Rwanda is a relatively small country that lies south of the Equator, in the heart of Africa. Aside from being the safest and cleanest country in Africa, Rwanda offers an endless amount of activities to indulge in and here are five must-do activities when visiting Rwanda.
Volcanos National Park and Gorillas trekking
The life-changing opportunity to see gorillas in their natural habitat is an experience that is unique and unforgettable. This is a carefully choreographed process, with expert trackers and guides leading small you up bamboo-covered slopes to spend a precious and awe-inspiring hour just a few feet away from these gentle creatures.
- The largest living primate, gorillas, are spread across much of the equatorial African rainforest; the species is split into lowland gorillas and mountain gorillas.
- The volcanic range spans Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo is home to the endangered mountain gorilla.
- At the latest count, there are approximately 1,000 mountain gorillas in the wild, with 604 in the Virunga Massif. The population is slowly increasing, thanks to concerted efforts between our governments, communities, and NGOs.
- Twelve gorilla families live in the Volcanoes National Park, which is fully habituated, with a few others habituated solely for scientific research. The groups, or troops, consisted of at least one silverback and several females and youngsters.
The genocide memorial sites
The 1994 Genocide against The Tutsi was a pivotal moment in the history of our nation and will forever be remembered. Rwandans understand how important it is to remember and learn from the past to build a better future. The country offers tourists the opportunity to learn about our history through the Genocide memorial sites around the country.
The Kigali Memorial Center
This is the resting place for more than 250,000 bodies of the victims of the 1994 Genocide Against The Tutsi. The Memorial Center is divided into three major exhibition sections, including one that documents the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, a children’s memorial, and an exhibition on the history of genocidal violence around the world.
Nyungwe Forest National Park
The Nyungwe Forest is located in southwestern Rwanda, on the border with Burundi, where it is contiguous with the Kibira National Park to the south, Lake Kivu, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west.
- The Nyungwe rainforest is probably the best preserved montane rainforest in Central Africa.
- The park contains 13 primate species (25% of Africa’s total), 322 bird species, 1068 plant species, 75 mammal species, 32 amphibians, and 38 reptile species.
- Make the moment more memorable with photos on the canopy walk suspension bridge with the Rusumo waterfall in the background.
- Tea plantations border the edges of the park, with a habituated troop of Ruwenzori colobus monkeys at Gisakura and forest fringe birds.
Akagera National Park
Akagera National Park has come a long way from 28 years ago when it was on the verge of being lost forever due to the aftermath of the 1994 Genocide. Effective law enforcement and strong community engagement were the foundation for rehabilitation.
- After practically eliminating poaching in just five years, lions were reintroduced in 2015, followed by black rhinos in 2017, and again in 2019.
- Wildlife numbers have grown from less than 5,000 in 2010 to over 13,000 and counting.
- Take a boat trip on Lake Ihema and enjoy the large pods of hippos, Nile crocodiles, and abundant waterbirds on the island in the middle of the lake.
- Visitors can also encounter buffalo, elephant, antelope, zebra, giraffe, baboons, monkeys, an incredible 490 bird species, plus much more.
Culture and heritage
Rwanda has a rich cultural background that is well preserved and passed on from generation to generation through art, music, traditions a cultural sites. To help you get a glips of our cultural heritage, here are a few places to visit;
Nyanza King’s Palace
The King’s Palace is a beautiful reconstruction of the traditional royal residence. Nyanza became the capital of Rwanda after the monarchy had been mobile, moving the court between various locations. The kingdom’s capital had as many as 2,000 inhabitants, and huts were built in the same location as the current reconstruction.
Ethnographic Museum, Huye
The Ethnographic Museum houses one of Africa’s finest ethnographic collections.
Seven galleries display historical, ethnographic, artistic and archaeological artefacts accompanied by visual aides, giving visitors a rich insight into the Rwandan culture. Items used in hunting, agriculture, animal husbandry, pottery, weaving and woodwork are also displayed.