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.
Volcanoes National Park
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.Read More
Rwanda is blessed to have the shelter of the highest population of birds in the world; it’s also ranked among the best 5 destinations in the entire world for tourists searching for the best birding tour in Rwanda. Rwanda is geographically a small land locked nation perched in the Albertine Rift valley with its dense forested and mountainous nature that avail great and long lasting memorable wildlife experiences anyone wouldn’t want to miss in life.
Rwanda with its small size has a staggering 700 bird species that quench the thirst of anyone looking for great birding safaris and experiences in Africa.
Rwanda has 7 favorite important bird watching areas, which include 3 national parks, – Volcanoes national park, Akagera national park, Nyungwe National Park, Rugezi swamp, Akagera swamps, Nyabarongo and Cyamudongo forest. These birds include Grey crowned crane, papyrus Gonoleck, Kungwe apalis, Bennettis wood pecker, stripe breasted tit, yellow-eyed black flycatcher, Cinnynis, white-tailed blue fly catcher, shoebill stork, tropical Boubou, regular sunrise bird, bronzy sun bird, among others.
Birding At Lake Ihema, Akagera National Park
Akagera national park is a small piece of paradise perched on the Rwanda-Tanzania that provides wildlife safaris in Rwanda that travellers long for. The Park stands as Rwanda’s most spectacular site for birders as it habours several endemic as well as migratory bird species and other unique wildlife species. It is home to over 520 species of birds that dominate this place, including forest, savannah, wetlands, and montane species.
Lake Ihema is home to the rare shoe bill stork; therefore this place gives a clear view of these beautiful birds since it habours a mixture of different acacia and papyrus species, including the olive back.
Other species common in Akagera national park include; the gorgeous black headed Gonolek, the grey hornbill, lilac-breasted roller, the crested barbet, Heuglin’s robin-chat and Ross’s Turaco, among others.
Birding In Nyungwe Forest National Park
This is Rwanda’s most fabulous bird watching site, and it is home to approximately 310 bird species that have been recorded, reflecting a wide habitat diversity and altitudinal range due to its dense forested nature. It’s very famous for its vegetation cover as well as being a home to many different bird species as compared to other national parks.
This wonderful birding area lies west of Butare, with the Butare to Cyangugu road passing straight through the middle, providing excellent roadside birding adventure.
Nyungwe habours a variety of Albertine Rift endemics, including seven of the 12 species of Soricidae, one species of bat – Rousettus lanosus, 5 of 12 species of Muridae and the chameleon Chamaeleo johnstoni, two species of squirrels,- Funisciurus carruthersi and Heliosciurus ruwenzori. And an amphibian that is endemic to Nyungwe – the caecilian Boulengerula fischeri. Two species of butterfly are endemic to Nyungwe – Bebearia dowsetti and Acraea turlini while Papilio leucotaenia restricted to a small area of the Albertine Rift occurs commonly in Nyungwe.
Birding In Nyabarongo River
It’s a protected area in Rwanda, covering 142.62km2, located in the south east of the country, south of Kigali, and includes swamps and marshes in parts of flood plain of river Nyabarongo, the longest river in Rwanda. It provides a safe haven for some of the globally threatened bird species namely; the Madagascar Squacco heron, papyrus Gonolek, Carruthers, Sisticola, white- winged scrub-warbler.
Other places where these birds can be found are; Cyamudongo forest, Rugezi among others, for anyone who wants to get an unforgettable biding experience in Rwanda.Read More
A trip to Kinigi, outside the main Musanze town in northern Rwanda, makes you interact with nature. Musanze itself has established a reputation as Rwanda’s tourism hub for many reasons. However, for most tourists who come to Rwanda, Kinigi’s mountain gorillas are always on their bucket-list.
When looking for outdoor activities, the place to be is definitely the Volcanoes National Park. This, according to tour operators, is home to a variety of wildlife that include the mountain gorillas. Furthermore, preserved within the Volcanoes National Park are the three Virunga Volcanoes: Sabinyo, Bisoke and Karisimbi. These are part of the eight volcanoes making up the Virunga Massif which straddles Rwanda, DR Congo and Uganda.
According to Ferdinand Ndamiyabo, a tour guide with Thousand Hills Tours, the main tourist attractions in Kinigi includes: gorilla tracking, golden monkey tracking, nature walk, as well as hiking Bisoke, Karisimbi, Muhabura and Gahinga mountains.
Ndamiyabo adds that most of the tourists who visit Kinigi come specifically for tracking the gorillas, though he is quick to add that Kinigi itself has so much to offer apart from the mountain gorillas.
“These primates have been extensively marketed as the main attractions of Rwanda’s tourism industry. However, visiting Kinigi itself and seeing what nature provides, together with the cultural activities carried out within the area, is going to introduce you to what more Rwanda has to offer,” says Ndamiyabo.
Amos Tega, also a guide working with the same tour firm, says the move by the Rwandan government through the Rwanda Development Board (RDD) to increase gorilla trekking fees from $750 to $1500 eventually is going to be a blessing in disguise since this is a prudent move to protect the mountain gorillas, which have become the flagship of the country’s tourism industry.
“Without the gorillas, Rwanda tourism industry naturally will not stand on its feet. Many tourists to Rwanda come just to see the primates in their natural habitat though Rwanda has so much to offer like bird watching and cultural tourism. However, hiking the gorilla fee by the government was a long-term investment to preserve these species and within two to three years, we are going to see what the policy makers at RDB foresaw,” says Tega.
Tega adds that now is the time for Rwanda diversify its marketing strategy, saying Kinigi itself has so much to offer for adventure tourists who just “want to experience the other side of Rwanda”.
Greg Bakunzi, the managing director of Amahoro Tours and founder of Red Rocks Rwanda, a cultural exchange center based in Nyakinama village, mentions some of the things tourists can enjoy for free in Musanze and Kinigi in particular, including excursion to the Twin Lakes, hike to the waterfalls of Musanze, walk to the local villages, enjoying scintillating music and dance by the evergreen Intore dancers and a visit to local community projects such as local arts and crafts markets and schools.
“Although those events are free of charge, it shouldn’t stop you from making a donation to the community depending on how much you’re satisfied,” says Bakunzi.
The tour operator adds that among the most recognizable tourism attractions in Kinigi is visiting the Musanze caves and the Dian Fossey Tomb.
According to Remarkable Rwanda (Tembera U Rwanda) website, a move by RDB to promote domestic tourism, the 1.25-mile long Musanze caves are located just outside of the town they share a name with, and are only a 90-minute drive from Kigali. With an enormous opening (and an equally huge number of bats resident inside), the greenery outside spilling over into the twilight within makes for a fantastic photo opportunity. Caves were used as a shelter during wartime for many centuries leading right up into the modern era, and as such, it’s an important site to local people. Thus, out of respect for the area’s residents, access is limited to guided visits.
Bakunzi says visiting the Dian Fossey Tomb in Kinigi is among the most sought after safari activities which is carried out when visiting Volcanoes National Park for a gorilla trip. The walk to the tomb also affords good views of forest hogs, forest elephants, a variety of primates and bird species.Read More