Where to go

Rwanda

An overview of where to go and what's on offer in Rwanda...

Gorilla Trekking - Bisate Lodge
Gorilla Trekking - Bisate Lodge

As a country home to a diversity of ecosystems and a rich presence of history and culture, a trip to Rwanda offers something for everyone. Its clean capital, Kigali, (named as Africa’s cleanest city), is a historical hub and homes a number of memorials that remind visitors of the country’s horrific genocide that took place more than twenty years ago. In contrast, the memorials represent the work and achievement that Rwanda has made since then by today, offering a safe, stable and desirable tourist destination.

Volcanoes National Park

The Volcanoes National Park is home to the critically endangered mountain gorillas and the golden monkeys. Located on the western border of the country, Volcanoes National Park is the Rwandan section of the famous Virunga Mountains and plays a vital part in homing some of the only 800 remaining mountain gorillas in the world today. Although permits for gorilla trekking are not cheap ($1,500 per person per day), the experience is truly unforgettable and often high on the bucket list. The park is only a two-hour drive from Kigali and with many properties offering comfortable accommodation and a variety of activities aside from gorilla trekking, it is definitely a memorable destination. Read more…

Nyungwe Forest

Rwanda is not regarded a top destination when it comes to game viewing, but there are a couple of destinations to consider if you are not desperate to see the Big 5. Nyungwe Forest sits in the south of the country and homes habituated chimpanzees and 12 or so other primate species (including black and white colobus monkeys). The forest is also a haven for birders paradise, with over 300 species to be spotted in the treetops on guided bird walks. Read more…

Akagera National Park

Located in the eastern border of Rwanda, homes a variety of wildlife including elephant, zebra, hippo, crocodile, giraffe, antelope and many species of bird. Although the wildlife is slowly increasing in Akagera National Park (seven lions were introduced and observed in 2015), the game viewing is not as reliable as parks in neighbouring East African countries such as Tanzania and Kenya. Its location (two-hour drive from Kigali) means that day trips from the capital are popular and something to consider if you are not combining a safari in another country. Read more…

Lake Kivu

Rwanda is landlocked and as a result, does not have a coastline or beach destination. However, on the western border of the country sits Lake Kivu, Africa’s sixth largest lake. Although a little less idyllic than the white sand beaches on say, Zanzibar Island, Lake Kivu is situated between Volcanoes National Park and Nyungwe Forest, making it a great destination to relax in the midst of a Rwandan safari. There are direct flights from Kigali to Nairobi and from here, destinations such as the southern Kenyan coast (Diani beach/ Mombasa) or Zanzibar Island can be reached with an additional connecting flight. Read more...

Best time to visit Rwanda:

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    Where to go in Rwanda map
    Where to go in Rwanda map

    At a glance.... Rwanda

    • Size 26,338 km²
    • Location East Africa
    • Recommended time 3+ nights if gorillas are the main reason for the visit
    • Time to visit All year but the June-October window is the best for gorilla trekking conditions
    • Safari Activities Gorilla trekking, game drives, tea plantations visit, city tour
    • Topography Volcanoes National Park, dense forests and woodlands, open plains, large lakes, clean cities

    Further reading...

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    Where to go in Rwanda:

    Our top five hotels & lodges in Rwanda:

    1. Rwanda Landscape

      Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge

      As part of the Governor’s Collection, and owned by a community trust, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is sat in the foothills of the mighty Virunga mountains. Its remote location offers remarkable views and its relationship with the community means that a wealth of activities aside from gorilla trekking... More...

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    2. Bisate Lodge - View

      Bisate Lodge

      The newest, and most luxurious of the mountain lodges, Bisate, opened its doors in June 2017. Bisate Lodge, which is Wilderness’ latest camp, is in the heart of the forest, boasting views of three prominent volcanoes named Bisoke, Karisimbi and Mikeono. With good access to the Volcanoes National... More...

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    3. Lake Kivu

      Lake Kivu Serena Hotel

      Arguably the best choice in northern Lake Kivu, is the Serena Hotel. Like its sister Serena properties, the Lake Kivu hotel offers a good location, comfortable accommodation and a huge variety of facilities so whether you’re looking for somewhere to relax or keep busy, this hotel satisfies both... More...

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    4. Cormoran Lodge - exterior

      Cormoran Lodge

      Displaying breath-taking views of Lake Kivu and offering a more personal and intimate experience on the shore of the lake is Cormoran Lodge. Built entirely from wood, Cormoran Lodge has a real authentic and natural feel to it, with simply furnished rooms, open and spacious verandas and wooden VIP... More...

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    5. FiveVolcanoes - view

      Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel

      With good accessibility to the entrance of the park, Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel is the perfect base for those looking for comfortable and affordable accommodation, offering a restaurant, a pool and beautiful gardens to relax in. With good accessibility to the park headquarters and cosy... More...

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