The scars of Rwanda’s genocide in the 1990’s still run deep, but the country has since benefited from a major political and infrastructure upheaval and is now forward-looking and optimistic. Low-level eco-tourism is starting to take off, with gorilla safaris in Rwanda being the prime draw in this small landlocked country.
Rwanda – ‘the land of a thousand hills’ – is made up of hills, mountains and volcanoes, and forms a natural buffer state between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. The country is one of the most densely populated areas on earth, with virtually every hill terraced and farmed to make maximum use of the land. The only exception is the handful of national parks that Rwanda is home to, where the rain-forested hills reaching to the horizon makes for stunning vistas.
The Virunga volcano range is home to a fair portion of the world’s last remaining mountain gorillas – estimated at only 700 in the wild. Tracking mountain gorillas in their natural habitat through tropical jungles and rainforests is unquestionably the highlight of any safari in Rwanda, though other primate and money trekking opportunities are also available.
Self-drive safaris in Rwandan national parks are not an option – in fact, for the most part, national parks are walking affairs only. So, to experience all the wildlife Rwanda has to offer you’ll need to make sure you get in contact with a tour company in Rwanda for those all-important gorilla permits.
July and August is peak tourist season, so you’ll either need to book your gorilla permits well in advance, or consider visiting the country at a different time.
Kigali, Volcanos National Park, Akagera National Park