A destination literally at the heart or center of the African continent, Rwanda has much to behold. Just like several other African destinations (countries), Rwanda offers her visitors some unique wildlife, nature sighting experience. Among the unique things you will get to do here is seeing the rare golden monkeys and yes, encountering the breathtaking mountain gorillas that find their home in bamboo forests of the Volcanoes NP.
Dubbed “the land of a thousand hills”, Rwanda’s scenic setting is mind-blowing. A haven for any scenery lover! If interested, there are also some volcanoes to explore including crossing border into the famous Nyiragongo craters. It’s really not just about the safari and savannah here, but the warmth of people you meet as well. Warm and friendly, Rwandese are captivating, whether through traditional dance (itore), unique architecture or works of art.
Forget about the country’s sad past. Rwanda is (now) one of the safest destinations to visit in Africa. This article could go on and on but only a visit into Rwanda can best reveal to you what an endearing destination it is! Welcome to Rwanda.
Warm and friendly, Rwandese are captivating, whether through traditional dance (itore), unique architecture or works of art. A mushanana is a traditional dress that women wear during important traditional ceremonies like marriage. You will be treated to Itore dance that is unique to Rwandese. In fact, you’re not typical Rwandese unless you know how to dance itore.
Weaving is one of the specialty of Rwandese. You will find baskets of all kinds of style and shapes in homes, market place, artwork shops etc. Rwandese food are mostly fresh from farm to the table including other favorites like chicken. Steamed plantain (matooke) is a favorite dish to many served along other staples like groundnut sauce. If you’re a coffee lover, get yourself set for one of the finest taste.
During the dry months of July to September when the temperatures are cooler and the possibility of rain is very low or none at all. Then the months of January, February and first half of March are also fine although with slightly higher temperatures.
Rwanda has a temperate climate with temperatures of 25 – 30 degrees Celsius during day and 15 degrees Celsius at night throughout the year. Nights can be chilly in Nyungwe and the Virunga area. Most parts of the country receive rainfall in excess of 1,000mm. Rwanda experiences two rainy spells i.e. long rains from March to May, and short rains in November and the first half of December. Dry months are July to September, last half December to February.
Start in (1) Kigali, widely regarded the cleanest city in Africa. Nestled between the rolling hills, Rwanda’s capital is friendly, welcoming and with a host of great dinning and some of the world’s best coffee, this African capital is building a reputation with tourist. Drive to (2) Volcanoes NP for a rare encounter with the breathtaking mountain gorillas. You can also climb up to the top of one or more volcanoes before setting out. Your next destination should be (3) Nyungwe NP. One of the oldest rainforests in Africa, Nyungwe is rich in biodiversity and spectacularly beautiful. Memorable and photogenic moments include walking up to the Isumo waterfall or along the Canopy Walk suspension bridge. From Nyungwe, you surely need to connect to (4) Akagera National Park. Akagera is a true success story of conservation effort. With a family of lions from South Africa settled and breeding successfully and eastern black rhinos reintroduced, the park boasts of big 5 sighting. Do you feel like going for a swim or relaxing at the beach? On the shore of (5) Lake Kivu – Rwanda’s largest lake, every season is good for swimming and sunbathing especially in Gisenyi – a town on the north shore of Lake Kivu, northwestern Rwanda’s Rubavu district. This is a country worth knowing and it is definitely worth seeing.
The Volcanoes NP for an encounter with the breathtaking mountain gorillas, Nyungwe Forest NP for chimp tracking and the mind-blowing canopy walk, Akagera NP for the big 5 sighting and Lake Kivu for the beach relaxation.
While on a trip in Rwanda, one may (depending on interest) undertake any of the following activities: gorilla and golden monkey trekking, hiking the volcanoes and crater lakes, game drives in Akagera, boat safaris, kayaking in Lake Kivu, chimp tracking, birdwatching, local community & cultural encounter, beach relaxation in Gisenyi, attend meeting & conferences in Kigali.
If coming only for gorilla trekking, at least 2 days. However, you may need at least 5 Days if you would like to explore a bit more of Rwanda.
From experience, most people incur no health problems during their visits but rather enjoy themselves during the time on Safari. Nevertheless, you may consider the following in your packing:
Anti-malaria medicines, pain reliever, insect repellent. Simple first aid kit won’t be bad at all.
Pack your necessary sunscreen, hand sanitizers, sun-hat plus glasses, body creams/lotions of your choice among others.
IMPORTANT: Ask your medical insurance provider if your policy applies overseas for any emergencies.