A safari to a new destination like Rwanda comes with lots of expectations. For starters, when you think of safari to Rwanda expect to more than its undulating hill side of Africa. Remarkably, a trip to this landlocked country rewards travel endeavors with magical encounters with mountain gorillas a lifetime experience that you can get in only Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Besides, you have a great opportunity to explore the most scenic Lakes including the twin lakes, Lake Kivu, meet the humble and hospitable Rwandans and not to miss to spend a night at the world class lodges and hotels in Rwanda that will leave you with lasting memories.
What it is like to visit Rwanda
Planning a trip to Rwanda comes with lots of questions and many ask what a holiday in Rwanda is like! Well, Rwanda is one of kind safari destinations in Africa and East African standards; it (Rwanda) has the best network of tarmac road to all its 4 national parks. The route from Kigali to the Virunga Volcanoes is in its good condition though it encounters much traffic and it is also constructed along most winding hills. This means that while you are driving around this area, you need to first slow down and amazingly, you will have the best views of the surrounding areas. The roads are equally good and the fact that Rwanda itself isn’t that a large nation, most tourist destinations are easily reached within a day. As well, you can opt for scheduled flights or private helicopter transfers to some of Rwanda’s safari lodges and national parks while on your safari. It all depends on your budget and time.
While on road trip in Rwanda, you have great time as you enjoy the stunning countryside and traditional villages which gets you amazing photo shoot. For ultimate road trip, a 4wheel drive safari vehicle should be a must to hire for you to hit the road to your dream destination. You can book one through a recognized, trustworthy, reliable ground tour operator.
What to see and do in addition to mountain gorilla trekking
Regardless of its small size, Rwanda offers more than mountain gorillas. When you head off to the northeast, Akagera National Park lies suitably and features as Rwanda’s only big five game park and one of the oldest in Africa. This 1122 square kilometers’ savanna grassland park comprises of savanna grassland, woodland, scenic Lakes, wetlands with varied wildlife species ranging from the big five game in Africa-(cape buffaloes, elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos), hippos, crocodiles, topis, zebras, giraffes, bohor, reedbuck, duikers, Oribis, bush babies, blue monkeys, impalas, klipspringer, birds like the papyrus gonoleks, shoebill stork a mention but a few. While on safari in Akagera National Park, don’t miss to take part in exciting game drives-both day and at night, launch cruise via Lake Ihema, bird watching, nature walks, helicopter tours and others.
To the south, there is Nyungwe forest national park a host to 13 species of primates including chimpanzees, Ruwenzori colobus monkeys, owl faced monkeys, Mona monkeys, grey cheeked mangabeys, silver monkeys, blue monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, L’Hoest monkeys, olive baboons and others and not to forget variety of bird species. A trip to this park takes you through a number of safari activities including canopy walk and swing on a 200 feet suspended walkway while catching a glimpse at varied primates and several bird species, chimpanzee trekking, colobus monkey tracking, birding, nature walks/hiking to spot out most of the butterflies, birds such as the blue turacos, purple and blue headed sunbird, Rwenzori turaco and others, several monkeys a mention but a few.
As well, have a relaxed and chilly moment along the scenic shores of Lake Kivu with your dear ones. This is one African great Lakes and lies just at the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). You take a drive to the scenic Gisenyi and Lake Kivu through stunning volcanoes, tea plantations. Besides mountain gorillas, volcanoes national park also inhabits other wildlife species including the striking golden monkeys, colobus monkeys, over 200 bird species and many more. This park is perfect for mountain gorilla trekking (gorilla permits in Rwanda cost $1500 per person and one permit is equal to one habituated gorilla families of which 10 of them have been have been habituated and readily available for tracking), birding, golden monkey tracking; cultural encounters at the Iby’Iwacu cultural village and while here interact with local and learn more about the amazing cultural and traditional practices in Rwanda, Dian Fossey tomb hike, visit the twin Lakes of Bulera and Ruhondo, exploring the Musanze caves and others.
In addition to wildlife experiences, you can also pay a visit to Kigali/Gisozi genocide memorial site and other to explore more about terrific 1994 Rwanda genocide-a civil war between the Hutus and Tutsis. Kigali genocide site is where more than 250000 people were buried. Other sites for you to explore include murambi genocide memorial site, Nyamata genocide memorial site, Nyanza genocide memorial center, Bisesero genocide center, Nyarubuye and many others. In Kigali, you can pay a visit to Nyanza a main refuge to King’s palace museum complex or visit a home of King Rudahigwa the third who ruled between 1931 and 1959 and others.
Accommodation in Rwanda
Visitors on Rwanda safari can choose from the many accommodation options set for visitor overnight stay. They include Moriah hill resort just along lake shores, Sabyinyo silverback lodge, Bisate safari lodge at Volcanoes National Park, Ruzizi tented lodge, Magashi luxury tented camp, Akagera Game Lodge at Akagera National Park, Nyungwe forest lodge at Nyungwe forest national park, Kigali Serena Hotel, Kigali Marriott Hotel, Radisson Blu Hotel and Convention Centre, Onomo Hotelwithin Kigali capital city and others.