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Rwanda Safari Tours, Gorillas & Wildlife Safaris in Rwanda Africa

Rwanda safaris in Africa are the greatest way to discover top Rwanda safari attractions marveled at by whoever undertakes a visit to Rwanda. A typical safari in Rwanda features gorilla trekking safaris in Rwanda in Volcanoes National Park and amazing wildlife viewing Rwanda trips in Akagera National Park. A chimpanzee tracking safari in Nyungwe Forest National Park and community tours in Rwandafurther compliment a comprehensive Rwanda safari package in the land of a thousand beautiful rolling hills.

Expect to visit renowned places and participate in tourist activities during your Rwanda safari trip. Among these are Volcanoes National Park gorilla trekking excursions to observe the beautiful endangered Mountain gorillas, the world's largest apes.

Other spectacular activities to experience on Rwanda vacations include chimp trekking, game drives, volcano climbing, Nyungwe canopy walks, and exploration of Kigali, among others. Don't miss a tour of Rwanda's genocide memorial sites to learn about the history of the 1994 genocide.

Though the list of holiday safaris in Rwanda is large, we have attempted to discuss must-see experiences during your stay to Rwanda. Feel free to browse our Rwanda safari packages to find a vacation that interests you.

This is a guide to Rwanda safari tours. Don't let anyone tell you how exciting safaris in Rwanda are; go for it yourself!

Contact Our Specialized Experienced Rwanda Safaris Team, Who Will in conjunction With You Craft a Memorable Tailor-Made Rwanda Vacation of Your Choice For 2024-2025 & Beyond !!.

Types of Rwanda Safari Tours

A Rwanda holiday offers some of the most spectacular safari experiences on the African continent. Here are the top safari options in Rwanda, commonly included in most Rwanda safari packages:

1. Gorilla Safaris in Rwanda – Rwanda Safari Gorilla

Gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda

Gorilla trekking in Rwanda allows you to meet the endangered mountain gorillas. These tours take you to Volcanoes National Park, home to 12 mountain gorilla families acclimated to human presence, with some groups used for scientific research.

The gorilla trekking journey in Volcanoes National Park takes between 2 and 8 hours and usually begins at 8 a.m. It is recommended to purchase your gorilla permits in advance through the Rwanda Development Board, which issues a limited number of permits.

Mountain gorilla safaris are also available in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Virunga National Park, both in the Virunga mountains. Encountering these magnificent apes provides unforgettable safari memories. A one-day gorilla tour in Rwanda costs around $1,700, including the gorilla permit fee.

2. Chimpanzee Trekking Safaris in Rwanda

chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda

Chimpanzee trekking safaris in Rwanda take you into the jungles of Nyungwe Park to meet chimpanzees in their natural habitat. The trek is limited to one hour of chimpanzee observation.

Like gorilla safaris, chimp trekking in Nyungwe National Park requires permits available from the Rwanda Development Board. Chimp trekking in Nyungwe is less strenuous than gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park and is best conducted during the dry season, when forest trails are drier.

3. Wildlife Safaris in Rwanda

Wildlife Safari in Rwanda

Rwanda wildlife tours are ideal for wildlife enthusiasts, offering a chance to view a variety of wild creatures. Rwanda is home to around 189 mammal species, including all of the Big Five.

Akagera National Park, the country’s only savannah park, is the best place for wildlife trips. Visitors can see elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes, rhinos, giraffes, hyenas, and various antelopes. Wildlife watching in Akagera Park rivals experiences in Kenya and Tanzania.

A boat excursion on Lake Ihema is another exciting way to experience Rwandan nature, allowing close encounters with aquatic animals like hippos, Nile crocodiles, and numerous water bird species, including colorful kingfishers.

4. Birding Safaris in Rwanda

birding in Nyungwe Forest National Park

Rwanda is a popular destination for African birding safaris, boasting over 703 bird species, including Albertine Rift endemics, forest birds, and water birds.

Nyungwe Park is Rwanda’s top bird-watching venue, with over 310 bird species, 29 of which are endemic to the Albertine region. Volcanoes National Park, Akagera Park, and Lake Kivu are also popular birding destinations. Notable birds include the Red-chested Sunbird, Black Cuckoo-Shrike, Narina Trogon, Archer’s Ground Robin, Crested Barbet, and Lilac Breasted Roller.

5. Rwanda Cultural Safaris

Ibiwachu Cultural Center in Rwanda

Rwanda cultural safaris introduce you to regions rich in Rwandan culture, where you can engage with indigenous people and their unique customs. These tours offer insights into local lives, economic activities, traditions, religion, beliefs, and cultural practices.

Common cultural activities in Rwanda vacation packages include visits to the Kigali Genocide Memorial Site and the Ibyiwacu Cultural Village, where you can enjoy traditional dance performances.

6. Kigali City Tours

Kigali Rwanda tour
Kigali Convention Centre

Kigali, known as the Land of a Thousand Hills, is a stunning city with a population of over one million people. It is one of the safest and cleanest cities in East Africa.

A one-day Kigali city tour covers major attractions, including colorful local markets, exquisite art galleries, and museums.

7. Luxury Rwanda Safaris

Luxury Rwanda safaris offer a more traditional and comfortable way to explore Rwanda’s sites and activities. Luxury tours feature world-class accommodations with exceptional services and facilities.

These trips include luxury gorilla tours in Volcanoes Park, luxury wildlife tours in Akagera, and luxury chimp tracking activities in Nyungwe National Park. They are perfect for small and large groups, as well as solo travelers, providing a once-in-a-lifetime vacation experience among East African safari destinations.

Top Rwanda Safari Attractions

Rwanda is a top tourist destination with outstanding safari attractions. Here are some highlights:

1. Primates in Rwanda

3 Days Gorilla Trekking Safaris Rwanda Golden Monkey Safari Tour

Travelers on safaris in Rwanda can spot about 13 primate species, including Mountain Gorillas, Golden Monkeys, and Chimpanzees. Other notable primates include Olive Baboons, Red-tailed Monkeys, Blue Monkeys, L’Hoest’s Monkeys, and Black and White Colobus Monkeys.

2. Other Wild Animals in Rwanda

Rwanda is home to 189 mammal species, including Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Zebras, Giraffes, Antelopes, Buffalos, Rhinos, Giant Nile Crocodiles, and Hippos. These animals can be found in national parks such as Akagera National Park, Nyungwe National Park, and Volcanoes National Park.

3. Birds in Rwanda

With about 703 bird species, including 29 Albertine Rift Endemics, Rwanda is a prime destination for bird watching. Birds can be spotted in forests, grasslands, lakes, and marshes. Notable species include the Lilac Breasted Roller, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Rwenzori Turaco, Purple-breasted Sunbird, and Regal Sunbird. Key birding spots include Nyungwe Park, Akagera Park, and Volcanoes National Park.

4. Beautiful Mountains in Rwanda

Known as the “land of a thousand hills,” Rwanda features numerous volcanoes, particularly in Volcanoes National Park. Key volcanoes include:

  • Mount Muhabura (4,127m)
  • Mount Sabyinyo (3,669m)
  • Mount Karisimbi (4,507m) – the highest volcano in the Virunga Mountains
  • Mount Bisoke (3,711m) – with a crater lake
  • Mount Gahinga (3,473m)

5. Lakes in Rwanda

Tourists often explore Lake Kivu, Lake Ihema, and the scenic Twin Lakes. On a wildlife tour in Akagera National Park, visitors also enjoy views of the Akagera River.

Top Rwanda Safari Activities

While gorilla trekking is the highlight of most Rwandan safaris, there are several other activities to enjoy:

1. Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda

Gorilla trekking in Rwanda

Gorilla trekking is a major highlight, allowing you to watch the endangered Mountain Gorillas up close in their natural habitat. Permits cost $1,500 per person. There are 12 mountain gorilla families in Volcanoes National Park available for trekking. The trek can be strenuous, but 99% of travelers accomplish it.

2. Chimpanzee Tracking in Rwanda

chimpanzee tracking in nyungwe forest national park

Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park allows you to meet chimpanzees in their natural habitat. Visitors also spot other primates such as Black and White Colobus Monkeys, Baboons, Red-tailed Monkeys, L’Hoest’s Monkeys, and Blue Monkeys, as well as various bird species.

3. Game Drives in Akagera National Park

Akagera National Park Rwanda

Game drives in Akagera National Park offer sightings of Lions, Zebras, Giraffes, Topis, Buffalos, Hyenas, Rhinos, Olive Baboons, and other primates. The drives last between 3 and 4 hours and are available during the day and at night.

4. Bird Watching in Rwanda

Bird watching in Rwanda offers opportunities to spot forest birds, water birds, and Albertine endemic species. Nyungwe Park, Lake Kivu, Akagera Park, and Volcanoes Park are excellent birding destinations.

5. Cultural and Community Visits in Rwanda

Iby’Iwacu Cultural Encounter

Cultural and community visits provide insights into Rwandan life, including traditional practices, local cuisine, and cultural performances. Notable sites include the Iby’iwacu Cultural Village and the Kigali Genocide Memorial.

Additional Activities

  • Golden Monkey trekking in Volcanoes Park
  • Kigali city tours
  • Hiking Mount Karisimbi and Mount Bisoke
  • Canopy walks in Nyungwe Forest
  • Cycling along the Congo-Nile trail
  • Visiting the grave of Dian Fossey and her former Karisoke Research Centre
  • Visiting Rwanda massacre memorial centers

Rwanda Safari Places: Best Places To Visit in  Rwanda on Safari

Best Places to Visit on a Rwanda Safari Holiday

Rwanda is a top tourist destination with several must-visit locations, including national parks, towns, and cities. Here are some of the best places to explore during your Rwanda safari holiday:

Rwanda National Parks: Rwanda boasts four national parks, each with unique attractions and safari activities.

Volcanoes National Park

Hiking Mount Karisimbi in Volcanoes national park RwandaLocated in the far northwest of Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park covers 160 km² and protects the steep slopes of the magnificent Virunga Mountain range. It is home to the endangered Mountain Gorillas, making it a prime destination for gorilla trekking.

The park features a mosaic of montane ecosystems, including evergreen and bamboo forests, open grassland, swamps, and heath. It’s also home to 200 bird species and the rare Golden Monkeys, along with other primates like Blue Monkeys, L’Hoest’s Monkeys, and Red-tailed Monkeys.

Visitors can start their gorilla trekking adventures at 7 a.m. from the Kinigi Park headquarters.

Nyungwe Forest National Park

Adventure in Nyungwe Forest with a canopy walk

Situated in the southwestern part of Rwanda, Nyungwe Forest National Park borders Burundi, Lake Kivu, and DR Congo. Established in 2004, it spans approximately 1,000 km2 and ranges from 1,600 m to 2,950 m in altitude.

The park is rich in biodiversity, featuring 75 mammal species and 13 primate species, including chimpanzees and black-and-white Colobus monkeys. It is also home to over 300 bird species.

Activities in Nyungwe include chimpanzee trekking, walking up to Isumo waterfall, canopy walks, bird watching, and nature hikes.

Akagera National Park

Wild Animals in Akagera National Park

Covering about 2,500 km2 in eastern Rwanda, Akagera National Park is known for its savannah grasslands and is named after the Kagera River. The park hosts the Big Five (lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards, and buffaloes), along with Giraffes, Zebras, Hyenas, Topis, Hippos, Crocodiles, and over 500 bird species.

Visitors can enjoy safari game drives, boat cruises on Lake Ihema, sport fishing, and cultural encounters.

Gishwati-Mukura National Park

As Rwanda’s newest national park, established in 2015, Gishwati-Mukura consists of two separate forests, Gishwati and Mukura, covering a total of 34 km2. It is home to 20 Chimpanzees and other primates like Golden Monkeys, L’Hoest’s Monkeys, and Blue Monkeys, as well as over 232 bird species.

Activities include guided nature hikes, chimpanzee and monkey tracking, bird watching, and visits to waterfalls.

Other Notable Places to Visit on a Rwanda Safari

  • Dian Fossey’s Grave at Karisoke Research Centre: This is a historical site dedicated to Dian Fossey a renowned primatologist.
  • Lake Kivu: This is a scenic lake offering opportunities for relaxation in Rwanda and water activities.
  • The Congo-Nile Trail: is a beautiful trail for hiking and cycling adventure in Rwanda, offering stunning views.
  • Genocide Memorial Centers: These are important sites for understanding Rwanda’s dark history and paying respects to the dead.
  • Kibeho Parish: This is a pilgrimage site known for its religious importance and significance in Rwanda.
  • Rusizi Town: This is a town near the scenic Lake Kivu known for its vibrant local culture.
  • Nyanza: is home to the ancient King’s Palace, offering deep insights into Rwanda’s royal history.

Rwanda offers an array of attractions and activities, ensuring a memorable safari experience. From wildlife encounters in its national parks to cultural and historical sites, there is something for every traveler.

Rwanda Safari Lodges & Accommodation for Your Rwanda Safaris

Safari Lodges in Rwanda

Don’t worry about accommodation during your Rwanda trip. The country offers well-established safari lodges and hotels that provide comfortable accommodations with excellent facilities. Hotels in Rwanda range from high-end to midrange and budget options.

Luxury Lodges in Rwanda: High-End Hotels

These luxury lodges offer high-end accommodations and services, often rated 5-star and beyond. Popular luxury lodges in Rwanda include:

  • Bisate Lodge
  • Akagera Game Lodge
  • Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge
  • Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel

Midrange Lodges in Rwanda: Standard Hotels

Midrange lodges provide comfortable accommodations, although their services and facilities are not as extensive as those of high-end lodges. Notable midrange lodges include:

  • La Palme Hotel
  • Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge
  • Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge
  • Mountain Gorillas Nest Lodge
  • Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel
  • Golden Monkey Hotel

Budget Safari Lodges in Rwanda: Budget Hotels

Ideal for travelers on budget gorilla tours, these lodges offer superb accommodation without a lot of additional services. Notable budget lodges include:

  • Hotel Muhabura
  • Akagera Rhino Lodge
  • Kinigi Guesthouse

Rwanda Safari Packing List: What to Pack for the Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Tour?

Pack light but ensure you have the essential items with you, including:

  • A good camera with extra batteries
  • Travel documents
  • Personal prescription
  • Personal first aid kit
  • A day’s backpack
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Rwanda travel documents like a passport and a yellow fever vaccination card
  • Poncho or rain jacket, ideal for gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking, and golden monkey adventures

Best Time to Visit Rwanda for Gorilla Tours

Rwanda is a great safari destination year-round, but the best time to visit is during the dry season, from June to August and December to February. During these months, walking trails for gorilla and chimpanzee trekking are dry. However, this is also the peak season, so accommodation may be more expensive.

For those interested in scenic sights, the wet season from March to May and September to November is ideal, as the landscape is lush and green. Additionally, lodge rates are often discounted during the low season, making it a good time for budget travelers.

Rwanda Safari Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Safe is Rwanda for Tourists?

Rwanda is considered safe for travelers and is ranked 9th among the world’s safest countries by the World Economic Forum, making it one of the safest in Africa. Riots and disease outbreaks are rare.

2. What to Wear on a Safari in Rwanda

The clothing you need depends on your activities, but essential items include:

  • Light long-sleeved shirts and trousers
  • Sunglasses
  • Socks and underwear
  • Light walking shoes
  • A hat

3. Why Visit Rwanda Africa?

Tourists visit Rwanda primarily for gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park. Chimp tracking and wildlife viewing are also rewarding experiences.

4. How to Get to and Around Rwanda for a Safari?

Most visitors arrive at Kigali International Airport. Due to Rwanda’s small size, most travel within the country is by car. Visitors entering Rwanda from Uganda usually use a tour vehicle. An East African Tourist Visa is required to enter Rwanda if you’re also planning to visit Uganda.

A Rwanda safari tour offers remarkable memories of a true African safari holiday. You can enjoy gorilla trekking, chimpanzee tracking, game drives in Akagera National Park, bird watching, cultural encounters, and much more. Don’t wait for someone else to tell you about the excitement – experience it for yourself!

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