Top Tourist Spots in Rwanda

Rwanda is an amazing gateway to Africa. Emerging from tragedy of the 1994 Genocide there is now no better to enjoy a true Africa safari than Rwanda. A safari to Rwanda is one the best adventure trips, offering opportunities to tourists to see exotic wildlife, experience culture and majestic sightseeing. Are you planning to take a holiday in Rwanda? Here are the top spots to visit in Rwanda;

1. Parc National des Volcans; This is the definitive location for golden monkey and gorilla trekking. This area is located along the border with Congo and Uganda also happens to be one of the most beautiful sights in Africa. There is a chain of no less than seven volcanoes, the highest, Karisimbi more than 4500m. On the bamboo and rainforest covered slopes of the volcanoes are some of the last remaining sanctuaries of the mountain gorilla which was studied to depth first by George Schaller and more recently by Dian Fossey. If you are looking for Rwanda gorilla safaris, definitely this is the spot to visit during your holiday.

2. Gisenyi; Gisenyi is a resort town for rich Rwandans and expatriate workers. Their beautifully landscaped villas, plush hotels and clubs take up virtually all the Lake Kivu frontage and are quite a contrast to the African township on the hillside above. There is a variety of water sports available plus plush hotels and restaurants. There are also magnificent views over Lake Kivu and the volcano of Nyiragongo which blew its top and swallowed much of Goma in neighbouring Congo in early 2002.

3. Ruhengeri; most travelers come to Ruhengeri on their way to magnificent Parc National des Volcans to track rare mountain gorillas. It’s a small uninspiring town but the views make up for it with the mighty Virunga volcanoes (Karisimbi, Bisoke, Mikeno, Muside, Sabinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura) looming over town to the north and west.

4. Kigali city; built on a ridge and extending to the valley floors on both sides, it’s a small, attractive city with an incredible variety of flowering trees and shrubs. From various points on the ridge, there are superb views over the intensively cultivated and terraced countryside. The mountains and the hills seem to stretch forever and the abundant rainfall keeps them a lush green.

5. Butare; this is the intellectual centre of Rwanda, home to the National University, The National institute of Scientific Research and the excellent National Museum. The town itself is a step down in size after bustling Kigali but all the same, it offers a good range of hotels and a lot of the locals speak English or French.

6. Nyungwe Forest National Park; it is one of the leading attractions for Rwanda safaris, easily the equal of Kibale in Uganda. One of the largest protected montane rainforests in Africa, it covers 970sq km and offers superb scenery overlooking the forest and Lake Kivu, as well as views to the north of the distant volcanoes of the Parc National des Virunga. The main attraction is the guided tours to view large groups of chimpanzees. The lush green valleys also offer outstanding hiking. There are about 270 species of trees, 70 or more species of mammal, 275 species of bird and an astonishing variety of orchids and butterflies.

7. Cyangugu; Cyangugu is an attractively positioned town on the lake shore at the southern end of Lake Kivu. It is the nearest major town to Nyungwe forest national park, one of the richest primate destinations in Africa.

8. Kibuye; it has a stunning location spread across a series of tongues jutting into Lake Kivu. It is also a beach and water sports area which is a pleasant place to relax for a few days and it is safe to swim here unlike Gisenyi where there are dangerous volcanic gases. Kibuye was hardest hit of all prefectures during the genocide killings with about 90% of the Tutsi population murdered.

9. Parc National de l’Akagera; covering an area of 2500sq km, Parc National l’Akagera used to be one of the least visited but most interesting wildlife parks in Africa. There are three distinct environments in the park, standard savanna as seen in much of the region, an immense swampy area along the border with Tanzania that contains six lakes and numerous islands, some of which are covered with forest and a chain of low mountains on the flanks of the park that stretches through much of the length of the park with variable vegetation ranging from short grasses on the summits to wooded savanna and dense thickets of forest.


Posted in Travel Tips.