Safaris in Rwanda take you through diverse safari activities, each of which reward travel endeavors with thrilling experiences. Because of its small size, visitors can easily explore its huge concentration of safari activities within a shortest time. The following are a few most remarkable safari experiences visitors on Rwanda safari can take part while on safari in Africa.
1. Gorilla trekking
A trek to see a habituated family of mountain gorilla in the wild is remarkably the rarest experience. It is best described as a lifetime experience and incredibly, it is only in Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park is that one best option set for you to turn your longtime dream into reality.
The world known Volcanoes National Park straddles in the northwest Rwanda and gorilla permits go at $1500. An organized Rwanda gorilla trek takes you through one of the 12 habituated gorilla families within the park. These include Susa ‘A’, Agashya also popular as the 13 Group, Hirwa, Bwenge, Kwitonda, Amahoro, Umubano, Ugenda, Susa B (Karisimbi) group and Sabyinyo.
2. Chimpanzee trekking
If you are interested in exploring more about chimpanzees while they are in their natural habitat, Nyungwe Forest National Park is that one spectacular destination you need to consider a must to visit. Chimpanzee trekking in this park begins from any of its reception centers-Uwinka, Gisakura and Kitabi. Two groups have been habituated and set for chimpanzee trekking.
3. A Canopy walk in Nyungwe Forest
A canopy walk is a newly introduced experience in Rwanda and it is conducted in Nyungwe Forest National Park which is situated in the southwest. The walk takes visitors through a 2.1 kilometers via a thick tropical rainforest that boasts of its intense biodiversity. While on a canopy walk, you get a chance to explore the natural treasures of this diverse tropical rainforest especially birds, primates, butterflies and not to miss the most stunning views of its forest cover as well as Lake Kivu. The walk is undertaken on a guided tour beginning from Uwinka visitor center and then set off for half an hour’s walk through Igishigishi trail in a steep slope deep into the jungles. Interested visitors should be over 6 years and this experience costs $60 per visitor.
4. Go Birding in Rwanda
Besides primate adventures, Rwanda also boasts of over 750 avifaunal species making it a birder’s paradise. This 26338 square kilometer state boasts of its intense birdlife species per square kilometers in African continent. It also features diverse habitats including the Albertine rift montane forests in the western area and the grassland plains as well as swamps on the eastern border area of this country. Besides, there are also rivers and lakes that offer refuge to significant avifaunal species that are worth spotting while you are on birding safari in Rwanda.The notable birding sites in Rwanda include Kigali capital city itself which rewards birders with the best sights at local avifaunal species. Volcanoes National Park where over 200 bird species are inhabited, Nyungwe Forest National Park with 300 avifaunal species and Akagera National Park which comprises of more than 525 bird species. Other areas include the Albertine eco region, wetlands and marshes that cover about 10 percent of Rwanda and include among others Akanyaru, Nyabarongo and Rugezi wetlands. Some of the incredible avifaunal species for you to look out while on bird watching tour in the Land of a thousand hills include the Rwenzori Batis, handsome spur fowl, regal sunbird, red collared babbler, Grauer’s swamp warbler, blue headed sunbird, Albertine owlet, white collared olive back, red faced barbets, papyrus gonoleks, shoebill storks, Carruthers’s cisticola, papyrus canary and many more.
5. Cultural tours
In addition to primate and wildlife safaris, a cultural tour in Rwanda incredibly rewards travel endeavors with authentic African experiences. This country is endowed with diverse cultures and this is evidenced in its diverse craft and traditions. A cultural trip in Rwanda offers visitors with opportunity to enjoy the thrilling traditional drumming and dancing experiences by the locals most especially by the Intore dancers. Besides, you can look out for some of the incredible craft products in this country especially jewelries, wood carvings, metal work, painting, baskets and many more. There are several community based tourism experiences for you to explore that offer memorable experiences.
6. Volcano hiking
With about five volcanoes that make up eight stunning Virunga Volcanoes, Rwanda is undoubtedly one of the spectacular country for you to explore while on hiking adventure. The notable volcanoes in this Rwanda include Muhabura, Karisimbi, Gahinga, Bisoke and Sabyinyo. Interestingly, day hikes can be arranged for you and for a memorable hiking experience, Mount Bisoke is that one major volcano for you to explore. It boasts of its stunning Crater Lake on its summit and rewards travelers with breathtaking views of surrounding areas. The other is Karisimbi Volcano that stands at altitude of about 4507 meters making it the fifth African mountain and the highest of all the Virunga Mountains ranges.
7. Hiking/cycling through the Congo Nile trail
For bikers or hikers on safari in Africa, Rwanda is that one destination you need not to miss to visit for life changing hiking and cycling experiences. Hiking/cycling the Congo Nile Trail is a newly established adventure in this country and offers travelers with a great opportunity to explore the rural setting of this country in real sense. This trail takes you through ridges that divide 2 Great Rivers and pass via stunning green valleys, waterfalls and marshes. The 227 kilometer trail stretches and covers areas of spectacular Lake Kivu which also comes with picturesque views of the country. Other incredible areas covered by this trail include Ruzizi, Karongi, Nyamasheke, Rubavu districts as well as coffee and tea plantations.
8. Game drives
When you think of a safari to Rwanda, perhaps gorilla trekking comes first and yet there more than this. A game drive is that one activity you shouldn’t miss to be part while on safari in this country. To be part of this, Akagera National Park is the only savanna grassland protected area in this landlocked country where game drives are conducted. This park lies in the eastern side of Rwanda just along the border area with Tanzania. This activity rewards you with stunning views of the big game-African elephants, Lions, Leopards, black rhinos, buffaloes as well as other savanna wildlife species such as Kobs, zebras, giraffes, bushbucks, waterbucks, roan antelopes, impalas and many more. Besides, you can also embark on night game drives where you will look out for the nocturnal dwellers like Galagos/bush babies.
9. Boat tours
If you are interested in exploring aquatic life, Rwanda still has you covered. This country isn’t only a land of a thousand hills but also land filled with water bodies most of which are ideal for boating experiences. The popular water lakes in Rwanda include Lake Kivu, Lake Ihema and Rivers include Kagera and Nyabarongo River. Boat trips are popularly conducted in Akagera National Park especially along Lake Ihema and this takes you about one to three hours. You can opt for morning hour boat ride or in the afternoon. This however rewards visitors with incredible views of water species such as crocodiles, hippos, aquatic birdlife and many more.
Other popular activities that you shouldn’t miss to be part in this country include golden monkey trekking in Volcanoes National Park, Kigali city tours where you will explore most of the bird species that live in this city as well as historical sites especially the Rwanda genocide memorial sites, camping on Lake Burera, Kayaking along Lake Kivu, sport fishing, Para motoring a mention but a few.