Rwanda is a tiny country located in East Africa, known as the “Land of a Thousand Hills” for its stunning landscape of rolling hills and mountains. A trip to Rwanda is unlike many other destinations in Africa because it is home to the endangered Mountain Gorillas – one of our closest relatives – who can be encountered here on a thrilling trek into the rainforest.
Although the main draw is the gorillas, Rwanda also boasts extraordinary biodiversity, with nearly 300 mammal and 900 bird species, as well as 35 species found nowhere else on earth. The main wilderness areas and National Parks are: Volcanoes National Park, where the gorillas live; Nyungwe Forest National Park, one of the world’s most ancient forests, with chimpanzees and golden monkeys; Akagera National Park, a diverse ecosystem with a wide variety of wildlife; and Lake Kivu, a beautiful and massive lake.
Rwanda is a safe and peaceful country – full of hope, optimism, and a warm welcome to those who visit her rich forests and mountains. For travelers seeking a unique adventure, incredible up-close and personal wildlife encounters, and opportunities for cultural immersion, a visit to this scenic, mountainous country is a perfect fit.
Regions of Rwanda
Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park is located at the foot of the Virunga Mountains, with spectacular scenery of massive, extinct volcanoes reaching nearly 15,000 feet into the clouds! It is well-known as one of the few places on earth where Mountain Gorillas live, now an endangered species. Visitors come here for a close-encounter with these incredible primates, trekking into the rainforest to spend an hour with one of the habituated families. A gorilla trek to see these gentle giants in the wild is a thrilling and memorable experience, and for many, a lifelong dream fulfilled.
Nyungwe Forest National Park
Nyungwe Forest National Park is an unspoiled, lush mountain rainforest in the southwest corner of Rwanda. It has a great diversity of wildlife, including chimpanzees, one of the main attractions for visitors, as well as the world’s largest community of beautiful black and white Colobus monkeys and hundreds of species of birds. There is also a wide variety of activities, including chimp tracking, hiking, biking, a canopy walk in the treetops above a canyon, for a fun and unique view of the forest, and a visit to the Kitabi Cultural Village to learn about traditions and crafts.
Lake Kivu is an enormous, picturesque, fresh-water lake in Rwanda, offering visitors a wonderful, tranquil “beach” in this landlocked country. Only an hour from Volcanoes National Park, it is the perfect destination to unwind and relax after gorilla trekking. The azure water is clear and clean, and free of crocs and hippos, so visitors can enjoy swimming, kayaking and many other activities. There are also uninhabited islands to explore as well as interesting villages, towns, and coffee plantations.
Akagera National Park
Akagera National Park, located in northeast Rwanda along the Tanzanian border, is one of the most scenic reserves in Africa, with a variety of habitats, including forests, papyrus swamps, savannah, rolling highlands and a labyrinth of lakes. The park is home to many species of wildlife, including elephant, buffalo, topi, zebra, waterbuck, eland, baboon and vervet monkeys, leopard, hyena, and jackal. Although it’s size was once reduced greatly to provide farmland, it is now being restored to a magnificent wilderness area, with reintroduction programs for lion and, hopefully, black rhino which will restore its ‘Big 5’ status