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Gorilla Trekking Safaris In Rwanda

Wildlife, Chimpanzee Trekking Safaris in Rwanda

Game Parks in Rwanda

Gorilla safaris in Rwanda; Rwanda Gorilla safaris tours, mountain gorilla tracking tour in Rwanda, wildlife safari in Rwanda, adventure vacation safari holidays, Rwanda African culture tours.

Rwanda Safaris: For those interested in doing a gorilla safari in Rwanda or a wildlife safari in Rwanda to tour Rwanda cultures, people and scenery, the following common questions for who ever wants to safari Rwanda have been answered for you to make your safaris in Rwanda easy to undertake.

What time is it in Rwanda? Is it safe to visit Rwanda? Do I need a Rwanda Visa? What is the best time to visit Rwanda? It is noted that while planning to visit Rwanda, a range of travel questions do arise and here at Prime Uganda safaris we attempt to answer them for the benefit of those that take safaris to Rwanda.

map-of-rwanda

Rwanda’s history as Rwanda Safari product

Rwanda was a monarchical Kingdom right from the pre-colonial era with three tribal groups namely the Bahutu who were the majority 85%, the Batutsi 14% and Batwa who comprised 1%. These people had different modes of livelihood as the Tutsi were cattle keepers, the Batwa were cultivators while the Twa were hunter gatherers. The Kingship was in the hands of the Batutsi and the leadership was hereditary. Since there were no overlapping interests, the traditional Rwanda was at peace and these three tribal groups despite the distinct differences, they lived together in the society harmoniously. These tribal groups are noted to have varying ethnic origins with the Bahutu belonging to the Bantu group while the Tutsi belonged to the Hamitic groups from the north east of Africa. The Batwa are indigenous to the region of East Africa.

The political history commences with King Rwabugiri’s reign that ascended the throne in the year 1860 and expanded the Kingdom as far as the present state of Rwanda on a feudal arrangement.

In the period 1887 – 1914, the traditional highlands of Rwanda became of interest to the Europeans and in the year 1894, Count Von Götzen a German national visited the court of Rwabugiri. Unfortunately, the King passed away the following year and the succession turmoil had to arise and the Germans took advantage of the situation and conquered Rwanda in addition to Burundi forming the Ruanda- Urundi territory for their mighty Kaiser.  The German rule did not last long as her colonies were taken from it following its defeat in the World War 1 1914 – 18 a decision that was taken in the hall of mirrors in France under the Versailles Settlement of 1919.

The Belgians took over until 1962 following the League of Nations resolution in 1924 that granted Belgium the responsibility of managing the colony. However, it should be noted that the Belgian were already in Congo with the center of administration in Brussels. When Ruanda – Urundi was added, the administration was left in the hands of the Tutsi as it was traditionally and took advantage of the differences in these two major tribal groups.

The colonialists introduced forced labor targeting the Hutu as the workers but put the Tutsis as their supervisors which spoilt the relations between these two local groups without realizing who exactly the enemy was. In the year 1993, every individual in Rwanda was required to have an identity card showing the tribe. The relations between these two groups worsened in the 1950s and the few educated Hutus started to mobilize against the Tutsi culminating into the 1959 Rwandan Revolution which put many Tutsis in exile including the then reigning Mwami Kigeri who was 25 years old then.

Elections were conducted in the process of preparing Rwanda for independence and Gregory Kibanda emerged the winner and was one of the Hutu manifesto authors. He led the provisional government up to the independence time. However, in the neighboring Urundi, the Tutsi managed to persist and a joint Tutsi and Hutu party won the 1961 elections under the leadership of Prince Rwagasore who was Mwami’s eldest son. Though he was assassinated a little time after, the incident did not lure Burundi into an ethnic conflict.

In the year 1962, Rwanda attained her independence and it became a republic and it was when the name changed from Ruanda to Rwanda. However, Urundi maintained a constitutional monarchy but name also changed to Burundi. Gregory Kaibanda under his Party for the Emancipation of the Hutu (Parti du Mouvement de l’Emancipation du Peuple Hutu) won the first Presidential election and by the name of the party, one can tell what his government policy would focus on.

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Genocide memorial centers

The tribalistic movement that Kaibanda had initiated branded the Tutsi as cockroaches – the Inyenzi and the killing of cockroaches was not too far to occur in this land of a thousand hills. In the month of December 1963, the hundreds of Tutsi attempted to enter Rwanda out of nostalgia from the southern section through Burundi. When they had advanced remaining with 12miles to the country’s capital, the army stopped them and the government was forced to declare a state of emergency aiming at clearing the bush of the subversive features and within a count of days, over 14,000 Tutsis were put to death in Gikongoro in the southern province in the move that was branded by Bertrand Russel as “the most horrible and systematic massacre” since the Holocaust. However, this was far minor than what the Hutu would come to achieve in the 1990s.

The president Kaibanda was toppled through a military coup by Juvenal Habyarimana in the year 1973 and the new president ruled for 21 years presiding over a complete military dictatorship with support from Western states especially France. The ethnic policy continued and the number of Tutsi refugees in the neighboring states became too much and their host countries opted to send them back home and yet at home they were not welcome.

In the year 1986, Habyarimana made it clear that the refugees were no longer allowed to return home and in the year that followed, the refugees hatched the idea of Rwanda Patriotic Front which was to launch an armed struggle against the reigning Rwandan government so as to get the means of getting back home.

On the date which they had earlier planned October 1st 1990, the participants most of which were serving officers and men in the Ugandan Army and had actively participated in the NRA guerilla war that brought Gen. Yoweri Museveni in power deserted along with other equipment and launched an invasion from the north west of Rwanda. The incident started as a small invasion but saw the overthrow of the Habyarimana government. Unfortunately, they provoked the most horrific genocide act of the century.

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Rwanda traditional dancers

The first invasion was repulsed by Habyarimana with the help of the French Paratroops that were extended by President Mitterand in October 1990. This was followed by the tough times for the Tutsis.  The Rwanda’s most racial newspaper published the ten (10) commandments and some of these called for the complete separation of the Hutu from the Tutsi to ruthless hand upon them. In fact like the commandment eight read “the Hutu should stop having mercy on Tutsis” and this gave birth to the Hutu power in 1991.

The president Habyarimana supported the Hutu power and recruited the Hutu militia who were named Interahamwe literally translated to those who attack together. This group exhibited extreme hooliganism in the name of the President including conducting drunken meetings in public. They also met in private to perfect the skills of machete wielding, setting houses ablaze and listing the Tutsi names and the Hutu moderators.

As if that was not enough, the Radio Rwanda spread a false rumor in March 1992 that the Tutsi had the plot to exterminate the Hutu.   In the same year, the Hutu extremists were disappointed by their own president who out of international pressure embarked on negotiations other than suppressing the guerrillas. In august 1992, when the news spread that the president agreed for a cease fire, the Hutu made attacks on the Tutsi.

The peace process continued taking the president far from the Hutu power move and in August 1993 the President Habyarimana signed the Peace treaty with the Rwanda Patriotic Front to put the war to the end. The highlights of the Arusha Peace Accord included the refugee return, the incorporation of RPF in the national Army, the transitional process that would lead into elections and establishment of a democratic government and in this period the power was to be in the hands of the provisional government with good representation of RPF and the United Nations forces were to come to make sure that the situation was in order.

It should be noted that these terms were a total disappointment to the Hutu extremists and on April 6th 1994 the presidential jet was brought down by a rocket believed to have been released by the Hutu extremists leading to the death of 2 presidents Habyarimana and his Burundi counterpart. This occurrence sparked off the genocide.

The Hutu extremism exploded over the next weeks and the radio broadcasts called upon all the Hutus to look out for the Tutsis and eliminate them. The State Radio announced on 29th April that 5th May should be the cleaning day and that the city of Kigali should be cleaned up of the Tutsis. In fact one broadcast went ahead and emphasized that even the unborn babies should be ripped from their mothers’ wombs even if their mothers are dead. The Hutu using their ordinary tools like the Machettes and other advanced weapon for the military were able to put down over 800,000 Tutsis and the Hutu sympathizers between April and July. This was followed by massive refugee influx mostly by the Hutus to Tanzania, Zaire and Burundi in fear of the advancing Rwanda Patriotic Front which had resumed the fighting following the President’s assassination.

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A silver back gorilla

The entire country was in control by August 1994 since RPF had captured Kigali in July. The issues of Interahamwe making attacks from the neighboring Congo have been dealt with overtime and some other extremists still exist the Congo forests. The RPF has tried to build an all-inclusive nation with equal representation in government where numerical strength is given priority. And as a result, Rwanda has rejuvenated and re-built her image in the international scene ensuring economic flourish, social cohesion and political stability. The international travellers have increasingly picked interests in Rwanda safaris especially the Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris and the future for Rwanda looks much brighter than it’s past. The memorial sites are spread all over the country as living testimonies of their history.

Time in Rwanda while planning a safari to Rwanda

Rwanda has no time difference that is posed by the summer and winter months. What should be noted that the destination Rwanda is two (2) hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) also known as the Prime Meridian.

Which Currency to expect in Rwanda during Rwanda safaris

Rwanda uses Rwandan Franc abbreviated as RWF and it can be got at the Airport on arrival by exchange any foreign currency that you might have carried along with you or in any other foreign exchange bureaus in Kigali city.

Rwanda’s International Dialing Code – while code to put while making a call to reserve your safari in Rwanda

+250 is the Rwanda’s International Dialing Code and this is flowed by the respective number that you want to contact. If you are interested in making a call from Rwanda to outside world, you can dial 001 for the USA or 0044 for the UK. Telephoning can be made using the Rwandatel which is the largest Telecommunication Company in Rwanda.

Food in Rwanda – what food to expect on Rwanda safari

The Rwandan food differs from the ordinary to good. The Belgian inspired cuisine and fresh fruit are commonly good. It should also be noted that Rwanda maintains a considerable hygiene standards though variability in results.  The local Rwandese cuisine features sweet potatoes, beans, corn, peas, millet, fresh fruit, such as Ovacadoes, Papayas and mangoes. The combination of Corn and Cassava locally named Umutsima, the combination of Cassava Plant leaves with spinach and eggplant named isombe and fried plantains named mizuzu are noted to be the poplar traditional dishes of Rwanda. The drinks include; local beer and a locally sorghum brewed beer named ikigage.

Travelling in Rwanda – accessing various Rwanda Safari sites

In Rwanda, if you have a 4WD Vehicle whether you intend to do a self-drive or take a driver, you can traverse the whole of it. The hilly landscapes at times present road sections that make the 4WD drive ideal. It should also be noted that most of the main routes in Rwanda are tarmacked but the road network in more rural areas tend not be tarmacked and are at times in poor condition. It would be more ideal to take a local driver who is well conversant the landscapes if you are visiting for the first time.

Health in Rwanda – Is your health safe while on safari in Rwanda

Rwanda has medical facilities of western standards in her capital city Kigali. Apart from Kigali, other regions of Rwanda feature basic health centers. It is would be wise if you are up to date in terms of vaccinations for tetanus, typhoid, diphtheria and polio. A range of travellers also take the Havrix vaccine safeguarding themselves against Hepatitis A. Rwanda requires world travellers to resent yellow fever certificate before entering Rwanda. Additionally to note that Malaria is common in lowland Rwanda and as a result malaria precautions are important.

Besides that, it is always recommended to cross check with your respective doctor or the travel clinic on the latest health situation before setting to embark on the safaris to Rwanda.

AIDS like in most of the African states is common in the destination Rwanda and the rate of infection is high. Therefore taking the necessary precautions to avoid contracting it is very important. The blood supplies in hospitals are thoroughly subjected to screening for some time thus are virus free. Therefore, you have to be keen on other means mostly unprotected sex. The Scottish NHS site can also be useful in ascertaining the health tips in Rwanda http://www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk/destinations/africa/rwanda.aspx

Language in Rwanda – what language to use on Rwanda Safari

Kinyarwanda is the predominant language spoken in Rwanda. It is a Bantu language. The foreign languages used in Rwanda include the French which is majorly spread because of the influence of Franco phone colonialists and then English. It can be noted that English is increasingly gaining ground in Rwanda and most Rwandese are flocking English schools especially from neighboring states like Uganda to learn English. This is partly motivated by the need to fit in the East African community.

Visas for Rwanda – do you need a visa to enter Rwanda for safari

Every Rwanda safari undertaker is required by the government of Rwanda to purchase a Rwanda Visa apart from those that hail from countries which are Visa exempt.  Applying for Rwanda requires you to submit the application on line for the Visa and the acceptance letter is presented upon arrival and pay $30. The Rwanda Visas can also be applied through a local Rwandan consulate in the respective country.

However, there are countries that do not require to apply for Rwanda Visa in advance and these include; Israel, Australia, Germany, United States of America Sweden, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Republic of South Africa. They just pay for the Visa the normal $30 on arrival.

For the African countries nationals whose countries are not Rwanda Visa exempt pay on arrival while visiting Rwanda or if transiting and do not need to apply before.

The countries that are Visa exempted from paying for Rwanda Visa include; Mauritius, Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore and Democratic Republic of Congo. These are given free visa lasting 90 days.

Rwanda offers the citizens of the East African Community a renewable visitor pass of six (6) months and can be obtained on arrival at a zero cost

Regarding the Rwanda Visa Expiry, the destination Rwanda offers five (5) days grace period for the Rwanda safari undertaker to either depart or renew the Visa at a zero cost but he / she refuses intentionally to extend the Visa, a penalty is imposed.

One can always check out on the immigration website of Rwanda for any new development.

Weather and climate in Rwanda – what weather and climate to expect on Rwanda safaris

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Dry season in Kigali city

Rwanda features an impressive tropical highland climate. It can also be noted that weather also has an effect on the best visiting time for Rwanda.

Rwanda lying in the south of the Equator enjoys high altitude and features considerable rainfall amounts. The temperatures differ largely between the locations motivated by altitude though little from month to month in one place. In Rwanda’s capital Kigali, the mean temperature for the day is around 21°C.

Rwanda features extended rain seasons from March to May and in these months, the rain is heavy and considerable persistent. From the months of June to Mid-September, there is a considerable dry season which makes it an ideal time for undertaking a safari in Rwanda.

From the Months of October to November, Rwanda is marked by shorter rainy season which is later followed by a dry season from December to February.

In Rwanda, it can be noted that there is usually light cloud cover in both rain and dry season which helps in moderating temperatures and also brings along light rain showers occasionally.

Mountain gorilla groups in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park: Gorilla families in Rwanda

There are a range of gorilla families that number to ten (10) that are habituated purposely for gorilla trekking safaris in Rwanda. There are also other two which are dedicated for research called Pablos Shida and Beetsme.

It can be noted though the home ranges of the habituated gorilla families dedicated for tourism are known; their movements are not very fixed to only those areas. When preparing for gorilla trekking encounter, it is important to note that gorilla families are distributed on the date of tracking and though you have possibilities of getting your preferred group by requesting the rangers to give it attention during allocation, the practice is not guaranteed.

The following are the ten (10) gorilla families that are available for tracking by world travellers on gorilla safaris in Rwanda and Volcanoes National Park in particular;

Susa -A Family

The Susa A gorilla family is noted to have originally been studied by Dian Fossey. It is named after Susa River which makes its way through this gorilla group’s home range. The Susa A has twenty eight (28) gorilla members with three (3) silverbacks. The family was the largest gorilla group with 42 members before it split to form Susa B and when one encountered initially, he / she would see the gorilla spread all over. Susa A us denoted by the playful Byishimo and Impano – the twins in the group. It also contains poppy who is one of the …

Read more about other Gorilla families in Rwanda


Gorilla trekking safaris in Rwanda

The mountains of Virunga that  form a boarder point of the countries of Rwanda, DR Congo and Uganda support a count of 480 mountain gorillas which is  more than half of the global population of mountain gorillas. The other section of mountain gorillas (400) is known to thrive in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park of Uganda. Rwanda features one gorilla protected area destination in the names of Volcanoes National Park which apparently supports a count of ten (10) groups of gorillas habituated for gorilla safaris in Rwanda

Taking a look into the gigantic silverback’s eyes and the silverback itself looking convinced that you are another member sheds off the anxiety that you would have accumulated during the trekking experience. It can be acknowledged that gorilla trekking safari which is now listed as the greatest African safari is a prime lifetime encounter that is beyond traditional wildlife viewing.

Planning your gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda

When to go gorilla trekking in Rwanda

Gorilla trekking safaris in Rwanda can be carried out at any time of the year. It can be noted that hiking the slopes of the Volcanoes tends to be challenging in the rainy season that stretch from the months of April through May and then November. Also on the raised altitudes of 2000m and above, the rain can …

Find out more about gorilla trekking in Rwanda

Flights to Rwanda; Rwanda Flights; How to travel to Rwanda; Travelling to Rwanda; How to access Rwanda while planning Rwanda safari

Rwanda is mainly accessed through Kigali International Airport which also referred to as Gregoire Kayibanda International Airport or Kanombe International Airport which is positioned 10km from the Kigali City.

Flights from different regions of the world where travellers interested in undertaking safaris in Rwanda originate land at Kigali International Airport and they can be booked from an agent in the local country, through on line booking agents or the Airlines themselves

Flights from London to Kigali Rwanda

The flights operated by British Airways depart London Heathrow and connect to Nairobi Kenya form where the Kenya Airways connects and transfers the passengers to Kigali International Airport.

Detailed information about Flights to Rwanda


Rwanda Gorilla safaris offer a golden chance for any one to visit the best place to track and see mountain gorillas in Africa. A safari to Rwanda coupled with the search for the beautiful mountain gorillas gives one a life time memory giving adventure. Rwanda mountain gorillas are found in the Volcanoes national park and were habituated by Dian Fossey for a long time till her death. Besides a mountain gorilla safari tour in Rwanda, you can visit various national wild life parks for wildlife such as Akagera and also tour genocide memorial stadiums as well as the various cultural museums. We offer several Gorilla tours in Rwanda ranging from short gorilla safari excursions to medium and long gorilla safari adventures in Rwanda.

To trek Gorillas in Rwanda you need a Rwanda gorilla permit to watch the gorillas in one of Rwanda`s gorilla groups. We always formulate new exciting gorilla trekking safari expeditions in Rwanda along side several African wildlife, Eco tourism, culture and community tours, nature walks not to mention …

View Top Rwanda Safari Packages


Nyunwe Forest national park

Located to the south west of Rwanda, the Nyungwe Forest National Park is close to the border of Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo in the south and the west respectively. It is recorded to be among the ancient African forests that are noted to have survived the last ice age. Nyungwe Forest is among the largest montane forest in the East of Africa and considered to be the well conserved forest in the entire highlands of Central Africa.

Akagera National Park
The Rwanda’s Akagera National Park located to the east of the country with the views of the plains of Tanzania stretches over a geographical size 1122 km2 and it is being managed under the arrangement of public private partnership arrangement of the Rwanda Development Board and the African Parks from 2010.

Volcanoes national park
The Volcanoes National Park is an English of the former French naming the Parc Nationale des Volcanos which is positioned to the north west of Rwanda sheltering the Rwandan section of the entire Virunga Volcanoes that comprise of eight (8) mountains shared by Rwanda along with adjacent countries of Uganda and DR Congo.


Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safaris

Gorilla Safari in Rwanda– 1 Day

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The shortest mountain gorilla trekking tour in Rwanda that you can have.

Rwanda Gorilla safari holiday Adventure – 2 days

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Visit Volcanoes NP for the Rwanda gorilla trekking safari experience.

Trekking Gorillas in Rwanda & Dian Fossey – 3 days

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Tour mountain gorillas in Rwanda & also take on the Dian Fossey Trek.

Track Rwanda mountain Gorillas twice- 4 Days

Mountain Gorilla Safari Rwanda

This Rwanda Gorilla safari gives you a chance to track different gorilla groups or the same group if you wish.

Gorillas trekking in Rwanda & mountain Climbing – 4 days

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Rwanda Gorilla trekking tour , track primates & mountain climb adventure

Rwanda Gorilla Tour Safari holiday – 5 days

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Visit Rwanda see mountain gorillas in Volcanoes NP and hike Karisimbi mountain.

5 Days Gorillas & Wildlife Safari in Rwanda

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Trek Mountain Gorillas safari in Rwanda & then to Akagera NP which is the largest in Rwanda

Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safari – 6 Days

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This Rwanda Safari features gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park & chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest NP

Rwanda, Uganda Gorilla Tracking tour- 7 days

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The Rwanda Uganda Safari starts and ends at Kigali . It blends of primate tracking, culture with wildlife

Safari in Rwanda 8 Days

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The Safari features the most interesting Rwanda safari destinations including the Akagera NP, the Nyungwe NP, Lake Kivu

Rwanda Safari- 9 Days

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This Rwanda tour incorporates the golden monkey, mountain gorilla trekking and Caves Exploration in the Musaze.

Rwanda Gorilla Safari- 11 Days

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This safari offers Gorilla trekking, Chimpanzee & Wildlife as an extensive Rwanda safari encounter.

Wildlife / Chimpanzee Trekking Safaris in Rwanda

Chimpanzee Safari in Rwanda 2 Days

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A Rwanda Safari taking you to the largest montane forest in Rwanda Nyungwe Forest National Park noted to have survived the last ice age

2 Days Rwanda Wildlife Safari to Akagera NP

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Visit the famous River Akagera teeming with aquatics including the Nile Crocodiles, Hippos birds; like Papyrus gonoleks & Shoebill stork.

Rwanda Safari to Nyungwe NP– 3 days

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The activities range from the chimpanzee trekking experience, the colobus monkey tracking, the canopy walk and magical hiking.

Rwanda Wildlife Safari to Akagera NP – 3 Days

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The safari features magical wild game viewing in the largest savannah habitat in Rwanda that contains a myriad of wildlife including the lions, the Masaai Giraffe

Gorillas trekking tour in Rwanda- 4 days

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Enter into the jungle to search for the shy mountain endangered gorillas in Rwanda. Requirements like firm walking shoes, hut

4 Days Gorilla Safari in Rwanda & Golden Monkey

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Visit Rwanda and see mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park and hike Karisimbi mountain.

Safari in Rwanda with Dian Fossey Hike – 4 Days

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hike to the Dian Fossey Site to encounter the works of the famous American Primatologist who is credited

5 Days Rwanda Gorilla and Wildlife Safari

rwanda primate safari tour

The safari takes you to Volcanoes NP where mountain gorillas are found and then the Akagera NP which is the largest in Rwanda and the only savannah

5 Days Gorilla and Chimpanzee Safari in Rwanda

gorilla safari tour in rwanda

Safari in Rwanda to Volcanoes and Nyungwe Forest National Parks features two main Primate destinations of Rwanda

6 Days Rwanda Primate Safari

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with great biodiversity including the 13 Primate Species such as the Chimpanzees, the Black and White Colobus Monkeys, the L’Hoest’s monkey,

Gorilla & Wildlife Safari in Rwanda – 6 Days

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The Safari incorporates gorilla trekking, golden monkey tracking, the tour twin lakes of Ruhondo and Bulera, the Musaze Caves exploration

Rwanda Gorilla Safari- 7 Days

mountain-gorillas-1day rwanda safari

The 7 Days Gorilla, Chimpanzee & Wildlife Safari in Rwanda with Lake Kivu is an extensive but relaxed safari.

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