Just a few degrees south of the equator, Rwanda is a jewel of a land. Most visitors come to see the gorillas in the Parc National des Volcans, but there’s so much more to experience. Here’s just a little taste of what you can expect from a holiday to this remarkable country.
The lush landscapes of Rwanda challenge all preconceptions of Africa as a dry and dusty continent. Also known as ’the land of a thousand hills’, Rwanda has five volcanoes, twenty-three lakes and numerous rivers, some forming the source of the River Nile. Mountains and volcanoes dominate the north of the north of the country and are bordered by Lake Kivu and its beautiful beaches to the west.
Rwanda is most well known for being one of only three countries in the world where you can see mountain gorillas in the Wild. However, that’s not the whole story, as the country is also home to a wide variety of other wildlife including chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, golden monkeys and over 200 bird species. Rwanda’s Akagera National Park also plays host to game like lions, elephants, giraffes and zebras.
Gorilla trekking is probably at the top of most visitors to Rwanda’s must do lists, however we think there is so much more to see and experience in this incredible country. We recommend spending a night or two in Kigali at the start of your trip, so you can get your bearings and also visit the Genocide Memorial, which pays tribute to the millions of people who lost their lives during this dark period of Rwanda’s history. If you have the time, we would also recommend including a trip to see the chimpanzees of Nyungwe Forest in your itinerary. Other activities worth considering include a visit to one of Rwanda’s many tea and coffee plantations, game drives in Akagera National Park, water sports at Lake Kivu and visits to traditional Rwandan villages to experience the country’s rich culture and history.
Rwanda is still very much off the beaten track and it's important to recognise this when planning a trip here. The range of accommodation is limited, and in some instances the only option is a simple guesthouse. However, in places such as Volcanoes National Park there are more luxurious options including the newly opened Bisate Lodge, which is situated within the amphitheatre of an eroded volcanic cone and enjoys sweeping views of the surrounding area. The lodge has set a new standard of luxury for lodges in Rwanda and is the perfect base for your mountain gorilla trekking holiday. If you decide to spend a night or two in Kigali at the start of your trip or finish it with a few nights R&R by the shores of Lake Kivu then the Kigali Serena Hotel and Lake Kivu Serena Hotel are both great options.
The cuisine of Rwanda is simple yet unique with the typical Rwandan diet consisting of sweet potatoes, beans, corn, peas, millet and fruit. Those people who live near lakes also incorporate fish into their diets. In the capital city Kigali, various cuisines like Indian, Chinese, Italian and other African styled restaurants are available. Rwanda's most famous dish is probably the brochette, which is basically meat on a stick. They're typically goat, but fish or beef are available for a bit more money.
If our blog has got you interested in visiting Rwanda then call us today on 020 7843 3500. Our experts will be more than happy to tailor-make an itinerary to suit your exact requirements.
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