Introduction to the beautiful country of Rwanda
Rwanda is known as ‘The Land of a Thousand Hills’ and offers wonderful natural scenery almost wherever you go. It is also a land with a very rich cultural heritage, not all of it positive, and a visit to Rwanda will always include ‘limited’ exposure to the terrible events of the 1994 genocide (whether visiting the museum in Kigali or hearing about events from your guide). Today, the country has an extremely busy and friendly feel, and travelling around by road, you are able to really take in the positive atmosphere and beauty of this land.
The highlight of a Rwanda safari is seeing the incredible mountain gorillas, on the slopes of the Virunga Volcanoes, just a few hours drive north of Kigali. Volcanoes National Park, which was home to research by Dian Fossey and the setting for ‘Gorillas in the Mist’, is home to around nine habituated gorilla families, and this region offers the most straight-forward gorilla tracking experience possible. Accessibility from Kigali (and therefore Nairobi) has made Rwanda the destination of choice for shorter, dedicated gorilla trekking safaris.
However, for anyone interested to explore further afield in Rwanda, there is plenty to experience. Nyungwe Forest in the south of the country is a spectacular forest reserve, with excellent birding and primate viewing. In particular, chimpanzee viewing is possible. Lake Kivu offers the chance for some beach relaxation and more general sight-seeing, whilst Akagera National Park is a ‘recovering’ park with some good game-viewing and birding, including the chance to see shoebill.
Overland tours are generally undertaken in the form of tailor-made private safaris, where we provide you with a private driver guide and an exclusive 4×4 safari vehicle. For longer explorations of the region, it is common to consider combining Rwanda with Uganda, making a one way journey between Kigali and Entebbe, including the various highlights according to your interests and as your time and budget allows.
For more advice on Rwanda safari options and gorilla trekking please call us on 01787 888590 or contact us to speak to one of our safari specialists.