Rwanda Safari Holidays

Rwanda is known as the land of a thousand hills, Rwanda’s stunning scenery and warm, friendly people offer unique experiences in one of the most remarkable countries in the world. It is blessed with extraordinary biodiversity, with incredible wildlife living throughout its volcanoes, montane rainforest, and sweeping plains, Chimpanzees, golden monkeys, and other primates live alongside hundreds of brightly-colored birds, orchids, and butterflies, Travellers come from far and wide to catch a glimpse of the magnificent gorillas, yet there is so much more to see and experience.

The west of Rwanda forms a branch of the Great Rift Valley known as the Albertine Rift. It has many unique, endemic species and is bursting with life.

The country is home to four national parks of Volcanoes National Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park, Akagera National Park, and Gishwati Mukura National Park all scattered across the country with the famous one being the Volcanoes national park which is one of the few national parks in the world where the endangered mountain gorillas are still existing in their natural habitat and the national park borders Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in the North and Democratic Republic of Congo’s Virunga national park in the northwest forming the Virunga Massif gorilla region.

Volcanoes are where the American primatologist Dian Fossey carried out her research on by then the Critically endangered mountain gorillas that were heavily affected by poaching and wildlife trafficking.

Where to go on holiday in Rwanda

Volcanoes National Park – Gorilla tracking safaris

Volcanoes National Park (also known as “Parc National Des Vulcans in French and as well as (Pariki y’igihugu y’ibirunga in Kinyarwanda”) is found in the Northwestern parts of Rwanda sharing borders with Mgahinga Gorilla National park in Uganda and Virunga National park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Volcanoes National Park is the origin of five of the ancient eight volcanoes of the Virunga Mountains which include Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga, and Sabyinyo, the rainforests and the bamboo vegetation covers an area of 160 km2. The park is home to one of the world’s greatly endangered species that are the Mountain gorillas and golden monkeys.

The park was gazetted in 1925 as a small area encompassing only Bisoke, Karisimbi, and Mikeno with an aim of combating poachers from hunting the Gorillas and hence making it the first national park to be created in Africa.

Nyungwe Forest National Park – Chimpanzee trekking safaris

One of the oldest rainforests in Africa Nyungwe is rich in biodiversity and spectacularly beautiful. The mountainous region is teaming with wildlife, including a small population of Chimpanzees as well as 12 other species of primate, including the L’Hoest monkey endemic to the Albertine Rift. With 15 trails, some of which are detailed here, along with various other activities, visitors can choose to sample the delights of the forest or indulge themselves for a week or more in one of Africa’s most stunning forests.

Primate tracking tops most visitors’ list, but it’s worth lingering a little longer for those with time to relax and take in the primal atmosphere.

Botanists will marvel at the 1,068 plant species and 140 orchids. The birding trips are among the best in Africa with 322 bird species including Red-collared Babbler and 29 other Albertine Rift Endemic species. Butterflies are also a common sight, with at least 120 species.

There are 75 known mammals in Nyungwe, such as the Serval cat, mongoose, Congo clawless otter, and leopard to name but a few. Many tend to be shy so sightings are luck of the draw.

Memorable and photogenic moments include walking up to the Isumo waterfall or along the canopy walk suspension bridge. Tea plantation borders the edges of the park, with a habituated troop of Ruwenzori colobus monkeys at Gisakura as well as forest fringe birds.

Akagera National Park – Wildlife viewing safari

Akagera national park is located in the eastern part of Rwanda bordering Tanzania, the park is one of the four conservation areas where you can see the African Big five and enjoy an incredible boat cruise on Lake Ihema.

The relatively warm and low-lying plains of the expansive Akagera comprises of savannah, woodland, wetland, and dozens of Lakes which have provided an incredible habitat for the re-introduction of wildlife in Rwanda.

Rwandan government in conjunction with African parks since 2010 has seen the introduction of Lions and Rhinos in a way of boasting the wildlife targeting incredible destination management to promote Akagera as one of the best destinations to see wildlife in east Africa.

Kigali City – Historical and Cultural experience

Roughly in the center of the country, Kigali sprawls across numerous hills, ridges, and valleys, and has a vibrant restaurant and nightlife scene. The Kigali Genocide Memorial documents the 1994 mass killings in Rwanda, associated with the country’s civil war. The city’s Caplaki Crafts Village has stalls selling traditional handicrafts, including woodcarvings and woven baskets. The weather is 23°C, Wind S at 11 km/h, 70% Humidity and a Population estimate are at 12.3 million people as of 2018.

The City of Kigali is the capital of Rwanda and it is located at Rwanda’s geographical heart. The City of Kigali has rapidly grown into a modern city in the last decade and it has not only become Rwanda’s most important business center but also the main point of entry.

The City of Kigali which started in 1907 is one of the safest and friendliest African capitals. It is blessed with a moderate-high altitude climate that belies its tropical location and is conveniently located within three hours’ drive of the main tourist sites. The Rwandan capital provides both a comfortable and welcoming introduction to this land of a thousand hills and an ideal springboard from which to explore this magical country.

How to get to Rwanda for a safari

Rwanda Air is the official airline that operates flights in many destinations in Europe, Asia, United Arab Emirates, and Africa however may flight like Kenya, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Brussels, Ethiopian Airlines operate daily flights to the country’s main Kigali international Airport just a few minutes’ drive to the city center.

Best time to travel to Rwanda for a safari

The best time visit Rwanda is from mid-May to mid-October, this is the long dry season and has perfect conditions for tracking gorillas. There are four seasons to consider when planning your Rwanda safari, however, the weather is fairly temperate and favors travel year-round, thanks to its compact size, proximity to the equator, and high altitude, which gives it a fresh highland feel and consistent temperature. The average daytime temperature is around 30°C or 86°F. The capital of Kigali enjoys an average temperature of 21°C or 70°F.

You can track gorillas year-round in Rwanda, however, you will want to bear in mind that the rainier months will make tracking more difficult with muddy conditions.

Why Book your Gorilla safari through Safari vacation and Travel services

Safari vacation and Travel services is registered and recognized by the Rwanda development board and they can help you to book your gorilla permits and all other travel services with a depth of information about East Africa you can also check out our wildebeest migration safari in Tanzania and Wildlife safaris in Kenya as we look forward to arranging life-changing safari experiences in Rwanda.

Other activities to do in:

Bwindi

  • Forest Waterfall walks
  • Birding
  • Batwa Pygmy walks
  • Village Walks
  • Buhoma-Nkuringo walking Safari
  • Volunteering Programs
  • Hiking trails
  • Village Walks

Mgahinga

  • Golden Monkey
  • Batwa Experience
  • Hiking Sabinyo
  • Hiking Gahinga Volcano
  • Buhoma-Nkuringo walking Safari
  • Golden Monkey Experiencial Tourism
  • Birding Safaris

Where To Stay

  • Bwindi Gorilla Forest Camp
  • Buhoma Lodge
  • Bwindi Lodge
  • Mahogany Springs Trekkers Lodge
  • Bwindi Haven Lodge
  • Buhoma Community Rest Camp
  • Ride 4 Women Silverback Lodge
  • Engagi Lodge Gorilla Mist Ruhija
  • Bakiga Lodge
  • Broadbill Forest Camp
  • Bwindi Gorilla Havens Lodge
  • Icumbi Gorilla Lodge
  • Rushaga Gorilla Camp
  • Gorilla Safari Lodge
  • 4 Gorillas Lodge
  • Nkuringo Bwindi Lodge
  • Gorilla Heights Lodge
  • Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge
  • Mt. Gahinga Lodge
  • Chameleon Hill Lodge
  • Lake Mutanda Resort
  • Lake Chahaffi Resort
  • Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge
  • Mulehe Safari Lodge
  • Mucha Hotel