Capital City: Kigali
Visa Required for US Citizen: No
Highlights: viewing the endangered mountain gorillas & chimpanzees, scenic beauty and local culture.
Great destination for those wishing to view the mountain gorillas and for clients who have already traveled to Africa and want a unique destination to visit. Good for couples, small groups and families with children ages 16 or older.
“The land of a Thousand Hills”, Rwanda is a green undulating landscape of hills, gardens and tea plantations. It offers tourists a one of a kind journey – home to one third of the world remaining Mountain Gorillas, one third of Africa’s bird’s species, several species of primates, volcanoes, game reserve, resorts and islands on the expansive lake Kivu, graceful dancers, artistic crafts and friendly people. Rwanda is a thriving, safe country with one of the lowest crime rates in Africa. All major attractions are located within 1-5 hour drive from the capital, Kigali. In a short vacation, a tourist can reach volcanoes, rainforests, savannah, lakes and the beautiful city of Kigali. West and central Rwanda is covered in dramatic steep mountains, disrupted by large lakes. These mountains were once montane rainforest, although in the last 2,000 years much of the forest has been cleared for agriculture to produce the green and fertile terraced hillsides that characterize much of modern-day Rwanda. This ancient forest can still be found in patches dotted around the country and a huge tract is preserved in the Nyungwe Forest National Park. In eastern Rwanda, the mountains give way to the lower flatter land of the Lake Victoria basin and the savannah habitat of Akagera National Park.
EASILY combinable extensions might be: Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia & South Africa
Despite its proximity to the equator, due to the high altitude of most of the country, Rwanda has a temperate climate with temperatures not often climbing above 77 F. The long dry season is from June to September and there are two annual rainy seasons, the first from mid-March until the beginning of June and small rains from mid-September to December. The best time for gorilla and monkey tracking is the dry season – if only to spare you getting drenched (you can still see them in the rain, they just get a bit grumpy). The dry season is also good if you want to see game in Akagera National Park because thirst will draw the animals to the watering holes. You will also find at this time the roads are less dangerous and the risk of malaria is lower. The rainy season is the best time to see chimpanzees and is also the time when the place is at its most lush and green.