If you’re considering Rwanda as a vacation or have never considered it but, for whatever reason, are reading this blog, let us entice you with what’s available to you in this beautiful part of the world. For starters, Rwanda lives up to that stereotype we have when we think of African Jungles. The stereo-type created by movies like Indiana Jones, where jungles are think, dense and inhabited by all kinds of wonderful animals and vegetation. There is certainly lots to see from an animal perspective, but we can’t forget the incredible people and rich history which makes for an exciting vacation.
Let’s start with the first and best highlight (in our opinion) which is getting to walk with the Gorillas, what an amazing experience! The “Parc National des Volcans” lies along the Virunga Mountains, with 8 ancient volcanoes, which are shared by Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Just a short two hour drive from Rwanda’s capital of Kigali, the park is a central location for exploring some distinctly Rwandan experiences.
Depending on how much time you have and budget, hikes can be arranged in the area as well as a trek to see the fascinating golden monkeys. Visitors can also pay homage to the legendary scientist and gorilla advocate Dian Fossey (Her life and achievements are depicted in the 1988 film Gorilla’s in the Mist) with a hike to her tomb or a visit to the Dian Fosse Gorilla Fund that continues her legacy of research and advocacy to this day.
A City tour and visit to the Genocide Memorial Centre can be arranged and although it is a haunting experience, it is worth a visit to gain insight on what happened during the Rwandan Genocide, which was a Genocidal mass slaughter of Tutsi and moderate Hutu in Rwanda by members of the Hutu majority. During the approximate 100-day period from April 7, 1994, to mid-July, an estimated 500,000–1,000,000 Rwandans were killed, constituting as much as 20% of the country’s total population and 70% of the Tutsi then living in Rwanda. It is a very disturbing and heart breaking experience!
For a cultural experience, the Iby’Iwacu village is located around Parc National des Volcans in Nyabigoma, Kinigi, Musanze district, Northern Province. The Cultural Village is committed at showcasing the ways of living, traditional lifestyles and dances to tourists. It gives you a rare chance to meet local people, in their environment, with a taste of their culture and traditions.
Should you wish to extend your stay further and depending on your interests, there is the Nyungwe Forest, which has a wide diversity of animal species, making it a priority for conservation in Africa. The park contains 13 different primate species, 275 bird species, 1068 plant species, 85 mammal species, 32 amphibian and 38 reptile species. As well as Akagera National Park for game viewing.
Come and enjoy Rwanda – it is truly a beautiful country and definitely a favourite of mine within East Africa! We’ve recently launched a new tour into Rwanda which allows you to take care of the first highlight, tracking Gorilla’s, to view more about it, click here.