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Home » African Wildlife Safari, Best African Wildlife Safaris & Tours 2024-2025 » Rwanda Wildlife Safaris, Wildlife Safari in Rwanda Wildlife Safari Places

Rwanda Wildlife Safaris, Wildlife Safari in Rwanda Wildlife Safari Places

Rwanda Wildlife Safaris or wildlife safaris in Rwanda to the various Rwanda wildlife safari parks offer memorable game viewing Rwanda safari experiences that are inclusive of mountain gorilla trekking. The Akagera National park in the east of Rwanda is the best gazetted Rwanda wildlife safari park that presents a congregator habitat for big numbers of wild game and flora that make it the ideal spot to undertake amazing wildlife safaris in Rwanda game viewing during Rwanda wildlife safaris / Rwanda wildlife tours.

Rwanda wildlife safaris/wildlife safari in Rwanda trips offer breathtaking adventures that you ought to undertake in the best Rwanda wildlife safari parks.

Rwanda is a landlocked country in East Africa dubbed the “land of a thousand hills”. This is because of its various beautiful hills and mountains that make up a large part of the country’s terrain as it sits as part of the Virunga region.

This land of a thousand hills, which also has beautiful scenery and ever-green forests as well as other habitats of the country like open savannahs, water bodies, and forests is a natural habitat for various wildlife species, promoting an amazing Rwanda Wildlife safari.

A Rwanda wildlife safari will allow you to visit the only four national parks of the country which are Volcanoes National Park, Akagera National Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park, and Gishwati Mukura National Park.

Akagera National Park, the only savannah national park in Rwanda is the major Rwanda wildlife safari destination keeping all the big five which are the Buffaloes, Elephants, Lions, Leopards, Rhinos, and various other savannah animals.

At Akagera National Park, you may also visit Lake Ihema for sport fishing and bird watching on your Rwanda tours.

The endangered Mountain Gorillas of Volcanoes National Park are the most famous attractions of the country, contributing to most of the travelers that visit Rwanda for a Rwanda safari Gorilla trekking. Volcanoes National Park is also home to other primate species called the Golden Monkeys, thus promoting both Rwanda Gorilla trekking and Golden Monkey trekking for amazing Rwanda safaris.

Nyungwe Forest National Park is a famous home for Chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda, hiking and the Nyungwe Forest canopy walk safaris for travelers going for a Rwanda safari.

The Rwanda Development Board manages all these protected areas for wildlife tours, improving them for amazing wildlife tours.

A Rwanda wildlife safari is thus one of the most amazing experiences to have while visiting Rwanda on your safari to Africa during your private tour.

Visit Rwanda today for your amazing customized Rwanda wildlife safari packages to experience the wildlife species of the country during your Rwanda tour.

Rwanda Tour – Major Attractions

Major Tourist attractions in Rwanda include Mountain Gorillas

Explore Rwanda tours through various attractions and among these attractions are the national parks, physical features, wildlife species, and many others.

The country will give you amazing things to see during your Rwanda safari in the country with the major attractions being the Mountain Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park for a thrilling Gorilla safari.

However, the famous Rwanda wildlife safari occurs in Akagera National Park, where you will enjoy game drives and other adventures for viewing the different other wildlife species. Other places for a Rwanda wildlife safari include among others Volcanoes NP, Nyungwe Forest National Park, Gishwati Mukura National Park, and Lake Kivu.

Top Attractions and Safaris

Below are the top major attractions in Rwanda.

Akagera National Park

Akagera National Park, which is the only savannah national park in Rwanda was designated a national park in 1934 and it protects over 8000 large wildlife species.

Akagera National Park in the Eastern part of the country covers about 1, 222 square kilometers and has about 100 Elephants, 80 Rothschild Giraffes, and 25 Black Eastern Rhinos. The park also has more than 500 bird species together with the famous Shoebill stork that you can view on your Rwanda tour.

Such a large land of this only savannah national park comprises different natural habitat biomes for the wildlife species for example Swamps, Savannah grasslands, Woodland, and Marshland. With the 10 lakes in the park, visitors on a Rwanda tour can explore them through a boat cruise, especially in the famous Lake Ihema.

Explore Akagera National Park during your Rwanda wildlife safari through game drives, boat cruises, nature walks, birding, and many others.

On your Rwanda tour, expect to view various wildlife in the park for example the Uganda Kobs, Lions, Topis, Leopards, Oribis, Buffaloes, Cape Eland, Black Rhino, and Elephants among others on your Rwanda safari to Akagera National Park.

Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park is the most famous and most visited park of Rwanda and it is just a 2 hours drive away from Kigali City.

Volcanoes National Park is found in the Virunga Mountain Range region and has about 300 Mountain Gorillas living in the dense forest and amazing landscape. With about 17 Gorilla families in the park, only 10 are habituated for Rwanda Gorilla trekking adventures thus more families for a Gorilla safari.

Volcanoes National Park is covered with dense forests, a rugged mountain landscape that makes Gorilla tracking in this natural habitat quite challenging, yet exhilarating.

Volcanoes National Park is among the only four national parks in the world where you will see the endangered Mountain Gorillas. Other destinations are Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The headquarters of Volcanoes National Park is at Kinigi, a small village near Musanze town.

Apart from the Mountain Gorillas, you may also discover other animals in this natural habitat for example the Golden Monkeys and other Monkey species, Forest Elephants, Buffaloes, Forest Hogs, and various bird species.

The conservationist Dian Fossey protected and habituated the first Gorilla family in the park and died while protecting them. She founded the Karisoke Research Centre to research these Mountain Gorillas.

There is also a tour that you can have to visit her grave inside the park through the Dian Fossey hike on your Rwanda safaris.

Habituated Gorilla Families in Volcanoes Park

Below are the different Gorilla families in Volcanoes NP.

  1. Susa A Gorilla Group
  2. Karisimbi Gorilla Family (Susa B)
  3. Sabyinyo Gorilla Family/Gorilla Group
  4. Amahoro Gorilla Family/Gorilla Group
  5. Umubano Gorilla Family/Gorilla Group
  6. Agashya Gorilla Family/ Gorilla Group

The other Gorilla families in the park include the Kwitonda Gorilla Group, Bwenge Gorilla Group, Ugenda Gorilla Group, and Hirwa Gorilla families.

Nyungwe Forest National Park

Nyungwe Forest National Park, a park established in 2005 is the major home to the Chimpanzee species in Rwanda, making it the best place in the country to do our Chimpanzee tracking Rwanda safaris.

Nyungwe National Park is in the western part of the country and part of the famous Nyungwe Forest and it covers 1020 square kilometers of rainforest.

Nyungwe Forest National Park is among the most biodiverse places in Rwanda with about 300 bird species 85 mammal species, 38 reptile species, 32 amphibian species, and 13 primate species.

This makes Nyungwe Forest National Park the most famous primate destination for your Rwanda safari with at least 25% of the primate species in Africa.

Some of these other primate species in Nyungwe Forest National Park include the Chimpanzees, Black and White Colobus Monkeys, Angola Colubus, Grey Cheeked Mangabeys, and other Monkey species.

Gishwati Mukura National Park

This is the newest park established in Rwanda in 2025 but opened for tourism in 2019. Gishwati Forest NP sits at the edge of the Congo Nile Basin with 20 Chimpanzee troops, 60 tree species, and 395 bird species among others.

The park covers an area of 34 square kilometers thus the smallest park in the country.

In the park, you can enjoy various activities like chimpanzee tracking, bird watching, Golden Monkey trekking, community visits, hiking to the waterfalls, and many others.

From Gishwasti Forest, you can have an amazing sight of Lake Kivu which has over 400 bird species that you can view during your Rwanda safari.

Lake Kivu

Lake Kivu is Rwanda’s largest freshwater lake shared with the Democratic Republic of Congo and one of the most amazing places to visit during your Rwanda wildlife safari.

You can explore Lake Kivu on a boat cruise from the Gisenyi, Kibuye, and Cyangugu towns.

Along the famous Lake Kivu also lies the Congo Nile trail that travelers can hike to get breathtaking views of the green vegetation, the beautiful nature, hills, and various neighboring mountains.

Rwanda Wildlife Safari – Major Activities

Below are the major things to do during Rwanda safari tours.

Guided Game Drives:

Game Drives are among the major tourist attractions on a Rwanda Wildlife safari

 

A Rwanda wildlife safari majorly occurs on safari game drives with a trained and knowledgeable ranger guide enlightening you about the different wildlife.

There are both day game drive adventures and night game drive experiences done at Akagera National Park. This adventurous activity will allow you to view various animals such as Buffaloes, Giraffes, Rhinos, Lions, Leopards, Antelopes Hippos, and many others.

The day game drive in the park costs $30 and the night game drive, $40 per person. Night game drives are done to mostly explore the nocturnal animals.

Gorilla Tracking/Gorilla Trekking:

Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park is the major safari activity of the park and the country. There are 10 habituated Gorilla families in the park for Gorilla trekking by visitors during their Rwanda tours.

You can purchase a Rwanda Gorilla trekking permit from the Rwanda Development Board or have your tour operator purchase it for you at $ 1500.

During the Gorilla trekking adventure, visitors will navigate the thick forest and steep and slippery terrains. Thus requiring tourists doing Gorilla trekking to be physically and mentally prepared for the adventure to make it less strenuous.

When you go for the Gorilla trekking, you will be allowed one hour with the Mountain Gorillas as you study their behavior, feeding patterns, the relationship of the silverback with the rest, and many others.

Chimpanzee Trekking in Rwanda:

Other than Gorilla trekking, Chimpanzee tracking is another major highlight of a Rwanda wildlife safari. There are about 500 Chimpanzees in the park, with many groups being habituated.

A Chimpanzee trekking permit for Chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe National Park is $60 per person and the activity takes about 2 to 6 hours.

Chimpanzee tracking at Nyumgwe Forest National Park begins at 8 a.m. in any of the three major points which are Kitabi, Uwinka, and Gisakura.

Boat Cruises:

Discover a breathtaking boat cruise on Lake Ihema, the largest lake in Rwanda at Akagera National Park, and the most famous place to watch the Crocodiles and the Hippos.

You may also do a boat cruise during your Rwanda tours in the famous Lake Kivu.

Golden Monkey trekking:

The Golden Monkeys live in the Bamboo rainforests of the Virunga Conservation Area in Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Trekking Golden Monkeys on your Rwanda tour occurs at Volcanoes National Park, the same destination for Gorilla trekking – a thrilling and breathtaking experience!

There are two habituated groups of Golden Monkeys in the park totaling about 80 individuals and the experience begins at 7:00 am at the park headquarters at Kinigi.

You can purchase the permit for tracking Golden Monkeys at $ 100, a similar cost for Uganda and Rwanda.

Mountain Hiking:

Mountain climbing which occurs at Volcanoes National Park (the famous Gorilla trekking destination) is among the most adventurous safari activities where you will explore some of the extinct volcanoes in the Virunga region.

The different volcanoes that tourists climb during their adventures in the park include Mount Karisimbi, Mount Sabyinyo, and Mount Bisoke.

You will discover various wildlife and great scenery while for the experience. Therefore, expect the view of different bird species, Forest Elephants, Gorillas, and physical features like the crater lake on Mount Bisoke.

Hiking any of these volcanoes will require one to be physically fit and mentally prepared for the adventure.

Nyungwe Forest Canopy Walk:

The Nyungwe Forest Canopy walk began in October 2010 and the activity involves you moving on a suspended trail that is 90 meters long and 200 feet above the forest floor.

The activity in Nyungwe National Park/Nyungwe Forest National Park will allow you to explore the extensive rainforest from above, giving you extensive and unforgettable views of the landscape.

Birding:

On your Rwanda wildlife safari, you will also participate in birding in the various protected areas.

You will be able to catch a glimpse of various bird species like the Strange Weaver, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Sunbirds, Vultures, Eagles, and many others.

Birding during your Rwanda safari is great in Volcanoes NP, and Nyungwe Forest National Park, among others.

Guided Nature Walks and Forest Hiking:

The guided nature walks are a great way to explore Rwanda’s nature on foot. You will discover various plants, animals, insects, and different bird species.

For example, Nyungwe National Park/Nyungwe Forest National Park has 13 amazing hiking trails and the activity will take between 1 to 8 hours at $40.

Caving:

Volcanoes National Park is known for Gorilla trekking but it also has the Musanze Caves that were created about 65 million years ago by volcanic eruption and were opened for Rwanda safaris in 2013 by the Rwanda Development Board.

The lush, green-rocked caves are about 2 km long and are home to cave bats. When going to visit the caves, you will be provided with various equipment like a face mask, head cape, boots, gloves, knee caps, and helmet.

Your Rwanda wildlife safari can be combined with various other expeditions as seen below,

Visiting the Genocide Memorial Centers:

Various genocide memorial sites in Rwanda were built to commemorate those who died in the 1994 genocide between the Hutu and the Tutsi.

The Rwanda Patriotic Front encouraged the return of Tutsi refugees from other countries to promote unity and identity among the tribes.

There are genocide memorial sites or Genocide memorial centers in Gosozi, Nyamata, Murambi, Bisesero, and Ntarama to visit on your Rwanda safari.

Visiting Ibyiwacu Cultural Village for enlightening cultural tours:

The Ibyiwacu Cultural Village protects all the known traditions of Rwanda, its people, and its history.

“Ibyiwacu” means “Treasures of our home and heritage” in Kinyarwanda.

By visiting the Ibyiwacu Cultural Village, you will learn about the different traditions like traditional dances, food, lifestyle, dressing code, and local herbs.

  • Visiting Kigali City
  • Tracking the Black and White Colobus Monkeys
  • Hike to Diane Fossey’s tomb near the former Karisoke Research Centre
  • Biking along the Congo Nile trail
  • Sport fishing

What Animals Do You See During Rwanda Wildlife Safaris?

Rwanda has various animals to view during your Rwanda wildlife safari in different destinations like Nyungwe Forest National Park, Volcanoes NP, and Akagera National Park, among others.

Below are the major animals to see during your Rwanda safari to the different national parks.

  1. Lions
  2. Leopards
  3. Buffaloes
  4. Forest Elephants
  5. Zebras
  6. Giraffes
  7. Grey Cheeked Mangabey Monkeys
  8. Antelopes
  9. Mountain Gorillas
  10. Golden Monkeys
  11. Chimpanzees
  12. Black and White Colobus Monkeys
  13. Antelopes
  14. L’Hoest’s Monkeys and other Monkey species

Rwanda Wildlife Safari Packages

The tour packages to Rwanda can be combined with Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, or Congo tour packages according to the experiences that you want to have on your private tour.

Below, we look at some of the various Rwanda wildlife safari itineraries that you can have for your Rwanda tour. You can therefore explore Rwanda tours through customized Rwanda safari packages to suit your interests for your desired experiences.

What is the Best Time of Year to Safari in Rwanda? | Best Time for a Wildlife Safari in Rwanda

The dry season which runs from mid-December to February and June to September is the best time to visit Rwanda for a Rwanda wildlife safari and also for Gorilla trekking.

However, travelers can also enjoy unforgettable experiences during their Rwanda safaris even in the wet season as costs become lower and there is no overcrowding in the parks.

Accommodation for Your Rwanda Wildlife Safari

Best places to stay while on a Rwanda Wildlife Safari include Akagera Rhino Lodge

For your wildlife adventures and Gorilla trekking in Rwanda, below are some of the best lodges and accommodations to stay in in the different national parks.

  1. Akagera Game Lodge
  2. Magashi Safari Lodge
  3. Ruzizi Tented Lodge
  4. Bisate Lodge
  5. Mountain Gorilla View
  6. Virunga Lodge
  7. One and Only Nyungwe Forest Lodge in Nyungwe Forest National Park
  8. Nyungwe Top View Hotel in Nyungwe Forest National Park
  9. Gisakura Guesthouse
  10. Gishwati Lodge

Is Uganda or Rwanda Better for Gorilla Trekking?

Gorilla trekking in Rwanda and Uganda are both amazing experiences, providing thrilling and unforgettable experiences.

However, travelers going for Gorilla trekking in Rwanda or Uganda can choose their most preferred destination depending on various factors as discussed below.

Accessibility to the Gorilla trekking destination:

In terms of accessibility, it is easier to access both Rwanda and Uganda Gorilla trekking destinations from Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda.

This is because of the short distance and the better infrastructural development in Rwanda. Thus, Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is easier in terms of accessibility.

Costs of Gorilla trekking:

The cost factor is important to consider when traveling for Gorilla tracking. In Rwanda, Gorilla tracking is $ 1500 while in Uganda, it is $ 700.

Note that this cost is only for the activity, thus making Gorilla trekking in Rwanda more expensive than in Uganda.

Number of Gorilla permits/ Gorilla families for Gorilla trekking:

With more Gorilla families in Uganda, there are more Gorilla permits sold in Uganda than there are in Rwanda. Therefore, it is easier to get a Uganda Gorilla trekking permit as more are sold than to get one for Gorilla trekking in Rwanda.

Landscape for Gorilla trekking:

The trekking terrains in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and those in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park are both very different.

In Volcanoes National Park which is found in the Virunga Conservation Area, the Gorillas stay in the bamboo forest zone while those in Bwindi stay in a thick forest, making clear views more challenging.

Additionally, Volcanoes National Park has a steeper terrain, making the hiking trails for Gorilla trekking in Rwanda to be on a higher altitude compared to Bwindi National Park which is at a relatively lower altitude.

Other safaris apart from Gorilla trekking:

The availability of other safaris is also an important factor that you can consider before choosing the best destination for your Gorilla trekking experience.

Rwanda has a rich wildlife experience in Akagera National Park. However, Uganda has more safari destinations and more wildlife for other experiences.

Therefore, depending on your taste and preferences, both Rwanda and Uganda are wondrous destinations for your Gorilla trekking expeditions. Uganda is more favorable for budget travelers while Rwanda is a great place for luxury tourists.

Frequently Asked Questions About Rwanda Wildlife Safari

  1. Is Rwanda good for safari?

Yes, the country is a good place for your Rwanda wildlife safari. A Rwanda safari provides memorable game-watching adventures, an unforgettable Gorilla trekking experience, bird watching, and cultural tours.

  1. How much is a gorilla trek in Rwanda? | How much is a gorilla experience in Rwanda?

Rwanda Gorilla trekking costs $1500 for foreign nonresidents, $500 for foreign residents, and trekkers from other African countries. Residents of East Africa including Rwandese pay $ 200 for Gorilla trekking.

  1. Are there wild animals in Rwanda?

Yes, there are various wild animals in Rwanda and some of them are Forest Elephants, Leopards, Rhinos, Giraffes, Zebras, Lions, Antelopes, and many others.

  1. Where can I see animals in Rwanda?

You can see animals in Rwanda in the four national parks which are Akagera National Park, Volcanoes National Park where travelers do Gorilla trekking in Rwanda, Nyungwe Forest National Park, and Gishwati Mukura National Park.

  1. Where can you find the Big Five in Rwanda?

Akagera National Park is the only big five viewing destination during your Rwanda safaris.

  1. How do you see Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda?

You can see these humble giants in Rwanda by purchasing a Rwanda Gorilla trekking permit and visiting a habituated family. You will then do Gorilla trekking in Rwanda through Volcanoes NP.

Rwanda is a rich wildlife destination in Africa and even though it is famous for watching primate species, especially Gorilla trekking in Rwanda, you can also discover other wildlife species like other mammal species, reptiles, amphibians, bird species, and many others.

A Rwanda wildlife safari is thus an amazing and memorable adventure in East Africa, bringing you closer to the amazing wildlife in Akagera National Park, Volcanoes National Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park, and Gishwati Mukura National Park for your private tour.

Let us help to plan your tailored Rwanda tours for amazing wildlife tours to the land of a thousand hills – Book your Rwanda safari today!

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