For many people, a trip to Rwanda means a visit to the Mountain Gorillas in Parc National des Volcans, famous for its portrayal in ‘Gorillas in the Mist’ and former home to acclaimed primatologist Dian Fossey. Gorilla tracking in the misty Virunga Mountains is a wonderful experience that many people want to cross off their ‘bucket list’ and it never disappoints. Rwanda has wonderful transport infrastructure so it is possible to fly in for a long weekend with the Gorillas, but there is far more to this country than this.
Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is a forest lodge on the edge of Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. Welcoming and relaxing, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is a perfect base for trekking into the Virunga Mountains in search of the mountain gorillas.
A honeymoon is a special once in a lifetime experience and nothing says once in a lifetime like a trip to see the critically endangered Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda. While probably not everyone’s first choice for a honeymoon, Rwanda offers a wonderful blend of scenery and luxury that many people had no idea could even exist. When you think of eating a private candlelit dinner overlooking shining lakes which reflect the clear, star-filled skies, it isn’t a fantasy; it’s the reality of Rwanda.
Imagine Africa client Cherry Dalton and her husband John travelled to see the mountain gorillas in the Virunga Mountains of Rwanda. Here she describes how the country has moved on from its recent troubled past and the magic of her ‘Attenborough moment’ with the majestic silverbacks.
Spotting the majestic mountain gorilla in its natural habitat is on the A-list of wildlife encounters. Whilst tracking the mighty silverbacks requires patience and stamina, coming face to face with a gorilla is a real privilege to cherish on any trip to Uganda or Rwanda. From the rugged rainforests of Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to the woolly green slopes of Rwanda’s Parc National des Volcans; gorilla territory is unapologetically remote. Trekking can therefore be quite demanding, lasting up to five hours and reaching high altitudes, yet a glimpse of these magnificent creatures in the wild is an unparalleled thrill for even the most seasoned safari aficionado.
Nothing prepares you for the emotional rollercoaster that is Rwanda. A nation that should not forget the past, but faces its future with spirit. This ‘Land of a Thousand Hills’ allures with, green volcanoes, shimmering lakes and Mountain Gorillas made famous by Dian Fossey’s memoir, ‘Gorillas in the Mist’. For a dramatic contrast of wildlife adventures, scenic beauty and pilgrimage spots that call for deeper reflection, the national saying ‘God roams the world but comes to rest in Rwanda’ certainly rings true.
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Landlocked by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and The Democratic Republic of the Congo, tiny Rwanda offers plenty of heart-stopping natural rewards for its holiday makers, including over one-third of the world’s remaining Mountain Gorillas, several rare lesser primates, and over 250 bird species. At the heart of this beautifully diverse country is its capital, Kigali, where you can visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, shop for handicrafts at Caplaki Market, take walking tours with locals, and zip around the city streets on the back of a moto (motorbike).
For many, Rwanda is all about the highly endangered Mountain Gorillas that reside amongst the bamboo forests in Parc National des Volcans, which rose to prominence with the world of renowned primatologist Dian Fossey. Gorilla tracking in this rainforest backed by the volcanic peaks of the misty Virunga Mountains is one of the most awe-inspiring of all wildlife adventures. Watch these gentle giants play, tease, eat and doze, and keep your eyes peeled for Golden Monkeys, Rwenzori Turacos and the Black-Fronted Duiker.
Equally remarkable is the prime Chimpanzee habitat of the vast Nyungwe Forest National Park. Here you can soak up stunning views of epic rainforest scenery, striking waterfalls and treetop primates by enjoying East Africa’s first canopy walkway - a hanging platform over a steep valley that is set 40-metres above ground that cuts a path through this ‘highway of the rainforest’.
Another key Rwandan attraction is the shimmering Lake Kivu, one of Africa’s Great Lakes and a vast playground where you can fish, sail, laze on gorgeous inland beaches and tour the three main towns along its palm-fringed shoreline: Cyangugu in the south, Kibuye in the centre, and the bustling market town of Gisenyi further north, famed for its night time views of Mt. Nyiragongo Volcano, glowing red as it bubbles and smoulders away on the horizon.
Imagine Africa specialist Matt has just returned from a week in Rwanda, where he discovered there’s more to the ‘land of a thousand hills’ than gorilla trekking. Here, he explains why this fascinating country should be next on your list…
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Did you know?
On the last Saturday of every month, every Rwandan, including the Prime Minister, participates in a day of national community service.
Did you know?
The country has been nicknamed "The Land of a Thousand Hills" due to its mountainous terrain.