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Rwanda Wildlife Safaris, Rwanda Wildlife Safari, Wildlife Safaris in Rwanda

Rwanda wildlife safaris or wildlife safari in Rwanda adventure tours, will take you to explore the picturesque Rwanda wildlife safari national parks. In these parks, you’ll encounter incredible wildlife, for instance, all the Big Five and other game animals, as well as endangered primate species like mountain gorillas, chimpanzee species, and golden monkeys.

The Land of a Thousand Hills, Rwanda, has greatly transformed from a country that used to be scared of due to its recent dark past history of the 1994 Genocide. The concerted efforts of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) have played a vital role in developing national parks and advertising Rwanda safari holidays.

Though Rwanda is the smallest country within countries in East Africa, this landlocked country boasts rich wildlife. Rwanda is home to over 189 animal species and about 670 bird species.

Several Rwanda wildlife safari expeditions are done in Volcanoes National Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park, & Akagera National Park. On your wildlife tour in Rwanda, key activities include gorilla trekking & golden monkey tracking in Volcanoes National Park.

Travelers undertaking wildlife Rwanda tours will also enjoy scenic game drives and boat cruises in Akagera National Park, the only Savannah National Park of Rwanda.

More wonderful adventures worth undertaking on your wildlife Rwanda safari expeditions include; a Kigali city tour, a boat ride on Lake Kivu, hiking Mount Karisimbi, exploring Karisoke Research Centre, visiting Rwanda genocide memorial centers, etc.

The dry months offer the best safari experience for wildlife tours in Rwanda!  

Sites for Rwanda Wildlife Safari Tours: Where to Go for Rwanda Wildlife Safaris?

Wildlife expeditions in Rwanda take place in 4 national parks, each holding a wonderful wildlife species.

Best destinations for Rwanda wildlife safari tours:

  1. Akagera National Park, Rwanda

Within Rwanda, Akagera National Park is the only savannah park. Akagera Park sits in the eastern part/ eastern province of Rwanda, the Land of a Thousand Hills.

The diverse ecosystem in Akagera National Park, which comprises lovely woodlands, savannah plains, & swamps, has given rise to its rich mammal species. Akagera National Park Rwanda also holds numerous lakes, for instance, Lake Ihema and Lake Shakani all fed by the Akagera River.

Most of the area in Akagera National Park features an open expanse ideal for game viewing tours- game drives. Game walks are also incredible.

On your wildlife tour in Rwanda Akagera National Park, you’ll look out for game animals like; lions, Cape elephants, buffalos, giraffes, rhinos, and zebras. Other species include Giant Nile Crocodiles, Leopards, Antelopes, and several other wonderful bird species.

It’s also possible to encounter lovely primate species during a game drive, such as; baboons, vervet monkeys, black and white Colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, and red-tailed monkeys, as well as other monkey species.

  1. Volcanoes National Park

Due to the unique wildlife species in Rwanda Volcanoes National Park, it’s the most visited park by travelers undertaking Rwanda wildlife safari tours, mostly gorilla trekking expeditions.

Volcanoes Park covers 5 of the Virunga Mountains and among these include Mount Karisimbi in far northwestern Rwanda.

As you explore Rwanda tours, National Park Rwanda Volcanoes is the only place for gorilla trekking safaris in Rwanda. Within East Africa, Volcanoes National Park is one of the best sites for mountain gorilla trekking tours.

As you enjoy gorilla tracking in Volcanoes National Park, you’ll go through a wonderful montane ecosystem, open grasslands, swamps, and bamboo forests.

In Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park, mountain gorilla trekking tours take place in 12 mountain gorilla families. All these gorilla families have a silverback gorilla.

12 habituated gorilla groups within Volcanoes National Park:

  1. Susa gorilla group

2. Karisimbi gorilla family

3. Hirwa gorilla family

4. Sabyinyo gorilla family

5. Kwitonda gorilla group

6. Amahoro gorilla family

7. Igisha gorilla family group

8. Muhoza gorilla group

9. Umubano gorilla group

10. Agashya gorilla group

11. Bwenge gorilla group

12. Ugyenda gorilla group

Apart from mountain gorillas, Volcanoes Park also holds golden monkeys and golden monkey trekking tours are possible. Within the East African region, golden monkeys can only be spotted in two national parks; Volcanoes park Rwanda and Mgahinga Park in Uganda.

More activities in Volcanoes National Park:

  • Climbing Virunga Mountains (options include Mount Karisimbi & Bisoke)
  • Visiting the tombs of Dian Fossey, a famous American primatologist who was heartlessly killed in her effort to conserve mountain gorillas.

During the mountain gorilla trekking experience in Volcanoes National Park, you can spot other wildlife species such as Giant Forest hogs, spotted hyenas, and bushbucks.

Nyungwe Forest National Park, Nyungwe National Park

Nyungwe Forest National Park is found within the southwestern province of Rwanda on the border of Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Lake Kivu.

Rwanda Nyungwe National Park has several wildlife species about 75 mammal species, with about 13 primate species. Nyungwe Forest National Park is one of the few national parks in the East African region to enjoy chimpanzee tracking tours in Africa. Therefore, people on Rwanda wildlife safari tours visit Rwanda Nyungwe forest to track chimpanzees majorly.

During chimp tracking expeditions in Nyungwe Forest Rwanda wildlife safari, expect to encounter several primate species like Red-tailed monkeys, and Vervet monkeys. Other primate species include L’Hoest’s monkey and Baboons. Golden monkeys have ever been spotted in Nyungwe Forest National Park though rare and there are no Mountain gorillas.

If lucky, you can encounter Forest Elephants on your chimp trekking safaris in Nyungwe National Park.

More things to do in Nyungwe National Park apart from chimpanzee trekking tours:

  • Nyungwe forest canopy walk experience- the Nyungwe forest canopy walk offers wonderful views of this beautiful thick forest
  • Bird watching tours
  • Undertaking guided forest walks in Nyungwe Forest National Park. Guided nature walks in this lovely thick forest are ideal for nature lovers. You enjoy the scenic hiking trails.

What Wildlife Does Rwanda Have? | What Animals Do You See on Safari in Rwanda? | What Animals Are There to See on a Rwanda Wildlife Safari?

About 189 animal species have been recorded in Rwanda. In most cases, most travelers who visit Rwanda for wildlife safari tours are interested in Mountain gorilla trekking expeditions in Volcanoes National Park. The other key wildlife species include Golden monkeys and Chimpanzees.

More game animals in Rwanda to look for on your wildlife Rwanda tour include:

1. Cape Buffaloes

2. Elephants

3. Lions

4. Giraffes

5. Zebras

6. Leopards

7. Rhinos

8. Hippos

9. Giant Nile Crocodiles

10. Antelopes

11. Hyenas

12. Beautiful monkey species, best spotted during Chimp tracking tours

The best way to spot the above game animals on your Rwanda tour is by undertaking game drives in Akagera National Park- Rwanda’s only savannah national park.

Are There Lions in Rwanda? | Can You See Lions in Rwanda? | Are There Lions in Akagera Park?

Yeah, it’s possible to see Lions while on your wildlife safari trip in Rwanda Akagera Park. Usually, Lions in Rwanda Akagera Park are spotted during game drives.

Does Rwanda Have Tigers?

Rwanda has no Tigers! Tigers in the wild only live in Asian countries. On your wildlife safari expeditions in Rwanda, the big cats to look for include Lions, Leopards, and Cheetahs.

Are There Leopards in Rwanda?

Rwanda holds Leopards however, they are elusive. They can be best spotted by taking a night game drive in Akagera National Park.

Can You See Elephants in Rwanda? | Does Rwanda Have Elephants?

Elephants can be spotted in Rwanda and roughly 100 Elephants dwell in Akagera National Park. Also, on a lucky day, you can spot forest Elephants while on a Rwanda gorilla trekking train in Volcanoes National Park.

What Are the Big Five Animals in Rwanda?

Lions, Cape Elephants, Leopards, Buffalos, and Rhinos are the Big Five animals in Rwanda. Travelers undertaking Rwanda wildlife safari tours can spot them in Akagera Park on a game drive.

Are There Big Cats in Rwanda?

Yes, you can see the big cats in Rwanda and these include Leopards, Lions, and Cheetahs. You can spot them well during a game drive in Akagera National Park.

Why Visit Akagera National Park? | Is Akagera National Park Worth Visiting?

Most tourists who undertake Rwanda safaris visit Akagera National Park to enjoy game-viewing tours. In this park, you’ll enjoy game drives, nature walks as well as lovely boat cruise expeditions on Lake Ihema.

On your wildlife tour in Rwanda Akagera, expect to spot several amazing animal species such as Lions, Elephants, Cape Buffalos, Zebras, Hippos, Giraffes, Antelopes, & several bird species.

Top Rwanda Wildlife Safari Activities- What to Do on Your Rwanda Wildlife Safari Tour?

There are numerous safari activities in Rwanda but, we have brought you the most prominent expeditions you shouldn’t miss on your Rwanda wildlife safari holiday.

Here are the top things to do in Rwanda:

1. Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda Volcanoes National Park

Gorilla trekking in Rwanda Volcanoes National Park is an enjoyable wild adventure taking you to see the endangered Mountain gorillas in their misty natural habitat. You are limited to one magical hour with these gentle giants of the forest.

Most of the gorilla trekking in Rwanda adventures take over 2-8 hours. Upon spotting these giant humanlike primates, you are free to take as many photos but, using a flashless camera.

It’s wise to book your permit for gorilla trekking in Rwanda in advance since there are limited.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO SEE GORILLAS IN RWANDA? | HOW MUCH IS THE GORILLA TREKKING EXPERIENCE IN RWANDA?

The Mountain gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda costs 1500 US dollars.  We mostly advise our clients to book their gorilla trekking permits in Rwanda before the gorilla trekking date.

Travelers interested in Mountain gorilla trekking in Rwanda should at least book their permit in about 3-6 months prior.

HOW MUCH ARE GORILLA TOURS IN RWANDA? | HOW MUCH IS A GORILLA SAFARI IN RWANDA?

1-day gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda Volcanoes National Park costs approximately 1700 US dollars inclusive of your gorilla trekking permit. 2-days gorilla trekking in Rwanda tour costs roughly 1900 US dollars per person.

The above rate includes the permit for gorilla trekking and it might include or not include meals, a private tour guide, and transportation.

A travel agent will clearly show you all your daily expenses on your gorilla trekking trip.

GORILLA TREKKING RWANDA VS UGANDA – WHICH IS BETTER TO SEE GORILLAS IN UGANDA OR RWANDA? | IS GORILLA TREKKING BETTER IN RWANDA OR UGANDA?

Rwanda and Uganda are both great sites for gorilla trekking tours in Africa however, below we have tried to compare which country is better for the gorilla trekking adventure.

Here is a comparison between gorilla trekking in Rwanda and Uganda gorilla tours:

  1. The permit for gorilla trekking in Rwanda is 1500 US dollars & gorilla treks in Uganda cost only 700 US dollars
  2. Rwanda holds 12 gorilla families while Uganda boats over 20 habituated gorilla families
  3. Destination Uganda boats 2 national parks for gorilla trekking tours whereas Rwanda only has one- Volcanoes National Park
  4. Rwanda gorilla trekking tours are ideal for travelers with a short time on African safaris, unlike Uganda tours. It’s possible to do a 1 day gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda which isn’t the case in Uganda
  5. Gorilla trekking tours in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Uganda offer a friendly terrain compared to that of Volcanoes Park.

Your tour operator is there to assist you in deciding which country to visit!

HOW SAFE IS GORILLA TREKKING IN RWANDA? | IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL TO RWANDA TO SEE GORILLAS?

Gorilla tours in Rwanda are safe as these expeditions are done on fully habituated Mountain gorilla families that are used to people.

Also, on the Rwanda gorilla trek, you’ll be escorted by armed rangers into the jungle so that nothing wrong happens to you.

As you go to any gorilla group in Rwanda on your trip, you must follow gorilla tracking guidelines. For example, never touch them or feed them. They are wild animals!

In this state, there is Rwanda Patriotic Front which ensures security in the country within all its borders.

2. Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park

Chimpanzee tracking safaris in Nyungwe Forest National Park hardly miss most Rwanda wildlife safari packages.

Visitors on Nyungwe Forest National Park chimp trekking expeditions will visit chimps in their natural habitat. Chimps are attractive humanlike primates sharing approximately 98-99% of human DNA.

On this tour, you’ll see other primate species in Nyungwe Forest National Park for example, Black and White Colobus Monkeys, Red-tailed Monkeys, and Blue Monkeys.

3. Game Driving

During our Rwanda tour holiday, undertaking game drives is the best way to spot game animals in Rwanda Akagera Park.

In open savannah plains, you’ll enjoy game drives looking for Lions, Cape Buffalos, Zebras, Giraffes, Black Rhinos, Hyenas, Antelopes, and beautiful bird species.

4. Bird Watching Tours in Rwanda

If you are a bird lover, never miss undertaking birding tours on top of your wildlife Rwanda safari tour.

During Rwanda birding tours, you’ll spot several bird species including the Albertine Rift Endemics, forest bird species, wading bird species, and savannah bird species. Mostly, they are spotted in Nyungwe Forest Park, Volcanoes National Park, and Akagera Park.

The common bird species in Rwanda include; Great Blue Turaco, Rwenzori Turaco, Red-chested Bee-eaters Double-toothed Barbet, Regal Sunbirds, African Fish Eagle, etc.

As you explore Rwanda tours, water bird species such as Kingfishers, Egrets, and Cormorants are spotted best around Lake Kivu. Within Rwanda, Lake Kivu is the largest fresh water lake in Rwanda.

5. Community and Cultural Tours

Cultural tours are mostly supplemented by wildlife Rwanda safari holidays. It’s intended to allow you to have close encounters with the local people as you explore their traditions, beliefs, and local economic activities.

In most cases, tourists on wildlife Rwanda tours visit the Ibyiwacu Cultural Village. While at Ibyiwacu Cultural Village, you’ll enjoy wonderful traditional dance, as well as music from local women, men, and kids.  For a great experience, you can actively participate.

Most Rwanda tours allow visitors to explore Rwanda Ibyiwacu Cultural Village.

6. Exploring Rwanda Genocide Memorial Sites

Paying a visit to Rwanda genocide memorial sites is among the things to do in Rwanda. Exploring Rwanda genocide memorial centers will give you an insight into the 1994 bloody war in Rwanda.

Here are the Genocide memorial centers in Rwanda:

  • Murambi
  • Gisozi
  • Nyamata
  • Ntarama and,
  • Bisesero

More Activities Worth Undertaking on Your Rwanda Wildlife Safari Trip

  • Enjoying Rwanda city tour-
  • Exploring Dian Fossey Tombs & her  Karisoke Research Centre
  • Golden monkey trekking in Rwanda Volcanoes National Park
  • Mountain hiking adventures, for example, hiking Mount Karisimbi and Bisoke volcano which is capped with a crater lake. This dazzling crater lake holds a diameter of 400m

Packing List for Rwanda Wildlife Safari Holidays- What to Carry for Rwanda Wildlife Tours?

Your Rwanda safari packing list should be light. Therefore, only bring what is necessary on your trip!

Below is the packing list of wildlife safari tours in Rwanda:

  1. Insect repellents to keep away from biting insects while on forest walks in tropical rainforests, especially, Nyungwe Forest Park
  2. A camera having extra batteries
  3. Day backpack
  4. Hiking boots
  5. A rain jacket, it’s of great help in case of rain while on the gorilla trek
  6. Binoculars
  7. Sunglasses
  8. Sun hat
  9. Sunscreens
  10. A cell phone it’s of help on Rwanda safaris
  11. Bottled water
  12. Personal toiletries
  13. Some money- have some money changed in Rwanda franc
  14. A medical first aid kid- It should have at least painkillers, bandages & anti-malaria pills
  15. Charging accessories

What to Wear During Your Rwanda Wildlife Safari Trip?

We have brought to you the best guide on what to wear while on wildlife expeditions in Rwanda.

 Here there are:

  1. Long-sleeved shirts and trousers

Such clothing helps during the gorilla trek in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda. It protects your nice body from cuts and scratches in the jungle. It’s also of on chimpanzee tracking safaris in Nyungwe Forest National Park.

Avoid body-revealing clothes during cultural tours.

  1. Hiking boots

While on nature walks in the jungle, these will protect your feet from being pieced by sharp objects. They are of great help on the gorilla trek, chimp trek, and Mount Karisimbi hike.

  1. Garden cloves

Safeguards your hands from touching nettles while on the gorilla trek in Volcanoes Park. It’s also of help during chimpanzee trekking tours in Nyungwe Forest National Park.

During Mount Karisimbi hike, will keep you warm.

  1. Sun protection gears

Protect you from scorching sunlight while in the jungle, for instance, chimp trekking expeditions in Nyungwe Forest National Park. These sun protection gears include sunscreens, a sunhat, and, sunglasses.

  1. Sandals

Work very well on evening walks and even on Kigali city tours.

Best Time to Visit Rwanda for a Wildlife   Safari- What Is the Best Time for a Rwanda Wildlife Safari? | What Is the Best Time of Year to Safari in Rwanda?

Travelers can visit Rwanda all year round however, dry months offer the best experience for Rwanda safari tours.

In Rwanda, dry months include December to February and June to August. Normally, within these months, rainfall is minimal and hiking trails for gorilla trekking, Mount Karisimbi hike, as well as Chimp trekking tours, are drier. Still, you can easily spot game animals within Akagera Park around water points.

The peak season for holiday safaris in Rwanda is within dry months and normally, lodges are full and gorilla trekking permits can be challenging to get. You should book in advance!

Rainfall is received from March to May & September to November. Around these months, some lodges give out discounts to clients and it’s easy to get gorilla trekking permits.

Why Go for Rwanda Wildlife Safari? | Is Rwanda Good for Safari?

Wildlife trips in Rwanda offer one of the best experiences for gorilla trekking safaris in East Africa. Apart from gorilla trekking tours in Rwanda, you can also enjoy chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe Forest National Park, bird watching, volcano hiking, and exciting cultural tours.

How Much Is a Wildlife Safari in Rwanda?

The cost of a Rwanda wildlife safari trip is influenced by your travel style. For instance, the meals you are to take, the accommodation class you are to use and the transportation means. Other factors include; the activities you are to take and the duration of your trip.

A 1-day gorilla trekking tour in Rwanda can cost over 1700 US dollars. It includes your gorilla trekking permit.

Rwanda Safari Lodges- Where to Stay During Your Rwanda Wildlife Safari Tour?

Don’t worry about where to stay on your wildlife Rwanda safaris. You’ll find budget accommodation, midrange hotels as well as luxury lodges in every destination you’ll visit on your tour.

Top luxury lodges in Rwanda

  1. Bisate Lodge- famous lodge used by guests on gorilla trekking expeditions
  2. Magashi Camp
  3. Akagera Game Lodge- mostly used by travelers on wildlife Rwanda safaris in Akagera Park
  4. Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel and,
  5. Ruzizi Tented Lodge

Best mid range lodges in Rwanda

  1. Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge- it’s one of the popular Rwanda safari lodge
  2. La Palme Hotel
  3. Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge
  4. Garden Place Hotel
  5. Karenge Bush Camp

Common budget lodges in Rwanda

  1. Shakani Akagera Campsite
  2. Mutamba Akagera Campsite
  3. Dereva Hotel
  4. Mutamba Akagera Campsite
  5. Akagera National Park Camp

Several budget lodges allow Rwandan francs!

Best Tour Companies in Rwanda, Top Rwanda Tour Operators to Book With Your Safari

Make sure you book your trip with a trustworthy tour company!

For the best Rwanda wildlife safari tours, book your Rwanda safari vacation trip with the following tour operators:

  1. Prime Safaris and Tours Ltd
  2. Wild Gorilla Safaris
  3. Gorilla Tracking Rwanda
  4. Gorilla Safari Rwanda
  5. Africa Safaris Tours
  6. Rwanda Gorilla Tracking Safaris

With the above safari companies in Rwanda, you can also have Congo tour packages and you can book with them a private tour.

Popular Rwanda Wildlife Safari Packages, Top Rwanda Wildlife Tour Safari Packages

We have several Rwanda wildlife tour packages that you can choose from while coming for Rwanda safaris.

These are the best wildlife tour safari packages in Rwanda:

  • 7 Days Rwanda Safari Trip– Chimpanzees, Mount Karisimbi, Golden Monkeys, Gorilla trekking, and Lake Kivu
  • 8 Days Rwanda Safari– Chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe Forest National Park, Mount Karisimbi hike, Golden monkeys, Gorilla trekking, Lake Kivu boat cruise, and community tours
  • 10 Days Rwanda Holiday Tour- Golden monkeys, Mount Karisimbi hike, Gorilla tracking, Lake Kivu, as well as scenery viewing
  • 12 Days Rwanda Safari Tour- wildlife viewing, Nyungwe Forest National Park Chimpanzees, Gorilla trekking, and Communities

Group or private tour expeditions are possible!

In summary, on your wildlife trip in Rwanda, you’ll enjoy some of the most thrilling African safari expeditions. These include; gorilla trekking tours, trekking Golden monkeys, chimpanzee tracking, & big game viewing which gives you a chance to encounter numerous wildlife species of Rwanda.

Other things to do on wildlife tours in Rwanda include; exploring Rwanda genocide memorial centers, Kigali city tour, and relaxing on Lake Kivu. Wonderful cultural encounters also wait for you.

For a lifetime safari experience, don’t hesitate to book with us your safaris in Rwanda

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