Visit Rwanda for a safari! It’s filled with beautiful scenery and plenty of things to do. Whether you’re looking for something adventurous or relaxing, there is something here for everyone. A land of a thousand hills, Rwanda boasts of the mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, the chimpanzee and primates of Nyungwe Forest National Park and the wildlife variety in Gishwati Mukura National Park and Akagera National Park.
Rwanda Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park
Gorilla trekking is a way to see the wild gorillas in Rwanda. It can also be the most stimulating national park experience when it comes to expeditions. The viewing of these animals is done for research purposes as well as animal conservation, which has helped in solving deforestation issues and gorilla population challenges.
Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park
Nyungwe is the oldest forest in Africa with over 500 chimpanzees located in the enchanting forest. Nyungwe Forest National Park has 13 primate species including the L’hoest and black vervet monkey. Over 275 bird species and 38 reptiles contribute to the number of wildlife in Nyungwe.The plant life is huge with 1068 plant species. Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe costs US$90 person for international travelers and US$ for citizens of East Africa.
Wildlife Viewing in Akagera National Park
Rwanda is one of the top luxury safari destinations in Africa. In Rwanda’s wildlife, you find the Mountain gorilla, Chimpanzee, golden monkey, Elephant, Giraffe, Spotted Hyena, Hippo, Leopard, Lion, L’hoest monkey, Pangolin, Black Rhino, hippo, Eland, Aardvark, Zebra, Sitatunga, Sable antelope, Roan antelope, African golden cat, giant forest hos, water back, bush back, mongoose, tree hyrax and black-fronted duiker.
Volcanoes National Park has over 400 mountain gorillas, 200 bird species.
Nyungwe Forest National Park has 85 mammals, 38 reptiles, 310 bird species and 32 amphibians.
Akagera National Park has 480 bird species, 8,000 large mammals, 600 bird species
Gishwati Mukura National Park: 20 chimpanzees, 395 birds & golden monkey.
Golden Monkeys Rwanda
The population of golden monkeys also termed as Cercopithecus Mitis Kandti is 5000, found in Congos, Virungas, Kahuzi Biega and Mgahinga National Park. The Volcanoes National Park which is part of the virungas provides the best opportunity for the golden monkey trek. 2 groups are habituated, each with 80 members. A permit costs USD $100 per person where you spend 1 hour with these primates. Combine your gorilla tours with this primate treks.
Bird Watching in Rwanda
Most birders love Rwanda due to the diverse habitats of the birds that provide for the specie count. Imagine the mountains, lakes, grasslands, plains, montane forest, rivers and hills! 703 bird species are found in Rwanda. The most sought after birds include Red-collared Babbler, Rwenzori Turaco and Red Faced Barbet. Birding can be done everywhere in Rwanda, from the Kigali main town to the forests of Volcanoes and Nyungwe, Lake Kivu, Lake Burera and Ruhundo. The prominent wetlands for birdwatching in Rwanda are the Rugezi, Nyabarongo Wetlands and Akanyaru.
Gishwati Mukura National Park Safari Tours
Gishwati Mukura National Park is the newest and 4th National Park in Rwanda. Its has a variety of primates with the chimpanzees dominant. The best time to visit this park is is between June to September. Great birding experience is also evident here with many albertine rift endemic birds. Mammals include the tree hyrax, red river hogs and more in their natural habitat. The park is 85kms from Kigali.
Rwanda Safari Cost
Average cost of a Rwanda safari is US$ 600 per person per day. This is because of the high cost of seeing the main attraction, It Costs US$ 1500 to see the Mountain gorillas of Rwanda. For other wildlife safaris, it costs about US$ 300 per day.
- 3 Day Rwanda Budget Safari Cost with gorillas is from USD$ 1960
- Luxury gorilla safari costs, USD$ 3370 per person.
- Budget friendly accommodation costs from USD$ 100
- Hiring a car costs about $100 per day
- A porter in Volcanoes and Nyungwe costs $ 10 to 20 per trip.
- Visiting Akagera National Park costs US$ 50
- Fishing trips costs $ 25
- Boat Trips Cost $35
Rwanda Luxury Gorilla Tours
A luxury gorilla trek in Rwanda is all about the comfort of your hotels, travelling in super safari vehicles,spending more time with the gorillas and booking your safari with the best Rwanda tour operators.
Day one on arrival, spend a night in Kigali Serena hotel, and proceed to Volcanoes National Park where you will spend your nights at Sabyinyo lodge, Virunga Lodge, Bisate Lodge, Singita Kwitonda Lodge, Gorilla’s Nest by One & Only Resorts.
With a one day luxury gorilla trek in Rwanda, you can spend close to $
a 3 Day luxury gorilla safari in Rwanda price ranges from $ 2500 to $ 5000
Among the luxury Rwanda gorilla trekking companies include Abercrombie & Kent, &Beyond and The Luxury Safari Company and Natural World Safaris.
Rwanda Budget Safari
Its is possible to have a budget safari in Rwanda. A Rwanda gorilla trekking permit which costs $ 1500 makes Rwanda safaris expensive but you can lower the costs by choosing low cost accommodation outside Volcanoes National Park and choosing the cheap Rwanda tour operators. For a cheap safari in Rwanda, choose Nyungwe for chimpanzee trekking and Akagera National Park for wild animals (big five) and opt out of mountain gorilla safari tourism. Choose Hotel Muhabura, Gisakura Guest House, Kinigi Guest House and Amahoro Guest House for budget accommodation.
3 Day Budget Rwanda safari costs from $ 2700 per person.
3 day Cheap Chimpanzee Trekking costs from $ 850 per person.
2 Day Volcanoes National Park Rwanda Gorilla Trekking costs from $ 1850 per person.
The Best Time To Visit Rwanda
Rwanda’s dry season – June to August – is perfect for gorilla trekking at Rwanda’s Nyungwe Forest National Park. The park’s primary animal residents are present year-round, so there is always plenty of activity and jungle activities to participate in.
The best time for gorilla trekking in Rwanda is during the wet season, between March to November. Lodges will offer discounts and permits are easier to obtain at this time. For more information about visiting Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.
Other Rwanda Tours
Dian Fossey Hike
One popular post-safari activity in Rwanda is hike to the tomb of Dian Fossey, a famed primatologist. You can find her former research camp and final resting place inside the Volcanoes National Park. Its great for sightseeing and photography.
The work of Dian Fossey, a conservationist and researcher, was instrumental in protecting the numbers mountain gorillas in Rwanda,Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. Getting to the site which is about 9000ft in altitude takes 1.5 hrs. A hike to the site costs USD$ 75 from the Rwanda Development Board.
Rwanda Cultural Tours
When you visit Rwanda, the cultural experience is the best activity to do besides or after trekking the mountain gorillas.Visit the Kings Palace in Nyanza and learn about the past kings of Rwanda and the history. A trip to Iby’iwacu cultural village will reward you with smiling faces of Rwandans entertaining you to their traditional dances, folklore, songs and history. Find time to taste Rwandan food, wear the traditional clothes, taste the local brew, visit the cattle farms and bee farms.
Kwita Izina Festival
Rwandans have been naming their children for centuries as a means of bringing family and friends together and establishing the importance of this event. In 2005, when Rwanda began naming mountain gorillas in what has become an annual celebration, they were following in this tradition by giving these great animals a sense of worth.
Kwita Izina is therefore a joyous occasion meant to thank the protectors of the gorillas, from the vet officers to the researchers, conservationists and rangers. So far, over 300 gorillas have been named. You can participate is the naming ceremony during your visit in Rwanda for gorilla tracking. You never know, the gorilla you named can become a silverback gorilla in the future.
Lake Kivu part of the Great Rift Valley is the most beautiful lake in Central Africa. Over 31 fish species are found in this Lake that contains methane gas within its waters. This 2370km2 sized lake, is ideal for water activities including swimming and boat cruises. Over 80 species of birds are found around Lake Kivu. As you relax on Lake Kivu hotel, remember to takst the frshwater crabs, cichlids and the Nile Tilapia.
Mount Karisimbi is the highest in the Virunga Mountains and the 11th in Africa. Most tourists combine their gorilla tours with a hike to Karisimbi. It costs 400$ US per person to climb this mountain. The experience takes 2 days with a night along the way. You will see primates such as the monkeys and occasionally the mountain gorillas, various bird species, butterflies, insects and so much more. Other Virunga mountains to hike include the Gahinga Volcano and Mount Bisoke.
The Nyungwe Forest canopy walk is a journey of discovery. From the ground, you can’t see what’s happening up there among those beautiful green leaves and high above in the misty clouds. But now it is possible to experience this rain forest environment from very close – at treetop level! The forest canopy walk costs USD 60 which also includes the guided trails of Igishigishigi trail or Imbaraga / Umuyove trails.
Lake Ruhondo & Burera
These twin lakes found at the base of Muhaburo Volcano offer great sightseeing opportunites of the magnificent Volcanoes, the fishing villages and the crops. This is possible with a boat ride (canoe) commonly used by the villagers and fishermen. The birding list includes the cranes, herons, hammerkops and king fisher located in the Rugezi swamp. On you boat ride, you have a change to visit the surrounding Islands of Bishosho, Munanira, Cuza and Bushongo. A rewarding cultural experience.
Kamiranzovu Waterfall is located in Nyungwe National Park.The trail is famous for its variety of orchids, flowering Begonia, epiphytes, mosses and ferns. You will find variety of birds including the Albertine Owlet and Grauers Rush Warbler. Some mammals and reptiles and primates can be seen.
Rwanda Safari Packages
3 Days Akagera National Park
3 Days Mountain Gorillas Of Rwanda
6 Days Rwanda Gorilla Trekking & Wildlife Adventures
7 Days Rwanda Wildlife Safari Tours
8 Days Rwandan Safari
10 Days Akagera National Park and Rwanda Gorilla Trekking
FAQ in Rwanda Safari Adventures
When Is The Best Time To Visit Rwanda?
The Best time to see the mountain gorillas of Rwanda and other National parks in Rwanda is from December to February and June to September. The rain forests paths are not very muddy and slippery, more sun shine Try as much as you can to avoid gorilla trekking travels in March, April and May which is the rainy season. The wet season is perfect for Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe National Park.
Rwanda has 2 dry and 2 wet seasons. In October the country sees a short, but heavy period of rain showers. This is followed by a very dry season that lasts from December to February as well as an extended rainy season during March to May. Over this time, it can be difficult for travelers to plan trips due to uncertainty over when and where they will find rain.
Rwanda Hotels & Safari Lodges
Rwanda offers both budget and luxury hotels and safari lodges close to every National Park and attractions. You will find the basic camps that go for less than $30 to luxury lodges that cost about $1000 per night.
The best accommodations in Volcanoes National Park include Bisate Lodge, Amakoro Songa Lodge, Singita Kwitonda, Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel, Virunga Lodge and Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge. In Nyungwe its the Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel, Akagera Game Lodge and Magashi Akagera. Kigali Serena Hotel, Marriot Hotel, The Heavens, Radisson Blu and Hotel Des Milles Collines top the list of the best hotels in Kigali Rwanda.
In almost all parks, the tented camp options provide for the mid range and budget travelers.
Rwanda Gorilla Tracking Prices
Rwanda gorilla trekking permit costs USD $ 1500 !
Exclusive Gorilla Tour cost US$ 15,000
Filming crew and professional photography costs US$ 5000 for the entire trip lasting 3 days.
How To Get Rwanda Gorilla Safari Discounts
Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Permit will cost you US$1050 person (30% discount) if you show proof that you will visit Nyungwe Forest National Park and or Akagera National Parks for 3 or more days on Safari. This is during the low season months of November and May.
Gorilla permits have another discount for business travellers who attend meetings and conferences in Rwanda after with a 15% discount( 1,275)
Post Covid Mountain Gorillas & Gorilla Trekking Adventure?
Since the mountain gorillas share our genes up to 98%, we humans can transmit Covid 19 to the gentle giants. Recently, eight gorillas in San Diego tested positive. Therefore, its important that you have a negative covid test 72 hour before trekking the gorillas. Rwanda has made this mandatory. Come along with your face masks and keep your distance as it has always been. If you need to cough, just turn away. Also wash your hands. Follow the guidelines and keep the 7 meters distance from the gorilla groups.
How Do I Find A Reliable Rwanda Tour Operator?
Look at the price, what it includes and excludes, find a safari company that will meet your demands and tailor them to your needs. Find if they are members of RTTA, Africa Tour Operators, read about their reviews on safari bookings, tripadvisor, lonely planet and more. Rwanda safari companies are authorized to purchase gorilla permits. You can also write to us if you are asking about a certain Rwanda safari company or tour operator.
How To Travel To Rwanda
Rwanda operates its own airline, Rwanda Air. It flies to Brussels, Dubai, Johannesburg, Mumbai and many more. International airlines that fly in and out of Rwanda include Brussels Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, KLM, Turkish Airlines, Egyptair and Qatar Airways.
African Safari To Other Destinations
For a perfect dream holiday in Africa, you can trek the gorillas of Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. Most visitors to East Africa choose to Masai Mara Safari in Kenya, Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda and wildebeest Migration Safari in Tanzania, all combined in one safari itinerary.