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Rwanda National Parks

Rwanda National Parks

When you think of Rwanda what comes to mind? Impossibly green rolling hills and mountains? Brilliantly rich national parks? Bamboo forests and the world’s last remaining mountain gorillas? Or, chimpanzees, golden monkeys, and olive baboons?

Explore Rwanda – Land of a Thousand Hills

Many if not most travel to Rwanda to get a glimpse of the endangered mountain gorillas and rare chimpanzees in the wild. What they may not expect to find is the diversity or the breathless beauty of the wildlife parks they will discover.

Volcanoes National Park – the mountainous Virunga volcanoes are spellbinding with their deep emerald carpet sweeping over the five majestic peaks. Tucked away in these hills and rainforests live the elusive mountain gorillas, one of the last spots on the planet where you’ll find them.

Coming upon a family of these endangered apes, sitting together, perhaps grooming each other and looking back at you is an emotional moment you’ll never forget. Your trek through the park may also bring you in contact with troops of golden, colobus, owl-faced, and blue monkeys.

Nyungwe Forest National Park – a great swath of biodiversity presented in equatorial rainforest. The highlight here is the opportunity to track chimpanzees. You may come upon them foraging for food and building their nests. There are troops of other primates found here as well – Dent’s monkeys, olive baboons, vervet monkeys, and more.

For an exciting and unusual perspective of the park’s rich diversity, ascend the canopy walkway amongst the treetops for sky-high views of butterflies, birdlife, and orchids dotting the landscape.

Akagera National Park – but not all the parks of Rwanda are mountainous. Akagera offers savannah, marsh, low hills, and forest that support topis, zebras, impalas, giraffes, rhinos… even elephants and lions. Thanks to conservation efforts, the number of animals is increasing here, and sightings are becoming more common.

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Rwanda National Parks

  • Parks, Conservancies & Reserves

Volcanoes National Park

'Volcanoes, Gorillas and Golden Monkeys'

You will first see five immense ancient volcanoes, now covered in a dense green rainforest – these are the Virunga Mountains. It is here you will find the wonders of Volcanoes National Park – mysterious mountain gorillas, rare golden monkeys, towering massifs, bamboo forests, and pristine mountain lakes.

Of the 1,000 mountain gorillas in the world, the Virunga area hosts over 600. The park itself is home to 12 gorilla families – each with a silverback male, several females and their young. On a hosted trek you can spend up to an hour in their presence – plenty of time to observe their family dynamics, snap pictures, and make lifetime memories.

But the park hosts many other natural surprises – you can trek for rare golden monkeys. Take a trek to find a habituated troop and spend an hour or so with these shy but active primates as they curiously look you over while scampering overhead from tree to tree.

The park encompasses 160 sq. km (62 sq. mi), including 5 of the 8 Virunga Volcanoes.

Climate: Expect lots of rain and mist. The park’s high elevation – almost 4572 m (15,000 ft) – means a cool or cold climate with daytime temperatures dropping to 16C /610.

Location: The park is in northwestern Rwanda, about a 2-hour drive from Kigali.

Operating Hours: The park is open from 6 am to 4 pm.

When to go: The best time to visit is during the dry season from June through September.

Getting there: By road – you can book a tour with Natural World Kenya Safaris from Kigali..

Akagera National Park

'A Story of Loss and Thrilling Rebirth'

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of Akagera National Park is its almost miraculous revival from near destruction just 20 years ago. To see the prospering park today you would never imagine that it had been massively stripped of its wildlife and rich biodiversity due to the country’s domestic troubles.

Few national parks allow night-time game drives but nocturnal adventures are a feature of Akagera. Heading out with your guide and a powerful spotlight, you’ll find a very different cast of characters than a day-time safari will provide. Look for leopards, serval cats, and wide-eyed bushbabies staring back at you in the inky darkness.

Nyungwe Forest National Park

'A Lush, Secret Forest with 1000’s of Species'

Little known outside of East Africa, Nyungwe Forest National Park is a treasure waiting for your discovery. One of Africa’s most stunning and oldest rain forests, not to mention its largest, this almost primeval carpet of lushness virtually explodes with its biodiversity.

Come here to experience over 1000 plant species13 different types of primates75 species of mammals,  275 species of birdlife, and a rainbow of 120 types of butterflies coloring the forest.

While moving over the park’s well-maintained trails you’ll likely see an assortment of its many other primate populations like the L’Hoest’s monkeyOwl faced monkeyDent’s monkeygrey-cheeked mangabeysvervet monkey, and olive baboon.

Another big draw to the park is the chance to traverse high through the trees on the Nyungwe Forest Canopy Walkway. The 160 m (524 ft) long and 70 m (229 ft) high canopy is the first in all of East Africa and affords a bird’s eye (and perhaps monkey’s eye) view of the dense and colorful jungle below. You’ll be at tree-tops level with the high-flying wildlife and enjoy a perspective few get to experience.

Contact us for more information

For more information about our safari excursions, or to book your dream safari trip with Natural World Kenya Safaris, simply get in touch with our friendly travel advisors. Give us a call on +254 704 001 122 or leave your details on our contact us page, and we'll reply as quickly as possible.

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Rwanda National Parks