8 Hotspots That Make Rwanda A Unique Safari Destination
What distinguishes Rwanda from the rest is nothing but their exceptional beauty and how attractive they are. To get the best of Africa’s awesome beauty Rwanda should be a must in your bucket list. A visit to this country dubbed land of a thousand hills offers you a great opportunity to explore its rolling hills, cultural sites, springs and wildlife. There are several Rwanda Safaris offered by tour operators that take you through different travel experiences like mountain gorilla trekking, chimpanzee tracking, birding and cultural visits. Some of the notable sites that this country’s beauty include;
Volcanoes National park
This is the most popular of Rwanda’s national parks. Situated in northwestern Rwanda, the park features some of Africa’s best attractions. Though still a less explored safari destination, it is a must visit for tourists looking for adventurous safaris in Africa. If you are interested in gorilla adventures then it is one of a kind destinations you need to pay a visit. While on safari in this park, you have a chance to catch a glimpse at the rare mountain gorillas within their natural habitat. There are 12 gorilla families that have been habituated and set for this primate adventure in Volcanoes National Park. While on tour, you can track any of the following groups-the Susa A, Susa B (Karisimbi), Hirwa, Sabyinyo, Kwitonda, Umubano, Amahoro, Agashya (Group 13) and many others. Gorilla permits in Rwanda cost $1500 per person and you can obtain one through ground tour operators or through reservationist at Rwanda Development Board (RDB). Besides, this park also offers refuge to a section of scenic volcanoes that make up the Great Virunga Massifs. They include Bisoke that stands at altitude of about 3711 meters, Sabyinyo (3674 meters), Gahinga (3474 meters), Muhabura (4127) and Karisimbi (4507). This park is ideal for gorilla trekking, birding, nature walks, cave exploration, golden monkey tracking, hiking a mention but a few.
Volcanoes National Park [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons
Nyungwe Forest National Park
Nyungwe national park is located in southwestern Rwanda. It covers an area of about 1000 square kilometers making it one of the largest afro-rainforests in East and Central Africa. It features mainly rainforest, grassland, swamps, bogs, bamboo and thus making a favorable habitat for varied wildlife species. It is a home to 13 primate species that include among others chimpanzees, Ruwenzori colobus, L’Hoest monkeys, grey cheeked mangabeys, red tailed monkeys, Dent’s Mona monkeys, vervet monkeys, Hamlyn’s monkeys and olive baboons. Besides, over 310 bird species also call this park their home, 27 of which are endemic to Albertine area. They include stripe breasted tit, blue headed sunbird, masked mountain apalis, mountain sooty boubou, red collared mountain babbler, Rwenzori Batis, yellow eyed black flycatcher, Rwenzori Turaco, regal sunbird a mention but a few. For nature lovers, Kamiranzovu waterfalls should be a must for you to explore. Rwanda safari to Nyungwe Forest National Park takes you through chimpanzee tracking, canopy walk, bird watching and others.
BluesyPete [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons
Akagera National Park
For exceptional game viewing experiences in Africa, Akagera National Park is that one magical destination for you to pay a visit. While on Rwanda safari to Akagera National Park, expect to see the big five game-Elephants, lions, buffaloes, rhinos, leopards; impalas, topis, bohor reedbuck, hyenas, cape bushbuck, Oribis, waterbucks, roan antelopes, duikers a mention but a few. There are also over 525 avifaunal species, crocodiles and hippos for you to catch a glimpse at while on Rwanda safari in Akagera National Park. This is Rwanda’s only savanna grassland park and it was gazetted in 1934 mainly to promote wildlife safaris.
Louis Dewame [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Gishwati Mukura National Park
This is a newly established park and lies suitably within Rubavu Nyabihu district in the northwestern province of Rwanda. It comprises of both Gishwati and Mukura forest reserve, inhabiting mainly chimpanzees, 70 tree species, 84 bird species that include among others the white headed wood hoopoe, Rwenzori Turaco, weaver bird species, martial eagles, mountain yellow warbler a mention but a few.
Antoinetorrens [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons
The twin Lakes
When you think of a trip to Rwanda, expect to see not only the rare mountain gorillas or chimpanzees. The scenic twin lakes are a few most incredible tourist sites you need not to miss to pay a visit. They include Burera and Ruhondo and they are situated within Burera and Musanze district. While here, you will be amazed by breathtaking views over the scenic Bisoke volcanoes, Gahinga, Muhabura and around Burera side, don’t miss to clear view over Kisoro side. The other most scenic water Lakes that make up Rwanda’s beauty and worth exploring include Lake Kivu, Lake Muhazi and many others.
Atorpey [CC BY 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons
National Museum of Rwanda
The best way to explore Rwanda’s heritage is by paying a visit to national museum. Rwanda is endowed with history dating back to the colonial and post-colonial times. To get the best of this country’s unique history, consider visiting the natural history museum in Kigali a must as well as the ethnographic museum in Huye, the presidential palace-Kanombe in Kigali, environmental museum in Karongi, King’s Palace museum-Rukari in Nyanza, Art Gallery-Rwesero in Nyanza among others.
Amakuru [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons
Genocide memorial sites
A visit to these historic sites offer a great opportunity for you to explore more about the 1994 Rwanda genocide that claimed nearly a million lives and left many homeless. These sites are ideal especially if you are interested in dark tourism. They include among others the Nyanza genocide memorial site, Murambi genocide sites, Nyamata genocide site, Kigali genocide site, Bisesero genocide site, Ntarama genocide site and others.
The Virunga Mountains
Out of the 8 Volcanoes that make up the mighty Virunga Mountain ranges, 5 of them are all confined within Rwanda Volcanoes National Park. They include Gahinga, Bisoke, Karisimbi, Muhabura and Sabyinyo. In addition to the country’s undulating landscape, these volcanoes make it a few unique tourist destinations in East Africa.
User:Amakuru [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons
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