Rwanda is one of the few countries in Africa gifted with elegant climate and weather with glorious peerless savannah plains, unique beautiful animals, mammals, birds for viewing and studying. Rwanda mainly has three incomparable national parks including Volcanoes National Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park, and Akagera National Park unequaled to the rest of the world.
These three national parks are the places to see on safaris in Rwanda, operating under the Rwanda development board with support and monitoring by the government of Rwanda. Every national park has totally unparalleled tourism attractions, environment, weather, and magnificent world life species. According to statistics, the peerless volcanoes national park is the most visited safari park in the country due to its rich inimitable history of being the oldest national park in Africa. In matchless Nyungwe National Park, you get to see a bunch of inimitable chimpanzees and primates which is rarely found in the region of Africa. With incomparable Akagera national park, the place is gifted with natural harbors, elephants, buffalos, giraffes, zebras to mention but a few.
About the inimitable volcanoes national park, visitors are able to see different unequaled animal species like Nile crocodiles, giraffes, hippos, spotting zebras, while having a beautiful self-drive safari in the park. At Nyungwe national park, tourists get into this beautiful forest and trek chimpanzees, forest bird walks, hiking at the forest on the safari tour. Volcanoes national park is blessed with a tremendous and beautiful range of mountains.
Volcanoes National Park
Rwanda Gorilla Trekking
Volcanoes National Park is 160 square kilometers in size; it is the oldest national park in Africa, established in 1929 as the Albert National Park.
Volcanoes national park is found in the northwest of Rwanda commonly known as a home of the endangered mountain gorilla with more mountain ecosystems which demonstrates the grassland and swampy bamboo forest.
Volcanoes National Park is commonly known as ‘’parc des volcano’’, named after a bunch of volcanoes making up Virunga massif at Karimbi 4,507m above alongside Sabyinyo, Gahinga, and Muhabura. Along the boundaries of this national park, you find Buhanga eco-park one of the oldest forests and Musanze curves formed back over 62 million years. Volcanoes national park is found in the northern province of Rwanda state in a place known as Musanze alongside Virunga conservational area.
Volcano national park is a home of rare mountain gorillas and a rich mosaic of the montane ecosystem, which embrace evergreen and bamboo forest, open grassland, swamp, and health. In 1967 famous for mountain gorillas, the American zoologist, Dian Fossey, who had been doing research on Mountain Gorillas in the forests of the Congo, fled from insecurity and established her research base at a place between Visoke and Karisimbi volcanoes, now known as the Karisoke Research Centre, Fossey spearheaded the conservation campaign of the Mountain Gorillas and mobilized resources to fight against poaching; a fight she continued until she was murdered in 1985. She is buried at the Karisoke Research Centre, next to the grave of her favorite gorilla, Digit.
The Volcanoes National Park is home to not only the Mountain Gorillas but also Golden Monkeys, Spotted Hyena, Buffaloes, Elephants, Black-fronted Duiker, and Bushbuck. Volcanoes Nd Bushbuck. Volcanoes National Park has almost 200 bird species including 29 endemics to the Rwenzori Mountains and the Virungas.
Volcanoes National Park is only a 2-hour drive from Kigali, and as such, allows people to visit the Volcanoes Park for just one day and go on a Gorilla Trek. Volcanoes National Park opens at 7 am; unfortunately, there is no public transport to the park gate from Kigali. In addition to Gorilla Trekking, one of the more popular activities is hiking Karisimbi Volcano (3,800 meters). Also, there is a one-day Mount Bisoke volcano hike, visiting Dian Fossey’s research center and the twin lakes of Ruhondo and Burera.
The Mountain Gorillas are the most sought-after safari adventure in Africa; these primates only exist in Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The permit fees are higher than any other wildlife permit, first to limit the number of people visiting, to limit stress on these apes and on their habitat, which might result in their change of behavior or even their death. Secondly, the fees are used to help sustain the livelihood of the Mountain Gorillas. There is a maximum of 8 people per day per gorilla group, which low numbers help.
To do this you must follow all rules below;
- I feel a fever or any illness, when you’re in the park please stay behind.
- Avoid leaving any rubbish in the park
- Keep voice low until you’re way 200 meters but it’s okay to ask questions.
- Always move slowly and carefully when taking pictures and flash photography is not allowed.
- Always wash your hands before you head out to gorillas
- No eating or drinking while near gorillas to reduce the risk of disease transmission.
The Nyungwe National Park
Nyungwe national park is found far in the Southern province of Rwanda bordering Burundi in the South and lake Kivu alongside the Democratic Republic of Congo in the West. According to Rwanda historians, the park was created in 2004, covering over 960 square kilometers in size with the beauty of bamboo, swamps, and grassland of the area view. Nyungwe forest has currently reached over 3000 meters above sea level, incredible to see in any place in Africa and the world at large. The rainforest is magnificent, not only because of the wildlife that lives within but also because of the variety of Mahogany trees that tower above. These huge tall old mahoganies, ebonies, and giant tree ferns are like skyscrapers, hovering over one; at the same time, there are orchids and other epiphytes clinging to the branches.
In addition to the flora and fauna, Nyungwe National Park (Nyungwe Forest) is renowned for the variety of primates (25% of Africa’s total) that co-exist with the over 300 brightly colored bird species and hundreds of different butterflies everywhere.
To get a real sense of the magnitude of the forest, one can walk the 50-meter metal suspension bridge that has been built above the canopy; truly an unforgettable experience.
Nyungwe National Park Rwanda
Activities in Nyungwe National Park are for the active trekkers. There are many options available, the most popular being the Chimpanzee Trek but other primates are there to be sought, such as the grey-cheeked Mangabey and Rwenzori Colobus monkeys.
Forest hiking trails are available; a total of 130 Kilometers have been created. The trails last from 1 to 8 hours the Igishigishi Trail is one of the shortest, including the canopy walk with spectacular aerial views of the Nyungwe National Park. Nyungwe forest has over 13 species but most of them are monkeys. Some monkeys found in this place are colobus monkeys, L’hoest’s monkeys, owl-faced monkeys, blue monkeys, and Mona monkeys. Still, at this place, visitors get to see the 200 Rwenzori colobus monkeys at once which beauties the place.
Nyungwe national park is blessed with over 310 bird species from the Albertine rift into the forest. Visitors get to see great blue turaco which is rare in Africa, the Re throated Aletha, Paradise flycatcher, and gigantic forest hornbill. They also view Purple Breasted sun Bird, Green francolin, Rwenzori baits, Strip breasted tit, and regal sunbird.
There are different designed trails in the park where visitors are likely to see beautiful birds of different types and behaviors which are rarely seen in Africa and the world at large.
Best time to visit primates in Rwanda
The primates that are endemic to the Volcanoes National Park (mountain gorillas and golden monkeys) are common and easier to see, as well as other resident animals such as elephant and buffalo. Because of such good conditions, these months in Rwanda are deemed as the peak season to travel.