INTO THE WILD
by Karen Suchecki on 31 January 2020
Journey to a land filled to the brim with rainforests, lakes, wildlife, and volcanoes. This is Rwanda, aptly named “The Land of a Thousand Hills”, and one of the world’s best hidden gems.
Although many visitors come to Rwanda specifically to see mountain gorillas, we would like to introduce you to a myriad of other attractions, gorgeous scenery, and the Rwandans diverse culture.
Tribal dancers. Credit: Crookes & Jackson
VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
Endangered gorilla encounters and more
Join the multitude of visitors who climb the high volcanoes to visit one of 12 gorilla groups. Statuesque yet gentle, human-like but entirely wild, you’ll be endeared and captivated as they go about their day.
Golden monkeys are also found in the Park’s bamboo forest. These beautifully-coloured primates with wide fuzzy faces, and beady eyes are a thrilling highlight. Watch them graze, and leap with the aid of long tails.
View of Volcano at Volcanoes National Park. Credit: Dana Allen
Volcanoes National Park was the base for the ground-breaking work of primatologist Dian Fossey. She shone the spotlight on the plight of mountain gorillas, and in so doing preserved the species.
Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park. Credit: Singita Kwitongda Lodge
The Park is the Rwandan section of the huge volcanic massif called the Virunga Mountains that crosses the borders of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
One of the greatest lakes of East Africa
Lake Kivu reveals yet another of Rwanda’s many facets. Long stretches of golden sandy beach are dotted with hot springs and friendly fishing villages.
Here, both land and water offer an abundance of activities, such as fishing, boat tours, cycling, plantation tours, nature walks, water sports like jet skiing, kayaking, and sailing. The lake is fee of crocodiles and hippos, so it is also one of the only places on the African continent where you can safely take a refreshing swim.
Lake Kivu makes up Rwanda’s western side and is one of a string of huge freshwater lakes which lie along Africa’s Great Rift Valley.
Lake Kivu at sunset. Credit: RevMills
AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK
A safe home to Africa’s Big 5
Visit Akagera National Park in the east of Rwanda. It is a strikingly beautiful area, with rolling hills surrounded by Albertine Rift Valley lakes.
Plains zebra with Masai giraffe in Akagera. Credit: Magashi Lodge
Akagera is almost unrecognisable today compared to just 20 years ago when it was on the verge of being lost forever. In the past five years’ animal numbers have doubled to over 12 000 so there is plenty of opportunity for incredible animal sightings. Bird life is abundant too, with crested cranes, goliath herons and jacanas.
Some of its other residents include lion, elephant, leopard, rhino and Cape buffalo. You can also spot Roan antelope, eland, zebra, hippos in the lakes, olive baboons, impala, endemic Defassa waterbuck, Topi, and warthogs.
One of the young lions in Akagera. Credit: Dana Allen
Where natural wonders flourish
For guests looking for a moment of calm to complement their adventures then Nyungwe is a must. This protected jungle is home to Rwanda’s incredible and exotic animal life; see 13 kinds of primates including thousands of flora and fauna species.
Nyungwe in the southwest corner of Rwanda is over 1,020km², encompassing the largest remaining coniferous forest in east or central Africa. The rainforest supplies over 70% of Rwanda’s water, with new research showing it to be the furthest source of the Nile.
Nyungwe forest with colobus monkey. Credit: One & Only Resorts
Book your trip with us and we will tailor-make an inspiring itinerary to this once-in a lifetime destination.