Top Places to visit in a Rwanda Safari
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 rain forest and sweeping plains.
Travelers come from far and wide to catch a glimpse of the magnificent gorillas, yet there is so much more to see and experience.
1. The Gorillas in the Virunga Mountains
Virunga National Park is a national park in the Albertine Rift Valley in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It was created in 1925 and is among the first protected areas in Africa. Gorillas in these mountains are shared with Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These three countries share the few remaining gorillas in the world. People visit Volcanoes National Park to track these Mountain gorillas. People come from all over the world to spend one hour with these great apes,.they are herbivores that live in groups and like humans, they is always a dominant male which is the silverback and it is the head of the family. To track Gorillas in Rwanda you need at least 2 days and tracking gorillas in Rwanda is not as strenuous as it is in Uganda. A gorilla permit that allows you to track Gorillas in Rwanda Costs USD 1500.
2. Kigali Genocide memorial
The Kigali Genocide Memorial is the final resting place for more than 250,000 victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. It honors the memory of the more than one million Rwandans killed in 1994 through education and peace-building. While visiting this memorial you will be told to sign a visitor’s book from which you might spot lots of people’s names that are familiar.
3. Kabgayi Church museum
3 km from Gitarama along Butare road lays the massive cathedral of Kabgayi. This is the oldest in the country dating back in 1925. This was the first settlement area of the Catholic Bishop. With a huge size and peaceful interior, the church is worth a visit and there is a small museum beside it.
4. Akagera National Park
Named after the Akagera River running along its eastern boundary, Akagera NP is warm and low-lying with undulating plains supporting a cover of dense broad-leafed trees with acacia woodlands and grasslands.
The park harbors over 20 mammal species. The eastern side is wet and it is known to harbor almost the largest number of hippos in Africa. Other animals to view on the lakes on the eastern side are crocodiles, Lions, leopards and black rhinos which are present in small numbers. You can go for boat trips on Lake Ihema to view some of these animals. For birders this is another paradise on earth, the birdlife is extraordinary: not only the rarities that will have passionate birdwatchers in ecstasy but also Africa’s most inspiring concentration of big waterbirds. A visit to this park is truly rewarding
5. Nyungwe forest
It is a montane forest that is remarkably rich in biodiversity with 75 mammal species, 120 butterflies, 275 birds and over 100 varieties of orchids. The forest is well known for its primates and chimpanzee tracking can be arranged at a short notice and a small fee. Other primates in this forest include several other monkeys L’Hoest monkeys. The roads to the forest are good and with excellent rent houses and the campsite to provide the necessary services to you while in the forest. A nature walk through this forest can be truly rewarding.
6. Musanze cave
Musanze is believed to have been constructed by a local king and that it has been used as a refugee on several histories whereas during the 1994 Massacre it was used as a killing site and recently the place is still littered with human remains. Musanze the now Bat colony is located in Ruhengeri 2 Km from the Gisenyi road. It has an entrance a large as a cathedral. The entrance is littered with marked black volcanic rubble and at the opposite end there lies a natural bridge formed from the lava flow from one of the Virunga Mountains.
7. Rusumo Falls
The falls is located at the Eastern part of Rwanda at the border with Tanzania. It is an amazing and spectacular fall that is a part of the distant headwaters of the river Nile. It’s not worth missing while crossing the border of Rwanda with Tanzania.
8. Rwanda National Museum
This is located in Butare city in Huye and it is known to be the most tourists’ attraction in Butare. The museum is known to have probably the finest ethnographic collection in the whole of East Africa. It has spacious rooms that allow the exhibitions to be appreciated and enjoyed. Exhibitions provide information not only on pre-colonial history but also on the process of development of the country (Rwanda) to her modernity today. AT the museum you can organize for the Ntore dancers to entertain you in the traditional dances of Rwanda.
9. Lake Kivu
Located in the Albertine rift and apart of the Great Rift Valley, Kivu is a large freshwater deposit that marks the western border with DR Congo. This lake is a tourist’s center with fresh waters safe to swim. It has nice beaches with splendid landscapes and the sunset is usually astounding. You can spend a weekend in one of the beaches.