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At 26,338 square kilometers (10,169 sq mi), Rwanda is the world’s 149th-largest country and the fourth smallest on the African mainland after Gambia, Swaziland, and Djibouti. It is comparable in size to Burundi, Haiti and Albania. The entire country is at a high altitude: the lowest point is the Rusizi River at 950 metres (3,117 ft) above sea level. Rwanda is located in Central/Eastern Africa, and is bordered by the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, Uganda to the north, Tanzania to the east, and Burundi to the south. It lie’s a few degrees south of the equator and is landlocked. The capital, Kigali, is located near the centre of Rwanda.


Many travelers have been coming to Rwanda for years to see the country’s stunning gorillas. While Uganda and Congo also provide gorilla tours, the professionalism and ease of doing so in Rwanda make it the top destination. Unfortunately, too many visitors fly down to Rwanda, to see the gorillas, and then fly out—missing out on the country’s many other treasures. Part of the detach has to do with the lack of attention Rwanda has received for its extraordinary progress during the past two decades and its efforts to open up new tourism destinations. But don’t let traditional tourism be the only highlight—Rwanda now has a booming and safe capital with treats of its own, along with less conventional opportunities to explore the countryside – “Doing” Rwanda in less than a week will rob you of the chance to see a country on the rise against some of the most beautiful and pristine backdrops on the continent. It may be known for its gorillas, but there are lots of other activities that are still off the beaten path that deserve an exploration!


Selected Rwanda Safari Itineraries

Our favorite itineraries, showcasing the best of Rwanda

Rwanda National Parks

Rwanda, commonly known as the land of 1000 hills, is in a nutshell, nature’s paradise with a rich cultural heritage. During your trip to Rwanda you must visit the famous primates, including Golden Monkeys, Chimpanzees, Colobus Monkeys, and Baboons to name a few.  From the amazing waterfalls of Nyungwe National Park to an adventure in Akagera National Park and the mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, this will be a trip you never forget. Enjoy a full traditional Rwandan experience with dancing, archery, traditional healers, Rwandan cuisine and a taste of Rwanda’s local brew at Iby’ Iwacu Cultural Village in Musanze, Rwanda’s Northern Province. Tour Kigali on an educational bus tour and learn all there is to know about Rwanda’s capital city including Rwanda’s Genocide Memorial Sites: Kigali Memorial Site; Murambi Memorial Site; Nyanza Kicukiro Memorial Site; and Ntarama Memorial Site. You can also visit Rwanda’s largest lake, Lake Kivu, its numerous islands and beach resort towns Rubavu and Karongi. Go canoeing, kayaking, and wind surfing at the edge of Rwanda’s Western Province.

Parc National de l’Akagera

Parc National de l’Akagera

Originally constructed in 1934, Parc National de l’Akagera was created to protect the area surrounding the Akagera River, and was once one of the best wildlife reserves in Africa. However, political violence and civil unrest took its toll on the area in the late 1990s, and refugees emigrated in mass numbers, causing much harm to the environment. It thereafter spanned a significantly reduced area, and as the park was only a fraction of its former glory, it became a region of concentrated charity efforts, which saw various groups including the African Parks Network (APN) and the Akagera Management Company (AMC) dedicate time and money into transforming the park into a natural haven once more. And this exertion proved fruitful; the park has recently become Rwanda’s fourth largest source of economic revenue, and is now renowned again as one of the most scenic savanna reserves in Africa.

The bird-watching here is unparalleled, with plenty of eagles, raptors and other birds of prey regularly soaring through the sky. It is one of the only places on the continent where visitors can watch a zebra roam wild, and the area is brimming with buffalo and elephants. Poaching issues have recently been broached and tackled, allowing for the re-introduction of both lions and black rhinos. And best of all, this park still largely remains a best-kept secret of Rwanda, with many tourists distracted by the gorillas of Parc Nacional Volcans; take a trip here to experience a piece of tranquil, untouched African paradise.

Nyungwe Forest National Park

Nyungwe Forest National Park

In Southwestern Rwanda, Nyungwe Forest National Park resides as the country’s largest and most important area of spectacular biodiversity. Boasting over 1,000 plant varieties, hundreds of bird species and 75 types of mammals, not to mention 13 varieties of primates, Nyungwe Forest is home to a rich and incredible array of natural wildlife, flora and fauna. Having survived the last Ice Age, the park covers an area that is home to Africa’s oldest rainforest systems. Here visitors can track chimps and rare monkeys, including the 400 Angolan Colobus monkeys that are frequently seen swinging enthusiastically in the trees of the forest.

Parc Nacional Volcanos

Parc Nacional Volcanos

The Parc Nacional Volcanos is the highlight of any trip to Rwanda. It remains one of the best places in East Africa to track silverback gorillas, a rare species that inspired the Hollywood blockbuster Gorillas in the Mist. Gorilla tracking is now the third-biggest attraction for visitors to Rwanda, and thanks to the work of renowned zoologists like Dr. Dian Fossey, it is possible to now know more about these incredible mammals than ever before.

Also home to the endangered golden monkey, Parc Nacional Volcanos is comprised of five magnificent volcanoes steeped in bamboo and lush rainforest, of which Karisimbi is the tallest, standing at over 4,500 meters high. Climbing the volcanoes is often seen as one of the most exhilarating experiences of any trip to Africa, and can be done for an affordable price here.

The mountainous and volcanic region of the Virunga’s is also situated within the park, and is a popular draw for visitors wishing to traverse the stunning landscape, offering various hikes and trails with differing levels of difficulty. Parc Nacional Volcanos became a national treasure after Belgian colonists recognized the need to protect the area and its precious endangered species, an idea which came to fruition as early as 1925. The park was reopened for tourism in 1999, after an extensive period of closure during the devastating civil war.