Not surprisingly when most people are asked what there is to do in Rwanda, the first thing that pops into their head is gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park. This is undoubtedly an incredible experience that everyone should add to their bucket lists, however there is so much more to discover and enjoy in this stunningly beautiful country than these amazing creatures, which is exactly why we always recommend adding an extra day or two to your itinerary to explore some of Rwanda’s hidden gems. Linger a bit longer with our favourites below…
Peacefully nestled along picturesque hilltops, Kigali is a clean and safe city, with extremely welcoming people. Travellers will enjoy exploring the great cultural activities – including several award-winning museums, a burgeoning music scene, and some of East Africa’s most memorable dining experiences. Make sure to put aside some time to visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial, which, through education and peace-building, honours the memory of the more than one million Rwandans killed in 1994. The three permanent exhibitions and burial gardens form part of a meaningful tribute to those who perished, and provide a powerful educational tool for visitors.
One of the African Great Lakes (the sixth largest in Africa), Lake Kivu is stunningly beautiful and an incredible place to visit on your Rwandan adventure. The water in the lake has a cool temperature and there are beautiful beaches along the lakeshores with fine sand where one can relax in the sun after having a paddle or indulging in some water sports like kayaking or wind surfing. At only an hour away from Volcanoes National Park, Lake Kivu is also a great place to unwind after your gorilla trekking adventures.
Akagera National Park is located in the northeast of Rwanda along the border with Tanzania. It is named after the Akagera River that flows along its eastern boundary and feeds into a labyrinth of lakes of which the largest is Lake Ihema. The forest fringed lakes, papyrus swamps, savannah plains and rolling highlands combine to make Akagera amongst the most scenic of reserves anywhere in Africa. It has exceptional levels of biodiversity and forms the largest protected wetland in central Africa. Akagera combines well with Nyungwe and the Volcanoes National Park to offer a great safari element as it is home to many large plains game species like elephants, giraffes and lions as well as species restricted to the papyrus swamps such as the Sitatunga and the sought-after Shoebill Stork.
One of the oldest rainforests in Africa, Nyungwe is rich in biodiversity and spectacularly beautiful. The mountainous region is teaming with wildlife, including a small population of chimpanzees as well as 12 other species of primate, including the L’Hoest’s monkey endemic to the Albertine Rift. Primate tracking tops most visitor’s list, but it’s worth lingering a little longer for those with time to relax and take in the primal atmosphere. Botanists will marvel at the 1,068 plant species and 140 orchids. Whilst the birdwatching is among the best in Africa with 322 birds species including Red-collared Babbler and 28 other Albertine Rift Endemic species. Butterflies are also a common sight, with at least 120 species.
Located just outside Volcanoes National Park, this cultural village takes visitors back in time in a fun and interactive setting, with demonstrations of traditional rituals and cultural activities taking place in front of the imposing Sabyinyo Volcano. Visitors enter the living museum under a sign introducing the “gorilla guardians village” as friendly locals welcome them with drumming, singing and dancing.
To embark on your adventure of a lifetime in Rwanda get in touch with us by calling 020 7843 3500 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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