Rwanda popularly branded as “The Land of a Thousand Hills” is one of the exciting, fascinating, experiential rewarding and attractive destinations to visit in the African continent for holiday spending, honeymoon, research, study vacations and Safaris.
It’s mostly liked by tourists from different countries of the World because of its fascinating and attractive wide range of different touristic features offered including Wildlife species, cultural sites and other adventure sites to explore for an ultimate experience.
Other key factors which drive more tourists into Rwanda include the ease of accessibility, stable security, stable economy, good financial status and good conditions experienced per year.
About Rwanda. This amazing destination is a landlocked country which was colonised by France; most spoken languages in Rwanda include French, Runyarwanda and some bit of English. English speaking in Rwanda is just gaining momentum as most of the people are used to French and the language of origin “Runyarwanda” but efforts are made by different volunteers and NGOs from different European countries as far as teaching the English language in Rwanda, tribes in Rwanda include the Hutus and Tutsi.
This country is also popularly known for the recent genocide which occurred in 1994, this was a tribal war between the Hutus and Tutsi which led to the massive killing of people.
By location Rwanda is geographically located in the Eastern part of the African Continent sharing borders with Burundi in the South, Uganda the pearl of Africa in the North, Tanzania in the East and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the West. Rwanda is under the East African community with Uganda and Kenya.
How to get to Rwanda. Visitors to this amazing destination access it by air transport means arriving at Kigali International Airport which is its main airport, this airport is about 8.59 km from Rwanda’s capital city popularly known as Kigali city. To be issued with entry permission to Rwanda you must present three documents at the customs.
These documents required include a valid passport, valid yellow fever vaccination card and entry visa. Reaching Rwanda “The land of a thousand hills” for Safaris particularly for tourists, listed below are the major tourist sites to go and catch a glimpse of Rwanda’s fascinating Wildlife
Volcanoes National Park. This is must visit to Rwanda’s destination popularly known for habiting the most exciting ground-dwelling herbivorous species of Mountain Gorillas, it’s located in the Northwestern part of Rwanda along Rwanda’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo not very far from Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park of Uganda, its inclusive of the Virunga Massif.
Volcanoes National Park is characterised by thick tropical rainforests which are partly green, shrubs, Savannah grasslands, bogs, marshes, bamboo forested areas and swampy related areas, it’s home to five of the eight Virunga Mountains including Mountain Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga and Mountain Sabyinyo. Besides Mountain Gorillas, Volcanoes National Park also provides habitat to the species of Old World monkey family known as Golden monkeys plus different other Wildlife species including other primates like Colobus monkeys, vervet, baboons and more, different bird species, different insect species and reptiles.
How to get there? There are two options for reaching this Park from Kigali city or the airport including road transport and air transport means, travelling from Kigali up to Volcanoes National Park in Musanze district by road takes about 2-3 hours for the drive depending on the speed used and traffic.
It’s advised and recommended that you arrange all transport services from Kigali airport or city up to Kinigi where Volcanoes National Park is located with a local tour operator rather than using a public taxi up to Musanze town because there are transportation services from Musanze up to Kinigi park offices.
If not road transport, you can go by air transport means since private charters are arranged from Kigali airport up to Kinigi airstrip where park offices for Volcanoes National Park are located.
What to do. Reaching Volcanoes National Park, the major activities done include Mountain Gorilla trekking which involves meeting with these apes in the Jungles at a cost of $1500 USD per person for permits, Golden monkey tracking which involves meeting with these species of the Old World monkey family in the jungles at a cost of $100 USD per person for permit.
Other activities to do include the Dian Fossey hike at a cost of $75 USD per person this involves hiking up to Dian Fossey grave yard, Volcanoes hiking hiking Mountain Karisimbi and Bisoke. You can also do the Ibywacu cultural experience in the Iby’wacu cultural village which is just outside and near Volcanoes National Park.
Where to stay. Volcanoes National Park is situated with different accommodation facilities reserved for clients to stay while on a visit to Volcanoes National Park, these facilities are categorised into three including budget facilities, midrange and luxury facilities.
Akagera National Park. This is an exciting destination to go to while in Rwanda mostly liked because of its bit of fascinating and enticing Wildlife offered while on a discoverable visit, it was after River Akagera which flows along the suburbs of the Park.
It is located in the Eastern wing of Rwanda on Rwanda’s border with Tanzania, geographically characterised by tropical rainforests, shrubs, Savannah at a wide range, and swampy related areas characterised, The park is popularly known for habiting different Wildlife species including Wild animals with the African big fives being the main highlight, these animals include Elephants, Buffaloes, Lions, Leopards and Rhinoceros (including both species of White and black Rhinoceros).
How to get there? Travelling from Kigali airport or city up to Akagera National Park by road, it usually takes about 2-3 hours to drive depending on the speed used and associated route stopovers. Travelling from Kigali city drive towards the airport about 100m before reaching the airport branch off and turn your left driving to Rwamagana as you approach Rwamagana drive through to Kayonza, on reaching Kayonza turn your right onto the roundabout and drive until you reach a fuel station which is on the left-hand side of the road as you head to Kabarondo town.
There is a dirt road immediately after the petrol station turn left onto this road and drive for about 15km until you reach a junction at Rwinkwavu and on the left, there is a signpost which reads Akagera National Park. The Park entrance for Akagera National Park is now about 13 km from this signpost. Due to the many junctions, it’s advised that you arrange all transportation services with a local tour operator, if not road transport you can go by air since private charters are arranged from Kigali International Airport.
What to do. Reaching Akagera National Park in the Eastern part of Rwanda, the main activity done is game driving around the suburbs of the Park using a suitable 4×4 wheel drive pop-safari jeep with the main interest of sighting its different Wildlife species offered majorly African big fives.
Where to stay. Akagera National Park in the Eastern part of Rwanda is situated with different reserved accommodation facilities to stay in while on a visit to this Park, these facilities are characterised by good and quality services offered to clients for better enjoyment of their Safari vacation.
Nyungwe Forest National Park. Besides Volcanoes National Park and Akagera National Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park in the Southwestern part of Rwanda is another exciting destination to go to, geographically is located in the Southwestern part of Rwanda it’s near Lake Kivu and the Democratic Republic of Congo and also lying along Rwanda’s border with Burundi.
Nyungwe Forest National Park is characterised by tropical montane forests, shrubs, Savannah and grasslands which provide habitat to different Wildlife species like Primates, different bird species, insect species and reptiles. While in Rwanda, Nyungwe Forest National Park is popularly known for a wide range of different Chimpanzee primate species. It’s located near Changugu town about 225 km from Kigali city taking about 4-5 hours the drive
How to get there? Travelling from Kigali airport or city to Nyungwe Forest National Park, it usually takes about 4-5 hours for the drive depending on the speed used and traffic along the way, usually travelling Kigali to Nyungwe you will drive Southwest to Muhanga and on reaching Muhanga drive south to Nyanza and then on to Huye town.
Then from Huye town drive westwards to Nyamagabe which is close to Nyungwe Forest National Park entrance, reaching the entrance, you will be required to pay the Park entrance fee such that you are allowed in for different activities performed. It’s advised that you arrange all transportation services with a local tour operator rather than using public transport services which are sometimes inconvenient, time-wasting and not secure.
If not road transport you can go by air transport since private charters are arranged from Kigali Airport up to Kamembe International Airport, this is recommended to be more time-saving and suitable for limited-time travellers.
What to do. Reaching Nyungwe Forest National Park in the South Western part of Uganda, the main activities done include Chimpanzee tracking which involves meeting with these primates in the Jungles at a cost of $90 USD per person for permits. Another activity done is the Canopy walk which costs $60 USD per person.