Rwanda is one of Africa’s smallest nations and possibly one of its most beautiful. Whilst this mountainous, landlocked nation relies largely on agriculture to sustain its population, its forward-thinking people place huge importance on Eco-tourism and the conservation of keystone species such as the mountain gorilla. Indeed, the mountain gorilla trekking experience here is arguably second to none due to meticulous habituation and protection processes, pioneered by none other than Diane Fossey in Volcanoes National Park. This, as well as an ever-expanding network of top-tier lodges and a reputation for being one of Africa’s safest and least corrupt countries, makes for very comfortable travel.
Set in the heart of the Albertine Rift, one of Africa’s most biodiverse regions, Rwanda has plenty more to offer than just gorilla trekking. Nyungwe Forest in the south is an excellent area to view chimpanzees and ten other primate species and Akagera National Park in the east is the country’s stronghold for savanna species, where both eastern black rhino and lion share conservation success stories since having been reintroduced over the last ten years. Akagera is also home to the notorious 'Big five' and boasts incredible photographic opportunities with backdrops of rolling hills and expansive lakes. Combining a trip to various national parks with a night or two in Kigali is essential, as learning about and understanding the profound history and culture of Rwanda’s people really completes the journey of this remarkable nation.
-Main attraction: Gorilla trekking, Golden Monkey trekking, Chimpanzee trekking, climbing Bisoke volcano, visiting the genocide memorial, a five star and uniquely Rwandan experience at Bisate Lodge, viewing the big five in the lake-rich Akagera NP
-Best visited: June-September, December-February
-Suggested stay length: 4-10 days
-Suggested traveler: Return visitors to Africa, fitness-junkies, adventure-seekers, those seeking a pristine wilderness experience, conservationists at heart
**Must be 15 years or older to do gorilla and chimpanzee trekking and 12 years or older to trek golden monkeys
...Explore the rich culture and history of Kigali before heading west to Volcanoes National Park for your first gorilla trek and then east to Agakera National Park to see the "Big 5" and so much more!