In spite of its small geographical size, hardly measuring more than 26,000 square km, Rwanda appears to have been created to be an example of a fascinating and fantastic tourist destination country.
It’s rich and diverse wildlife, the contrasting and topography and climatic zones, its towering volcanic mountain chain in the north (reaching 4507 meters above sea level) and its rivers and lakes, especially Lake Kivu all provide beautiful variety of thrilling tourist attractions.
The Volcanoes National Park
Rwanda also known as the land of “Gorillas in the Mist” has its star tourist attraction in the Mountain Gorillas. The giant but gentle primates were the subject of the late Dian Fossey who dedicated her life to their protection and conservation. Her detailed work is best seen in the international acclaimed film “Gorillas in the Mist”, which was shot in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.
The Nyungwe Forest National Park
This is a vast true mountain rain forest, covering over 970 square km with altitude ranging from 1600 meters to 2950 meters. Though less known than other national parks in Rwanda, Nyungwe is, remarkable as it is magnificent, on account of its rich biodiversity. It has over 75 mammal species with 13 primate species including chimpanzees, 270 bird species and over 200 tree species.
Apart from the chimpanzees trekking trails that are extremely popular, the variety of other primates, bird species and a myriad of tropical and montane trees and vegetation, make Nyungwe a haven for tourists, botanists, zoologists and bird watchers (ornithologists).
The overall advantage of the park is that it is easily accessible, and less expensive to visit. The pure fresh air in the park is both refreshing and invigorating.
In our opinion, Nyungwe Forest National Park is one place not to be missed by any visitors to Rwanda.
Akagera National Park
Situated in the eastern region of Rwanda, the Akagera National Park is the country’s finest habitat for classic savannah wildlife. Studded with numerous lakes, swamps, and the Akagera River, which forms the eastern border with Tanzania. The park is truly a rich sanctuary of nature’s biodiversity.
It is home of the savannah animals (elephants, buffaloes, giraffe, antelopes, zebras, hippos) and for unexplained reasons the crocodile population is unbelievably big.
The Tourist Adventure and Tourist menu in Rwanda Top
For the wildlife and nature enthusiasts, Akagera National Park should be the third most necessary item on the Rwanda tasty tourist menu.
“If you visit Akagera, you won’t regret it.” (Rwanda, The Bradt Travel Guide).
The question as to which item to be taken first as an appetizer, or the last as desert in terms of seeing the country’s attractions, depends on the individual taste, available time and budgetary considerations.
National Museum and Nyanza Ancient Royal Palace
If you are heading south towards Nyungwe Forest National Park, it will be worthwhile to spend some time visiting Nyanza ancient royal palace and the National Museum in Butare.
The former, was until 1961, the seat of Rwanda’s Mwami (king) and center of the country’s power and authority. It is now the home of the National Ballet (part of the famous Intore dancers), which has won many music and dance International awards.
Further south, the Butare National Museum is a fine and artistically designed building that houses the historical past and present day events of Rwanda.
Lake Kivu Water Sports Top
After the exciting but perhaps also tiring mountain gorilla trekking safari, chimpanzee trekking and extensive game driving in Akagera National Park, Lake Kivu provides the ideal place for rest and recuperation. For sunbathing, swimming and water sports, the Rwanda Riviera town of Gisenyi is the place to be.
If you prefer complete seclusion for mental and physical relaxation, we recommend the Kibuye Guest House, in the south of Lake Kivu. If you love speed boats, canoe sailing, or just mountain walks and picnics, Kibuye will provide these facilities to your satisfaction.