Rwanda National Parks

Rwanda has three national parks protecting a wide range of flora and fauna. These include the following;

Volcanoes National Park

The park covers a total area of 8,000km², encompassing six active and three extinct volcanoes. The park has more than half of the world's last mountain gorillas.
Even without the mountain gorillas, this park would be fascinating. Its altitude ranges from about 2,500m to the peak of Karisimbi, at 4,500m, resulting in extensive bamboo forests, and some of the last remaining afro-montane forest habitat on the planet. The gorillas in Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park are fascinating, and a gorilla tracking safari with experienced guides can be amazing. You can also carry out a guided hike up into the mountains for a day allows you to spend more time looking at the other wildlife in forest, and getting a better understanding of the overall ecosystem. Other options are; a guided trip to a troupe of habituated golden monkeys and a hike to Volcano Bisoke and the Dian Fossey’s grave.

Apart from the mountain gorillas, the park harbors a stunning collection of rare and endangered animals and plants. There is a variety of other primates, including the endemic golden monkeys, plus forest elephants, buffalo, giant forest hogs, bush pigs, bushbucks, black-fronted duikers, spotted hyenas, and around 200 species of birds. On the higher slopes you'll find an almost otherworldly habitat of thick moors with endemic giant lobelia and groundsel.

The following are some of the accommodation units used as the safari; Gorilla Nest Lodge, Virunga Lodge, Gorilla Mountain View Lodge, Kinigi Guest House, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, La Palme Hotel, Hotel Muhabura and many others.

Akagera National Park

It covers a massive area of 2,500 km². It borders Tanzania and is surrounded by the astounding Akagera River waters. Akagera National Park has the typical grasslands of the African Savannah, series of lakes, marshes and papyrus swamps. The park has a wide collection of wildlife and some of them are elephant, buffaloes, antelopes, lions, leopards, zebras, giraffes, chimpanzees, gorillas and chimpanzees. Some rare species of birds are also found in the Akagera National Park and some of them are fish eagles, papyrus ganolek, and bizarre shoebill stork. One of the special features about the wild life of Akagera National Park is that one of the largest antelopes of the world the statuesque Cape eland is found here.

Akagera National Park also involves the other ecosystems of Uganda's Kikati game reserve, rangeland areas to the north of the Katungo River and the lake Mburo National park. It also extends to the eastern side towards the Ibanda and Rumanyika game reserves of Tanzania and also to the Biharamulo and Burigi game reserves in the south.

The following are some of the accommodation units used as the safari; Akagera Game Lodge, Dereva Hotel and many others.

Nyungwe Forest National Park

It is situated at a distance of 225 km from the capital city of Kigali, 50 km from the southwestern coastal town of Cyangugu and 90 km from Butare. Nyungwe Forest National Park is the biggest mountain rain forest which is still present in the continent of Africa. The Park is located at an altitude of 1600 to 2950 meters and the area experiences an average rainfall of 1800 to 2500 mm every year. The highland forest covers 970 km² and has a unique habitat. The park has 25 % of the primates of Africa with its 13 recorded primate species including chimpanzees, golden monkeys, mangebeys, colobus and vervet monkeys and three species of bushbaby. The forest is also a haven for birds with over 300 recorded species including the Ruwenzori turaco, Ross’s turaco, Grey–cheeked hornbill, Red-throated alethe, Red-breasted sparrow hawk, White-headed wood-hoopoe, Kungwe apalis, Ruwenzori batis, Blue-headed and Regal sunbirds. Nyungwe Forest has rich and wide species of flora with 200 species of trees and more than 100 species of orchid! The park has an extensive network of walking trails leading through various waterfalls and view points. Nyungwe offers scenic views over the forest, Lake Kivu and part of the Virungas.

Some of the activities where the tourists can participate in the Nyungwe Forest National Park are photography, mount climbing at Mount Bigugu, primate watching and bird viewing. The following are some of the accommodation units used as the safari; Gisakura Guest House, Ten to Ten Paradise, Peace Guest House and many others.