Rwanda Safaris Through the Lens of a Native
When you talk about safaris in Rwanda, often primate and wildlife viewing are the first areas of interest. But the amazing part about it is that, Rwanda boasts of its rich cultural heritage which also remains not fully tapped. It is one destination that attracts visitors who come to appreciate its natural endowment beyond wildlife.
The best way to experience the authentic Rwanda cultures is by undertaking a cultural or community visit to any of the nearby communities. This can be done before or after your wildlife or primate trekking adventures in the National Parks. The beauty about Rwanda safaris is that travelers can be in position to incorporate wildlife/primate tours with community visitors. Visiting local communities plays a remarkable part in promoting community-based tourism which is aimed at boosting wildlife conservation in the area.
The Rwanda community tourism often involves locals adjacent to the parks to appreciate tourism and wildlife conservation. The locals showcase their unique cultural products to the visitors. Direct visit to communities adjacent to the parks is incredible because it is one way to directly support local communities rather than going through government channels which often may not reach them.
The community visits offer deep insight into community’s unique cultures, traditions and visits are made purposely to promote the tourism sector. Other than hands-on experiences, most community-tourism based projects now include accommodation facilities. They often cater for the budget or basic traveler needs and setting up such facilities is a great opportunity for the local communities to boost their tourism industry.
Areas of interest for community experiences in Rwanda
Village walks offer unforgettable on-foot walk experience with lead of local guide taking you through communities. The areas of interest during village walks include visiting the extensive tea or coffee farms where you get to explore the entire process of coffee or tea farming- from planting to processing stage or when the coffee or tea is ready for consumption. The guided village walks usually take about 3 hours and this may vary depending on the list of the activities and sites to be visited.
Homestays provide a great chance for tourists to immerse themselves into the Rwandan culture and communities of their interest. You need some days to stay with a family in their community and while there, you can engage in different daily chores, learn how to prepare traditional food and more.
Ubumwe community tour
If you are looking for authentic Rwanda cultural experience, then don’t miss visiting Ubumwe community. This community center is comprised of persons with disabilities –adults and children. It is where children are provided a chance to study, learn skills, work and empowering them to be independent. About 130 children and adults with primary education, counseling, vocational training & workshop employment have benefited from the initiative. If you are looking for the best place to go for education tour then consider Ubumwe community a must-visit.
The gorilla guardian village
The gorilla guardian village previously the Iby’Iwacu village is a perfect area for tourists to visit after gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park. The local residents will entertain you with their unique dances and music performance with a chance to learn in depth about their distinct traditions & cultures.
Nyange community walk
This was created primarily to showcase the different aspects of Rwandan village/rural life. Visitors get to learn more about how locals carry out their daily activities, the cultures and traditions as well as lifestyles. You can also have hands-on experiences, especially on mat weaving; learn how the banana beer is made locally by locals and more.
Kagano living village
Kagano living village tours introduce you into Kagano village to experience Rwanda’s authentic rural way doing things. The 2-3 hours guided walk allows you meet, interact with local residents and explore more about how they socialize, what they grow as communities, and a lot more. This village lies nearby Rutsiro city, and ideal for visitors on Rwanda safaris in Gishwati-Mukura National Park.
Humure refugee village trip
For visitors on Rwanda safari to Akagera NP, the must-visit location for authentic community experiences is the Humure Refugee Village. It is 40 minutes’ drive off from Akagera N/Park and you will have a lot to experience from how locals prepare their meals and dancing skills.Read More
Common Rwanda Safari Scams You Should Not Fall for this Year
Would you like to know some of the common scams that travelers fall in? Here are some of the common ones you should not fall for while on your Rwanda safari this year: Like other business sectors or fields, the tourism and travel sector has had cases related to scam leaving a negative picture in the sector. Although these cases are minor, but there is need to exercise caution because some elements could be targeting innocent visitors. When booking or while on Rwanda safaris, typical scams can be encountered while in Kigali, Kibuye, etc. Here are some of the common Rwanda safari scams you should not fall for in 2023.
The most famous scam you are likely to encounter is the picture scam. This is when a local asks for you to take their pictures, the camera is handed to you. Once you return the camera, they intentionally drop it and throw blame on you to have broken it then demand for payment. Never accept to take anyone’s picture to be on a safer side.
Overcharging by taxis
Often visitors want to connect to their destinations faster before it is late and opt for taxis, especially in situations where there is no uber or other alternatives. Once you have boarded a taxi, please feel free to ask them to turn on the meter and as well, ensure that you keep mapping your journey before you take a taxi. This can give you prior idea of how long your journey is likely to take.
Friendly ATM helpers
Often, there are cases where a person approaches you at the ATM cash machine disguising to offer help, please avoid such elements as much as possible. They do so with intentions to scan your debit/credit card with their card skimmer in their pocket and keep watching you enter the pin number and by the time you are done, they could have drained your account. Alternatively, they can approach you especially when your card has issues and they will seem to assist you solve the issue. While at the ATM, ensure that your card number is well covered. Or better still, you can have credit card or enough cash to exchange to local currency to avoid frequenting to the ATM.
Friendly bar friends
For those of you who may have plans to hook up in Kigali or Kibuye or any big town in Rwanda, you should also be aware of this scam. You can be approached by 2 friendly girls/guys who will start conversing and make you believe as if you have mutual interest. They will suggest to you to go for a drink and invite you to the bar, then after you will end up paying for about 5 to 10 times or more for small shots. If you want to be on a safer side, you should be the one to suggest the bar or ask the bar attendant for menu & you can be in position to see the rates yourself.
Guessing game scam
This kind of scam is also common in big cities in Rwanda and the rest of the world where you may find a man with 3 boxes and with a group of people surrounding him. They will be guessing in which box the ball is found and one of them can guess it right then money is handed to him as a prize. They do it multiple times so that more of their members join with similar reaction. More and more people can gather and as a result, they can be pick pocketing.
Bird poop scam
Often there is a group that intentionally throws a bit of white paste on someone’s shoulders as a way to divert your attention and you think perhaps it was bird poop. From nowhere, a friendly person can come to provide assistance of cleaning you up and as they seem to help you, their hands will be already inside your pocket. Only accept such help if it is an emergency.Read More
South Africa Tourism To Advertise With Tottenham Hotspur
In 2018, Rwanda become the first country in the whole world to advertise through a tagline on a sleeve of a sports clubs in the United Kingdom. The Rwanda marketing efforts have received a number of mixed reactions but it seems it was a well thought through move.
Once Rwanda adopted this marketing strategy, they more than doubled the cost of gorilla trekking permits. They also opened a number of luxury lodges which is an integral part of the Rwanda luxury gorilla safaris.
While many people mainly focus on the statistics of the arrivals, they never realize that Rwanda revised most of the prices for their safari packages. Even though the arrivals have not yet doubled, the earning have more than doubled.
South Africa is attempting a similar move. They want to have the “visit South Africa” tagline on the sleeve of Tottenham Hotspur jersey. This will cost them 42.5 million pounds in a period of years. For the case of Rwanda, the deal is costing them 10 million pounds every year.
The South African deal has sparked rage among a number of South African claiming it is not a fair deal in the midst of load shedding, poor service delivery, high inflation, unemployment and rising cost of living in South Africa.
It should be noted that before the covid-19 pandemic, South Africa used to receive an average of 10 million tourists every year. For the last two years, South Africa has received less than 3 million tourists per year.
According to the acting CEO of South Africa tourism Themba Khumalo, the Tottenham deal will bring them sure returns. He said the deal has nothing to do with football but having access to the audiences of Football. The 1 billion Rand deal is expected to bring returns of 6 billion rand in a period of 3 years.
South Africa mainly offers beaches, desert & Savannah wildlife safaris, and hiking/mountaineering safaris. It still no clear whether the Rwanda sleeve marketing deal is a reliable booster of tourism but South Africa tourism team believes it will more than triple their tourism returns.Read More
5 Most Popular Safari Locations in Rwanda
If you happen to be a nature lover or a budding photographer then Africa is the ideal destination for you to visit. It is one of the most visited tourist spots in the world. Rwanda tours are a must when you visit Africa for a vacation. According to All About Rwanda, this country has a summer spell during the months of June till august. This area is also famous since it has a large number of beautiful lakes; the landscape of the entire city is absolutely breath taking.
I am sure that you will be taken back by its beauty. The largest lake of Africa Lake Kivu is found her as well. There are vast tracks of hills and swamps here. The local essence of Rwanda lies in the simplicity of the place and its people. Kivu is one of Africa’s Great lakes with deep emerald green waters and shoreline of the magnificent mountains and fishing villages. The lake is dotted with un in habited islands that can be explored by boats and provide the perfect location to relax and enjoy the serene peace of the country side with ambience.
Volcanoes National Park
A gorilla tracking destination, found just two and a half hours north of Kigali city equipped with luxury and budget accommodation facilities for travellers heading for the memorable Gorilla safari Expedition. Rwanda is among the three countries in the world where you can trek to see the majestic mountain Gorillas up close- a truly once a life time Experience.
Mountain gorillas are what Rwanda safaris are famous for. The entire belt is known for the large number of gorillas that are found here. There are many treks that follow these gorillas. The volcanoes that are found in the national parks are home to these mountain gorillas. So a trip here will ensure that you go on Rwanda Gorilla Trek as well.
You could also visit the golden monkey, the mountain gorillas form such an intrinsic part of the people’s lives here that every year in the month of June a ceremony is held to give names to the gorillas that live here. I had the chance to go on this particular safari. And let me tell this experience has left me speechless. It was a great feeling being able to interact with these huge animals.
A trip to this continent would be ideal for a week or two. You could make this vacation either by road or by the sea. Since there are so many water bodies in Africa traveling by a boat is a fabulous way to get to know the place better. You could also hire a plane and explore the dense jungles of Africa with the help of a pilot and a guide. But a Rwanda safari will ensure that you visit places that have been untouched by man so far and have the beauty of Mother Nature still intact.
Africa has a large number of reserves and wildlife parks that have been very popular amongst tourists. People from all different parts of the world visit this gorgeous place in large numbers every year. If you are a nature lover then you would love hiking on different trails to see the mountain gorillas. A regular hiking tour lasts for about a week. It depends on how much you are ready to spend on it.
These tours are inclusive of accommodation, food and transportation. You must ensure to have a gorilla permit if you are thinking of taking meeting the endangered mountain gorillas. When booking an all inclusive Rwanda safari these permits are also included in your fare. Thus it is a smart and a sensible way to explore the jungles and have a great vacation as well.
3. Nyungwe National park
This is one of the oldest rainforest found anywhere on the African continent. The lush green forest is a home to over 300 bird species and 13 primate species including Chimpanzee, Colobus monkeys, Grey-cheeked mangabey ,Golden Monkey, Owl-faced monkey , Three species of bush baby, Olive baboon ,Red -tailed monkey, Ruwenzori colobus, Silver monkey , L’Hoest’s monkey, Vervet monkey ,Owl-faced monkey & others. You can enjoy the elevated canopy trails along a 70metre high walk away from exhilarating views of the forest.
4. Akagera National Park
This is Rwanda’s largest National park and a home to diversity of Plants & animals.The lakes papyrus, swamp; savannah plains & rolling highlands make Akagera an incredible scenic reserve. The park is a home to Exclusive shoebill stork & other bird species, elephants, leopards, antelopes, giraffes, lions, Bufalloes among others. That will make your wildlife excursion during game drive more thrilling in Africa hence making Rwanda the great travel country in the entire world.Read More
15 Places to Visit on Rwanda Cultural Tour
Whereas gorilla trekking is the most popular tourist attraction in Rwanda, the country is not all about apes. Rwanda is an excellent destination for mountain hiking, game drives, biking, nature walks and cultural tours. The cultural practices of the indigenous people were passed on from one generation to another through cultural ceremonies, language, stories, dressing style and a kingdom that has now been abolished.
Before the genocide in 1994, there were people who attempted to find distinctions between the Hutus, Tutsi and minority Twa. It was said that the Tutsi’s were mostly pastoralists while the Hutus where cultivators. Other distinctions were invented to help the Belgium colonialist govern the people but the reality is that the Tutsi and Hutu are essentially the same people. That becomes clear when you attempt to compare their looks, ways of life and culture to other tribal groups in the neighboring countries
Modernization, the introduction of the western culture, intermarriages and immigration has changed the lifestyle of the people of Rwanda. Many Rwandan nationals fled the country during the 1960’s and 1990’s to settle in neighboring countries. They now live a mixed lifestyle even after returning to the country. In an attempt to preserve the culture of the Banyarwanda, the government and individuals have invested in cultural sites that will remain a constant reminder of the important cultural norms and values of the people.
The cultural attractions to see on a Rwanda safari include visiting genocide memorial sites, cultural villages and artisan center. While visiting the cultural sites, expect to have close encounters with the people as watch traditional dance performances, folk songs and listen to stories about the former kingdoms. Some interesting cultural practices among the Banyarwanda include evening stories, riddles, folk-stories and proverbs which is organized close to a fireplace by the elderly.
Cultural tours in Rwanda
Kigali Genocide Memorial: This is arguably the most visited museum in Rwanda. It was built in memory of about 250,000 people who were killed during the Rwanda genocide. The Museum is divided into 3 major areas – One remembering the children killed, another for the adults and one focusing on genocides which occurred in other parts of the world. Visiting this museum will help you understand the events leading to and after the genocide. The government hopes that the museum will act as a constant reminder of the cruelty shown during the genocide so that younger generations never allow it to happen again.
National History Museum (Kandt House Museum): Formally known as the Kandt House Museum, the National History Museum is one of the most important cultural and historical sites in Rwanda. It was initially named after Dr. Richard Kandt and was the first modern building in Rwanda. Kandt was the first governor of Rwanda during German colonial rule. The Museum is divided into three parts – The first exhibition area shows how life was before the country was colonized. The second part describes life during the colonial era while the third part depicts life after Rwanda got independence. Visit this Museum to check out rare photos of Rwanda and German World War 1 photos. The museum also showcases the wildlife, vegetation and geological features in the country.
Kigali Fashion Week: The capital Kigali is growing fast and the people have embraced a lot of what is going on in the other cities around the world but while retaining the Rwandan swag. Kigali hosts two popular fashion festivals each year. The Kigali fashion week is organized in July while the Rwanda Cultural Fashion Week takes place in September each year. These two festivals attract some of the best local and international fashion designers. If you are lucky to be in town during these two fashion weeks, do not fail to attend them. You will get a rare opportunity to see a mix of Rwandan and international fashion products.
Nyanza Genocide Memorial: Another of the many genocide memorial centers commemorating those who died during the 3 months of horror in 1994. About 10,000 are buried in a mass grave at the site. Nyanza was a major killing ground during the Rwanda genocide with the Queen of Rwanda the most famous victim. Known as Queen Rosalie Gicanda, she was killed along with her attendants but was buried at the royal palace in Nyanza. The Nyanza Genocide Memorial is where most of victims are buried and is a frequent host of the yearly genocide memorial celebrations.
Banda Cultural Village: This interesting cultural center is found inside Nyungwe National Park – close to the park offices in Uwinka and where the Canopy walk is arranged. If you are visiting Nyungwe National park for nature walks and Chimp tracking, don’t forget to stop at the village. As you enter the site, you will be welcomed by Intore dancers and then escorted by a resident Guide. There is a lot to see at the village but the most interesting is observing how local medicines and traditional baskets are made. You can be called to take part in grinding maize using local tools and then help in preparing a local meal. If you are lucky, you may arrive on the day when a traditional wedding ceremony is taking place and be among the witnesses.
Kitabi Cultural Center: This cultural center is also found in Nyungwe Forest National Park – right at the main entrance. The last King of Rwanda built his palace here instead of using the one in Nyanza. It is one of the most visit cultural attractions in Rwanda and a favorite stopover for tourists visiting Nyungwe for chimpanzee trekking. The Center consists of several traditional huts and the King’s palace with guards. Everyone is dressed in striking traditional robes, cheerful and ready to ensure that you enjoy your time while there. A Guide will take you to see the local women making traditional baskets, beads and other souvenir for sale.
Gorilla Guardians Village: Also known as the Ibyiwacu cultural village, this is arguably the most visited cultural site in Rwanda – thanks to its close proximity to the where tourists spot mountain gorillas. The Cultural site is found in Musanze district and was founded by a former warden of the Volcanoes National Park. The warden wanted to build a cultural center that would offer employment to former poachers while also showing tourists everything good about the culture of the people.
While at the Iby’iwacu Cultural Center, tourists can enjoy watching how the Batwa pygmies hunted, traditional Intore dancers, learn how to cook Kinyarwanda dinner or enjoy traditional beer. There is also an opportunity to dress like a King or Queen and live in a thatched palace.
Apart from learning how a typical Kinyarwanda homestead was arranged, the Village offers tourists a chance to learn about the role it has played in wildlife conservation and particularly ending poaching in the Volcanoes National Park. The Batwa performers once lived inside the volcanoes National Park. They would lay snares to catch antelopes, birds and other forest creatures. After experiencing all that is showcased inside the site, you can join others and go for a community walk in the nearby homesteads.
Cultural Festivals: There are several festivals that bring the people of Rwanda together and which are organized at different times of the year. “Umuganda” is organized every last Saturday of the month in Kigali to allow citizens clean up the streets. The event is compulsory for residents between 8am to 12am. No car moves in the streets and no office is opened while citizens are cleaning the city. You can join in as a tourist to help with collecting rubbish, sweeping the roads or removing unwanted weed.
Another interesting festival is “Kwita izina”. This ceremony is organized at the Volcanoes National Park every October to give a name to all newly born mountain gorillas. The event is attended by tourists, international celebrities, conservationists, the gorilla doctors, politicians and sometimes the president. Finally, there is the “Ukwibuka” which is organized every month of April. This event is commemorated not only in Rwanda but in almost every country in the world. It is the official day in which those who died during the 1994 Rwanda genocide are remembered. You don’t have to be in Rwanda to show solidarity with the people. All you need to do is visit the nearest Rwanda embassy for information on how to participate.
The Kings Palace in Nyanza: This impressive palace is found in Nyanza – about 88 kilometers away from Kigali. Before and during colonialism, Rwanda had one king as cultural head. The Kings often had to deal with the challenge of pleasing the Tutsi and Hutus. Later the Kingdom was abolished entirely with the last king exiled. A modern palace was constructed for King Mutara III by the Belgium government in 1931. Mutara was the last ruling king before Kingdoms were abolished. His successor never really had power and was exiled in the United States. The palace was then turned into a museum by the government.
During the genocide in 1994, most of the valuable place instruments were stolen. The government has revamped the palace and added new structures, traditional materials and the “Inyambo”. The Inyambo are long-horned cattle which can be seen in many parts of Rwanda. The kings owned thousands of these cattle and they were a source of pride for the Kingdom. One can check out the palace milk house whose female attendants were never allowed to marry. There is also the royal brewers hut and the burial ground for the royal family.
Presidential Palace Museum: This is the place to go to if you are interested in learning about the immediate event that sparked off the genocide of 1994. The Museum is found only 2 kilometers away from Kigali city center. It is the former state house and is where Rwanda’s former president Juvenal Habyarimana lived before his Falcon 50 plane was shot down on 6th April 1994. The plane landed at the presidential compound and the debris can still be seen to this day. When information reached that the presidents had been shot, Hutu extremists launched a full-scale genocide which resulted in the deaths of over 800,000 Tutsi. The resident Guide will take you around the house and show you the former presidents secret rooms, a presidential nightclub and more.
Urutare Rwa Ngarama: This large rock is found in the district of Gatsibo. The rock has distinct features and is believed to have been created to King Ruganzu Ndoli. Ruganzu was an ancient king in Rwanda. According to the local legend, King Ruganzu placed magic features on the rock allowing it to vibrate when hit by a stone, metal or when a human foot touched it. The King was thought to wield mystical powers that he used to control his subjects.
Ntarama Genocide Memorial: This memorial site is found in southern Kigali. About 5,000 people are buried outside a church. The site has been revamped with beautiful scenery and gardens. Even then, the human skeletons and personal belongings of the genocide victims can still be seen in the interior. They were left inside deliberately to remind younger generations of a painful era in the country’s history.
Ryamurari: This impressive archeological site is found in Nyagatare district (on top of a hill). It served as the capital of the Ndorwa Kingdom before it became part of Rwanda. Archeologist have unearthed cow bones, cow dung and grinding stones which indicate that the people who lived there were both cattle keepers and practicing subsistence agriculture. Tourists and geologist visit the site to admire the ancient structures and amazing earth-works.
Nyamata Genocide Memorial: Nyamata is one of the most visited genocide memorial sites. About 10,000 people had entered the Nyamata Catholic church hoping that the killers would have mercy on them. Instead, grenades were thrown at them or to open the doors and after which everyone was shot/hacked to death. A guided tour around the site takes you inside the church to see bullet holes, bloodstained clothes and more. After touring inside the church, visitors are taken to an outside mass grave where the people were buried.
Inema Art center: This Center was established by two brothers in Kigali. It is one of the most visited artisan centers in Kigali. The Inema Center brings together some of the finest local artist as well as young pretenders who are still learning the trade. Visit this Center if you are interested in distinct Rwanda art that describes the countries culture, wildlife, natural resources and physical features. Expect to be entertained by resident Intore cultural performers or attend a fashion show if you visit on a good day.
Bugesera Reconciliation village: For many decades, there was tension between the Hutus and Tutsi. This tension grew into unimaginable proportions prior to April 1994. When president Juvenal Habyarimana’s plane was shot down in April 1994, it sparked one of the worst genocides in recent history. The government at the time used tribal sentiments to force the Hutus to take up arms against the minority Tutsi. The Hutu extremists started killing people they had known for years as friends, lovers and neighbors in the cruelest ways.
After the genocide and with a new government, there was still a lot of silent hatred as people remembered how their loved ones were killed by people they knew. The new government did everything possible encourage reconciliation and unity. One of the great efforts to heal wounds was the creation of the Bugesera Reconciliation Village. Those who had found it difficult to forgive one another due to the 1994 genocide could come to this place for reconciliation and leave as friends. People still holding grudges against others can come to the village and see examples of other successful reconciliations. As a tourist, you can also visit Bugesera Reconciliation village and learn the power of forgiveness even under the most difficult circumstances.
Ethnographic Museum: Located in the city of Huye (132 kilometers away from Kigali), this museum was a gift by the Belgium government to the people of Rwanda during a celebration to mark 25 years of independence in 1987. The Museum stores some of the best ethnographic collections in Africa. From its seven galleries, visitors can learn a lot about Rwanda’s history and culture. The Museum showcases, traditional tools, farming instruments, traditional beer and woodworks. There are also sections for local poetry, traditional dance instruments and hunting tools.
Utubindi twa Rubona: This is another impressive historical and archaeological site in Rwanda. It is found in Tubindi Village (Gatsibo district) – 4 kilometers away from the main road in Kayonza Nyagatere. The site is home to 7 unique clay pots which are believed to have been excavated by King Ruganzu 11 as he traveled with his men from Karagwe. The King used the clay pots to draw water for his thirsty men. Apart from viewing the clay pots, the site also has remains of the King.
National Liberation Park Museum: Locally known as “Umurindi w’Intwari”, this museum helps tell the story of the great struggles, determination and courage of the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) as they attempted to stop the genocide and liberate the country in 1994. It is found 80 kilometers away from Kigali. Visiting this museum is also another excellent way of understanding the events leading to, during and after the 1994 genocide. There are many artifacts, texts, videos and documents like the Arusha Agreement. This Agreement shows the efforts put in place bring government and RPF forces to a cease fire even before the start of the genocide. The museum sits on a bunker which was the headquarters of the RPF leader Paul Kagame.
Campaign against Genocide Museum: This Museum also helps educate people about the role of the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) in ending the 1994 genocide. It is located close to the airport and the parliamentary building in Kigali. The Museum describes how the RPF planned to stop the genocide as soon as it became clear that Hutu extremists were intending to wipe out the Tutsi minority and that the UN troops were not going to defend the targeted people. Although the RPF did everything they could to stop the genocide, it was not enough to stop the killing of over 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus. Visitors to the Campaign Against Genocide Museum can still see some of the guns used during the war between the RPF and government forces.
Environmental Museum: This is the first environmental museum which showcases renewable and non-renewable energy in the continent. The Museum is found on the shores of Lake Kivu, close to the border with the democratic Republic of Congo. The Museum helps collect all kinds of local plants with explanations of their use (as food or medicine). The museum organizes educational tours for those who are interested in learning about how protecting the environment contributes to a country’s overall development.
Murambi Genocide Memorial: This genocide memorial site is located in the southwestern part of the country. Because of its remote location, Murambi may not be the most visited. However, over 50,000 genocide victims are buried here which is a sign that it is second to none in reminding us of the horrors of April 1994. The Murambi Genocide Memorial site is found at a former technical school which became a killing ground for the interahamwe (Hutu extremists).Read More
Renting a Car for Travel Beyond Rwanda
Border crossing with a Rental Car from Rwanda is a very simple process when you have the right information beforehand. We at Rent a car Rwanda know very well that some clients need to cross over to the neighboring countries in Uganda, Congo or to Tanzania to extend their adventure. We understand the tourism business and very well know it’s easier for one to rent one car and not have to change for reasons of having to cross borders.
We desire to equip you with the necessary information and tip to cross the borders easily with a rental car, if you’re asking yourself whether it is possible to cross the borders with a rented car. The answer is yes, if you want to consider Border crossing with a Rwanda Car Rental will have no problem processing your request.
East African Border Crossing Essentials:
- Passport and Visas
East African passport holders resident to Rwanda do not require a visa to visit Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi. However, should you be traveling with an emergency travel document?
- International Driver’s Permit or National Driver’s License
Although not compulsory this is recommended for everyone driving in foreign countries however The Local English driver’s license is recognized in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania.
- COMESA Sticker
If you’re traveling from Rwanda across borders vehicles should bear a Comesa sticker which designates that they are foreign vehicles.
- White and Red Reflective Tape
In Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania, two small white rectangular size strips on the right and left hand side of the front bumper, as well as two small red square strips on the right and left hand side of the rear bumper is required.
- Vehicle Registration/Vehicle License Papers
A certified copy of vehicle registration/vehicle license papers is acceptable at the border posts. Must be accompanied with a letter from the company giving you authorization to take the vehicle across the border, and must indicate dates. Both the letter and license papers should be signed by the Owner. If you are not the registered owner of the vehicle, please carry an affidavit from the police giving you authorization from the Company /owner to take the vehicle abroad.
Whereas some car hire companies do allow border crossing with a rental car, most agencies on the other hand do not accept their vehicles to cross over to some countries more so to those countries that have political issues.
- Letter of authority
If you are traveling in a rented car or 4×4 across borders, you have to have a letter from the car hire Rwanda Company giving you permission to take the vehicle out of the country
You’ll have to get ready for the additional cost of a cross border fees, this is an extra fee to cover the extra insurance needed when you drive in a different nation from where you hire the vehicle. Some Rwanda car hire agencies just get for papers for crossing the border and even advise you on where to buy the insurance needed to drive in any country you planning to visit.
You should simply tell the Rwanda car hire where you’re anticipating going and they’ll advise you on how much additional you have to pay. They’ll require some notice, so ideally let the agency know your itinerary when you book the vehicle, and also before you arrive to pick the vehicle or before they deliver it to you at the airport or at the hotel.
How much do I have to pay to cross a border?
That really depends on where you’re going. Simply let the car hire Rwanda agency know which border you’re planning to cross with their vehicle and they’ll give all the information and papers you need to cross the board and how much you will pay for insurance.
You need to have in mind that that our car rental rates will go a bit above the usual car rental fees meant to cover cross border insurance fees, regional taxes, etc.
These additional fees also cover the extra insurance needed when you’re driving in a different country. We, however, will arrange the entire border crossing paperwork on behalf of the renters and include all the charges within the total costs for hiring the vehicle.
Why I have to tell the rental company?
In case you don’t inform the car rental agency before you drive into another country, you’ll void your insurance / protection. This implies on the off chance that you have an accident, or if your vehicle gets stolen or damaged in another country, you’ll need to pay all cost to the rental agency out of your own pocket.
Conclusion, Thinking of traveling cross borders this season for a vacation, business or leisurely tour, and still looking for the ideal provider to get you around? Simply approach Rwanda car rental to get helped. Thinking of traveling cross borders this season for a vacation, business or leisurely tour, and still looking for the ideal provider to get you around? Simply approach any preferred rental company to get helped.Read More
FAQs About Renting a Car in Rwanda
Whether it’s for a business meeting or a family touring, if you’re in a new city without a ride, you’ll need a rental car. Or, you may not even be in a new location; you may simply need one because your vehicle is out for repairs. Either way, before you sign an agreement with a rental company, there are a few questions you should ask to avoid problems like unexpected charges.
What Essential Questions to Ask Before Renting a Car
What fees are included in the rental?
When looking for Rwanda Car rental, the basic quote won’t include everything. Usually, they’ll omit things like taxes or fees. For example, suppose you’re renting at an airport rental desk. In that case, there’s usually an extra fee for that, compared to doing so at the rental facility itself. The quotes will also be missing details on extras like an infant car seat if you need it.
What are the terms of the return process?
Most rental car companies adhere to the same return process, but it’s good to confirm. Usually, they expect a full tank of gas when you drive it back to the facility. There, an attendant will take a quick look at the conditions to ensure there is no damage. If everything looks good, you’ll return the key and get a receipt in exchange. Car rental companies charge you in 24 hour increments based on the time you picked up the vehicle. Most companies allow a 45 minute grace period beyond your return time, but exceed that and you can find yourself paying for another day’s worth of rental fees.
Where am I allowed to drive the rental car?
Depending on where you book your rental car, there may be geographic restrictions. Generally speaking, you’ll be prohibited from driving into a different country, even if you’re close to the border. Aside from that, there may also be a daily mileage limit. If you return the car and you’re over the limit, you’ll be charged for the extra miles.
What forms of payment do you accept?
Finally, there’s the issue of payment. Like any business establishment, the rental car company may not take every form of payment. If you prefer to pay with cash or your debit card, make sure to ask them whether they’ll accept it from the get-go. If you’re on a tight schedule, you may end up wasting precious time going through the process.
What is my liability if I’m involved in fender-bender (or worse)?
A simple accident can be a big hassle and in some foreign countries could land you in jail, require a large deposit on your credit card or delay departure until the matter is settled.
Do I need extra insurance?
Most business oriented credit cards such as American Express and Visa Business Card offer added insurance. So does your personal automobile insurance policy. Each year it’s a good idea to call your credit card company and personal insurance and determine what coverage you have for both domestic and international car rentals.
What are the terms of my rental agreement?
It’s a good idea to call your car rental company or review their web site to determine the terms and policy of the rental agreement. Be sure to ask about who can drive the car, where the car needs to be park, what happens if you need to extended your rental, and if the rental company is responsible in case of a mechanical failure.
Where do I keep my rental contract?
In most cases the answer to this is in the car. The rental agreement is usually used as the car’s registration, providing ownership and liability information for peace officers.
What do I do if I have a problem with the car or need to keep it longer than planned?
When you pick up the car, be sure to find out the phone numbers to call in case of an accident, breakdown or rental extension. You can also call the companies toll free customer service number.
What are my fuel options?
Rental cars usually come with a full tank of gas with drivers responsible for returning their vehicle in the same condition. When you have a lot of driving ahead one option that can save time and money is the “Fuel Purchase Option” or “Fuel Service Option” this option allows you to pre purchase fuel at a price slightly under the average market price when you pick up the car. This plan is helpful when you have a tight schedule and know that you will use at least one tank of gas.
Is the car you’re renting suitable?
Not all cars are appropriate for all trips. Is it big enough for all your bags and passengers? Are you tackling a lot of steep hills or going off road? You might need to rent a 4×4 then.
Equally, some rental companies forbid you to drive certain car types on certain roads. If you want to drive those “forbidden” roads, you will need to rent a model suitable for them.
Why take a self-drive in Rwanda?
A self-drive gives you the freedom and flexibility to decide on where you travel and what you see and do at your own pace.
Do I require an International Driving Permit?
An International Driving Permit (IDP) is proof that you hold a valid driver’s licence in your home country at the date of issue of the IDP. This should be carried with your domestic drivers licence. It is a very useful travel document and is required or recommended for many countries when hiring a motor vehicle. How do I receive confirmation?
What else is included in car rental?
Our car rentals come with GPS, guide books, travel magazines, free boxes of bottled water, travel map, meaning visitors on self-drive are covered too.
Car renting is more trending where now many travelers prefer going for the holiday driving on their own tunes. So before one can go for renting a car in Rwanda may have burning concerns about how to rent a car in Rwanda, essential requirements, pick up and return, hiring policies, terms, and conditions, insurance, and many more as we digested them above.Read More
Why Visit Rwanda for Wildlife Safari
Rwanda is small, and a relaxed safari destination. Travelers can discover Rwanda as an entire country on a safari that takes just 10 days. For all its diminutive size, a Rwanda Safari packs a punch in the wildlife stakes, and offers a rich cultural smorgasbord to boot. Seek out Gorilla, Chimpanzee, buffalo, lion, leopard, elephant, spotted hyena and more. Enjoy an once-in-a-lifetime experience during Rwanda Safari that is tracking mountain gorillas.
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. During Rwanda Wildlife Safaris Bird watching aside, wildlife viewing opportunities outside these national parks are limited.
- Volcanoes National Park is best known for its population of several hundred mountain gorillas.
- Nyungwe Forest National Park is the most bio diverse site in Rwanda with Chimpanzees.
- Akagera National Park is a more conventional Africa savannah reserve where all the Big Five might be seen.
Rwanda’s tapestry of habitats is home to a diversity of species including mountain gorilla, chimpanzee, golden monkey, hippo giraffe, zebra, leopard, crocodile and more than 600 species of birds. Ten percent of Rwanda Wildlife is designated as Important Birding Species.
Volcanoes National Park is where the mountain gorilla lives, along with 12 other species of primates. Ten habituated gorilla groups are open to tourist visits, with a maximum of 8 visitors to each group for a one-hour period per day. Nearly 200 of Rwanda’s bird species are also found within the park including 29 endemics, as well as giant forest hog, warthog, bush pig, forest elephant, buffalo, bushbuck, waterbuck, black-fronted duiker, spotted hyena, civet, genet, mongoose and tree hyrax.
Top Wildlife Safari Destinations in Rwanda
Wondering about where to go in Rwanda? Here are the top travel destinations that you should not miss while on safari in Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills.
Akagera National Park
Akagera national park found in eastern Rwanda is a 2500 sq km of mainly Savannah land. The park is named after Kagera River that flows along Rwanda’s eastern boundary with Tanzania. The river feeds into Lake Ihema and other smaller lakes in and around the park.
The park protects an African Savannah landscape of acacia and bush with patches of open grassland and a dozen swampy lakes. It has exceptional levels of biodiversity and forms a large protected wetland. Akagera national park is the only Savannah national park in Rwanda and the only place to sight most of the large mammals while on safari. Whereas there are forest elephants in the other parks, it is very difficult to sight them. Explore the park in the comfort of your safari vehicle while on a game drive.
Wildlife Game Drives
Game drives are conducted throughout the day in Akagera National Park, with the best times being in the morning and evening when you can see the most wildlife. On a game drive, you will be driven along marked trails across open savannah plains and woodlands in search of different mammals and bird species. The driver-guide will accompany you throughout the game drive to find places where animals spend the majority of their time during the day. You will be able to see all five of the Big 5 species, including the Buffalo, Lion, Elephant, Rhinos, and Leopard, Other animals to see in Akagera National Park include zebras, hippos, roan antelopes, oribis, Defassa Waterbuck, Semi-Aquatic Sitatunga, Eland, Giraffes, Topis, Bohor Reedbucks among others.
Another way to see wildlife in Akagera National Park is to go on a night game drive, which allows you to see nocturnal animals such as bush babies, hyenas, mongoose, owls, nightjars, civets, and leopard, this kind of experience is guided by an experienced ranger guide – night game drives usually start at 6 pm to 8 pm in the wilderness.
Akagera National Park has a checklist of about 480 bird species that have been recorded in the savannah forest woodlands of Akagera on the banks of Lake Ihema and the Akagera River. Excellent bird watching is a guarantee, there are many birds that dwell around the park namely purple crested turaco, shoebill, papyrus gonolek, black-capped night heron, crested barbet, red wing markings, white-winged warbler, crowned crane, red dwelled purple heron, grasshopper buzzard, northern brown-throated weaver, rufous bellied heron, marabou stork, red-faced barbet, spot flanked barbet, grey hornbill, black-headed gonolek, lilac-breasted roller among others.
Volcanoes National Park
The Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is best known for mountain gorilla trekking but the park is also rich with many other exotic activities to engage in. This park is part of the Virunga volcanoes which are shared between Uganda, Rwanda, and DR Congo. This park is an evergreen bamboo forest with grassland areas, swamp and heath in other areas.
The mountain gorillas are the prime attraction in volcanoes national park with gorilla trekking happening all year round. Because of the high altitude it is generally cold, especially early morning and the evenings, you are advised to carry a light sweater for these times. The park is located only 2 hours from Kigali in the north of Rwanda.
These are the key attraction in volcanoes national park which attract the highest number of travelers from all parts of the world. Gorilla trekking is the best wildlife experience every travel should not miss on his/her safari to Africa.
Volcanoes national park shelters over 340 mountain gorillas, which have been habituated into 10 families available for trekking. A gorilla permit in Rwanda costs 1500usd, a must have for each traveler to see these endangered species. The high cost of a gorilla permit is one of the reasons why Rwanda’s is known as a luxury gorilla trekking destination. Gorilla families in volcanoes national park include Titus family, Kwitonda family, Susa group, karisimbi family, Amahoro family, Umubano family, Sabyinyo family, Agashya family, Hirwa family, and Ugenda family all available for trekking every day. Each family is visited by a group of eight people for an hour.
Volcanoes national park home to mountain gorillas but also the endangered the golden monkeys. The national park is one of the two destinations to we these endangered golden monkeys the other destination being Mgahinga gorilla national park in southwestern Uganda. Fortunately, golden monkeys are seen at a relatively low cost (100usd) which is an added advantage for travelers. Golden monkeys are exceptional species which are distinguished from other monkey species by a golden fur on their back. Golden monkeys are lively creatures, which continuously peep and tweet all the time. Unlike gorillas, which spend most of their time on the ground, golden monkeys spend most of their time up in the trees. The species are vegetarians, which entirely feed on vegetation, fruits, and shoots.
Volcanoes national park is also home to forest elephants. These are mostly seen during forest walk and hike to Dian Fossey grave. Much as no travelers go to the park intentionally to see forest elephants, a look at these giants is an opportunity, which adds on the final experience. Other animals to see in volcanoes national park include buffalos, black fronted duikers, bushbucks, bush pigs, spotted hyenas, black and white colobus, white colobus, baboons, and red-tailed monkeys among others.
Birds in Volcanoes national park
Volcanoes national park is home to over 300 bird species, which has made birding safaris a success. The commonly seen animals include African marsh harrier, common moorhen, long-crested eagle, grey throated tit, paradise flycatcher, red-faced woodland warbler, archer’s ground robin, Rwenzori Batis, Rwenzori double collared sunbird, and handsome francolin among others. Experienced guides help to spot these birds and explain the unique features of each bird species.
Nyungwe Forest National Park
Nyungwe forest national park is found in western Rwanda and is one of the world’s most beautiful and pristine rain forests. It is dominated by a series of mountains, originating in northern Uganda and Congo, running south through the Rwenzori mountains, western Rwanda and Burundi, to the shores of Lake Tanganyika.
Nyungwe forest national park offers scenic views over the Lake Kivu and sometimes the Virunga ranges on a clear day. The forest has an extensive network of well-maintained walking and hiking trails to various waterfalls and viewing points. The prime activities in Nyungwe forest are chimp trekking, bird watching, colobus monkey trekking and the canopy walk.
Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe National Park
Nyungwe forest is home to two wild chimp communities that are habituated for chimpanzee tourism. One of the groups is in Cyamudongo section of Nyungwe forest and the other around the Uwinka area of the forest. The forest is home to about 400 chimpanzees. While viewing chimpanzees is not guaranteed, you will enjoy learning about these creatures and their natural habitats from your guides. You are expected to be at the briefing area as early as 5.00 am in the morning. This is because chimps are mostly likely to be seen early in the morning and they tend to move about which requires one to be active as you follow after them. However whether you view the chimps or not, the experience in the forest is rich as you watch other primates, butterflies, several trees and above all the freshness of the air.
Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda is one of the best places to spot small primates in Africa. Although Chimpanzee tracking is the dominant primate activity, some tourist come with the purpose of seeing the other smaller primates like the Angola Colobus Monkeys, Dent’s Mona Monkeys, Grey Cheeked Mangabeys, Hamlyn’s Monkeys, L’Hoest’s Monkeys, Olive Baboon, Red tailed Monkeys, Silver Monkeys, Vervet Monkeys, White and Black and Colobus monkeys. Groups of golden monkeys have been spotted in the park but because of their small numbers, finding them is difficult. The most popular species among tourists is the arboreal Ruwenzori Colobus that feeds on leaves and is identifiable by the contrasting black and white (tail and whiskers) colors. All the monkey species move in troops that can go beyond 100.
Bird Watching in Nyungwe National Park
Nyungwe forest national park is a high altitude mountain forest ranging between 1600 – 2950 meters. The birds in Nyungwe forest are mostly found in the trees, shrubs or the ground at the edges of the forest next to the tea plantations. Some birds are shy and therefore more easily heard than seen like many forest birds. Among the frequently sighted species are the Rwenzori Nightjar, White-tailed Crested Flycatcher, Kivu Ground Thrush, the Handsome Francolin, Dwarf Honeyguide, Greatblue and Rwenzori Turaco, montane Double Collared Sun and the Red- Throated Alethe. There are well maintained trails which you will take while birding as well as trained bird guides that are based at the nyungwe forest.
Therefore, the Volcanoes, Nyungwe and Akagera national parks are rich in diversity. A variety of animals and birds make your Rwanda safari complete. Book a safari to Rwanda national parks, trek mountain gorillas, Chimps, Golden monkeys, birds and other primates. Enjoy, stay in this peaceful areas rewarding you with a life-changing experience.Read More
Benefits of Renting a Car with Driver in Rwanda
When you hire a chauffeur, you don’t have to worry about the extra fees that come with renting a car, including parking fees, extra insurance and fuel. Licensed chauffeurs are highly experienced at navigating all types of traffic and weather conditions. Below are some of the benefits of renting a car with a driver in Rwanda;
The first benefit of renting a car with a driver is that you don’t have to drive the car yourself and completely enjoy your trip sightseeing the roads, the mountains and the forests on your route. You can keep talking and discussing things with your companions have snacks and refreshments without focusing on the road.
The second big benefit of renting a car with a driver is that the drivers that a car rental company provides you are experts in their profession and know about how to safely drive the car on highways and narrow streets without becoming prone to a car accident. Also, they have enough information about how to repair a car when it’s stopped in the middle of nowhere, so you don’t have to worry about being stuck at the spot for several hours doing nothing but wait for a mechanic to come and solve the problem.
Knowing the correct route
The drivers that a rental company hires are first assessed on how much they’ve traveled, how much they’ve learned about the routes, and what driving skills they have. After this complete inspection, the rental company hires the best candidates and hands over the responsibility of driving their cars. That’s the reason renting a car with a driver will help you to reach your destination through the correct route where there are no hurdles, and you reach in a safe & sound condition.
Knowledge about the car
Many times, when you rent a car, you aren’t properly aware of what functions the car has. Nowadays, the new cars are full of technology and features that weren’t introduced before. The drivers that a car rental company provides have enough knowledge about these features and how they work. So, if you aren’t aware of new car features, the best solution for this is to rent a car with a driver.
Renting a car with a driver is always beneficial rather than renting without a driver. The driver that a rental company appoints can help you out a lot during your trip as they know their way around places, hence if you need a hotel to have your meals at or to stop at some place for prayers, etc. the driver can have a good idea of where to take you, where you’ll get the most hygienic options, and this will make your trip more convenient and comfortable compared to traveling on your own.
Another benefit of renting a car with a driver is the car’s safety, as the driver doesn’t leave the car alone. He always remains inside or near to it to keep an eye on the vehicle. This prevents the car from any damage or theft. That’s the reason it’s always a good option to have a driver when going on a tour.
You might be worried about what will happen in case you get into an accident while on your road trip. Will the rental company trust that it wasn’t your fault? So here’s the solution for this. You can rent a car with a driver to protect yourself from being asked about the reason for the accident. The driver will be answerable to all these questions as he’s the one who was driving the car. So, it’s always recommended renting a car with a driver if you want to save yourself from incidental queries.
You can book car rental services with drivers and their main aim is to take you to your destination in a safe and sound manner. It’s totally the driver’s responsibility to take care of your transportation needs while you relax.
If you are new to Rwanda, you will definitely get very confused when it comes to renting a luxury car and driving around the city because of the multiple roads connecting to multiple exits. Moreover, you will have no clue about the peak hours in Rwanda. So, if you rent an affordable car with a driver, he will know where to go, how to go and when to go.
Chauffeur services in Rwanda are very popular as business meetings and dealings are common in the city. Furthermore, if you have a VIP guest to attend, you need the best of the services. Luxury car rentals with chauffeur have made it easy to handle the guests professionally. They will be properly dressed in uniform and will transport the guests to their desired location.
You do not have to spend hours finding the right spot to park your car if you have rented a car with a driver can enjoy your outing in Rwanda while the driver of your rented car can take care of the parking.
Whenever we visit any foreign city or country, we are not required to learn their language. However, at times we may face communication barriers. So if you have rented a car with a driver in Rwanda, there will be no hurdles in communicating. The drivers can directly communicate with the locals. You don’t need to worry about communicating with anyone in Rwanda.
These were some benefits of renting a car with a driver. Whenever you plan a road trip, always remember these points before making your final decision about renting a car. If you’re from any foreign country you can rent from Kenya car rental, as it is one of the most reliable rental car companies in the whole country.
Booking a rented car with a driver will let you focus more on your trip. Let the driver solve the hassles of traffic and parking, while you enjoy your trip in your affordable rented car. Best of luck with your journey.Read More
Rwanda Safari Featuring Primate Watching
Best of Africa primate safaris, if you have an interest in Africa’s primates this journey is for you. See the endangered Primates in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, Nyungwe National Park.
Primate Safari Experiences will give you a chance to participate in two premium wildlife activities in Rwanda; Golden monkey trekking and chimpanzee trekking which are considered to be some of the best to engage in while on a Rwanda Safari. Both hikes can be challenging depending on where the chimpanzee or monkeys nested the previous night. The Chimp trekking differs from Gorilla Trekking Rwanda because the sightings are a bit more sporadic and rushed, but worthwhile nonetheless as opposed to gorillas that stay for a while in one location.
The wildlife junkies have a strong connection with Rwanda and the primary reason for this is the stunning primates residing in the dense forest and volcanic mountain of the country. Though Rwanda is the iconic land for spotting Mountain Gorillas, there are a number of other primates also available who are equally entertaining during Primate Safaris Rwanda.
Primates in Rwanda
Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park
Chimp Trekking in Rwanda is in Nyungwe national park in the south of Rwanda. The two areas where chimps can be trekked in Nyungwe are Cyamudongo and Uwinka. Your guide will guide you on the location you are expected to trek from and you will be given a briefing before you can start the trek. Chimpanzee trekking begins early morning with visitors expected to arrive at the briefing point in Uwinka to start trekking at 5:00 am. You are allowed to stay 1 hour with the chimps after locating them with the help of your ranger guide.
Considered as the cousins of human sharing 98% of Human DNA Chimpanzees tracking is one of the adventurous activities throughout the year. Nyungwe Forest National Park is the prime spot for chimpanzee tracking.
Uniquely located on a ridge between the Nile and the Congo Rivers, the Nyungwe Forest National Park is incredibly rich in biodiversity and protects one of eastern Africa’s largest belts of montane rain forest.
It’s home not only to a habituated group of chimpanzees, but also to other primates including the Ruwenzori colobus and L’Hoest’s monkey, more than 1,050 plant species including 200 different species of orchid, 85 mammals, 310 bird species, and more. Another highlight in this park is the 200-metre long and 40-metre high suspended canopy walkway that offers a unique view of the forest.
Chimpanzee permits in Rwanda cost US$100. This amount includes park Ranger and entrance fees. The permit can be acquired either directly from the Rwanda Development Board (Tourism Department) or through your tour operator. The minimum age for tacking chimpanzees in Rwanda is 13 years. Trackers need to go prepared to deal with the dense montane forest.
Golden Monkeys in Virunga Mountains
Golden monkeys are known to have unique characters and are a rare species that are endangered at the moment and they are currently found in the Virunga Mountains in Rwanda. They are easily recognized due to the yellow patches that can be seen all over their bodies. The Golden monkeys are also known as ‘the Old world monkey’ and the only way to separate these primates from others is by their noses. There is a unique character about the golden monkeys and that is most of the monkeys have their nostrils pointing to the sides but if you look closely at the golden monkeys, their nostrils face upwards.
Golden monkey trekking in Rwanda mostly takes place in the Volcanoes which is found in the Virunga Mountains and it has only one session per day which starts in the morning. Those who are willing to take part in the golden monkey trekking are advised to report at the headquarters by 7:00 am for a mini briefing about the trek before it starts and it is only fifteen minutes away from the Park.
The Golden monkeys in the Rwanda are divided into two troops and the largest is located in the Sabinyo and this has 80 to 100 monkeys and it is the most visited troop in Rwanda. The other troop is located in the Volcanoes and it is slightly smaller in number.
Golden monkeys are speedy moving little primates, very amusing to see as they suddenly jig from tree to tree or run after the other in loop around you. Watching these reddish gold back monkeys that blend in perfectly with the golden bamboo trees is an amazing experience.
Golden monkey safari in Rwanda starts 7:00 am in the morning; visitors can see two troops that have been habituated for tourism in the park numbering about 80 individuals, a maximum number of 8 people are allowed to track golden monkeys for only one hour at cost of US$100 per person. Visitors can arrange their permits in advance or get them at Kinigi the park headquarters where porters can also be hired at US$10.
L’Hoest’s Monkeys in Nyungwe and Gishwati Forest
Nyungwe national park is also a place where you will find lots of primates and one of them will be the L’hoest monkeys therefore a primates watching adventure to Nyungwe is the perfect opportunity you can have to see these monkeys.
L’Hoest’s monkeys are endemic to Albertine Rift and can be found in Nyungwe and Gishwati Forest. They have a dark coat with a white beard and live in small groups dominated by females, with a single male. These primates are also called mountain monkeys because they prefer to stay in mountainous areas.
Olive Baboon & Vervet Monkeys in Akagera NP
Akagera National Park is home to olive baboons and Vervet monkeys, which can be spotted on safari drives. Other species can only be seen at night – the small potto, closely related to the lemurs of Madagascar, and bush babies, with their distinctive large eyes for superior night vision, and bat-like ears to track insects in the dark.
Best seasons to visit Primates in Rwanda
The best time to visit Rwanda is between June and September, which is during the Dry season when wildlife viewing is at its prime. Primate walks in the forest are a big part of any safari in Rwanda. The habitat of rainforests is, by default, very wet and one can’t avoid rain completely. Walking in the forest is easier in the Dry season and that is also the recommended time for most primate walks, including gorilla trekking.
Lastly, Rwanda’s tourism is one of the reasons why Primates should be on your bucket list.Read More