Rwanda Tours: See Gorillas and Beyond

Kigali is the perfect starting point for an unforgettable gorilla trekking tours that is one of Africa’s most fascinating wilderness experiences. Kigali is the bustling capital city of Rwanda and home to its only international airport. Vibrant and colourful, the city spreads over scenic ridges and valleys, with the city centre located high on one hill and the government quarter on another.

The highest hill, Mount Kigali, sits 1,850 m (6,075 feet) above sea level. The city’s highlights include the Genocide Memorial Centre, the fruit market, lunch at the Hotel Mille Collins (Hotel Rwanda fame) and a ride on a motorbike taxi through town.

Rwanda offers guests some of the best primate safaris Rwanda on the planet set against the backdrop of its endless green hills and soaring mountainsides.

With over half of the world’s remaining mountain gorilla population, it’s no surprise that the majority of guests visit Rwanda to track and view our highly endangered cousins. Rwanda is superb for primates in general, including the fun-loving Sykes monkey, the Golden monkey and the boisterous chimpanzee in the Nyungwe Forest.

Kigali is beautifully packaged as you venture to where the first modern building was built, which laid the foundations for Rwanda’s capital city. Next, journey through bustling neighbourhoods for an authentic taste of Kigali life.

The rapidly changing façade of the city is due to the numerous visitors and investors who are attracted to what has been hailed as one of the friendliest and safest cities in Africa.

Your Kigali city tour includes stops at the city market, a well organized space selling a variety of vegetables, fruits, cereals, wood, home products and textiles, with a section for the tourists that features souvenirs, mementos and handcrafted goods.

A visit to the Museum of Natural History is a must, housing exhibits on Rwanda’s geology and natural wonders. The view from the garden is magnificent and showcases the flourishing urban sprawl.

Find the time to interact with the artisans of the Inema Art Centre. This pivotal contemporary art gallery in Kigali boasts colourful paintings and sculptures and is the ideal place to revel in colourful dance and musical performances.

Embark on hiking the densely forested slopes of Rwanda’s picturesque Virunga’s Volcanoes in search of the world’s largest population of wild mountain gorillas. Gaze out onto soaring mountain slopes in lush and tropical vegetation.

In this dramatic natural setting, enjoy the opportunity to watch the intriguing interaction between gorilla families or set out in search of troops of the enchanting golden monkeys.

Tracking endangered mountain gorillas through the mysterious intimacy of the rain forest, alive with the calls of 200 species of colourful birds and chattering of the rare golden monkey, is only one of the truly unique experiences in the area.

Akagera is also another hide out for the big five. The only way to explore the park is by vehicle, whether through a tour operator or self-drive. The National Park also has a vehicle to hire, with individual spaces available on night drives.

Sleeping within the park is possible, at various lodges, a bush camp in the north at select periods, or camping in specific sites.

A boat trip on Lake Ihema is also a highlight of any visit to Akagera, with its large pods of hippos, Nile crocodiles and abundant water birds on the island in the middle of the lake. Visitors can also encounter buffaloes, elephants, antelopes, zebras, giraffes, baboons, monkeys, an incredible 490 bird species.

Join Gishwati a home to a group of 20 chimpanzees which live alongside golden monkeys, L’Hoest’s and Blue Monkeys. Birds are well represented too, 232 species have been seen at Gishwati and 163 at Mukura, among them Albertine Rift Endemic species and forest specialists.

The forests sit on the ridge which divides the Congo and Nile water catchment areas, along the incredibly bio diverse Albertine Rift in the west of the country. It is made up of 60 species of tree, including indigenous hardwoods and bamboo.

Visit one of the oldest rain forest in Africa; Nyungwe rich in biodiversity and spectacularly beautiful. The mountainous region is teaming with wildlife, including a small population of chimpanzees as well as 12 other species of primate, including the L’Hoest’s monkey endemic to the Albertine Rift.

Visitors can choose to sample the delights of the forest or indulge themselves for a week or more in one of Africa’s most stunning forests in its 15 trails.