Why visit Rwanda

Rwanda is a small African country located in central Africa, bordered by Uganda in the north east, Tanzania in the west and democratic republic of Congo and Burundi in the south. Although Rwanda suffered the horrific dark night incidents of the 1994 genocide, the country has tremendously developed at greater heights in tourism.

Facts about Rwanda

Gorilla trekking in the Volcanoes

Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park is the most popular tourism product in Rwanda. This activity involves tremendous hikes through mountainous areas and forests in search of the critically endangered gorilla species.  Mountain gorillas are special among the gorilla sub-species because of their endangered status. Thus having encounter with them is concerned to be one of the remarkable lifetime experiences. All gorilla trekking activities in Rwanda are organized at the Volcanoes National park. It is one of the four national game parks in Rwanda, but stands out because of the mountain gorillas. The park has 30% of the overall population of mountain gorillas remaining on earth. 20% are found in Virunga National Park of Congo while the rest (50%) live in Uganda. In all, about 320 individual gorillas roam the park with 10 families habituated.

The Kwiti Izina Ceremony

Get ready to experience one of the world’s most important celebrations of nature and meet Rwanda’s newborn baby gorillas. This event is one of its kinds which closely associates the local communities towards conservation of the Living Gentle Giants (Mountain Gorillas) Kwita Izina is modeled off a centuries old tradition in which Rwandans name their children in the presence of family and friends. In 2005, Rwanda began officially naming mountain gorillas in what has become a global celebration of nature. By giving a name to these majestic animals, we give them a value they undoubtedly deserve.  The ceremony is an opportunity to thank the communities that live around Volcanoes National Park, our research partners, vets and the dedicated conservationists, rangers and trackers who protect the gorillas. Over the last 17 years, 354 mountain gorillas have been named. Kwitizina ceremony

Visit the Kigali Genocide memorial

Here travelers can learn about horrific event at the Kigali Genocide Memorial the haunting museum dives into the timeline that led to the 1994 genocide, bringing the horrors to life through halls of photographs, artifacts, and information. The main exhibit hall wraps around poignant sculptures and features stained-glass windows that cast a hopeful glow on the space. The museum continues with another permanent exhibit on the history of genocide around the world and intervention efforts from international communities, helping to put the Rwandan genocide into context.

Visit to Nyungwe forest National Park

One of the most important forest conservation areas in all of Africa, Nyungwe Forest National Park contains a spectacular array of biodiversity, including 1,068 plant species, 322 species of birds, and 75 types of mammals. Most tourists come to this rainforest to track chimpanzees, which have been habituated to humans by park rangers. This animal encounter is a fraction of the cost of gorilla trekking, yet no less memorable.

Hanging out with primates isn’t the only thing to do in Nyungwe. The park is also home to the only canopy walk in East Africa, roughly a 90-minute hike from the Uwinka Visitor Center. You’ll walk across a 91-meter-long suspension bridge dangling more than 50 meters above the verdant rainforest, getting a dizzying view of the treetops and mountains in the distance.

Bird watching

Rwanda is one of the top birding destinations for avian lovers as it has total sum of 703 bird’s species with 29 Albertine rift endemic with several Lake Victoria basin endemics and here most birders will want to put their attention on Nyungwe and Akagera National parks.

Visit to Akagera National Park

Akagera National Park is a savannah park with rolling hills, lakes, wetland and woodlands. It offers a more traditional African Big 5 safari experience, but the diversity of habitats mean it has excellent birding too. To date 490 bird species have been observed in Akagera  NP. The park offers a comparable experience to others in the region, but its compact nature means you can access the different habitats easily and build a good bird list.

The range restricted Red-faced barbet is probably the most sought-after bird and should be easy to find around Akagera game Lodge and Muyumbu campsite. Other range restricted species and highlights include Northern Brown-throated Weaver; Papyrus Gonolek; White-Winged Swamp Warbler; Carruthers’s Cisticola, White-collared Oliveback, and Grey-crowned Cranes. Another desirable species is the Shoebill which is also seen in the park fairly regularly. The park is also home to good populations of raptors and large numbers of water birds.

Visit to Lake Kivu

Lake Kivu offers a very relaxing stop over during a birding tour and is not without its highlights. The lake supports huge numbers of White-breasted Cormorants, Pied Kingfishers and Osprey can be seen fishing during its migration. The lake shores are home to some of Rwanda’s more common terrestrial species and hotel gardens in Karongi, Rubavu and Rusizi can offer interesting birding. Double-tooth Barbet is regularly seen in this region along with species such as Yellow-bellied Waxbill, Familiar Chat, Brown-throated Wattle-eye and Spot-flanked Barbet. The area around Kinunu also offers good bird watching for the more common species.