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RWANDA PARKS & RESERVES

Tour The Diverse Reserves & Parks Of Rwanda. Scroll Down For Details..

Explore National Parks & Game Reserves In Rwanda

Rwanda has diverse wildlife parks and reserves as noted below. Select your preferred area to view individual details of your safari wilderness.

  1. Volcanoes National Park

  2. Nyungwe National Park

  3. Akagera National Park

  4. Lake Kivu

  5. Gishwati-Mukura National Park

Overview On Parks & Reserves In Rwanda

From the dense forest homes of rare mountain gorillas to the shores of beautiful Lake Kivu, Rwanda offers an enchanting holiday of unparalleled diversity in both scenery and wildlife. Perhaps the most well-known destination in the country is Volcanoes National Park, a 160-square-kilometer montane ecosystem that includes the Virunga Mountains, which serve as the centerpiece of the park. The range includes five breathtaking volcanoes, the tallest of which, Mount Karisimbi, reaches an elevation of 4507 meters.

In the words of famed primatologist and mountain gorilla advocate Dian Fossey, the area that is now Volcanoes National Park is “in the heart of Central Africa, so high up that you shiver more than you sweat.” Among the highest volcanic peaks in Africa, the vivid green slopes of the mountains are covered with thriving rainforests that provide food, shelter, and safe haven to creatures large and small. The park shares its borders with Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. Together, these three protected areas represent the primary territory of the rare mountain gorillas, the highlight of many nature tours. About half of these mountain primates live in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, although the gorillas do roam freely between the three parks. Joining these gentle giants are 178 bird species, including 13 species and 16 subspecies that are endemic to the region, as well as other mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

The ultimate primate safari experience continues at Nyungwe National Park, recognized as one of the richest areas in Africa for endemic species. It was declared a national park in 2005, when more 970 square kilometers were set aside to become the third national park in the country. Nyungwe is known for its incredible diversity and for the fact that it is home to one of the oldest and largest remaining sections of montane rainforest in the region. An estimated 2,000 mm of rain falls in the park each year, and the runoff provides fresh water to 70% of the country. On the southwestern slopes of the highland region is the divide where runoff water flows to either the Nile or Congo River, which has led to the theory that the mighty Nile originates in Nyungwe Forest Park.

Chimpanzee trekking tour is the primary wildlife viewing activity in the park, which is home 500 chimpanzees. Seeing these delightful primates in their natural habitat is sure to be one of the most heartwarming of all your international travel experiences. The chimpanzees are joined by 13 other species of primates that, in total, account for twenty percent of all apes in Africa. You may see Angola colobus monkeys in groups of 300 to 400 individuals, or even the threatened owl-faced monkey. Unverified sightings of golden monkeys have also been reported. But primates are not the only intriguing animals in the park. Other mammals include serval cats, wild cats, golden cats, mongoose, side-striped jackals, Congo clawless otters, hyrax, duikers, and bushbucks, to name only a few. Spectacular birdwatching also awaits in Nyungwe; in fact, Birdlife International recognizes the forest park’s ecosystem as “the most important site for biodiversity conservation in Rwanda.” Guests have the opportunity to witness first-hand an estimated 310 species of birds.

Along the Tanzania border is another of Rwanda’s gems, Akagera National Park, the oldest of the three parks. Founded in 1934, the park once covered more than 2500 square kilometers, but much of the land was allocated to farming to stabilize the country’s economy. Today, Akagera National Park encompasses 1122 square kilometers in the Rwandan wilderness to offer guests a classic bush vacation. As the only protected savannah ecosystem in the country, the park is home to a wildlife population that has been nurtured by partnerships between local communities and law enforcement.

More than 8,000 large mammals roam the expanses, and 500 bird species have been recorded in Akagera. Those charged with managing the park’s animals have taken specific steps to improve wildlife diversity, such as reintroducing seven lions to the park in 2015 and several black rhinos in 2017. Anti-poaching efforts are working to protect the animals that now live within the park. Considered one of the most scenic areas in Africa, Akagera National Park includes forest-fringed lakes, savannah plains, papyrus swamps, amazing highlands, and the largest protected wetland in Central Africa. It is now the only place on the planet that has the Big Five as well as the rare sitatunga and shoebill, alongside the mountain gorillas of Volcanoes and chimpanzees of Nyungwe (best time to go to Rwanda).

After spending time in the rainforests and savannah ecosystems of Rwanda, take a beach break at Lake Kivu before heading home. Many guests are surprised to learn that Rwanda has an inland beach setting that adds a touch of tranquility to an otherwise fast-paced adventure trip. The lake is the largest of several freshwater lakes in Rwanda’s valleys and offers plenty of area for aquatic sports with an impressive surface area of 2700 square kilometers. With a maximum depth of 480 meters, Lake Kivu is the 18th deepest lake on the planet. The hot springs along the shoreline are evidence of underground volcanic activity, but the most impressive sights are the random outbursts that happen far away from shore. Geological activity causes the sudden release of methane gas to create massive water plumes.

During your adventure tour of Lake Kivu, you can also opt to visit Napoleon Island in search of fruit bats and other avian life, a great option for birding explorers and nature lovers alike. The charming lakeside settlements of Gisenyi, Kibuye, and Cyangugu offer a touch of local flavor, as well as launching points for charter boats that take you to various landmarks along the lake. Lake Kivu is one of the few lakes in Africa where guests can swim without wondering if hippos and crocodiles are nearby, making it one of the safest bodies of water on the continent. Long stretches of beach, quaint villages, blue waters, a selection of water and land-based activities, and a romantic ambience is why Lake Kivu is a favorite escape for Kigali residents. We are certain that you will also fall in love with this stunning destination in western Rwanda.

Optionally, you can also visit the 2016 gazetted park of Gishwati-Mukura Forest where hard work, hope, and courage through sustainable conservation is slowly yet surely bringing back flora and fauna to this unique forest wilderness. The primary activity at Gishwati-Mukura is trekking the eastern chimpanzees, viewing a diversity of monkeys alongside spotting some of 130 species of birds.

Safari National Parks & Reserves In Rwanda
VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
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VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK

In the heart of Africa is a distinctive, mountainous utopia, namely Volcanoes National Park. The rainforests on these highland slopes are home to the endangered mountain gorillas, other primates and fauna.

NYUNGWE NATIONAL PARK
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NYUNGWE NATIONAL PARK

Situated in the southwestern corner of Rwanda, the stunningly beautiful Nyungwe Forest Park is part of the Albertine Rift eco-region, making it a great part of your African wilderness primate vacation.

AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK
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AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK

Situated along the northeastern border, the reserve was created in 1934. Today, Akagera hosts all the Big Five of Africa. In 2015-2017, conservation efforts were made to bring back the lions and rhinos.

LAKE KIVU
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LAKE KIVU

Located on the western edge of Rwanda, Lake Kivu sits above the Albertine Rift. The lake is known for its serenity and sandy beaches, where you can relax, sunbathe, or simply enjoy a rejuvenating siesta.

GISHWATI-MUKURA NATIONAL PARK
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GISHWATI-MUKURA NATIONAL PARK

The Gishwati and Mukura forests were once part of a network of lush forests across the Congo-Nile divide, extending from the Virunga Mountains which encampasses Volcanoes Park in the north to the Kibira range.

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CONTACT AN EXPERT ON RWANDA SAFARI PRICES & TOURS
Comprehensive Rwanda Safari & Tour Planning Guide
SAFARI PRICES FOR RWANDA
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SAFARI PRICES FOR RWANDA

Review individual itineraries and prices of our suggested Rwanda safaris with the option of customizing your Africa tour based on your needs and preferences.

AFRICA TRIP IDEAS FOR RWANDA
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AFRICA TRIP IDEAS FOR RWANDA

Review experiences available in Rwanda from gorilla treks, photo wildlife safari, hiking, family to honeymoon romantic vacation, beach lakes, cultural & birding tours.

PARKS & RESERVES IN RWANDA
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PARKS & RESERVES IN RWANDA

Review information on wildlife safari parks, reserves and lakes in Rwanda i.e. Volcanoes, Nyungwe Forest, Akagera, Gishwati-Mukura and Lake Kivu

ACCOMMODATIONS IN RWANDA
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ACCOMMODATIONS IN RWANDA

Review information on safari lodges and camps, city hotels, lakeside resorts in Rwanda's pristine wilderness, cities, lake beach shores and idyllic forests.

BEST TIME TO VISIT RWANDA
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BEST TIME TO VISIT RWANDA

Review details on the best time to go to Rwanda to visit its various wildlife outback, forests, beachside lakes, cities and towns, mountains and other wildernesses.

RWANDA PRIMATE & GORILLA TREK
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RWANDA PRIMATE & GORILLA TREK

Review the opportunity to see the mountain gorillas and golden monkeys of Volcanoes Park and other primates like chimpanzees and colobus monkeys of Nyungwe.

RWANDA COUNTRY PROFILE
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RWANDA COUNTRY PROFILE

Review country information and travel tips on Rwanda i.e. geography, culture, history, climate, tipping guide, what to pack and wear, entry requirements and more.

CITY DAY TOURS FOR RWANDA
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CITY DAY TOURS FOR RWANDA

Review city tour suggestions on full or half day options in Kigali. Experiences can be customized around your vacation travels in Rwanda parks and reserves.

RWANDA SOCIAL MEDIA NEWS
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RWANDA SOCIAL MEDIA NEWS

Review Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram real time social media news for Rwanda parks, towns, lakeside beaches, gorilla safaris, lodging and more.

AFRICANMECCA REVIEWS

What are our Customers saying about us? READ MORE REVIEWSfive star africanmecca safaris reviews

  • I just returned from a month in Africa, specifically Rwanda & Kenya. I am left breathless with my experience. AfricanMecca Safaris coordinated the entire trip for me and left no detail, nothing for me to do.
    Carol Bobb - Pennsylvania, United States
  • Rwanda was amazing. The accommodations, food, and guides AfricanMecca arranged were great. Raza also helped us through the complicated process of getting permits for gorilla trekking. AfricanMecca is a fantastic company to work with.
    Stephanie Weir - United States
  • Jambo Altaf and Raza! We are back on earth now after our fabulous honeymoon. This is to say THANK YOU so much for organising a week in Kenya that we will never forget.....!
    Dr Krina Zondervan, Oxford University - United Kingdom
  • Jambo Raza!!! The safari trip was spectacular! Everything went off without a hitch. We loved the Masai Mara. The migration was awesome. You listened to what I wanted and delivered it perfectly.
    Judi & Chaim Platt - Toronto, Canada
  • I cannot say enough about the quality of AfricanMecca. Their teams in Kenya and Tanzania were top notch. Raza, again thanks to you and your entire organization! We will be repeat customers.
    Dan Kobick - Managing Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers - New York, United States
  • AfricanMecca Safaris offers incredibly knowledgeable and skilled services! Our travel arrangements for 2 months of volunteering with TEACH Rwanda in country were made quickly and economically. Honored to work with Raza!
    Janet Brown - TEACH Rwanda Founder - United States
  • This is to let you know my guests, The Bryant's, had a wonderful time on the trip Samburu, Masai Mara/Kenya, Chobe/Botswana & Victoria Falls/Zambia. Everything was perfect! Thank you..
    Christine Milan - MT Carmel Travel - Connecticut, United States

EAST AFRICA SAFARI & TOUR HOLIDAY IDEA FOR RWANDA

When visiting Rwanda, we recommend combining your Kigali visit with a gorilla safari in Volcanoes Park, Nyungwe and Akagera. You may optionally extend out to other wilderness areas of Gishwati-Mukura ending with a beach vacation at Lake Kivu or even extending out to the exotic spice island of Zanzibar or Lamu, or even Mombasa.

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