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Unique Safari and Game Parks to Visit in Rwanda in 2024

This unique Rwanda safari will take you to Rwanda’s prominent national parks as well as historical sites in Rwanda and its cultural sites as well. The historical and cultural part of it will take you for a city tour since most of the historic sites and cultural sites are set with in and around the city. Here you will be visiting genocide memorial sites, cultural villages and artisan centres.

Go for Kigali Genocide Memorial, Kandt House Museum, Kigali Fashion Week every July, Kigali cultural Week every September, Nyanza Genocide Memorial, Banda Cultural Village, Kitabi Cultural Centre, Gorilla Guardians Village, Cultural Festivals like Umuganda & Kwita Izina,  The Kings Palace in Nyanza, Presidential Palace Museum, Urutare Rwa Ngarama, Ntarama Genocide Memorial, Ryamurari, Nyamata Genocide Memorial, Inema Art center, Bugesera Reconciliation village, Ethnographic Museum, Utubindi twa Rubona, National Liberation Park Museum, Campaign Against Genocide Museum, Environmental Museum and Murambi Genocide Memorial.

Volcanoes National Park is the main draw in Rwanda known for hosting mountain gorillas. one can also engage in visiting the grave of Dian Fossey, golden monkey trekking, mountain hiking, visiting the IbyI’wacu cultural village, touring lake Burera and Ruhondo.

Before one can take part in gorilla trekking safari, one needs to buy a gorilla permit at $1500 which should be booked in advance. One needs to be in good shape and with the right clothing before taking part in gorilla trekking experience. Good and light hiking shoes that are water proof are crucial. One also needs long trousers, long sleeved shirts, hand gloves and a raincoat for the best experience.

You can also visit the tomb of Dian Fossey while visiting the park to track gorillas. Dian Fossey is one of the greatest primatologists discovering many things about mountain gorillas that has helped current researchers in habituating them.

The hike to her tomb and former Karisoke Research station is a whole day activity and costs $75. Visiting her grave will help you appreciate the amazing work she did with the gorillas. You will also appreciate the remarkable biodiversity in the Volcanoes National Park.

Golden monkey tracking is one of the top activities while at the Volcanoes National Park. Golden monkeys move in large groups that can reach 100 individuals. They feed on mainly bamboo shoots but will raid human farms if possible. It only costs $100 which should also be booked in advance.

A visit to the Twin Lakes of Ruhondo and Burera is one way of relaxing after gorilla trekking. If you love nature and beautiful scenery, you must visit these lakes. The lakes are located are known for their deep waters and surrounding hills but what strikes the eye is the scenery. Birds are in plenty and there are waterfalls close by. The greatest activities while at the lake are canoeing and interacting with the local communities.

Nyungwe Forest National Park is one of the oldest rain forests in Africa famous for chimpanzee trekking. Every morning groups of tourists set off as early at 4:00am under the guidance of experienced guides to search for one of the two habituated clans found the Uwinka and Cyamudongo sections of the park. One needs to be prepared for the demanding activity which requires following highly mobile primates who do not necessarily follow the main trails but can wander off to thick untouched forest.

once they settle down, you get a chance to spot the primates sitting on top of the trees, feeding and grooming. After watching the group dynamics for a while, you will be surprised by how much they behave like we humans. A chimpanzee trekking permit costs $100 and needs to be booked in advance.

Nyungwe National Park is special because it is the only national park where nature lovers can go for a true canopy walk. The canopy walk starts at the Uwinka Visitors Center and goes through a hanging platform that is about 45 meters above the ground where you get spectacular views of the rain-forest, animals and birds.

For the bird lovers, Nyungwe forest is arguably the best place to go birding in Rwanda. One needs to take a guided bird walk in order to see the desired birds. The Birds Guides have knowledge about the characteristics of most of the bird species and where to find them through bird calling. The dry season is perfect for birding because migrant birds usually flock the forest to find food and escape harsh winter conditions in their home areas.

Biking through the Congo Nile Trial offers perfect opportunities to explore the park as a whole. As one meanders through the trail by bike, they are bound to encounter countless bird species, primates and other forest wildlife.

Akagera National Park is one of the biggest national parks in Rwanda where travelers can do the best wildlife safari tours in Rwanda. Akagera now boasts thriving populations of lions and rhinos, as well as elephant, buffalo, zebra, giraffe and leopard.

Apart from the big 5, the park has several Savannah animals like the topi, hippos, crocodiles, warthogs, hyena, water buck, mongoose, eland, zebra, serval cats, duiker, impala, black masked civet, reed buck, bush pigs, giraffe, side-stripped jackal, Klipspringer, Sitatunga Antelopes and roan antelope. Among the primate species include olive baboons, vervet monkeys, blue monkeys and bush-babies.

Game drives can be done in the morning, afternoon and at night in the hills, plains and lakes. You need to acquire a 4×4 tour van that can pass through the rough terrain in the park. Make use of your tour guides during the game drive because they are knowledgeable about the area and will take you to the right spots while sharing with you important information about the different species.

You can also use this opportunity to go for night game drives done using spotlights on an open-roof vehicle to allow you spot nocturnal animals like genet, mongoose, bush babies, owls, night jar, leopards and hyenas. These animals and birds are very difficult to see during the day.

Take a boat cruise on lake Ihema as another way of sighting other animals. While on the boat trip, you might encounter crocodiles, hippos and elephants drinking along the shores. The Lakes and nearby swamps are breeding grounds for several bird species like African darter, African Jacana, blue-headed coucal, cormorant, fish eagles, kingfishers, marsh flycatcher and the open-bill stork. International visitors need to pay $40 for the boat trip and only 11 people may be allowed into the boat.

You can choose to join one of the fence attendants and park guides for a walk along the security fence. The security fence has helped eliminate poaching and other conflicts with humans living near the park. The 7-kilometre walk lasts for two hours, costs nothing and yet provides great views of the game park.