Are you planning your Rwanda safari, gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking, wildlife tour, cultural tour or birding safari? Whatever your interest and reason for a Rwanda safari, it is important that you plan well and have enough facts about ” The land of thousand hills” – Rwanda for a great experience.
With so many natural wonders in Rwanda, it’s impossible not to enjoy an adventurous and exciting vacation you’ve always wanted. Rwanda, renowned as ‘land of thousand hills’ is an impeccably beautiful country; characterised by fascinating savannah, undulating hills and deep valleys, abundant wildlife and natural aesthetics. Its capital city, Kigali is picturesque with many sights and delights.
Instead of planning yet another trip to places like United States, Europe or Canada, pay attention to your adventurous side and visit Rwanda. The East African country’s beauty is immeasurable and has so many things to offer any visitor, from safari to lake and beach adventures.
Known as the “Land of a Thousand Hills,” Rwanda rests just below the equator and its small size has a rich geography with mountains, savannas, and many lakes. This landlocked country is at a high altitude of 4,800 feet (1,463 m). The capital city is Kigali – one of East Africa’s fastest growing cities with an estimated population of over 1 million people. Rwanda’s economy is based on the subsistence agriculture and the people grow enough food to feed their families. With a presence of volcanic soils, steep slopes and high altitudes, Coffee & tea are the main cash crops also one of the country’s biggest exports.
Rwanda’s tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors. Rwanda is also lucky to be one of the three countries where tourists can get to visit the endangered mountain gorillas. There are three national parks found in this small country i.e. Akagera national park, Nyungwe forest national Park and Volcanoes national park. Most of the large mammals found here, include the Elephants, Lions, Rhinos, Giraffes, and many more.
The National Language in Rwanda is ‘Kinyarwanda’ spoken by most people. English, French & Swahili are the Official languages.
Currency used is Rwanda Francs, and 1 RWF is equivalent to $ 0.0012 USD.
Why You Need to Visit Rwanda?
In Rwanda, the “land of a thousand hills”, located just south of the Equator, the climate is pleasantly warm all year round, with cool nights, because of the altitude. In fact, most of the country is located on a plateau, around 1,500 meters (5,000 feet) above sea level. The altitude decreases below a thousand meters (3,300 feet) only in the westernmost part, along the Rusizi River, which marks the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and which is therefore the only area where it can get hot, and the temperature can sometimes reach 35 °C (95 °F). Rainfall is generally heavier in the western and northwestern mountains than in the eastern savannas.
Scenic Kigali Landscape
The country’s scenery is much mountainous and the Mt. Karisimbi is regarded as the highest peak at 4,507m on the Virunga Volcanic ranges and the lowest point in Rwanda is the Ruzizi River, at 950m (3,117 ft.) above sea level. Lake Kivu is the country’s largest main fresh water body and one of the deepest lakes in Africa. Ruzizi river valley forms the western boundary with the Democratic Republic of the Congo and constitute part of the Great Rift Valley. Rwanda is also located on the eastern edge of the Albertine Rift which is a western wing of the Great Rift Valley and all these places attract a number of travelers’ whole over the world to Rwanda to explore more about the country.
Explore landscapes of Kigali’s (Rwanda’s Capital ), which reveal the undulating beauty of the city. Rwanda is synonymous with mountains and scenic landscapes, celebrated for its gorgeous national parks, historical and cultural attractions.
Explore the country’s Lakeside Tranquillity
Rwanda has beautiful lakes with calm waters and natural scenery. The country is definitely a great spot for a releasing lakeside retreat. The stunning retreats and stylish luxury at Rwanda lake shores are amazing. Lakeside getaways will definitely slow your pace because the lakes brim with a peaceful countryside ease. A vacation in Rwanda will surely rejuvenate your body, soul and mind.
Gorilla trekking, Wildlife safaris, birding and Scenery
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. Birdwatching aside, wildlife viewing opportunities outside these national parks are limited.
Volcanoes National Park is best known for its population of several hundred mountain gorillas. This includes a dozen habituated groups for which a total of 96 tracking permits are issued daily. Other wildlife includes the golden monkey (also endemic to the Albertine Rift Endemic), elephant, buffalo, giant forest hog, bushpig, bushbuck, 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 birdwatching.
Nyungwe Forest National Park is the most biodiverse 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 bushbaby. The only member if the Big five extant in Nyungwe is leopard, but they are very infrequently observed. Antelope include bushbuck 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 waterbuck, bushbuck, common duiker, eland, topi, Bohor reedbuck, oribi, roan antelope, klipspringer and the secretive semi-aquatic sitatunga. Spotted hyena, genet, civet, white-tailed mongoose, bushbaby, elephant-shrew and various species of owl and nightjar are often seen on night drives. Around 480 bird species have been recorded in Akagera, and it is particularly strong on raptors, waterbirds, and savannah and woodland species.
You will enjoy the cultural diversity
From the ancient kingdom to the modern day, creativity is something to be celebrated, whether through traditional dance, unique architecture or works of art. Among the Exciting local communities is Iby’iwacu Cultural Village.
The Iby’iwacu cultural village is cultural village is located in Musanze district around Volcanoes National Park. Iby’iwacu is a Kinyarwanda word meaning “Treasure of our home” the cultural village exhibits cultural practices of the three tribes of Rwanda that is Hutu, Tutsi and the Batwa. They have several tourists’ activities that tourists can enjoy and these include learning how to prepare traditional foods, 8 different traditional dances are presented (Intore, Ikembe, Amakondera and Ingoma among others).
Tourists also participate in community walks, visit to the former king’s palace, visit the traditional herbalists and clinics, Batwa pottery making among other fascinating activities. Iby’iwacu cultural village is a place where nature meets culture.