Covering a geographical spread of 26,338 sq km, Rwanda stands as the 149th largest country in the world and the 4th smallest on the continent of Africa. Despite the size, Rwanda is a beautiful country with remarkable landscapes, biodiversity and people that have made her a by no means an ordinary destination.

Rwanda is wholesomely on a higher elevation with the lowest point being 650m above sea level in River Rusizi. The country features impressive rolling hills that have formed a background for its naming as the land of a thousand hills. The central and western parts of Rwanda are very Mountainous as they fall within the Albertine rift valley system while the eastern landscapes are rather flat featuring extensive savannah and the only protected habitat to Rwanda’s remaining savannah game that form ground for wildlife safaris in Rwanda.

With its temperate tropical highland climate, Rwanda is weather friendly to travellers from world over while its diverse landscapes settle their varying travel interests.  Rwanda is worldly known for her efforts toward mountain gorilla conservation which thrive in the Volcanoes National Park in the greater Virunga landscape where 480 mountain gorillas are known to be living. Dating back to the Dian Fossey times, Rwanda has been at the forefront of saving these critically endangered species through promotion of gorilla tourism / gorilla safaris in Rwanda which has in turn enabled the local people, national government and the international community to appreciate the significance of Mountain gorillas.

Besides the mountain gorillas, the destination Rwanda feature unique species of eastern chimpanzees in the newly established Gishwati-Mukula National Park along with common Chimpanzees in the Nyungwe National Park which also has the largest grouping of Black and white colobus Monkeys on the continent of Africa. This combines to make Rwanda an ideal primate destination.

The Akagera National Park to the east of Rwanda shelters the largest protected wetland system in Central Africa along with extensive savannah vegetation that supports a myriad of wild game including the elephants, Buffaloes, Eland, Topis, Maasai Giraffes, Zebras, predators like lions and leopards among others.

The destination Rwanda would rather be incomplete if nothing is mentioned about her remarkable culture and history. Being a homogeneous country, the traditions, norms and values of the native people have been easily transferred to series of generations with little or no deterioration. Talk of the remarkable Kinyarwanda – Intore dance, the beautiful Kinyarwanda huts, the fascinating Inyambo long horned cows, the Batwa art works and the remnants of the ancient monarchy at Nyanza, Rwanda’s culture is a credible Rwanda safari product worth exploring. The history is presented in a range of National Museums including the National Museum in Butare, the Natural History Museum and the Presidential Palace Museum in Kigali. The horrific genocide is presented in a range of genocide sites including Gisozi genocide memorial in Kigali, Nyamata, Murambi among other memorial sites spread in various parts of the country.

  • Akagera National Park

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    The Akagera National Park is located to the Rwanda’s north east stretching over a geographical landscape of 1,085km2 making it the Rwanda’s largest protected area. The Akagera National Park shares the western border of the Republic of Tanzania is named after the Akagera River which runs through it.

    The Akagera National Park was established in the year 1934 providing protection to a range of three (3) ecosystems including Savannah, Swamp and Mountain.

    Read more about Akagera National Park

    Nyungwe Forest National Park

    Located to the south west of Rwanda, Nyungwe Forest National Park shares the border with Congo and Burundi and is noted to be among the ancient forests which survived the ice age and one of the few well conserved montane forests in Central Africa.

    Nyungwe Forest National Park is noted to be among the remote sources of the Nile River and it came into existence in the year 2004 stretching over a geographical spread of 970km2.

    Read more about Nyungwe Forest National Park

    Volcanoes Gorilla National Park

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    The Volcanoes National Park is positioned to the northwest of Rwanda sharing borders with Mgahinga National Park in Uganda and Virunga National Park in Congo which combine to form the Virunga Trans-boundary Collaboration featuring a minimum of 480 mountain gorillas that are listed as critically endangered on the IUCN red list.

    Read more about Volcanoes Gorilla National Park

  • Rwanda Gorilla Safari Packages

    1 Day Short Gorilla Tour in Rwanda

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    The 1 day short gorilla tour in Rwanda commences from Kigali at 5am heading for a 2 – 3 hours’ drive to Volcanoes National Park. The Gorilla Day Trip allows you to explore the mountain gorillas which are considered as critically endangered in such a short notice.

    Read more about the 1 Day Short Gorilla Tour in Rwanda

    2 Days Rwanda Gorilla Safari

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    The 2 Days Rwanda Gorilla Safari is one of the best short gorilla trips in Rwanda for the limited time travellers. It is a bit relaxed compared to one day encounter and it is affordable because of its few days. The safari tour commences and ends in Kigali Rwanda offering you an opportunity to explore the rural landscapes of Rwanda with their hilly landscape that have earned it a dub as the land of a thousand hills.

    Read more about the 2 Days Rwanda Gorilla Safari

    4 Days Rwanda Gorilla and Golden Monkey Tracking Safari

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    The 4 Days Rwanda Gorilla and Golden Monkey Tracking Safari commences and ends in Kigali Rwanda. The safari features two prominent activities in Rwanda namely the gorilla trekking and golden monkey tracking. These are all done in Volcanoes National Park in the north west of Rwanda.

    Read more about the 4 Days Rwanda Gorilla and Golden Monkey Tracking Safari

    5 Days Rwanda Gorilla Tour and Chimpanzee Safari

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    The 5 Days Rwanda Gorilla Tour and Chimpanzee Safari features two main activities namely; the gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park and Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park. Encountering these two big apes is a life time endeavor that every word traveller should attempt to undertake.

    Read more about the 5 Days Rwanda Gorilla Tour and Chimpanzee Safari

    6 Days Safari in Rwanda

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    The 6 Days Safari in Rwanda is a detailed safari encounter that allows exploring a cross section of Rwanda as a destination. It involves visiting Nyungwe Forest National Park in the south west of Rwanda for chimpanzee trekking and the canopy walk, Volcanoes National Park for gorilla trekking, Gisozi genocide memorial where counts of Rwandese lay in cold blood

    Read more about the 6 Days Safari in Rwanda

    7 Days Rwanda Gorilla and Wildlife Safari

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    The 7 Days Rwanda Gorilla and Wildlife Safari takes you to the gorilla trekking region of Volcanoes National Park in the north west of Rwanda, the recreational beach experience encounters on Lake Kivu, Chimpanzee trekking and walking on the forest canopy in Nyungwe Forest National Park.

    Read more about the 7 Days Rwanda Gorilla and Wildlife Safari

    8 Days Rwanda Safari

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    The 8 Days Rwanda Safari is an extended safari that features a range of destinations various parts of Rwanda. The safari features wild game viewing in Akagera National Park including Lions, elephants, Giraffes, Buffaloes, antelopes and aquatics like Nile crocodiles and Hippos, Cultural and heritage encounters in Butare.

    Read more about the 8 Days Rwanda Safari

    9 Days Rwanda Primate and Wildlife Safari

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    The 9 Days Rwanda Primate and Wildlife Safari is one of the comprehensive safaris in Rwanda that allows you to encounter the country in detail. The safari takes you to the Akagera National Park for amazing wild game viewing and boat cruise, Nyanza for culture encounters, Nyungwe Forest National Park for chimpanzees and canopy walk.

    Read more about the 9 Days Rwanda Primate and Wildlife Safari

  • 2 Days Rwanda Chimpanzee Safari to Nyungwe Forest National Park

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    The 2 Days Rwanda Chimpanzee Safari to Nyungwe National Park presents a good mini break holiday for travelers interested in viewing common Chimpanzees in the pristine montane forest of Nyungwe.

    Read more about the 2 Days Rwanda Chimpanzee Safari to Nyungwe National Park

    2 Days Rwanda Wildlife Safari to Akagera National Park

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    The 2 Days Rwanda Wildlife Safari to Akagera National Park is a short but purely a wildlife viewing holiday to the only savannah protected habitat in destination Rwanda.

    Read more about the 2 Days Rwanda Wildlife Safari to Akagera National Park

    3 Days Rwanda Chimpanzee Safari to Nyungwe Forest National Park

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    The 3 Days Rwanda Chimpanzee Safari to Nyungwe National Park includes Chimpanzee trekking, Nyungwe canopy walk and the heritage tours in Nyanza and Butare.

    Read more about the 3 Days Rwanda Chimpanzee Safari to Nyungwe Forest National Park

    3 Days Wildlife Safari in Rwanda to Akagera National Park

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    The 3 Days Wildlife Safari in Rwanda to Akagera National Park is one of the short Rwanda Safaris aimed at exploring the extensive wild game in Rwanda’s only savannah protected area – Akagera National Park and historical tour to Gisozi genocide memorial.

    Read more the 3 Days Wildlife Safari in Rwanda to Akagera National Park

    5 Days Rwanda Wildlife & Chimpanzee Safari to Akagera and Nyungwe Forest National Parks

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    The 5 Days Rwanda Wildlife & Chimpanzee Safari features two main Rwanda Safari destinations of Nyungwe National Park and Akagera National Park. The extension to Akagera National Park is centered on wild game viewing

    Read more the 5 Days Rwanda Wildlife & Chimpanzee Safari to Akagera and Nyungwe Forest National Parks

    6 Days Wildlife Safari in Rwanda

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    6 Days Wildlife Safari in Rwanda is a medium wildlife trip in Rwanda featuring destinations of Volcanoes National Park and Akagera National Park. The safari tour is filled with a range of activities including the golden monkey tracking and Dian Fossey hike in Volcanoes National Park

    Read more about the 6 Days Wildlife Safari in Rwanda

    9 Days Wildlife & Chimpanzee Safari in Rwanda

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    The 9 Days Wildlife & Chimpanzee Safari in Rwanda features a range of African safari aspects but excludes Mountain gorilla trekking. The 9 Days safari in Rwanda features the main destinations of Akagera National Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park, Lake Kivu and Volcanoes National Park.

    Read more about the 6 Days Wildlife Safari in Rwanda

  • Gorilla Facts

    Relationship between Gorillas & Humans

    From the beginning, the human were part of the Hominidae taxonomy family while the Apes were listed under the Pongidae taxonomic family. The distinction between these two resulted from the anatomy specialization, differing locomotion and the highly developed human brain. But overtime, this has been discarded and with the ranking of Chimpanzees close to humans followed by gorillas and Orangutans respectively.

    The scientific studies show that the composition in the genes of these apes matches that of humans to a greater extent with a minor variation in the DNA. The gorillas differ from humans by 1.6% while the chimpanzee differs by 1.2% from humans.

    read more about gorilla facts

    Gorilla trekking process in Rwanda

    • The activity is carried out in Volcanoes National Park commencing at 8am with briefing at the park headquarters at Kinigi.
    • Eight (8) people are allowed to track each gorilla group per day
    • The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) gorilla trackers ascertain the location of mountain gorillas in the evening of the day before tracking to ensure that the guide takes the visitors right to them
    • The gorilla trekking in Volcanoes though considered to be shorter can at times take longer than the known 3 – 4 hours which thus calls for packed lunch
    • Due to hiking involved, someone with a physical problem like leg pain, heart problem or back pain should opt for a stretcher to avoid failing in the jungle in the middle of the trek. Simple fitness exercises like stair climbing, walking, knee bends, bicycling to make legs fit before setting from home for gorilla trek is recommended.

    When to track gorillas in Rwanda

    The Mountain gorillas in Rwanda can be conducted the whole year round. But the drier months of June through to September and from January to February are more favourable. However, the afternoon thunderstorms can come in at any time. The Rainy Season months make the terrain challenging for trackers and the months include October and November.

    Gorilla Permit Booking Information for Rwanda

    • The gorilla permits in Rwanda are booked from the Rwanda Development Board and it is the only body that receives the payment for permits as well
    • The gorilla permit can be booked directly with Rwanda Development Board or through a travel agent.
    • If it is an advance booking, the RDB can accept a deposit of 30% especially from the tour operators.
    • In the event of rescheduling a deposited on gorilla permit, full payment has to be done and there is no extra charge levied for this service
    • However, if rescheduling the fully paid gorilla permit, the Rwanda Development Board charges $150 as fine for this service.

    Gorilla Permit Price in Rwanda

    Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has different gorilla permit prices for various categories and unlike her neighbouring Uganda; Rwanda has no low season gorilla permit offers.

    Foreign Non Residents $750
    Foreign Residents $375
    Rwandan Citizens 30,000 Rwanda Francs

    This rate includes Park entrance fees, guiding fees and community levy as well

  • Requirements for travel to Rwanda Passport

    A passport is vital document that is required for one’s travel to Rwanda. The passport must be valid for six (6) months from the day the person intends to enter into Rwanda.  However, the citizens of the East African community do not require being in possession of passports in order to gain access to Rwanda.  An admissible temporary document is always availed to the East African citizens for the travel in Rwanda. The passport has to possess one blank space where the Visa stamp can be put.

    Visa

    Rwanda is a sovereign state with a national government. Therefore, for one to cross her boundaries, permission has to be first sought. Apart from the nationals of Visa exempt countries, other travelers from various parts of the world have to apply and pay for the Rwanda Visa $30 per person. The application can be made on line to the Rwanda Immigrations Board while the Visa application forms can as well be filled and submitted to the Rwandan Embassy or Consulate in one’s country for consideration. For on line applications, the Visa acceptance letter is always given if the visa has been granted and then the Visa fee can be cleared upon arrival in Rwanda.

    However, it can be noted that nationals of the following countries; United States, Germany, Israel, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Sweden can secure Rwanda Visa on arrival without advance visa application.

    The citizens of African countries which are not Rwanda Visa exempt can as well secure the Visa on arrival without advance application.

    Visa Exemptions for Rwanda

    The nationals from Philippines, Hong Kong, Mauritius, Singapore and Democratic Republic of Congo are exempt from paying for the visa to Rwanda for the period of 90 days.  The East African Community Citizens are also exempt from paying Rwanda Visa and they are issued a renewable visitor pass of Six months which is secured upon arrival at no cost.

    Visa Expiry in Rwanda

    Rwanda accords a grace period of up to five (5) days to enable one on a Rwanda visit leave the country or work on the visa renewal following its expiry. However, if this period elapses, one is liable to penalty and refusal to renew the visa.

    East African Single Tourist Visa

    Rwanda is a partner state of the northern corridor integration and cherishes the joint tourism approach and as a result, one can visit Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya on a single East African Tourist Visa and can be obtained under the same procedure like that of Rwanda Single Entry visa but a cost of $100 per person. One can get this visa upon arrival in Kigali and can depart from any other Airport like Entebbe International Airport or Nairobi International Airport without paying again. The Single East African Tourist Visa is valid for 90 days.

    Vaccinations

    Rwanda requires a certificate of yellow fever vaccination upon entry

    Currency Restrictions

    Rwanda has no currency restrictions for both entering and exiting travelers.