Heading to Rwanda for holiday?
Find out about the rare animals found in many national parks and all the outdoor activities waiting for you to be part of.
Gorilla tracking can involve trekking through the forest for 1-8 hours guided by skilled trackers with knowledge about the gorillas and their way of life. While tracking the great apes, you have great chances of spotting golden monkeys, buffalo, bush duiker and a variety of bird life. On encountering the gorillas, you will be allowed an hour to interact and watch them go about their daily life. NB. Gorilla trekking and Golden Monkey tracking permits are booked through the Rwanda Tourism Board offices (ORTPN) in Kigali or Musanze.
This is yet another interesting activity on the Rwanda tourism market. Rwanda’s Chimpanzee population of no less than five hundred is currently believed to be restricted to Nyungwe forest national park while a few could be found in the Cyamudongo Forest, however it is quite possible that a minor population registered in the early on nineties in the further north as well as badly degraded Gishwati forest further remains.
Chimp tracking can be done throughout the rainy season and it is up to you to choose whether to be a part of this exciting activity. While on your adventure into the forest, you get to hear the sound of the monkeys deep down in the jungle before you even set your eyes on these creatures.
Unlike some other primates, chimpanzees do not live in troops but in form of extended communities equal to 100 individuals.
Golden monkey Tracking
The rare golden monkeys are listed as endangered, these inhabit the bamboo vegetation towards the base of the volcanoes. There are presently two troops of these monkeys which have been habituated to visits by tourists in the park with each having approximately 80 members.
Your trek for the golden monkeys will involve 8 persons and this is for conservation purposes, you will be allowed an hour with the monkeys on encounter. This is an activity you can only miss if you must on your trip to Rwanda.
Rwanda has a bird list of over 700 species and supports the second highest number of Albertine Rift endemics than any other country making a must visit destination for bird lovers. These include many of the sought-after Albertine Rift Endemics ('ARE's) and some West Africa forest specials which reach their eastern most limits in Rwanda. There is also a select band of localised rarities which, currently, may be seen (safely) only in Rwanda.
Major birding areas in Rwanda include; Volcanoes National Park, Nyungwe forest National park, Akagera National park, Rugezi Swamp, Akanyaru, Nyabarongo and Cyamudongo.
Some of the bird species include; the elusive shoe bill stork, Bennet’s woodpecker, white winged and broad tailed warblers, miombo wren warblers, including Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori Turaco, Mountain Sooty Boubou, Rwenzori Batis, red faced Barbet, Red-rumped and Mosque Swallows, African Spoonbill, Yellow-billed Stork, Great White Pelican, Common Moorhens plus many others.
Expect also to encounter animals such as; giraffes, elephants and hippos on your adventure.
The undulating countryside that is characteristic of Rwanda, the Virunga volcanoes, the various lakes Kivu, Bulera and Ruhondo
A cultural tour in Rwanda involves, City tours, genocide memorial sites, Butare Palace, Batwa community visits, a visit to Dian Fossey’s grave, a visit to the local markets and souvenir shops plus live traditional performances from the locals.
Music and dance plays an important role in the traditions of Rwandan people. Performances range from demonstrations of bravery and excellence, to humorous dance styles and lyrics, to artistry based in traditional agricultural routes. Traditional songs are often accompanied by a solitary lulunga—a harp-like instrument with eight strings.
A wide range of traditional handicrafts is produced in rural Rwanda, ranging from ceramics and basketry to traditional woodcarvings and contemporary paintings.
For those visitors seeking challenge, thrill or intense experience, you can climb the Bisoke, Muhavura or Karisimbi.
Lake Kivu is the largest of numerous freshwater bodies that shimmer in the valleys of Rwanda. The lake is a favorite get-away for Rwanda’s residents and is good for water sports and relaxing days on the beach, water sports include; kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing and beach volleyball. Visitors can take a leisurely ride along the western shoreline of the country on the “Munezero” tourist boat from Gisenyi to Kibuye to Cyangugu.
Lakes Burera and Ruhondo close to the gorilla-tracking centre of Ruhengeri are often neglected gems, deep blue waters ringed by steep hills and tall waterfalls, with the nearby Virunga Volcanoes providing a spectacular backdrop.
Lake Muhazi, a mere hour and a half away from Kigali, is one of the country’s scenic treasures. This tranquil cove in the eastern province of Rwanda is ideal for a day trip away from the hustle and bustle of the city where you can eat fresh fish while watching the sun set over the small boats dotting the lake.
Akagera National Park has ten lakes, some of which are watering holes for animals while others a heaven for bird lovers as it is inhabited by the rare shoebill stork.
At the main resorts, Rwanda's lakes offer visitors rewarding glimpses into ancient African lifestyles. Here, fishermen ply the water in dugout canoes unchanged in design for centuries, while colourfully dressed ladies smoke traditional wooden pipes and troubadours strum sweetly on stringed iningire (traditional 'guitars').
The bird life here is great; flotillas of pelicans sail ponderously across the open water, majestic crowned cranes preen their golden crests in the surrounding swamps, while jewel-like malachite kingfishers hawk silently above the shore.
Visitors can opt to go fishing a very exciting sport especially on Lake Kivu.
Travel tip shared by Wal-Mark African Safaris