• Mountain gorillas, Rwanda

Rwanda Safaris

A landlocked destination set in the heart of Africa, Rwanda has gone from strength to strength in recent years, having one of the fastest growing economies on the African continent. Not a typical safari destination when compared to the likes of Kenya and Tanzania, a Rwanda safari offers something entirely different, whether it be tracking the mountain gorillas of the Virunga Volcanoes, searching high and low for the cheeky chimpanzees of Nynugwe Forest, or relaxing on the savannah plains of Akagera National Park.

Rwanda as a destination itself is stunning. Nicknamed ‘the land of a thousand hills’, it offers a tapestry landscape that winds its way from the eastern plains of Tanzania through to the central forests of the Congo Basin. In between, you will meet and discover one of the friendliest populations on the African continent, hospitable, generous, and forgiving. As well as exploring the vast wildlife highlights on your Rwanda safari, make sure you spend time to stop, listen, and enjoy, the hospitality of the Rwandan people themselves.

A Rwanda safari used to be primarily focused on a mountain gorilla safari, this has changed. The Rwandan government has invested heavily in the tourism infrastructure over the years to the extent that there is now a healthy selection of mid to high-end lodges and properties, and the safari sights and sounds do not rely wholly on the mountain gorillas. This growth is apparent as typical Rwandan safaris can include a selection of national parks with an array of wildlife highlights.

Mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park, Rwanda

Staying purely within this landlocked country, a Rwandan safari can now completely cater to your needs without you needing to go further afield. A good week to ten days can afford you gorillas, chimpanzees, and savannah game, negating the need to travel further afield and keeping costs within reason.

It has to be said, the savannah game of Akagera National Park is still not to the high standards of the big game parks of Kenya or Tanzania, however, it is making progress fast and is definitely worthy of a visit on any Rwandan safari.

Alternatively for those looking for a shorter sharper safari experience, Rwanda safaris can focus purely on those gentle giants that we have now come to love and admire, the breathtaking mountain gorillas. A small population located in the heart of the Virunga Volcanoes, is a highlight of any wildlife enthusiasts’ career, and is the perfect combination for those wishing to also visit the larger and more wildlife-centric safari parks of Kenya and Tanzania. We work closely with the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project; take the time to meet the professionals doing a vital job in ensuring the ongoing health and success of the mountain gorillas.

Rwanda is not only a place to track these wonderful, human-like primates, close in their natural habitat, but chimpanzees can also be seen here too. Often overshadowed by the gorillas, chimpanzees are one of our closest relatives in the animal kingdom, and tracking them is an exhilarating experience.

Mountain gorilla, Rwanda

The world of the forest primates

Rwanda offers some of the most breathtaking scenery in Africa, be it the dramatic Virunga volcanoes bordering Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo or the forest of Nyungwe, one of the largest montane forests in Central Africa, home to chimpanzees and large groups of Colobus monkeys. Parc National des Volcans (Volcanoes National Park) is located in northwest Rwanda and is an area of thickly vegetated rainforest and bamboo providing shelter to endangered golden monkeys and approximately one-third of the world’s remaining mountain gorilla population. It is also where primatologist Dian Fossey carried out her seminal work, and which was her adopted home and place of rest. Dian expressed the feeling of coming face-to-face with silverback mountain gorillas as "The expression in his eyes was unfathomable. Spellbound I returned his gaze - a gaze that seemed to combine elements of enquiry and acceptance." It is an experience only those who have lived can fully understand. 

Deep within the thickets of Nyungwe lies another gripping wildlife encounter. Here chimpanzees crash noisily through the forests, and witnessing these distant relatives and their human-like behaviour is another highlight of any Rwanda holiday. 

Conservation plays an important role in local tourism and there is a strong ethos of preservation of rare primates; it is rewarding to know that you are reinforcing the good work of the local organisations by contributing to park fees and permits.

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Why book with us

We are destination specialists

Our team of specialists have extensive on-the-ground knowledge and have all lived, guided or explored in great detail the destinations that they sell.

We are wildlife specialists

As a leading specialist operator we have excellent partnerships with naturalists and conservationists. We know our wildlife and do what we can to preserve its natural habitat.

We really care about our destinations

We frequently monitor the social, economic and environmental impact of our travel operations to ensure our trips are sustainable and ethical.

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