Reasons to Visit
The perfect spot for resting your weary limbs after your gorilla tracking, Lake Kivu is 90 minutes' drive through winding hills and colourful villages from the Virunga Volcanoes. Here you can float on the water on a relaxing boat trip and watch the world go by.
Rwanda is home to Africa's first National Park, Virunga, which was created back in 1925. It was done to protect its most famous wildlife - its gorillas. However, while its primates will be at the top of you to-see list the country's montane forests contain over 700 bird species with many, such as Grauer’s Swamp-warbler, being regionally endemic.
The trek through the dense forest on the slopes of the Virunga Volcanoes can take between two to six hours. However your reward is an hour watching your assigned gorilla troop play, eat, groom and relax.
If you want something a bit different head to Butare, Rwanda's second city, where you can visit the King's Palace, the University and the National Museum, which is home to an incredible collection of artefacts which are beautifully presented.
Up until relatively recently montane forest occupied one third of the territory of present-day Rwanda. Now these ancient forests are mainly restricted to the three main parks: Volcanoes National Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park and Akagera National Park. By visiting any one of these you will see a great diversity of fauna and flora.
Travelling through Rwanda provides a fascinating insight into daily village life. Often located in beautiful countryside a village visit is an absolute highlight where a warm and enthusiastic welcome is guaranteed.
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Africa and The Indian Ocean
Golden monkey in Volcanoes National Park
Entitled simply "Africa", Sir David Attenborough's latest five-part series was filmed across five different regions of this extraordinary continent, capturing animal behaviour never seen before.
Tracking mountain gorilla in either Uganda or Rwanda is one of Africa's most memorable wildlife encounters. There are pros and cons to each country, but in each one, you will have an experience you will never forget.
The Nyungwe Forest National Park protects one of the oldest forests in Africa. The main attraction are the primates: chimpanzee tracking can be arranged and several other monkeys are readily seen as well.
Although home to elephant, buffalo, and duiker, Volcanoes National Park is best known for the 300 mountain gorillas that reside amongst the bamboo forests on the upper slopes.
Virunga Lodge is a lovely eco-friendly lodge, the real attraction to this lodge is the stunning views of the twin lakes and the Virunga Volcanoes. It is an hour drive to Volcanoes National Park however.
The main reason for visiting Rwanda is to track the famous mountain gorillas, but though this is an undeniably wonderful experience there is a great deal more to the country and it is well worth spending a few extra days to experience it all. A couple of days of gorilla tracking is ideal and can easily be combined with some time in Kigali, relaxing along the shores of Lake Kivu or chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe Forest.
8 Days from £3,820pp
Get a taste of Rwanda including a couple of days gorilla tracking followed by some time to relax by Lake Kivu afterwards.
12 Days from £4,300pp
Enjoy the highlights of Rwanda including a day of gorilla trekking (including permit), an absolutely unforgetable experience. After the excitement of the trek, have a few days to relax in Zanzibar and explore the famous spice island.
11 Days from £4,645pp
Explore the highlights of Rwanda including chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe, relaxing by Lake Kivu and finishing with gorilla tracking in Volcanoes National Park.
11 1/2 hours (via Nairobi)
The best time to travel.
A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of.
Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year.
Travel is not recommended.
Snow or ski season.
Read first-hand tips and advice from our travel specialists.
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Further reading:When to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout RwandaCountry Guides
Other countries in Africa:BotswanaKenyaMadagascarMalawiMauritiusMozambiqueNamibiaSouth AfricaTanzaniaThe SeychellesUgandaZambiaZanzibar ArchipelagoZimbabwe
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