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The “land of a thousand hills,”  Rwanda, has gone from being a nation scarred by one of the bloodiest genocides in recent memory to a symbol of optimism, peace, and effective government in Africa. The countryside is characterized by lovely rolling hills and verdant plantations, while the capital city Kigali features clean city streets, five-star hotels, and good road networks. Large institutions like the National University of Rwanda and national museum are located in Butare, Rwanda’s second-largest city, which is referred to as “the intellectual center of Rwanda.” Since embracing industrialisation, agricultural modernisation, mining, and tourism, the nation’s wealth has expanded.

Planning For  Rwanda Wildlife Safaris 

Rwanda has three main wildlife destinations, Volcanoes National Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park and Akagera National Park, each of which host a quite different fauna from the others. Wildlife safaris in Rwanda contributes a huge sum of money to the foriegn exchange attracting over 500,000 tourists annually majorly interested in gorilla watching. Discussed below are the major Rwanda attractions you cannot miss out on your Rwanda safari.

Rwanda Wildlife Safaris

Rwanda Wildlife tour


There are three prime wildlife destinations for Wildlife safaris in Rwanda; Volcanoes National Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park and Akagera National Park, each of which host a quite different flora and fauna to explore. Let’s go ahead and discover the insights about wildlife experience in these top destinations.

Wildlife Safaris in Volcanoes National Park

Where Mountain Gorillas are the main wildlife attractions[/cz_title]

Rwanda is one of three nations in the whole world where gorillas can be seen in their natural habitat. Despite the small area of the park with about 125km² of rain forests, it is a home to more than 400 endangered gorillas. While in Rwanda, travelers can only do gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park, the Rwandan section of the Virunga conservation area shared by Virunga national park the D R Congo section and Mgahinga national Park the Ugandan section, of home to the rare unique mountain gorillas.

Volcanoes national park offers visitors a chance to get close to these endangered intriguing creatures. Situated just 2 hours drive from Kigali city center and Kigali international airport, accessing Volcanoes national park is quite easier comparing to other gorilla parks. Volcanoes has 10 habituated gorilla groups available for gorilla trekking and per day, a maximum number of 8 people are allowed to visit a single gorilla group for a maximum of one hour. This means a single day has 80 gorilla permits available with each permit going for $1500. With gorilla permits limited to 80 per day, its necessary to purchase your gorilla permit quite early especially if you plan to travel during the peak seasons.

Nyungwe Forest National Park is the most biodiverse site in Rwanda. Nyungwe forest is another top destination to book for wildlife safaris in Rwanda as it protects at least 1,050 plant species, along with 85 mammal, 310 bird, 32 amphibian and 38 reptile species. There are 13 wildlife species present here; chimpanzees, Ruwenzori colobus, L’Hoest’s monkey, silver monkey, owl-faced monkey, red-tailed monkey, Dent’s monkey, crowned monkey, vervet monkey, olive baboon, potto and at least two species of bushbaby. The only member if the Big five extant in Nyungwe is leopard, but they are very infrequently observed. Antelope include bushbuck and three types of duiker. The tree hyrax is a seldom-seen guinea-pig-like animal whose blood-curdling screech is often heard at night. Nyungwe is one of the top forest ornithological sites in Africa and a must-visit for dedicated birdwatchers.

One of the most extraordinary stories about wildlife safaris in Rwanda is the story of Akagera National park and its lions, a thing which adds up to the Rwanda’s other two national parks Volcanoes national park with its mountain gorillas and Nyungwe national parks and its chimpanzees. With the beauty of Akagera wildlife lions, you will have to visit all the 3 of the country’s very different national parks. Your visit to the park will surely pay off and besides the lions, recently, the rhinos were also introduced in this stunning and must visit park.

Wildlife Safaris in Rwanda’s Akagera National Park

Find out the wildlife species to see on a game drive[/cz_title]

Akagera National Park is a more conventional Africa savannah reserve where all the Big Five might be seen. Buffaloes and elephants are most common, but leopards are observed with increasing frequency on night drives, and lion and black rhino – respectively reintroduced in 2015 and 2017 – are also quickly growing in visibility. Other wildlife includes Maasai giraffe, Burchell’s zebra, warthog, olive baboon, vervet monkey, hippo, impala, Defassa waterbuck, bushbuck, common duiker, eland, topi, Bohor reedbuck, oribi, roan antelope, klipspringer and the secretive semi-aquatic sitatunga. Spotted hyena, genet, civet, white-tailed mongoose, bushbaby, elephant-shrew and various species of owl and nightjar are often seen on night drives. Around 480 bird species have been recorded in Akagera, and it is particularly strong on raptors, waterbirds, and savannah and woodland species.

Golden monkeys in Rwanda are located in Volcanoes national park, although their range some times get in contact with mountain gorillas, golden monkeys are tracked in a different location of the Volcanoes national park at different starting trail head. Just like mountain gorillas tracking, visitors have to go through a professional briefing at the park headquarters for a guide to conduct and what to expect during the trekking adventure. Golden monkeys like in bamboo trees of the Virunga park and tracking them is an interesting adventure. For many travellers, golden monkey tracking is not as touching and personal as mountain gorillas watching, as you don’t get as close to golden monkeys as gorillas. Golden monkeys can be seen jumping from one-tree branches to another and you have a chance to take clear pictures. Golden monkey tracking goes for $100 per person.

The 26 elephants found in Akagera National Park includes 14 males plus 12 females. Among those, just 3 (Mutware – the Chief, Mwiza and Hélico) have been habituated, and the rest are still wild. The 2 (Mwiza and Hélico) eventually followed the wild herd so Mutware, is up to now alone and continues to cause damage, and perhaps it is for this reason that he is really famous.

Elephants plus buffaloes walk in somewhat large herds, while leopards, spotted hyenas plus lions are seen by lucky guests normally hanging about in the wooded areas. Zebras plus Giraffes are mainly seen in the open grasslands. In addition you will see over 12 species of antelope within the park such as the nice-looking chestnut coated impala. The Shy bushbuck roams within the bushes while the oribi is a unique sight together with world’s largest antelope – the Cape eland plus the tsessebe. Book a habituation tour to visit Akagera with us today.

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