Rwanda

Rwanda is a tiny, mountainous, land-locked country offering warm hospitality and a variety of exciting experiences. The “Land of a Thousand Hills” is full of impressive peaks, with highest, Karisimbi, towering above the clouds at nearly 15,000 feet.

Luxury Rwanda safaris offer the opportunity to see endangered mountain gorillas in the volcanic Virunga mountain range, an area made famous by prominent primatologist Dian Fossey (Gorillas in the Mist). Volcanoes National Park is Rwanda’s most visited, however the country is also home to the Big 5 in Akagera National Park, while other lesser-known national parks provide the opportunity to see smaller primates such as chimpanzees, mangabeys and black and white colobus monkeys.

Contact a Journey Specialist to get your questions answered, learn about flexible travel options and to begin planning your perfect luxury Rwanda safari. Call us at 303-778-1089.

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Things To See and Do

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Below are our recommended places to visit. Contact us today or call 303-778-1089 to learn more about how we are able to customize the perfect luxury Rwanda safari just for you!

Parc National des Volcans (Volcanoes National Park)

Situated in the far northwest of Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park protects the steep slopes of the magnificent Virunga mountain range – home to the rare and endangered mountain gorilla. This is the only park in Rwanda where gorillas are found, and Rwanda is one of only three countries in the world where travelers can trek to see mountain gorillas.

The mountains host a rich mosaic of montane ecosystems which embrace evergreen and bamboo forest, open grassland, swamp and heath. An exhilarating trek through the cultivated foothills of the Virungas offers stirring views in all directions. Then, abruptly, the trail enters the national park, immersing trekkers in the mysterious intimacy of the rainforest, alive with the calls of colorful birds and chattering of the rare golden monkey. Through gaps in the forest canopy, the magnificent peaks are glimpsed, beckoning an ascent.

Trekkers are rewarded with the chance to spend an hour with Rwanda’s endangered mountain gorillas. Unquestionably one of the most incredible experiences in nature, you will see the gorillas in their natural environment with no disruption to their behavior. Habituated to human presence, the gorillas might be grooming or foraging, juveniles might be seen romping and playing, all while you quietly observe these massive primates in their element. It is an unforgettable experience!

Kigali

Located at Rwanda’s geographical heart, the rapidly growing city of Kigali is not only the national capital, but also the country’s most important business center and main port of entry. Kigali boasts a range of accommodations catering to all tastes and budgets, is clean and safe and is worthy of a day of exploration. The city has an assortment of excellent restaurants ranging from contemporary African cuisine and international fare to establishments whose menus reflect the country’s colonial ties with Belgium. Colorful markets abound, as do high-end boutiques offering beautiful art, jewelry and designer clothing. Many of the city streets are lushly tree-lined and are inviting for walkers, perhaps with a stop at one of the city’s many lovely cafés for a cup of coffee and some people watching. The city is home to several genocide memorials – sobering and poignant reminders of the country’s tragic past and a good way to learn more about Rwanda’s troubled history.

Nyungwe National Park

Nyungwe National Park is in southwestern Rwanda and is one of the continent’s oldest forests with the largest remaining tract of montane rainforest in East Africa. The park has an astounding range of biodiversity and hosts 13 species of primates, including chimpanzees, L’Hoest’s monkeys and large groups of black and white Angolan colobus monkeys. Nyungwe is also home to habituated primate species such as mangabeys and blue monkeys. Organized treks to see specific primate species are one of the park’s top activities but must be booked well in advance.

Several large but elusive mammals inhabit the forest including golden cats, bush pigs and the black-fronted duiker. Nyungwe is home to nearly 300 bird species including the beautiful blue turaco. A canopy walkway gives visitors a chance to see the forest from high above the ground, allowing for exhilarating views and spectacular bird watching. Nyungwe is a fantastic destination for hikers, boasting more than 80 miles of trails. Guided walks in the forest might be rewarded with primate and bird sightings, as well as the chance to see rare orchids, myriad butterfly species, reptiles and amphibians. The park also offers a challenging multi-day wilderness hike that gives guests the chance to see breathtaking views, ascend peaks and pass through many of the park’s habitats.

Akagera National Park

One of Africa’s great conservation stories, Akagera National Park has gone from a land nearly devoid of wildlife due to poaching and overgrazing by domestic cattle, to a thriving savanna park offering tourists the chance to see Africa’s Big 5 along with abundant other plains game animals, hippos and crocodiles on a luxury Rwanda safari. Its revival was born from a partnership between the non-profit African Parks organization and the Rwanda Development Board. Akagera is Rwanda’s largest park, and its only park with savanna habitat. Incredibly scenic, the park is bordered by tall mountains and has sparkling, forest-lined lakes. Birders shouldn’t miss the chance to visit and try to tick off some of the park’s nearly 500 species. Activities include day and night game drives, boat trips and an intriguing, conservation focused behind-the-scenes tour.

Gishwati Mukura National Park

Another of Rwanda’s conservation success stories in progress, Gishwati Mukura is the country’s newest national park. Gishwati Mukura is made up of two separate forests – the larger Gishwati and smaller Mukura. The park is home to habituated chimpanzees; golden, blue and L’Hoest’s monkeys; myriad bird species and smaller animals. Activities in the park include nature hikes, chimpanzee and monkey tracking, bird watching and waterfall visits. Community-based activities are also an option. Guests can visit neighboring communities to see cultural dances, handicraft making, beekeeping, a tea plantation and the chance to learn from traditional healers.

When to Visit

Rwanda is a year-round destination. Gorilla trekking and hiking are best during the dry season from June to September. The country’s two rainy seasons run from mid-February to June and mid-September to mid-December. While you may get wet during the rainy ‘green’ season, it is often easier to secure a gorilla permit and conditions are more ideal for photography – everything is lush and green, and the skies are less hazy. Green season also offers better chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe, as well as excellent conditions for birders with migrants passing through (Nov-Mar).

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Our passion for Africa began with a dream of living on the continent – a dream realized. We explored parks, rivers, mountains and villages, learned about the flora and fauna, fell in love with everything, and came away wanting to share our passion for a remarkable continent. Africa Adventure Consultants was born of the desire to give more people the chance to experience Africa’s wonders. Let us guide you into the wilderness.

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Pick a Destination

Africa is enormous. There are endless things to see and do, and it can’t all be done in one trip. That said, we realize that many people believe that a trip to Africa is ‘once in a lifetime’ (though many more end up realizing once is not enough!). What do you most want to see? What experiences have you been dreaming of? Visit our destination pages to narrow your choices down, browse our safari types to get a sense of the activities and styles available, or talk with a Journey Specialist to hone in on the areas that will deliver the journey of your imagination.

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Trip Ideas

We know it can be hard to narrow down what to do on vacation, especially with the wealth of choices that are available on the African continent. That’s why we have created an array of sample itineraries to inspire your travel. Browse through them – you’ll find everything from family safaris to honeymoons to Kilimanjaro climbs – and find the places and activities that excite you. From there, you can contact a Journey Specialist to start the process of crafting a customized safari just for you!

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You’re ready – it’s time to plan your safari! Contact one of our expert Journey Specialists and we will collaborate with you to craft your personalized trip.

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