Imagine visiting the Volcanoes National Park as for mountain gorilla trekking in Rwanda, meeting nice people, visiting the rain forests to see the chimpanzees and golden monkeys, stopping to see the Intore dancers and drummers, listening to the birds sing in forests and lake shores, visiting cultural villages and genocide museum in a peaceful country with a perfect road system and modern farms! This is just a hint of the real Rwanda that you can experience when you decide to go for a Rwanda safari adventure.
The Star attraction is definitely the mountain gorillas. A visit to Volcanoes NP or PARC Des Volcanoes (PNV) will expose you to the mountain gorillas of Rwanda, there are many gorilla groups for you to visit. As of 2014, a permit costs $ 750 per person per hour. Besides gorilla safaris in Rwanda, you can encounter over 70 mammal species with the elephants, buffalo, bush back and giant hogs seen here. A unique visit to the Dian Fossey’s grave is a humbling experience. Golden monkey trekking can also be done in this park. The cute “Golden” colored monkeys go for $ 100.
-In Nyungwe forest, you will see the other primates, the Chimpanzees and in addition you can go for the canopy walk, the only trail of such a kind that you will find in East Africa. In Nyungwe you will see the troops of colobus monkeys, the highest number in the world is found here. Nyungwe NP named among Top 10 Trips for 2014 by National Geographic Traveler. You will see over 275 bird species including the clown headed Rwenzori Turaco. The mammal list is 75 species . Over 120 butterflies and 100 orchid variety found here.-Visit Lake Kivu for a boat ride, or visit the fishing villages and while in Gisenyi you can tour coffee plantations.
Game viewing opportunities are available at Akagera National Park. Its a home to over 800 animals and about 500 bird species. Animal list include, the Cape Eland, elephants, bushbuck, Oribi, Zebra, giraffe, hippo, spotted hyena, lion and leopard. Over 525 bird species within Akagera makes it a birders paradise.
Very important! Almost every company offers gorilla trekking and other wildlife and cultural experiences. As you do your research, its important not to just consider the price quote that the Rwanda tour operator or travel agent sends through mail. See what it includes and does not. One time a tourist asked for the price and the company quoted less the gorilla permit which alone costs $ 750. A 3 day gorilla trek should cost you over 1100. Find out the company reviews online, see how many Facebook followers and likes they have, ask for former clients and write to them or chat with the on Facebook and twitter. Does the company belong to a certain professional organization such as Rwanda Tour Operators Association , Rwanda Tourism, Africa Tour Operators, Africa Travel And Travel Association? Get all these details. The most tricky part is that most companies charge their prices from the first day of the safari. You may need to pay for the extra hotel nights/day that are not part of your safari package. Your flights determine this.
Its always advisable to visit Rwanda during the months of June to August. Since most of the activities are done in the rain forests of Volcanoes National Park and Nyungwe, its normal to experience rain. Carrry a rain jacket, it often rains though not so much to scare tourists away. For birders, December to March is the best time. What to wear on a safari largely depends on the destination. For gorilla trekking clothing or what to wear, boots or water proof shoes, walking stick and jackets is a must.
The Kigali Genocide Memorial In Gisozi is a common place to visit after a gorilla safari in Rwanda. Outside Kigali, you can visit Ntarama and Nyamata. Kimironko Market specializes in crafts which you can use as souvenirs. In Musanze, you can engage in tourist activities such as brick making and basket weaving.
Being a tourist destination, Rwanda has almost all options for your stay, from the budget and backpackers accommodation to the luxury hotels and lodges. In every safari destination within Rwanda you will find over 4 choices of accommodation and they are often enough for the discerning traveler. The price of your safari will most likely depend on where you choose to stay.
With the excellent transport network around Rwanda, its easy to travel safely and comfortable to almost any tourist destination. You can hire a car.
Visiting Rwanda With Kids
Family safari is possible. Children below 16 years are not allowed to track the mountain gorillas, but they can visit the chimpanzees in Nyungwe Park as well as track the golden monkeys in addition to visits to Lake Kivu and so much more.
You can visit the mountain gorillas in Uganda in what most tour companies refer to as the double gorilla trek. Other safari destinations include Kenya where you visit Masai Mara and then Tanzania for Kilimanjaro trekking and wildlife safaris in Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti, Tarangire and so much more. The neighbouring Burundi offers a different variety all together, cultural tours and relaxing holidays are part of the fun.
Rwanda is an exciting destination to visit. Besides the prominent mountain gorillas, the land of a thousand hills has much potential as a tourist destination. With infrastructure and peace, Rwanda is increasingly becoming a popular country to visit in Africa.