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Home » Rwanda Wildlife Safaris, Rwanda Wildlife Safari Tours 2024-2025

Rwanda Wildlife Safaris, Rwanda Wildlife Safari Tours 2024-2025

Rwanda wildlife safaris/wildlife safari tours in Rwanda are among the most interesting wildlife safari adventures on the African continent. Wildlife expeditions in Rwanda offer you memorable tours in Rwanda wildlife safari national parks home to unique wildlife species. Among these include the endangered Mountain gorillas, Chimpanzees, Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Buffaloes, Rhinos, Giraffes, Zebras, Antelopes, Hippos, giant Nile Crocodiles, etc. Although Rwanda “the Land of a thousand hills” is generally a small country (land locked country) compared to other East African countries, this country holds a rich wildlife! It’s home to about 189 mammal species as well as over 670 bird species.

Basically, Rwanda wildlife tours take place in Volcanoes National Park, Akagera National Park, as well as Nyungwe forest national park. Key activities to enjoy on your wildlife safari in Rwanda include; Mountain gorilla trekking and golden monkey trekking in Volcanoes National Park, Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest national park as well as game drives in Akagera National Park. You can still go ahead and undertake the Nyungwe forest canopy walk, bird watching or hike Mount Karisimbi.

Never end your wildlife Rwanda tours without exploring Rwanda genocide memorial centers as well as the Kigali city tour. A boat cruise on Lake Kivu is amazing also. For many past years, Rwanda’s government through Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has concerted efforts in marketing and protecting all the national parks in Rwanda. Therefore, expect a notable experience on your wildlife Rwanda tours!

Site for Rwanda Wildlife Safari Tours: Where to Go for Rwanda Wildlife Safaris?

Undertaking a wildlife safari in Rwanda is the best way to explore the incredible wildlife in its natural habitat.

Below are the prominent sites for wildlife Rwanda tours:

Akagera National Park in Rwanda

Akagera National Park is the only savannah national park in the Land of a Thousand Hills, Rwanda.

This picturesque savannah national park of Rwanda in Akagera National Park covers about 1,22 km2 in the eastern part (eastern province) of the country.

Akagera National Park holds numerous mammal species due to its diverse ecosystems, such as scenic savannah plains, woodlands, and swamps. It also boasts several beautiful lakes, such as Lake Ihema and Lake Shakani. All are fed by the Akagera River and are ideal sites for game viewing and spotting several bird species on a boat cruise.

While on your Rwanda wildlife safari tours in Akagera National Park, you’ll enjoy scenic game drives, a boat cruise on Lake Ihema, as well as nature walks if interested.

Here are the prominent animals to look for on your wildlife Rwanda safari in Akagera National Park:

  1. Lions
  2. Leopards
  3. Cape Elephants
  4. Buffaloes
  5. Giraffes
  6. Zebras
  7. Black Rhinos
  8. Large Hippos
  9. Giant Nile Crocodiles
  10. Antelopes
  11. Primate species such as black and white colobus monkeys, L’Hoest’s monkeys, and baboons. Other primate species (other monkey species) include red-tailed monkeys, vervets, and blue monkeys.

Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park is another famous place for wildlife trips in Rwanda due to its unique wildlife species, the mountain gorillas. It spans 5 of the Virunga Mountains, including Mount Karisimbi in far northwestern Rwanda.

Rwanda Volcanoes National Park is the only place to enjoy gorilla trekking as you explore Rwanda tours. In fact, it’s one of the best national parks to have mountain gorilla trekking tours from in the East African region.

This beautiful park holds a rich, scenic montane ecosystem of bamboo forests, swamps, open grassland, and heather.

Mountain gorilla trekking tours in Volcanoes Rwanda Park are done by 12 habituated mountain gorilla families.

12 habituated gorilla families in Volcanoes Park include:

  1. Karisimbi gorilla family
  2. Sabyinyo gorilla family
  3. Kwitonda gorilla group
  4. Amahoro gorilla family
  5. Hirwa gorilla family
  6. Muhoza gorilla group
  7. Susa gorilla group
  8. Igisha gorilla group
  9. Agashya gorilla group
  10. Umubano gorilla group
  11. Ugyenda gorilla group
  12. Bwenge group

Not only is Volcanoes National Park known for gorilla safaris in Rwanda, but it’s also home to golden monkeys. It’s the best place to go golden monkey trekking in the East African region!

Other amazing adventures in Volcanoes National Park:

  • Hiking Virunga Mountains (Mount Karisimbi or Bisoke)
  • Exploring the tombs of Dian Fossey, a great American primatologist who was brutally killed in her effort to conserve the mountain gorillas.

Please, it’s not wise to end your Rwanda safari in Volcanoes National Park without tracking golden monkeys! These monkeys are endangered, only living in two national parks in East Africa, one of which is Uganda’s Mgahinga Park.

Forest elephants, bushbucks, giant forest hogs, and spotted hyenas can be spotted by visitors on the mountain gorilla trekking experience. Most gorilla families in this park have at least one silverback.

Nyungwe National Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park

Nyungwe Forest National Park is situated in the southwestern province of Rwanda, bordering Burundi, Lake Kivu, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It’s commonly visited for Rwandan chimpanzee tracking tours!

Also known for its incredible biodiversity, Nyungwe National Park is one of the best areas for primate safaris in Africa. It holds over 13 primate species, including a small population of chimpanzees and the L’hoest’s monkey.

As you enjoy a Nyungwe National Park Rwanda wildlife safari, expect to encounter several wildlife species, including forest elephants, “though rare.”. Normally, beautiful primate species are common.

Amazing primate species to spot as you undertake chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe Forest National Park are:

  1. Chimpanzees, the Eastern chimpanzee species
  2. Black and white colobus monkeys
  3. Blue monkeys
  4. Olive baboons
  5. Red-tailed monkeys
  6. L’Hoest’s monkey
  7. Vervet monkeys
  8. Owl-faced monkeys
  9. Angola colobus monkeys
  10. Clawed Galago

There are no golden monkeys as well as mountain gorillas, as many writers have it!

Other thrilling adventures in Nyungwe Forest National Park worth undertaking:

  1. The Nyungwe forest canopy walk experience- offers magnificent views of this great, thick forest
  2. Birding tours: This is another site to spot the Albertine Rift Endemic bird species
  3. Nature walks in Nyungwe Forest National Park (a thick forest) are ideal for nature lovers

What wildlife does Rwanda have? | What Animals Are There to See on a Rwanda Wildlife Safari? | What Animals Do You See on Safari in Rwanda?

What is the wildlife in Rwanda? This country holds over 189 animal species, including primate species, carnivorous species, and herbivorous species, as well as other wildlife species, mostly found in national parks.

Most tourists who visit Rwanda are interested in gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park. Other wildlife species in Rwanda include Chimpanzees Golden monkeys, etc.

The best way to spot most of the wildlife in this country is by undertaking a wildlife safari vacation in Rwanda. Game drives in Akagera Rwanda Park, Rwanda’s only Savannah National Park, offer the best experience. Expect to encounter all the African Big Five!

Here are the prominent game animals to look for on your wildlife Rwanda safari:

  1. Lions
  2. Leopards
  3. Buffaloes
  4. Cape Elephants
  5. Rhinos
  6. Zebras
  7. Giraffes
  8. Hippos
  9. Giant Nile Crocodiles
  10. Several Antelopes
  11. Hyenas
  12. Beautiful primate species (mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, blue monkeys, etc.). Best spotted during chimpanzee tracking expeditions.

Can you see lions in Rwanda? Are There Lions in Rwanda? | Are There Lions in Akagera Park?

Does Rwanda have lions? Yes, you can spot lions while on your Rwanda wildlife safari expeditions in Akagera National Park, Rwanda. Mostly, they’re spotted during game drives.

Does Rwanda have tigers?

There are no tigers in this country! Tigers in the wild are only natives of Asian countries.

Leopards, lions, and cheetahs are the only big cats to encounter on your wildlife Rwanda safari tours.

Are there leopards in Rwanda?

There are leopards in Rwanda. These can be found best while on a night drive in Akagera National Park, as they are so active at night.

Does Rwanda have elephants? Can you see elephants in Rwanda?

Yes, you can spot elephants in this country. Over 100 elephants have been recorded in Rwanda’s Akagera Park.

If lucky, you can spot the forest elephant along the gorilla trekking trail in Volcanoes National Park.

What Are the Big Five Animals in Rwanda?

The Big Five animals in Rwanda include lions, leopards, Cape elephants, buffaloes, and rhinos. On your Rwanda wildlife safari, you can spot them in Akagera National Park during a game drive.

Are there big cats in Rwanda?

In this country, the big cats include lions and leopards, as well as cheetahs. These were spotted while on a game drive in Rwanda’s Akagera National Park. Other cats in Rwanda include Civets, Serval cats, and Genets.

Is Akagera National Park Worth Visiting? | Why Visit Akagera National Park?

As you undertake your Rwanda wildlife safari holidays, Rwanda National Park Akagera is a must-not-miss destination!

Here are the reasons why you should visit Akagera Park:

  1. Akagera Park is one of the few destinations in the East African region to spot the African Big Five (lions, Cape elephants, buffalos, leopards, and rhinos). Other amazing game animals can also be spotted, including giraffes and zebras.
  2. This park is a paradise for bird lovers. It holds over 470 bird species, for instance, the Double-toothed Barbets.
  3. Also, Akagera Park is an ideal site for boat cruises along Lake Ihema. On this wonderful adventure, you’ll encounter amazing hippos, Nile crocodiles, as well as other animals along the shores.

Rwanda Wildlife Safari Activities: What to Do on Your Rwanda Wildlife Safari Holiday?

Here are the top Rwanda safari activities you shouldn’t miss on your Rwanda game-viewing trip:

Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park

Most visitors who undertake Rwanda wildlife safari trips are interested in gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park. This adventure allows you to meet face-to-face (spend time) with the gentle giants of the forest!

Gorilla trekking in Rwanda Volcanoes Park can take about 2-8 hours depending on the movement of these incredible humanlike giants. This adventure is truly remarkable!

On spotting these cool giants, you’ll watch them feeding, grooming, and amazingly moving on the thick forest floor. The sheer size of the Silverback will offer you breathtaking views! Don’t forget a camera.

We advise you to book your gorilla trekking permits in time; they’re limited.

HOW MUCH IS THE GORILLA EXPERIENCE IN RWANDA? | HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO SEE GORILLAS IN RWANDA?

A mountain gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda costs $1500. We advise you to book your gorilla trekking permit before your gorilla tracking date. 5–6 months are ideal to avoid last-minute disappointments when the gorilla permits are missing.

HOW MUCH IS A GORILLA SAFARI IN RWANDA? | HOW MUCH ARE GORILLA TOURS IN RWANDA?

A 1-day gorilla trek in Rwanda Volcanoes National Park can cost over $1700, and this rate is inclusive of the gorilla trekking permit. This rate might be inclusive or not of the transportation fees, meals, and service of your private tour guide.

A 2-day Rwanda gorilla trekking tour starts at about $1900 per person per day.  It also includes fees for the mountain gorilla trekking permit.

Your tour operator will clearly explain all your daily expenses.

GORILLA TREKKING RWANDA VS UGANDA: IS GORILLA TREKKING BETTER IN RWANDA OR UGANDA? WHICH IS BETTER TO SEE GORILLAS IN UGANDA AND RWANDA?

All these countries—Uruguay and Rwanda—are incredible sites for gorilla trekking trips. But which country is better for a gorilla trekking experience?

Below is a comparison between gorilla treks in Rwanda and Uganda:

  • Tracking Mountain gorillas in Rwanda is at $1500, while that of Uganda is $700
  • There are over 20 habituated gorilla family groups in Uganda, whereas Rwanda has only 12 families
  • You can do a 1-day gorilla trekking trip in Rwanda; however, this is impossible in Uganda due to gorilla national parks being located far from the airport. In Uganda, you require 3 days for gorilla trekking.
  • There are two national parks for gorilla trekking in Uganda (Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga National Park), while Rwanda has only one: Volcanoes National Park.
  • Gorilla trekking expeditions in Uganda Bwindi features friendly terrain compared to that of Rwanda’s Volcanoes Park.

A tour operator will advise you on the best country to visit!

IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL TO RWANDA TO SEE GORILLAS? | HOW SAFE IS GORILLA TREKKING IN RWANDA?

All gorilla trekking expeditions in Rwanda to encounter the endangered mountain gorillas (gorilla families) are safe!

During your gorilla trekking in Rwanda Volcanoes National Park, you’ll be escorted by armed park rangers to visit any gorilla families or gorilla groups. Rangers ensure that you are safe.

More still, Mountain gorilla trekking Rwanda safaris are done with habituated mountain gorilla family groups. These are always familiar to visitors.

You’re also advised to follow gorilla trekking rules in Rwanda as you visit any gorilla group; for instance, never feed gorillas. It’s wise to always keep a 7-meter distance from these giants.

The Rwanda Patriotic Front also ensures security in the country and on all borders.

Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe National Park

Wildlife Safaris in Rwanda

On your Rwanda wildlife safari trip, only miss chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe Forest National Park if you have to!

Chimpanzee tracking is a memorable experience that offers you a chance to meet (spend time) with man’s closest cousins—the chimps—in their natural habitat. According to science, these chimps are intelligent apes sharing about 98–99% of DNA similar to that of humans.

On this thrilling adventure, you’ll watch Chimpanzees grooming, feeding, kissing, patrolling on the forest floor, etc. Analyzing the amazing behaviors of chimpanzees will make you believe that chimpanzees are humans living in the world!

Other primate species (other Monkey species) to encounter on your chimpanzee trekking expeditions in the Nyungwe forest include Black and white colobus Monkeys, Red-tailed Monkeys, Blue Monkeys, etc.

Game Driving

Undertaking a game drive on your safari Rwanda tour is the best way to encounter most of the game animals in this country. This adventure is only possible in Rwanda’s Akagera National Park.

Expect to spot lions, leopards, elephants, and buffaloes, as well as black rhinos. Giraffes, zebras, bushbucks, Uganda kobs, waterbucks, impalas, and hyenas are also common.

Birding Tours in Rwanda

Among countries in East Africa, Rwanda is also a birding paradise for bird lovers. This country is home to most of the bird species that international bird watchers are interested in on the African continent.

The key birding sites for birding Rwanda tour safaris include Nyungwe Forest National Park, Akagera Park, and Volcanoes National Park.

Here are the key bird species in Rwanda to look for:

  • 1.     Rwenzori Turaco
  • 2.     African Fish Eagle
  • 3.     Great Blue Turaco
  • Handsome Francolin
  • Double-toothed Barbet
  • Red-chested Bee-eaters
  • Neumann’s Warbler
  • Grauer’s Warbler and
  • Regal Sunbirds, etc.

Wading bird species in Rwanda, such as kingfishers, herons, egrets, and cormorants, are best spotted around Lake Kivu. This lake (Lake Kivu) is the largest freshwater lake in Rwanda.

  1. Amazing Cultural Tours

As you undertake a game-viewing trip in Rwanda, it’s always awesome to supplement cultural tours with it. This allows you to explore the fascinating ways of life of the people in Rwanda. You’ll spend time with the lovely local people.

Also, you’ll get a golden chance to learn about the wonderful traditions, beliefs, and norms of the local people.

Normally, tourists visit the Ibyiwacu Cultural Village. At Ibyiwacu Cultural Village, you’ll enjoy the vibrant traditional dance of Rwanda and music from local women, kids, and men. You’re free to take part!

On your Rwanda tours, never miss exploring Rwanda Ibyiwacu Cultural Village.

  1. Visiting Rwanda Genocide Memorial Sites

The thrill of exploring Rwanda genocide memorial centers is rarely missed on most holiday tours in Rwanda.

Paying a visit to these great historical sites (Rwanda genocide memorial centers) allows you to get to know the causes of the 1994 Rwanda genocide—a bloody war!

The following are the genocide memorial centers in Rwanda you can visit:

  • Gisozi
  • Murambi
  • Ntarama
  • Nyamata and,
  • Bisesero.

Other Activities Worth Undertaking on Your Rwanda Wildlife Safari

  1. Undertaking a Rwanda city tour – allows you to explore Rwanda’s city Kigali- one of the cleanest and most organized cities in Africa.
  2. Exploring Dian Fossey tombs– this great lady played a big role in conserving Gorillas. However, unfortunately, she was found assassinated in her cabin (struck twice on the head and face with a machete). You can go ahead to explore her Karisoke Research Centre.
  3. Golden Monkey trekking in Volcanoes National Park
  4. Volcano hiking- For instance, hiking Mount Karisimbi or Bisoke. Mount Bisoke is capped with a scenic crater lake on its top. This stunning crater lake is about 400m in diameter.

Packing List for Rwanda Wildlife Safari Holidays- What to Carry for Rwanda Wildlife Tours?

Many people find it challenging to park for their holiday trip as they find it confusing to decide on what to bring and what to leave behind!

As you plan to have wildlife safari tours in Rwanda, here is what you should bring:

  • A camera with enough storage space
  • Binoculars
  • Insect repellents protect you from biting insects that might be in tropical rainforests such as Nyungwe Forest National Park
  • Waterproof hiking boots
  • A rain jacket on your Rwanda tours is ideal in case rain finds you on the gorilla trek.
  • Sunhat is also ideal on your Rwanda safaris- It protects you from direct sunlight
  • Gadgets for the trip, for example, a cell phone
  • Sunscreens
  • Bottled water
  • Sunglasses
  • A light-day backpack
  • Personal first aid kit if you can!
  • On your Rwanda safaris, have some money (changed in Rwandan franc

What to Wear During Your Rwanda Wildlife Safari Trip?

If you’re confused about what to wear on your wildlife safari in Rwanda, here is the guide for you!

  1. Long-sleeved shirts and trousers

This kind of clothing will help to protect your skin from insect bites as well as cuts during the gorilla trekking in Rwanda Volcanoes National Park or chimps in Nyungwe Forest National Park. These attires have to be neutral colored (in khaki, brown, & grey). Black absorbs much heat in the dry season.

On Rwanda cultural tours, it’s ideal you avoid body-revealing clothes. Knee-covering clothes are ideal.

  1. Comfortable hiking shoes

Such shoes will protect your feet from cutting objects during your gorilla trekking in Rwanda in Volcanoes National Park. They’re also ideal for visitors interested in hiking Mountain Karisimbi

  1. Garden clothes

Protect your hands from cuttings and other nettles along the trail for gorilla trekking in Rwanda. Also, it’s ideal as you track Chimps in Nyungwe Forest National Park. It keeps you warm while on Mount Karisimbi’s hiking experience.

  1. Sun protection gears

These safeguard you from direct tropical sunlight while gorilla trekking! Among these include sunglasses, sunscreens, and a sunhat.

  1. Easy sandals

It is ideal while on a Kigali city tour.

Best Time to Visit Rwanda for a Wildlife   Safari – What Is the Best Time of Year to Safari in Rwanda? | What Is the Best Time for a Rwanda Wildlife Safari?

Any time of the year, you can visit Rwanda for Rwanda game viewing tours.

However, as experts in arranging Rwanda wildlife safari tours, we advise you to travel to this country during the dry season, December-February as well as June to August.

Around this time, less rainfall is expected in most national parks of Rwanda thus, trails for game drives, Mountain gorilla trekking expeditions as well as Mount Karisimbi hiking trails are drier, and easier to hike.

Note that this is Rwanda’s tourism peak season, lodges are usually busier and gorilla permits for gorilla trekking in Rwanda can be challenging to get! You should book in time to avoid last-minute disappointments.

March-May and September-November are wet months. Lodges are not so busy and it’s very easy to get gorilla permits for gorilla trekking.

Is Rwanda Good for Safari? | Why Go for Rwanda Wildlife Safari?

Without a doubt, this lovely country- Rwanda is a superb destination for gorilla safaris in Africa!

Not only is Rwanda known for gorilla trekking expeditions, but it’s also ideal for most African safari tours done in other countries of East Africa. These include chimpanzee trekking, birding tours, mountain hiking, as well as exciting cultural tours.

In Rwanda, be expectant to spot most game animals in Africa such as Lions, Cape Buffalos, Elephants, Leopards, Black Rhinos, Giraffes, Zebras, Hyenas, and several Antelopes.

Lastly, in the East African region, Rwanda is one of the few countries with an absorbing dark past history worth exploring on your African safaris.

How Much Is a Wildlife Safari in Rwanda?

The cost of a Rwanda wildlife safari tour is influenced by your travel style for example. It’s greatly determined by the accommodation class you wish to use, transport means, activities you’ll undertake, and the duration of your trip, etc.

Note that a 1 day Rwanda gorilla trekking tour costs about $1700 per person. A 2 day Rwanda gorilla trekking tour costs about $1900.

The above rate includes the permits for gorilla trekking.

Rwanda Safari Lodges- Where to Stay During Your Rwanda Wildlife Safari?

best safari lodges while on a Rwanda wildlife Safari

As you travel for your Rwanda safaris, expect either to use budget, midrange, or luxury lodges. The choice depends on your budget, therefore, don’t worry about your accommodation.

Best luxury lodges in Rwanda

  1. Magashi Camp
  2. Bisate Lodge- A prominent lodge for travelers undertaking gorilla trekking expeditions.
  3. Akagera Game Lodge- This is also among the popular lodges used by travelers on wildlife Rwanda safaris
  4. Ruzizi Tented Lodge and,
  5. Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel, etc.

Popular mid-range lodges in Rwanda

  1. Karenge Bush Camp
  2. La Palme Hotel
  3. Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge and,
  4. Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge- a popular Rwanda safari lodge.
  5. Garden Place Hotel, etc.

Top budget lodges in Rwanda

  1. Dereva Hotel
  2. Akagera National Park Camp
  3. Shakani Akagera Campsite
  4. Mutamba Akagera Campsite and,
  5. Mutamba Akagera Campsite, etc.

Most budget lodges accept Rwandan francs.

Top Rwanda Tour Operators to Book With Your Safari

It’s wise you book your Rwanda safaris with an experienced tour company in Rwanda. It has to be a trustworthy tour company as well!

Here is a list of the best tour operators in Rwanda to book your wildlife Rwanda safari vacation:

  1. Prime Safaris And Tours Ltd
  2. Wild Gorilla Safaris
  3. Gorilla Safari Rwanda
  4. Gorilla Tracking Rwanda
  5. Rwanda Gorilla Tracking Safaris
  6. Africa Safaris Tours

The above travel companies are also in a position to organize for you congo tour packages. Email me now to book a group or private tour!

Popular Rwanda Wildlife Safari Packages

Being one of the experienced tour companies in organizing wildlife Rwanda tour safaris, we have brought you the best tour packages in Rwanda.

The following are the best Rwanda wildlife tour packages:

7 Days Rwanda Safari Tour– Gorilla trekking, Chimpanzees, Lake Kivu, Golden Monkeys & Mount Karisimbi

8 Days Rwanda Tour– Gorilla trekking, chimpanzee tracking, Nyungwe Forest, Golden monkeys, Lake Kivu boat cruise, Mount Karisimbi, and community tours

10 Days Rwanda Tour- Gorilla tracking, Golden monkeys, Lake Kivu, Mount Karisimbi, and scenery

12 Days Rwanda Safari Tour- Gorilla trekking, Nyungwe Forest National Park, Chimpanzees, wildlife viewing, and Communities

A group or private tour is possible!

wildlife expeditions in Rwanda allow you to enjoy gorilla trekking, Golden monkeys, and Chimpanzees, as well as encountering the African Big Five (Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo& Rhino) plus other amazing wildlife species in Rwanda.

This thrilling adventure also lets you explore Kigali city, as well as Kigali genocide memorial sites. Expect to learn much about the dark past history of Rwanda.

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