RWANDA SAFARI PARKS AND SITES
Rwanda is an undiscovered incredibly beautiful country with ever changing landscapes that offers outstanding flora and fauna and spectacular scenery. Misty, moody rainforest in the south gives rise to lushly forested volcanoes and bamboo in the north. Dugout canoes ply the tranquil waters of Lake Kivu in the west and undulating grass plains of Akagera in the east are interspersed with light acacia woodlands.
One of the ultimate highlights of Rwanda is tracking the elusive Mountain Gorillas of the Volcano National Park in the West of the country, but though this is an undeniably wonderful experience there is a great deal more to the country and it can easily be combined with some time game viewing at Akagera, relaxing along the shores of Lake Kivu or chimpanzee and Colobus monkey tracking in Nyungwe Forest. To add to the ecological diversity of the country Rwanda also boosts 670 species of birds in its small boundaries of a country half the size of Scotland.
Although Rwanda has become synonymous with the terrible genocide in 1994, the country has transformed itself into a stable, vibrant, confident and, above all, welcoming nation. A Rwandan safari will introduce you to its lovely people who are wonderfully friendly. They have courage and warmth and yet there is an innocence to them that is not always so evident in the rest of Africa.
Volcanoes National Park is best known as a haven for the endangered Mountain Gorillas that reside amongst the bamboo forests on the upper slopes. It is also home to the golden monkey, elephant, buffalo, and duiker and home to five of the eight volcanoes of the Virunga Mountains: Karismbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo which are covered in rainforest and bamboo.
Akagera National Park is a low-lying savannah reserve in the east of Rwanda on the border with Tanzania. Known as one of the most scenic savannahs in East Africa, the game drive in Akagera provides you with the opportunity to view gentle hills blending beautifully with lowland swamps and water bodies. It has a good selection of game and bird life.
Lake Kivu is the country’s largest body of water and takes up about half of Rwanda’s western border. Relax on the shore of Gisenyi and enjoy the incredible views across the palm-fringed lake or explore the various islands on Lake Kivu like Napoleon Island, IJWI Island, Amahoro Island, all great for birding and bat watching.
Butare was the largest and most important city in Rwanda prior to 1965 when it lost out to more centrally located Kigali. It has an impressive royal palace as well as an absorbing national museum, which houses perhaps the finest ethnographic collection in East Africa with absorbing displays of traditional artifacts.
Nyungwe National Park is a high-altitude; mountainous rainforest in southern Rwanda. Nyungwe’s biodiversity is astonishing by African standards and is one of the most endemic species-rich areas in all of Africa and is home to 13 primate species which include chimpanzees, colubus monkeys and mangabeys, 275 species of birds with 24 endemic to the African highlands, over 140 species of orchids, reptiles and butterflies.