Rwanda, a landlocked country in the heart of Africa, is fast becoming the place to go for amazing adventures when you go on private safari tours.
This strong and brave country has overcome atrocity and has emerged from the dark times to a dynamic and very promising future. It is now regarded as the cleanest and most stable destination to visit and enjoy when in Africa.
‘Land of a Thousand Hills’ (Le Pays des Mille Collines) is another name used to explain Rwanda due to the stunning conical mountains which are surrounded by lush green jungles.
When you arrive in Rwanda, apart from the spectacular landscape, the welcome from the people, from children to adults, stands out above everything else. They are very friendly, extremely helpful and always have smiles on their faces.
The traditions, culture and history of Rwanda can all be explored on guided tours of the many museums, art galleries and culture centers throughout the country but mainly in its capital Kigali. Read More...
However, the highlight of any trip to Rwanda, for many, are the thrills and excitement from any of the safari tours they go on and there are quite a few.
Rwanda has many National Parks, Mountains, Forests and Lakes where you can see the most fascinating wildlife in the world when you visit with safari tours.
It is in many of these places that you can witness the daily habits of the entertaining and somewhat scary Gorillas. In the Volcanoes National Park you can find the most endangered ape in the world, the Mountain gorillas where they live happily and where they are being protected, thankfully.
When you go on any tour in Rwanda, you will have some of the most unique and incredible experiences of your life.
Top 10 Things to See and Do in Rwanda
Volcanoes National Park
Located in the northwestern part of Rwanda is Volcanoes National Park. It borders National parks in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. There is much wildlife to be seen on a safari tour here, but a highlight is the mountain gorillas for which this park is a haven. Other activities include Golden monkey tracking, cave tours, birdwatching safari tours and Mount Karisimbi volcano hiking tours to name just a few.
Nyungwe Forest National Park
The Nyungwe Forest is the biggest Afromontane rainforest in central or east of the African continent and supplies 2/3rds of Rwanda’s water. There are numerous adventure safaris to do here including hiking safaris, bird watching safaris, chimpanzee and monkey trekking safaris. Another highlight here is the opportunity to do the tree top Forest Canopy Walk. This canopy walk os 50m above ground and 90m in length.
Akagera National Park
On the border of Tanzania lies Akagera National Park, in the east of Rwanda, Lakes fringed by forests, savannah plains, swamps and rolling highlands are some of the reasons why this park is among the most scenic in Africa. The type of animals found in the plains on safari tours includes elephant, topi and buffalo. Due to the variety of terrain, there are over 500 bird species many of which are rare such as the shoebill.
Take a hiking safari to the active volcano Mount Bisoke which is found in the Albertine Rift Virunga Mountains. Part of this volcano is in The Congo, but the summit is in Rwanda. A popular tour to take is a hiking safari to the top where you find a spectacular crater lake. The hike is not demanding in terrain, but it can be tiring due to the high elevation but when you reach the top, the views are breathtaking and it is well worth it.
Mount Karisimbi is an inactive volcano and the tallest of the eight major volcanos found in the Virunga field. A hiking safari will take 2 days to reach the top and back again. It is not a normal hike because of all you get to see on the journey. It is like a few different safaris in one such as birdwatching safari tours, monkey tracking safari and gorilla safari tours. The views are extraordinary from the moment you start to finish.
Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre
When in the vicinity of Kigali, a recommended and humbling guided tour is the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre. For the 250,000 victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi, their final resting place is here. This centre provides a dignified burial place, educates visitors about why, what happened and the consequences of 1994. See testimonies of genocide survivors and details of the victims. This centre provides support to survivors.
Another excellent guided tour to take is the Ethnographic Museum which is the national museum of Rwanda. This museum was built in the late 1980’s and is an excellent place to learn about the cultural history of this country and its region. There are architectural ethnographical exhibits of art product, history materials, artifacts relating to hunting, pottery, wood carving to name a few and a glorious garden to explore.
The Musanze Caves are located outside the Musanze town which is 90 minutes from Kigali. These are caves that are 1.25 miles long and were formed by geological activity over the centuries. There is a vast opening to these caves that has amazing greenery spilling over which gives a fantastic first impression on your guided tour. On your tour, the guide explains the history of the caves as they expertly guide you through.
Lake Kivu is one the great lakes in Africa and an excellent place to take a boat tour when in Rwanda. It is also possible to swim, waterski, kayak and windsurf in this lake due to the fact that it does not have any crocodiles. Other activities that can be done on the shores of the Lake include hiking, cycling or walking tours. This Lake is also very close to the Congo-Nile Trail. Take a breather from the safaris and relax here.
Another great place to see on a sightseeing tour of Rwanda is Rusumo Falls. This waterfall is located on the border of Rwanda nd Tanzania on the Kagera River and is a spectacular sight. They are not the tallest of falls in Africa, but they are hugely important to Rwanda history mainly because, during the 1994 genocide, thousands of dead bodies flowed underneath its bridge as refugees crossed it fleeing the fighting.