Attractions in Rwanda

Attractions in Rwanda

Akagera National Park

This Park is found in the east of Rwanda and Kibungu is the city that is nearest to the park and the best starting point. Akagera National Park is home to over 20 species of mammals.

The wet eastern side is the most scenic and best spot for Rwanda safaris in the park because it harbors a great concentration of hippos one of if not the most in the whole of Africa. Still on the eastern shores of the lake are several crocodiles, lions, leopards and black rhinos although these are present in relatively small numbers.

Giant African elephants and buffalos are also popularly concentrated in the woodland zones and are commonly seen around the lakes for quenching. Park visitors also have guaranteed chance to see Giraffes and zebras wandering through the dominated savannah regions. More than a dozen types of antelopes most commonly the gorgeous chestnut-coated impala also inhabit the park. Others are statuesque cape eland, the Oribi, bushbuck, Tsessebe as well as the Cape Eland.

Activities in the park include: Camping, Birding, Fishing, Game drives and Tennis at Akagera Game Lodge

 

Nyungwe Forest

Nyungwe Forest is beautiful with great scenery, easy to access and affordable in terms of accommodation and activities. The windy drive through the park is stunning as you drive on the ridge among huge trees and lush canopy forests, with views out over deep valleys. And the well-maintained hikes take you down into the forest canopy, which gives the aura of being prehistoric and remote.

The park lies in the south western part of Rwanda neighboring Burundi and it covers an area of about 970 sq km of rainforest, bamboo, grassland and boggy swamps. The forest is located in a zone where several massive bio-geographical zones overlap and the variety of earthly biomes provide a great stretch of microhabitats for numerous varieties of rare species of vegetation and animals. The main attraction here is the Primate walks, the park is endowed with 13 different primate species and 85 mammal species. It is a perfect destination for primate tracking.

 

Volcanoes National Park

This is the most exciting and most visited park in Rwanda with over 360 Mountain Gorillas and covers an area of 160sqkm. The Park is located in Ruhengeri an hour and a half drive from Kigali to the Northwest of Rwanda. It protects Rwanda's sector of the Virunga Volcanic Mountains, a range of 6 extinct and 3 active volcanoes that straddles the borders with Uganda and Congo.

The Volcanoes National  Park is part of a contiguous 433sqkm Trans frontier conservation unit that also includes the Virunga National Park and Mgahinga National Park, which protects the DRC and Ugandan sectors of the Virunga respectively. Not only that but the park also has the tallest mountain in the chain the Karisimbi found on the border with the DRC. Moving eastward, the other main peaks within the national park are Visoke on the DRC border; Sabinyo at the juncture of Rwanda, Uganda and the DRC, and Gahinga and Muhabura on the Uganda border.

The Volcanoes National Park is best known to the outside world as the place where almost for 20yrs the American primatologist Dian Fossey under took her pioneering studies of mountain gorilla behavior. Activities in the park include, mountain gorilla tracking, birding and hiking but Mountain gorilla tracking remains the most popular in the park.

 

Lake Kivu

Lake Kivu is one of the African Great Lakes and the largest of many freshwater lakes that shimmer in the valleys of Rwanda occupying 2650 square kilometers of land. It lies on the border between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, and is in the Albertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift valley. Lake Kivu empties into the Ruzizi River which flows southwards into Lake Tanganyika. The name comes from Kivu which locally means "lake".

Set in the midst of the spectacular mountains of the rift valley and the Virunga volcanoes to the north, the irregular shores of Lake Kivu form numerous inlets and peninsulas and myriad forest-fringed waterfalls.

The stunning lake is enclosed by the steep terraced hills that are characteristic of rural Rwanda and sitting on its shores are the three lakeside towns of Cyangugu, Kibuye and Gisenyi; the perfect tourist transit points between the Chimpanzee tracking destination of Nyungwe Forest National Park in the south, and gorilla tracking in Parc National des Volcans in the north.

Discovering these three colourful lakeside resort towns, pursuing the various water sports they have to offer, and boating to the numerous islands on the lake are just some of the activities available in the area. The towns are connected by a wide roller-coaster road that tumbles through luxuriant plantain fields and remnant patches of misty rainforest to offer extensive views over the sparkling lake. A charter boat service on the lake connecting the three towns is also available.

Birdlife around the lake is fantastic including large numbers of pelicans, crowned cranes, malachite kingfishers and much more.

 

Kigali City

This city is found at Rwanda’s geographical heart, and is among the safest and friendliest of African capitals, blessed with a moderate high altitude climate that belies its tropical location.

However, the Centre is a permanent memorial to those who fell victim to the genocide and serves as a place for people to grieve those they lost. Kigali has been the capital of Rwanda since 1965.

An attractive city, it spreads over a number of hills. The main shopping and commercial area is around the Hotel Mille Collins, with the government district on the neighboring Kaciyiru hill. The markets, the handicrafts, the Muslim quarter and a new genocide memorial being built in Gisozi are some of the main places of interest.

 

Genocide Memorial Sites

There are basically eight genocide memorial sites in Rwanda and these were all put in place as remembrance of the Genocide that occurred in 1994 that claimed the lives of more than a million people in Just 100 days.

They include:

  • Murambi Genocide Memorial Site
  • Gisozi Memorial site
  • Gisenyi Memorial site
  • Nyamata memorial site
  • Bisesero Memorial site
  • Ntarama Memorial site
  • Nyanza Memorial Site
  • Nyarubuye Memorial Site

 

Travel tip shared by Wal- Mark Africa Safaris
www.walmarkafricasafaris.com