Rwanda


Known as the “land of a Thousand Hills” Safe and easy to get around with short distances to diverse destinations: Rwanda is a thriving, safe country with one of the lowest crime rates in Africa .Nowhere are the mountains more majestic than the Virunga volcanoes in the northwest, and hidden among the bamboo forests are some of the world’s last remaining mountain gorillas.

For a change of scene, the shores of Lake Kivu conceal some of the best inland beaches on the continent. All major attractions are located along a circuit within 1-5 hour drive from the capital , Kigali. In a short vacation, a tourist can reach volcanoes, rainforests, savannah, islands.

Plan your Trip

Experience Remarkable Rwanda

Join the trek

Rwandan Attractions

  • Akagera National Park
  • Volcanoes Nat Park
  • Nyungwe National Park
  • Congo Nile trail
  • Kigali City

Things to do


Gorilla tracking in Rwanda is often described as “life changing” and with good reason. With only an estimated 880 Gorillas left in the world, to see these gentle creatures in their natural habitat is a truly unique moment.

Rwanda is one of only three countries in the world where the critically endangered mountain gorillas live.

Gorilla tracking in Rwanda is often described as “life changing” and with good reason. With only an estimated 880 Gorillas left in the world, to see these gentle creatures in their natural habitat is a truly unique moment.

Gorillas make their homes in and amongst the bamboo-covered slopes of the Virunga Mountains in the Volcanoes National Park in northern Rwanda. Trek to see them and you’ll be introduced by your expert trackers and guides to one of the fully-habituated families of mountain gorillas and you can stay with them for an awe-inspiring hour, often crouching just a few feet away, whilst the gorillas go about their daily lives.

Hikes in the mountains can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours + depending on the family allocated to your group and their location. The journey back can take just as long, but you are often carried along by the euphoria you feel at seeing the gorillas!

Expert guides give a pre-trek briefing on specific protocols and rules for visiting the gorillas that live within an altitude of 2500 and 4000m. Porters are available to help carry backpacks and cameras, as well as helping you with your footing along your hike which can be hard work, but well worth it.

Beyond the gorillas that made Rwanda famous, wildlife junkies will be thrilled to know that they can track three more species of primate on their Rwandan holiday: Chimpanzees, Black-and-white colobus monkeys, and the endangered Golden monkey. Chimpanzee groups live high in the canopy of Nyungwe National Park, and catching your first glimpse of one crashing through the forest after hiking into their territory is nothing short of astonishing. The black-and-white colobus live in Nyungwe as well, and these resplendent, long-haired creatures are every wildlife photographer’s dream. Finally, like their neighbours the gorillas, the Golden monkey can be found in very few places outside of Volcanoes National Park, and their rich colors, energetic demeanour, and sizeable troupes of up to 30 individuals are truly a sight to behold. The gorillas may be what brought you to Rwanda, but it would be an absolute shame to leave without seeing any of the wonderful creatures they share a home with.

Chimpanzee Tracking

These cousins to humans can be found and tracked in Nyungwe National Forest. A beautiful guided hike through the forest will lead you to these fascinating creatures where you can watch them play and interact up close.

Chimpanzee tracking can be done year-round in Nyungwe Forest, rain or shine, and while it is never guaranteed that you will see them, sightings are very common and guides are skillful in tracking them. The experience differs from gorilla tracking as the chimps are running around, so the sightings are a bit more sporadic and rushed, but worthwhile nonetheless.

Golden Monkey Tracking

These striking primates are a treat for the eyes. With their bright orange fur contrasting the green rainforests of the Virunga Mountains – it’s a photographers dream! Visitors meet with their guides at Volcanoes National Park’s Kinigi Headquarters and the visit is done once per day, time will be allocated once booked.

Black & White Colobus Monkey Tracking

These charismatic monkeys – sometimes referred to as Ruwenzori Colobus – take up the final place in Rwanda’s Big-4 primate species. Nyungwe Forest is again home to this attractive species. Because they live within sizeable groups (one of the habituated troops has more than 200 individuals), an encounter with Colobus Monkeys in Rwanda often exceeds sightings anywhere elsewhere in Africa.

Get lost along the lake in Rwanda’s wildest corner.

The Congo Nile Trail is a trail along Lake Kivu that extends from Rubavu, continues through Rutsiro via the Karongi, Nyamasheke districts and ends at Rusizi District.

227 km (141 miles) of beautiful landscapes, including rolling hills and clear water. The entire trek can be completed in a 10- day hike. However, the trip can be done in sections if travelers do not have the time to complete the entire trail. Trails give stunning views of the Lake Kivu coastline and offer adventurous travelers an exciting way to discover Rwanda.

Biking the Congo Nile Trail can be completed in 5 days, with rich views and immersive cultural experiences along the way. This trail appeals to adventure travelers and is a great way to experience Rwanda. The trail can also be split up if visitors do not have the time to commit to the 5 day journey. However, it is an experience worth selling to those who crave an off the beaten path adventure.

Centuries of music, dance, history and hospitality are wating for you in Rwanda

While it might have been the gorillas that entice you to Rwanda, it’s the people of Rwanda who will keep you coming back. Ancient traditions of honour and hospitality run strong here, and anybody who takes the time to discover Rwandan culture for themselves will find a proud and unique people, happy to welcome you into their lives and introduce you to their traditions. Music and dance play an indispensable role in everyday life here, and performances range from dashing demonstrations of bravery and prowess to humorous songs, light-hearted dances, and rural artistry with roots in traditional agriculture. Traditional songs are often accompanied by a solitary lulunga—a harp-like instrument with eight strings—while more celebratory dances are backed by a drum orchestra, which typically comprises seven to nine members who collectively produce a hypnotic and exciting explosion set of intertwining rhythms. Below we list different cultural experiences that you can easily incorporate into your trip to Rwanda.

Delve into some natural and cultural lore at the Musanze Caves.

Formed by centuries of geologic activity centred around the Virunga volcanoes next door, the 1.25-mile long Musanze caves are located just outside of the town they share a name with, and are only a 90-minute drive from Kigali. With an enormous opening (and an equally huge number of bats resident inside), the greenery outside spilling over into the twilight within makes for a fantastic photo op. Though today they’re a tourist attraction, the caves were used as a shelter during wartime for many centuries leading right up into the modern era, and as such, it’s an important site to local people. Thus, out of respect for the area’s residents, access is limited to guided visits. Expert guides lead every tour, and they can explain the history of the caves from their formation to present day. The tours make an excellent add-on activity for the afternoon after you’ve seen the gorillas, take about 2.5 hours, and can be done at any time throughout the year.

Experience a classic African Safari in beautiful Akagera National Park. With Lake Ihema in the background and cooler temperatures, this is a safari experience unlike any of Rwanda’s neighbors.

Akagera is located approximately 110 km from Kigali. The majority of the way is paved, and the last 28km are on a dirt road, therefore it is recommended to have a 4×4. For guided-drive safaris, we can assist you, all which includes the vehicle, driver and guide.

With nearly 700 species in just 10,000 square miles, Rwanda is a birder’s paradise.

When it comes to birding, Rwanda is amongst Africa’s most exciting destinaitons – within this relatively small and compact country, there over 1450 bird species of which 27 are Albertine Rift endemics.

Highlights include the Red-Faced Barbet, Shoebill Stork, Bennett’s Woodpecker, Papyrus Gonolek and the Miombo Wren-Warblers.
Rwanda has seven Important Birding Areas (IBAs) including the three National Parks—Volcanoes, Akagera and Nyungwe. The other IBAs are at: Rugezi Swamp, Akanyaru, Nyabarongo and Cyamudongo.

Rwanda’s location in the Albertine Rift makes for an ideal and stunning landscape for bird enthusiasts. Bird-watching in Rwanda can appeal to every level visitor – from the absolute novice (who maybe only visited for the primates) all the way to the most serious of birders, due to the diversity and appeal of certain species. Birding is experienced throughout the year, with the migrant bird season being from December through to February.

If you want to travel to Rwanda send us an email with your dates and questions and we will help you create your Rwanda Experience. info@kawirasafaris.net