There is little doubt that Rwanda offers one of the most exciting safari experiences. A country ravaged by barbarity and war, it’s now considered one of Africa’s greatest success stories. Demand is soaring amongst travellers wishing to explore its unique culture, history and wildlife. At Safari Guru, we’re often asked to share our top 5 Rwanda Highlights and the best Rwanda experiences as we create our bespoke safari holiday itineraries.
Whether you’re a first-time traveller planning to visit Africa or a seasoned safari goer looking for something unique, such as a primate safari experience, Rwanda should be at the top of your list of must-visit destinations. It is a small landlocked country in East Africa, known as the land of a thousand hills due to its hilly landscape. Over and above its unique wildlife and inspiring people, Rwanda’s scenic landscapes make it the perfect destination for adventure-seeking travellers. In this post, we’ll discuss some of Rwanda’s best experiences you can enjoy on your trip to this beautiful country.
Our Top 5 Rwanda Highlights
- Gorilla Trekking
Rwanda is home to the endangered mountain gorillas, one of the rarest and most magnificent creatures on the planet. Gorilla trekking is undoubtedly among the most sought-after and clear 1st on our Top 5 Rwanda Highlights list. An experienced guide will lead you through the forest to one of the twenty remaining gorilla families’ locations.
The trek is a challenging experience but worth every effort once you finally meet these gentle giants in their natural habitat. Walks can last anything from 3 hours to 8 hours per trek. The good news is that your bag of snacks, insect repellant and rain gear will be carried by your personal porter, leaving you free to clamber through the undergrowth and make the most of your time in the rainforest.
- Nyungwe Forest National Park
Nyungwe Forest National Park is a vast tropical rainforest in the southwestern part of Rwanda. It is a biodiversity hotspot, home to over 100 species of mammals, 300 species of birds, and more than 1000 species of plants. Still, the major attraction for us is the habituated families of chimps. The park offers a range of activities, such as chimpanzee tracking, canopy walks, and bird watching, making it a perfect destination for nature enthusiasts. Nyungwe is the ideal add-on for your journey, allowing you to combine other Rwanda primate safaris with your bucket-list gorilla treks in Volcanoes National Park.
- Kigali Genocide Memorial
The Kigali Genocide Memorial is a sobering but essential experience for anyone visiting Rwanda. We will generally organise this tour at the beginning of your journey to allow travellers to appreciate the hardship and sadness the community has endured. It commemorates the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, where over 800,000 people lost their lives in a span of 100 days. The memorial offers an opportunity to learn about the events leading up to the genocide, its impact on the Rwandan people, and how the country has since moved on.
- Lake Kivu
Lake Kivu is a freshwater lake located on the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The lake is a popular destination for water sports such as swimming, kayaking, and fishing. You can also take a boat tour to explore the lake’s numerous islands and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding hills. Still, it often only offers a quick stop for lunch while travelling from the Volcanoes region to Nyungwe. As with much of the travel logistics in Rwanda, Safari Guru would have organised a private vehicle and guide for your group, so take your time in Kivu and enjoy the beauty of this incredible waterway.
- Akagera National Park
Akagera National Park is Rwanda’s only savannah park, located in the eastern part of the country. The park is home to the Big Five game animals, including lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos, and rhinos.
There are several options to explore the park, including guided game drives, walking safaris, and boat tours, which often include inspiring sunset drinks. During a game drive, you’ll have the opportunity to see the park’s wildlife up close and personal. A walking safari is an excellent way to explore the park’s smaller creatures, such as insects and reptiles. Meanwhile, a boat tour on Lake Ihema is a perfect way to spot some of the park’s many waterbirds and hippos.
In conclusion to our Top 5 Rwanda Highlights, this is a must-visit destination for travellers interested in primate experiences and wildlife adventures. With its unique landscapes, diverse culture, and incredible wildlife, it’s a destination that will leave a lasting impression on any visitor.