Rwanda has three main wildlife destinations, Volcanoes National Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park and Akagera National Park, each of which host a quite different fauna to the others.
Volcanoes National Park is best known for its population of several hundred mountain gorillas. This includes a dozen of habituated groups for which a total of 96 gorilla tracking permits are issued daily to travelers interested in gorilla safaris in Rwanda. Other wildlife includes the golden monkey (also endemic to the Albertine Rift Endemic), elephant, buffaloes, giant forest hog, bush pig, bush buck, and black-fronted duiker. Around 200 bird species have been recorded, a list that includes at least 16 Albertine Rift Endemics, but logistically it is not an easy site for bird watching.
Nyungwe Forest National Park is the most bio diverse site in Rwanda. It protects at least 1,050 plant species, along with 85 mammal, 310 bird, 32 amphibian and 38 reptile species. Thirteen primate species are present: chimpanzee, Ruwenzori colobus, L’Hoest’s monkey, silver monkey, owl-faced monkey, red-tailed monkey, Dent’s monkey, crowned monkey, vervet monkey, olive baboon, potto and at least two species of bush baby.
The only member if the Big five extant in Nyungwe is leopard, but they are very infrequently observed. Antelope include bush buck and three types of duiker. The tree hyrax is a seldom-seen guinea-pig-like animal whose blood-curdling screech is often heard at night. Nyungwe is one of the top forest ornithological sites in Africa and a must-visit for dedicated birdwatchers.
Akagera National Park is a more conventional Africa savannah reserve where all the Big Five might be seen. Buffaloes and elephants are most common, but leopards are observed with increasing frequency on night drives, and lion and black rhino respectively reintroduced in 2015 and 2017 are also quickly growing in visibility.
Other wildlife includes Maasai giraffe, Burchell’s zebra, warthog, olive baboon, vervet monkey, hippo, impala, Defassa water buck, bush buck, common duiker, eland, topi, Bohor reed buck, oribi, roan antelope, klipspringer and the secretive semi-aquatic sitatunga. Spotted hyena, genet, civet, white-tailed mongoose, bush baby, elephant-shrew and various species of owl and night jar are often seen on night drives.
Around 480 bird species have been recorded in Akagera, and it is particularly strong on raptors, water birds, and savannah and woodland species.
Such a safari will take you to all the above parks in Rwanda for you to have a tremendous as well as a memorable safari in a lifetime.
Unforgettable experience in the jungles of Rwanda to track the last Mountain gorillas on earth and view wild animals makes Rwanda a one and only country to be visited every year.