Rwanda Attractions will fascinate you when you see the beauty of the country and the different features that the country has to offer. Rwanda the land of a thousand hills is widely known for its hilly landscape, its genocide history and being home to the endangered mountain gorillas. This beautiful small country in East Africa has over the past 20 years rebuilt its ruins from the aftermath of genocide to where it is now as one of the top luxury destinations in the world.
This country that is neatly organised and spot clean with garbage-free streets, well-kept lawns and well-constructed road structure is one you should visit on any on your African Safari because of its numerous attractions that will leave you breathless and yearning to extend your Rwanda safari to forever.
Among the numerous attractions in the countries below are the topmost that you shouldn’t miss on your visit to the country.
- The people
Though everyone will yearn to visit the country to see the famous mountain gorillas which is very beautiful, I say seeing and interacting with the people of Rwanda is one of the most refreshing and life changing experiences you will have on your trip.
Most of the generation living in Rwanda now has recovered from the devastating genocide that wrecked the country about 20 years ago; so on your interaction with the community you will be amazed at how they have transformed their lives from pain to joy, you will have opportunities to see different projects different communities are engaging in to encourage unity across the country as well as projects of development that are facilitating the country’s economic growth,
You will participate in cultural activities including dances, songs, cattle keeping, tea growing, and coffee growing among other activities.
You will also visit the several genocide memorials across the country that shows the pain, recovery and rebirth of this small country.
You will visit the national museum to learn more about the country’s rich history, especially history before the country was wrecked with the genocide.
You will also visit the King’s palace in Nyanza to appreciate the African traditions this country counties to preserve.
These tours to interact with the Rwandan people, communities and cultures are normally called cultural tours or community tours; whatever the name tagged to them, you will need to book a cultural or community with either a tour operator or Rwanda Development Board.
Some community tours are done in the outskirts of the city so you may need to have accommodation in those areas. Your tour operator will advise you on what to do best.
- Gorilla trekking
Mountain gorilla trekking is the most sought after activity to do in Rwanda. Rwanda is one of the three countries that have natural habitats for the endangered mountain gorillas and habituated gorillas that can be visited by travellers.
Mountain Gorilla trekking in Rwanda takes places in Volcanoes National Park; the park is in the North of Kigali City in kinigi, Ruhengeri. Gorilla trekking activities start as early as 7 am and can take up to 4 or 5 hours but you only spend one hour with the gorillas.
The fees for gorilla trekking are 1500 USD per permit per person and a permit is valid for only one trek. Permits are acquired through a tour operator or directly from Rwanda Development Board not less than 3 months in advance.
- Canopy walk
The canopy walk in Nyungwe National Park is 2.1 Km walk above the great Nyumgwe forest that gives you an opportunity to see the forest and other landscape from the top. This is normally a guided walk that starts from Uwinka Visitors centre via Igishigishi trail into slopes of the Nyungwe forest. The walk takes about 2 hours and costs 60 USD.
- Chimpanzee Trekking
Chimpanzee trekking is done in Nyungwe National Park in the great Nyungwe forest, on this trek you go into the forest to see and interact with the chimpanzees that naturally live in the forest.
The chimpanzee trekking activities in Nyungwe National Park take place all through the year at the park. The treks normally start in the morning and take about 3 to 4 hours of trekking and one-hour interaction with the chimpanzees. A chimpanzee trekking activity cost 90 USD for a permit.
- Golden monkey trekking
Golden monkeys are a type of monkeys that is rare and endangered; they are unique with a golden colouring and they naturally exist in the volcanoes and can be trekked in Volcanoes National Park. Golden monkey trekking can be done alongside gorilla trekking. The golden monkey trekking permits cost 100 USD and can be acquired at the volcanoes National park offices.
Rwanda is gifted with a wide range of animals that live in the wild in Akagera National Park. The animals range from lions, buffalos, elephants, hippos, giraffes among other animals. All animals can be viewed on game drives or on boat cruises on Lake Ihema.
The game drives take place in the mornings, afternoons and whole day. Boat cruises take place in the afternoons. All these give you great wildlife experience. The game drives in Akagera are 40 USD and boat cruises are 35 USD.
Akagera National Park is the largest park in Rwanda with savannah and montane vegetation that is ideal for the survival of the wild animals. The park is also the home of the second largest lake in Rwanda, Lake Ihema that feeds from the Akagera River.
- Coffee and Tea Plantations Tours
Coffee and Tea Plantations Tours in Rwanda give you the chance to walk through the different plantations, witness the different tea and coffee processes as well as taste Rwanda’s rich tea and coffee.
You also interact with the farmers and appreciate the journey the tea/ coffee takes from the garden to the consumer’s mouth.
Coffee tours are normally done in Gisenyi near Lake kivu and Tea Tours are done near Nyungwe forest.
There are different cost 50 USD each; and this cost doesn’t include the transport costs to the plantation places, that are quite far from the country’s capital Kigali. Your tour operator will advise on the different extra costs or you can contact Rwanda Development Board directly for advice.
- Genocide memorial
When you visit the genocide memorial sites in Rwanda you will appreciate the pain, recovery and restoration that Rwanda has grown through over the past 20 years. You will also have opportunities to listen to the stories of the people that were affected by the genocide. And the tours to these genocide memorial centres will be a life changing experience for you. The visits to the city memorial centres are free; however other centres may attract a fee. Your tour operator will advise you accordingly.