Although Rwanda’s tourism industry is most dominated by the mountain gorillas as the leading tourist attraction, there are much more attractions that will leave you amazed on your visit to the country. Let’s look at Rwanda’s major attractions briefly;
Unique bird species
Having been blessed the vast equatorial forests; Rwanda is a haven for birds and is one of the most interesting birding destinations worldwide. Most birds in Rwanda are in her three major national parks which are; volcanoes national park, Nyungwe national park and Akagera national park. These parks harbor over 1,500 bird species and 27 Albertine endemic species. The most outstanding bird species you can’t miss to see include the shoebill stork, Miombo wren-warbler and Bennett’s woodpecker. Birding can be done at any time of the year however it’s better around December-February in order to catch the migrating birds.
The beautiful scenery
The country is also very with the famous Virunga volcanoes covered by the thick equatorial forests, u-shaped valleys, lakes, rivers which can clearly be viewed going for nature and forest walks. The scenic beauty of Rwanda can also be well viewed while on the 50 meters high canopy walk way in Nyungwe national park located in the south western part of the country.
Rwanda is also a home the closest humans beings wild animals –the chimpanzees. There are over 450 chimpanzee species in the equatorial forests of Nyungwe forests. Other Primates like the golden monkey, colobus monkey and L’Hoest monkey can be tracked in the jungles of Nyungwe and volcanoes national parks.
The mountain gorillas
This is the major tourist attraction and one of the most endangered species on the planet. Gorillas in Rwanda are viewed in their natural environments in the Virunga volcanoes rain forests. There are seven gorilla family groups and they can be trekked through out the year however December-March and June-September are the most favorable times to trek the rare specie. On the day of trekking, tourists are expected to reach the park headquarters at 7:00 for briefing and then allocated to a specific gorilla group they are to trek. While in the jungle and after reaching the gorilla group, tourists are strictly given one hour to interact with the gorillas and to take photos. Today, a gorilla permit is being sold at $750 and they are only sold to individuals who are above 16 years. Would you like to take a gorilla safari in Rwanda? Please check out the different tour operators featured here to start planning your next trip.
They include giraffes, leopards, elephants, impalas, buffaloes, zebras, antelopes, hyenas, rhinos and many others. These can on be viewed by tourists on game drives in the three major national parks of Rwanda which are; volcanoes national park, Akagera national park and Nyungwe forest national park. All the national parks have accommodation facilities around and tourists should there fore be making their bookings early enough to avoid inconveniences.
The country also has large plantation farms of her major exports coffee and tea. These are attractions to students doing research for study purposes. All those interested are taught the whole process the crops go through from planting, harvesting and processing and they are also invited to taste the results especially tea. Most of the plantations are located on the hills and their green color adds to the great scenic beauty the country has.
Most of these attractions and archeological remains are in Rwanda’s four major museums which include the Nyanza royal palace, national museum of Rwanda, the museum of Rwandan ancient history, museum of natural history and the Rwensoro art museum. While in the museum, you can more about the Rwandese culture and get information about the Rwandese genocide that claimed many lives of innocent Rwandans.
Those interested can also visit communities around national parks to learn more about the Rwandese ways of life and even take part in the local community activities like cooking, collecting firewood and even milking.