species but also several colorful Lizards and Species of Chameleon. This Park is mostly known for Chimpanzee tracking and Canopy Walk.
Akagera National Park.
This is Rwanda’s Ethnic destination which is popularly known for the African Big Fives which include African Elephant, Leopards, lions, Buffaloes and Rhinoceros, it is located in the Eastern part of Rwanda characterized with tropical rain forest, Savannah grasslands, and some parts covered with Swamps.
Akagera and its lakes are homes to the aquatic hippopotamus, Nile crocodiles and World’s large reptiles; it is recognized as one of the best spots for bird watching in Rwanda.
The diverse habitats of the Park encourage a wide variety of bird species to the area; this is actually indisputably the best place in Rwanda to find savannah birds and raptors.
It is also very well stocked with water birds and one of the few places where the less common birds living amongst the papyrus swamps can be spotted.
The best option of sighting different Wildlife Primates and Species in Akagera is by doing a game drive around the park.
Iby’Iwachu Cultural Village.
This is Rwanda’s predominant Cultural heritage site which you should not miss visiting while in Rwanda; this is where the Batwa people who migrated from Democratic Republic of Congo reside.
Visiting this Village on your experience you will be welcomed by these ethnic people very excited to share with you through entertaining you with their Cultural dances, songs, and more.
You are also taken through some experiences which involve practicing how to use different local tools like hunting tools since they were local hunters and gatherers feeding on Wild meat.
More is putting on their Cultural wearing gears like back cloths, how to use stone age tools used in fire production and more. This Iby’Iwachu Cultural Experience costs $20 USD per person.