The 5 Best Things to Do in Rwanda
A tiny little country in East Africa, Rwanda nevertheless holds its own in a continent jam-packed full of sensational locations.
One thing to note from the start: Rwanda has some of the friendliest people on earth (tourists say that their arms get tired from waving so much!).
So, in homage to this rich, tropical green country filled with seemingly endless rolling hills, here are the 5 best things to do in Rwanda.
See Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park
Some of the more endangered, but incredible animals live in Rwanda’s rich rainforest. They just also happen to be one of our closest relatives!
Trekking to see the gorillas is one of those lifetime opportunities you can’t afford not to do when in Rwanda.
Here, the mountain gorilla populations are largely in the Volcanoes National Park, which also provides some stunning scenery and great hiking as you make a visit to these large primates.
This legendary park was home to the famous conservationist Dian Fossey, who worked tirelessly to safeguard the gorillas from extinction. There are still only around 700 gorillas left in this park, but conservationists are working tirelessly to preserve and grow this population.
Hike in Nyungwe Forest
Here, you can view chimpanzees in the wild. With canopy walks and waterfall hikes, the scenery here is absolutely breathtaking. The myriad of bird and butterfly species, as well as golden monkey populations, definitely make it one of the top things to do in Rwanda.
Once again, guides are advised. However, you can drive to the forest and pick up a guide directly there, rather than having to take a tour all the way from the capital.
There are actually 13 hikes in this park – over 130km of trails – most of which traverse ancient and stunning rainforest.
Island Hopping on Lake Kivu
One of Africa’s great lakes, Lake Kivu is famous for its boat rides that take you exploring on many small islands located within it.
The lake is situated at 1460m above sea level, so chilling on the beach here or swimming are also hard to resist.
If you’re looking for some downtime or some island hopping, check out Lake Kivu.
Safari in Akagera National Park
As Rwanda’s top national park, Akagera is a safari paradise and is the last protected wetland in Central Africa.
It’s the only place in Rwanda where you can see the Big 5 (woah!). These animals are accompanied by giraffes, zebra as well as antelope, baboons and hundreds of species of birds.
So don’t feel like you have to go to Kenya, Tanzania or Uganda for your safari experience, heading to Akagera is definitely one of the best and most popular experiences in Rwanda.
Make Friends with Bats in Musanze Caves
The Musanze Caves are a bit of an anomaly. 2km from the town of Musanze / Ruhengeri, which is near where you trek with the gorillas, these 4 caves were created from lava flows when the Rift Valley was being formed around 65 million years ago.
The caves are 1.25 miles long and taking a guide to a) find them and b) walk you through them is highly recommended.