Rwanda Wildlife Safaris And Tours
Rwanda wildlife safari and tours- Rwanda is a simple small country with a few national parks that can be accessed in a single day by road transport. The land is full of rolling hills with so many attractions which anybody can visit in less than 10 days on a safari. The national parks are not so far from each other and these are Volcanoes national park in the northwest, Nyungwe forest national park and Gishwati Makura national park in the southwest as well as Akagera national park in the northeast.
The national parks in Rwanda have unique attractions with each park having its unique activities and for volcanoes national park you can only do mountain gorilla trekking and golden monkey trekking, Nyungwe national park and Gishwati Makura national park its chimpanzee trekking, and when it comes to Akagera national park you enjoy the game drives which expose you to over 100 large mammals including the big 5 animals.
Places to do wildlife tours in Rwanda.
Volcanoes national park
Volcanoes Rwanda happens to be the most visited national park in the country and it’s located in t6he northwestern side of the country in the Musanze district. The park protects the closest creatures to human beings which are the mountain gorillas for they share 98% human DNA. The mountain gorillas are not the only primates in this park but also the golden monkeys.
These primates do live on the slopes of Virunga mountains such as Mount Biokse, Mount Karisimbi, Mount Sabyinyo, Mount Gahinga, and Mount Muhabura. Trekking mountain gorillas and golden monkeys are the most done activity in the park but there are other activities such as birding, hiking, nature walks, and cultural visits in the park.
To trek mountain gorillas or golden monkeys in volcanoes national park you will have to be having a valid trekking permit which is issued out by the Rwanda development board and on the day of trekking, you will move with it to the park headquarters. At the park headquarters you will get a briefing from the wardens before grouping and the armed ranger guides will lead you through the jungle.
As you are on the slopes of Virunga mountains searching for mountain gorillas or golden monkeys, you will be able to see different park animals like elephants, duikers, spotted hyenas, buffaloes, giant forest hogs, several monkeys, and different bird species. On spotting the allocated primate group, you will be given 1 hour to observe the family, learn about their habits, watch them do daily activities, and take photos.
You can do hiking activities on Rwanda wildlife safaris and tours where you have over 5 mountains to choose from and these are Mount Biokse, Mount Karisimbi, Mount Sabyinyo, Mount Gahinga, and Mount Muhabura. You can have a cultural visit to the Iby’Iwacu cultural village where you get to interact with local people and get entertained through traditional dances and drama.
On a wildlife safari in volcanoes national park you can opt for birding activities in the afternoon by doing a simple nature walk and this will expose you to over 178 bird species that are so far recorded in the park and these include Archer’s ground robin, red-faced woodland warbler, African green broadbill, purple-throated, Rwenzori double-collared, francolin, dusky crimson wing, collared apalis, regal sunbirds, strange weaver, baglafecht weaver, handsome francolin, dusky crimson wing, white collared silverback, bateleur, Rwenzori batis, red-backed shrike, cinnamon-chested bee-eater, archer’s ground robin, grauer’s rush warbler, lesser honeyguide, bat hawk, red-faced woodland warbler, and Rwenzori turaco among others.
Nyungwe forest national park
Nyungwe forest national park located within Nyungwe forest in the southwestern part of Rwanda is one of the best places you can visit in a wildlife safari. The park is home to endangered chimpanzees that have made it famous as well as the canopy walk one of its kind in East Africa.
The chimpanzee trekking activity in Nyungwe forest requires you to have a valid trekking permit from Rwanda Development Board and these are issued out at a fee of $90 for foreign non-residents and $60 foreign residents. With your trekking permit, you will just have to move to the briefing point where you will rangers that will take you through the briefing process before the armed ranger guides lead you into the jungles.
In the jungle trekking the chimpanzees, you have opportunities of meeting over other 12 primates such as L’hoest monkeys, Blue monkeys, owl-face monkeys, crowned monkeys, olive baboons, red-tailed monkeys, Dent’s Mona monkeys, crowned monkeys, vervet monkeys, and grey checked mangabeys. On setting eyes on the chimpanzees, you will be allowed to observe them for 1 hour, watch them do daily activities, learn about their habits as you take photos.
On a wildlife safari in Nyungwe forest national park, you can opt to do the canopy walk in the afternoon after a successful chimpanzee trekking. The canopy walk is done at a fee by those above the age of 6 years and the little ones move under the watch of the guides. The canopy walk is 2 hours and it takes you up in the sky on a 90-meter long bridge raised 50 meters above the ground. During the canopy walk, you will have an aerial view of the park forest, surroundings, birds, and primates.
Akagera national park
Akagera national park is the only savannah national park in Rwanda located in the northeastern part of the country covering a total area of 2,500 sq. km. The park is home to over 1000 large mammal species and among these include all the big 5 animals.
The wildlife safari in Akagera national park exposes you to so many activities such as birding, boat cruises on Lake Ihema and the most done is game drives. The game drives do expose you to so many animals such as lions, rhinos, cape elands, zebras, giraffes, buffaloes, leopards, kobs, hyenas, oribis, topis, roan antelopes, and hippos, different bird species among others.
The boat cruise on Lake Ihema on a wildlife safari in Akagera national park will expose you to different water animals such as hippos, crocodiles, and some of the park animals on the lake shores such as buffaloes, elephants, zebras, antelopes, and different waterbird species such as shoebill stork, papyrus gonoleck among others.
On a wildlife safari in Akagera national park, you can decide to do simple birding activities with an experienced ranger guide where you will get to spot birds such as grey crowned crane, woodland kingfisher, saddle-billed stork, papyrus ganalex, palm-nut vulture, fork-tailed Drongo, white-browed coucal, black-headed weaver, blue checked bee-eater, palm nut vulture, great egret, cattle egret, fork-tailed drongo, common squacco heron, eastern grey plantain-eater, marabou stork, white-browed coucal, crowned lapwing, lilac-breasted roller, ross’s turaco, grey-backed fiscal, pin tailed whydah, crested barbet, little bee-eater, grey-backed fiscal, lesser striped swallow, cardinal woodpecker, northern fiscal, hamerkop, African rock pigeon, lilac-breasted roller and much more.
Accommodation to book on wildlife tours & safaris in Rwanda
Volcanoes national park – Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Bisate Lodge, One $ Only Gorilla’s Nest Lodge, Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel, Singita Kwitonda Lodge, and Amakoro Songa Lodge among others
Nyungwe forest national park – One & Only Nyungwe House, Emeraude Kivu Resort, Hotel Du Lac, Nyungwe forest lodge, Gisakura Guesthouse, and Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel among others.
Akagera national park – Karenge Bush Camp, Akarenge Game Lodge, Ruzizi Tented Lodge, Magashi Safari Camp, Vintage Cottage, Akagera Resort and Country Club, Akagera Rhino Lodge, and Nyagasambu Realm Beach Hotel among others.
Best time to go wildlife tours and safaris in Rwanda
Tourists intending to visit Rwanda for a wildlife safari can always do so at any time of the year but the drier months are better than the rest. The drier months do occur from June to September and December to February and during this period expect little or no rainfall at all. When there is no rainfall, the trekking trails are less muddy, the vegetation in the park is thin giving clear views of the park animals, and the roads leading to the park are passable.
Tourists can still have their wildlife tours in Rwanda in the rainy season which occurs in October to November and March to May and these are characterized by little or no rainfall, the trekking trails are muddy and slippery, the vegetation is thick and the roads to the park are impassable. Tourists intending to have a wildlife safari in Rwanda in the dry season especially are advised to book the safari in advance.