Rwanda is a country of a thousand hills and more. You notice this the moment you arrive either through the Kigali International Airport or through the various border posts from Burundi, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Democratic Republic of Congo.
This beautiful country is nestled between hills and valleys with most of the land used for agriculture and the rest reserved for conservation in the form of national parks. Here are five unforgettable locations from Kagera Safaris that showcase Rwanda’s rich culture and wildlife.
While on the western circuit, stop by Nyanza – the historical capital with the palace of the former King of Rwanda. The area has a collection of three ‘palaces’ – the first is the traditional grass thatched palace, the second is the blockhouse where the King lived and the third was constructed after the King visited Belgium. Unfortunately, he never lived in it as he was exiled after the abolition of the monarchy in favour of central government.
2. Nyungwe forest
Nyungwe forest is a beautiful tropical forest teeming with life. There are about 300 bird species and 13 primate species, as well as a host of butterflies and reptiles. This area has several tea plantations next to the forest with beautiful scenery. Nyungwe is also the place for the famous canopy walk, which is a different way of seeing the forest and monkeys as they swing from branch to branch.
3. Lake Kivu
Lake Kivu, located in western Rwanda, is shared with the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is a great spot for relaxing, with several activities to keep you busy, including kayaking, boat trips, swimming, limited sport fishing and hot springs. There are three main towns along the lake developed for tourism, namely Cyangugu, Kibuye, and Gisenyi. Gisenyi is the most developed for visitors, with Kibuye having fewer activities and Cyangugu the least developed, but with unforgettable views of the lake.
4. Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park, located in northern Rwanda near DRC and Uganda, is home to the famous and endangered mountain gorillas. Enclosed within the park are the Virunga volcanoes, namely Mgahinga, Sabyinyo, Muhabura, Karisimbi and Bisoke. Activities to do in this park include gorilla trekking, golden monkey trekking, bird watching, hiking and cultural or community experiences around the park.
5. Akagera National Park
Akagera National Park is located in eastern Rwanda. It is a remarkable savannah park and the only park of its kind in Rwanda where one is able to do game drives and enjoy different wildlife sightings. Recently lions were reintroduced into the park after being killed off from poisoning by cattle farmers adjacent to the park. More of the wildlife to look out for includes over 200 bird species, elephants, zebra, bushbuck, giraffe, waterbuck, hippos and crocodiles in Lake Ihema.
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