Through dedication and hard work, Rwanda has now earned the moniker ‘Remarkable Rwanda’, and this is especially apparent in its capital, Kigali, which pulsates with energy and activity. Located in the centre of the country on the Ruganwa River, African charm pervades this energetic city which boasts French-Belgian and African fusion restaurants, creative start-ups and cafes that serve some of the best coffee in Africa. With its rolling green hills, sparkling clean streets and vibrant young art and shopping scenes, we recommend at least a two-night stay, with visits to the Kigali Genocide Memorial and the Campaign Against Genocide Museum, both worthwhile stops for remembrance, reflection, forgiveness and hope, in commemoration of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
Also known as the Parc National des Volcans, this national park is home to 400 gorillas with twelve groups of gorillas that are habituated to humans and are comfortable being observed by tourists. Encompassing five of the eight volcanoes in the Virunga Mountains, and often heralded as the easiest place in Africa to access these beautiful mammals, getting up close and personal to these gentle creatures is the highlight for all visitors coming to Rwanda.
Apart from Gorilla Trekking, visitors can also take part in Golden Monkey Trekking, guided walks to Dian Fossey's Tomb and the Musanze Caves, hikes along Karisimbi and Mount Bisoke volcanoes, as well as the waterfall and twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo. Guests can also participate in reforestation projects and have a hand in the conservation of this beautiful area.
One of the oldest rainforests in Africa, Nyungwe is rich in biodiversity and is home to 13 species of primates including a population of chimpanzees estimated at 500, as well as the L’Hoest’s monkey which is endemic to the Albertine Rift. Although primate tracking tops the list for most visitors, botanists and birders will be delighted by the many bird and plant species, with more than 20 species endemic to the region.
For keen walkers, the area offers a 130-kilometre network of 15 walking trails of various difficulties, making this a hiker’s paradise regardless of the fitness level. A highlight is a trail that leads to the Kamiranzovu Marsh, Nyungwe National Park’s largest wetland, where you can find a waterfall and a great variety of wetland vegetation, perfect for an afternoon stroll and ample photo opportunities. A notable attraction is the Canopy Walkway, which is built on platforms that are elevated between giant trees floating 60 metres above the forest floor, offering awe-inspiring views over the valley and surrounding forests.
Made up of two separate forests – the larger Gishwati and the smaller Mukura, this national park sits on the ridge which divides the Congo and Nile water catchment areas. The park is another haven for wildlife with multiple primate species and abundant birdlife. From late 2020, private chimpanzee tracking and habituation experiences will be on offer, allowing a very small number of tourists to help habituate Gishwati's 30+ chimpanzee community to pave the way for exclusive chimpanzee and primate trekking experiences - sustainable ecotourism at its finest. Visitors will also have the opportunity to experience a pristine montane forest, some of Rwanda’s most exciting birding and cultural exchanges with neighbouring local communities intimately involved in the park's protection.
Only an hour’s drive away from Volcanoes National Park, scenic Lake Kivu with its Mediterranean vibe is the perfect place to unwind after trekking adventures. Enjoy a dip in the lake, go fishing to chill out, or just explore the lakesidet town of Rubavu and witness its spectacular sunset. The area is also flanked by rustic and provincial tea and coffee plantations, with plenty of biking and hiking trails around to boot.
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We do not subscribe to the ‘one-size-fits-all’ philosophy. Sample itineraries and cost estimates are meant purely as a guide. To find out more, please contact one of our expert travel consultants to plan a customized itinerary based on your budget and interests.