Why visit Rwanda?
A landlocked destination set in the heart of Africa, Rwanda has gone from strength to strength in recent years, having one of the fastest growing economies on the African continent. Not a typical safari destination when compared to the likes of Kenya and Tanzania, a Rwanda safari offers something entirely different, whether it be tracking the mountain gorillas of the Virunga Volcanoes, searching high and low for the cheeky chimpanzees of Nynugwe Forest, or relaxing on the savannah plains of Akagera National Park.
Known as the land of a thousand hills, Rwanda’s stunning scenery and warm, friendly people offer unique experiences in one of the most remarkable countries in the world. It is blessed with extraordinary biodiversity, with incredible wildlife living throughout its volcanoes, montane rainforest and sweeping plains.
Travellers come from far and wide to catch a glimpse of the magnificent gorillas, yet there is so much more to see and experience.
There are four seasons to consider when planning your Rwanda safari, however the weather is fairly temperate and favours travel year-round, thanks to its compact size, proximity to the equator and high altitude, which gives it a fresh highland feel and consistent temperature.
The average daytime temperature is around 30°C or 86°F. The capital of Kigali enjoys an average temperature of 21°C or 70°F. So as a country that can be visited throughout the year and it’s hard to define a best time to go.
This being said, particularly for seeing the gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park, there are months that are deemed better for conditions for trekking than others so please see the below information. Gorilla trekking is available throughout the year and sightings are pretty much guaranteed.
For more detailed ‘when best to travel’ information, please refer to our Travellers Tips.
7 Nights Best of Rwanda – Premier Journey
Kigali, Volcanoes National Park, Kibuye and Nyungwe Forest National Park
Interested in Botswana?
Please contact us now to speak to a consultant.
What to See in Rwanda
Volcanoes National Park
Located in the northwest of Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park, or Parc Nationals de Volcans (PNV), borders neighbouring Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Covering a vast 8,000 kilometres square, this stunning area protects five of the nine staggeringly beautiful Virunga Mountains, each characterised by steep slopes that are blanketed in thick green, tropical rainforest. There is a total of nine volcanoes in the Virunga Mountain Range (the highest being Karisimbi at 4,507 metres), six of which are extinct and the other three still active, providing the perfect habitat for the last few surviving mountain gorillas in the world.
Akagera National Park
Akagera National Park offers a truly exceptional wildlife experience. It is the only Big 5 reserve in Rwanda and is also home to the rare swamp dwelling Sitatunga. Guests also have the opportunity to see an abundance of birdlife, including the rare Shoebill stork, the endangered papyrus Gonolex and the much sought-after red-faced Barbet. With over 500 recorded species, Akagera is one of the best birding environs in the world with the highest recorded number of species per unit area.
Nyungwe Forest National Park
In the southwest corner of Rwanda, Nyungwe Forest National Park is a vast untouched tropical rainforest with a high, dense canopy. Nyungwe became a National Park in 2004 as Rwanda sought to increase its tourism beyond the country’s mountain gorillas of Volcanoes National Park and is certainly worthy of its status because of its spectacular biodiversity. Spreading over 1,020km², Nyungwe Forest National Park includes the largest swathe of remaining montane forest in East or Central Africa. It harbours about 310 different bird species, hundreds of butterflies and orchids, and over 75 different species of mammals – including 13 primates (including Chimpanzees & about a quarter of all Africa’s primates).
Lake Kivu Lake Kivu is a 90km-long freshwater lake that lies along Africa’s Great Rift Valley, is surrounded by magnificent mountains and has deep emerald green waters covering a surface area of 2,700 km2. With crystal clear, clean waters, it is a beautiful destination with no hippos or crocodiles, also making it one of the safest lakes in Africa. Lake Kivu is Rwanda’s largest lake and the sixth largest in Africa. From Rubavu in the north, the Congo Nile Trail extends 227 kilometres of breath-taking landscapes all the way to Rusizi in the south of Lake Kivu.