Rwanda - Unforgettable journey in the country of a thousand hills
Updated: Sep 10, 2021
In these uncertain times for everyone, one thing is sure, our desire to travel is still very present! What should cheer us up is that some African countries are timidly starting to reopen their doors to foreign travelers. For Belgians, the good news is that it is now possible to fly to Rwanda, this small country nestled in the heart of Africa and known worldwide as the home of the mountain gorillas.
Overlooked by a large central plateau made up of steep mountains and deep, wild valleys, the country nicknamed "Land of a Thousand Hills" is a unique destination that will transport you and take you away from the traditional tours. Discover all the treasures of this incredible little country and follow our five-step itinerary to discover the captivating culture and unique landscapes of Rwanda!
Step 1 - Discover Kigali, the capital
This capital city nestled between mountains and hills is the starting point for travelers to Rwanda. Take advantage of this first stop to familiarize yourself with the culture and history of the country and discover the hospitality of its inhabitants. We recommend that you spend two days visiting Kigali and its friendly, trendy and colorful atmosphere. Don't miss a visit to the genocide museum in order to learn more about the country's heavy past and to enjoy your trip even more! It is also an opportunity to stop in one of the many cafes and taste the Rwandan coffee, known to be one of the best in the world. The capital has developed enormously thanks to tourism in recent years and has even built ultra modern shopping malls. But if you are looking for the authentic: the Kimironko market, one of the biggest in Kigali, is by far the best place to buy the famous Agaseke basket!
Step 2 - Hanging trail and chimpanzees in Nyungwe National Park
Nyungwe National Park is a must-see place when discovering Rwanda. Let the wildlife of this huge tropical jungle fill your eyes and discover the different species of primates that live there. The park can be visited in many ways, but we recommend that you visit it on foot accompanied by a guide in order to appreciate the beauty of this wild place. Many hiking trails ranging from 1 to 8 hours of walking crisscross this unique setting. You can enjoy panoramic views and incredible sensations by crossing the park's suspension bridges. If you are afraid of heights, this is the time to fight it!
The different species of primates that inhabit Rwanda are the country's pride and joy and the main attraction for visitors. In Nyungwe National Park, you can see two species of primates, the chimpanzee and the colobus, which you may even have the chance to get close to! It would be a shame to miss out on this unique experience.
Step 3 - Rejuvenate at Lake Kivu
Located at the border with Congo and considered as one of the most beautiful and largest lakes of the African continent, Lake Kivu is also the place where Rwandans like to come to spend a few days of rest at the water's edge. The little extra not to be overlooked is that it is one of the few lakes where you can swim because here, no hippos or crocodiles! For the more athletic, Lake Kivu is also the ideal place to go kayaking, sailing, water skiing, etc. This small tropical oasis nestled in the middle of nature is the perfect place to spend a few days resting in your journey.
Step 4 - Up close to the gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park
This park owes its success mainly to the 300 or so gorillas that it houses. Every year, many tourists travel to Rwanda in the hope of catching a glimpse of these impressive and mysterious mammals. It was here that Dian Fossey, a famous American ethnologist, studied this species for several years. Unfortunately, the gorillas are now extremely endangered and the country is doing everything possible to preserve them by limiting and regulating the number of visitors. Indeed, only 8 people per day and per group of gorillas are allowed, making the adventure all the more exclusive. This is a unique experience that allows you to observe the gorillas from very close up, because contrary to popular belief, gorillas are not dangerous if they do not feel threatened. The location of the entire park, perched on the slopes of the Virunga mountain (a word that means volcano in Kinyarwanda) offers a breathtaking spectacle and natural setting between volcanoes, swamps and forests. It is also possible to climb Karisimbi, the highest peak in Rwanda and one of the highest on the continent. It will take you two days to climb it, but the view is well worth it! An unforgettable and sporty trek that will leave you with unforgettable memories of your discovery of Rwanda.
Step 5 - Go on safari in Akagera National Park
Africa means safari! If you want to see some of the Big Five, Akagera National Park, located about 3.5 hours from Kigali, is the perfect place to end your Rwandan trip in style. There are many ways to visit the national park and it is even possible to stay there. We recommend that you spend at least one night there and opt for a safari by car or boat with the camp rangers to discover all the corners of this incredible place. It is also possible to explore the area on foot with a ranger. For those who would like to learn more about Akagera National Park, there is a museum dedicated to the conservation of the park's species where you can learn more about the reintroduction of animals and the fight against poaching over the past decades. You can also visit the backstage area of the park where you will have the opportunity to meet the people working in the reserve and learn more about the conservation programs.
Want to know more? Discover our unique safari experiences in Africa here.
Want to plan your future holidays in Africa? Take a look at our suggested nature and safari experiences and contact us to design your dream trip to the destination of your choice!
Subscribe to our newsletter to be informed of the latest news on our website!