Rwanda Gorilla Safaris and Tours are the most thrilling activities for any tourist on an African Holiday Safari. Most of the Gorilla Tours in Rwanda as affordably offered by Go Safaris Africa usually involve Gorilla Trekking, Chimps Tours, Nature Walks, Wildlife Safaris, Golden Monkey Treks, Dian Fossey Hiking and genocide memorial tour among others. These are the major safari activities that Rwanda, the ‘Land of 1000 Hills’ offers. Besides Rwanda, we offer several Uganda Safaris and Tours to all the country’s attractions. Our Safaris range from one day to over ten days based on one’s safari preferences.
Do miss the chance to come face-to-face with gorillas in Rwanda at the Volcanoes National Park. A visit to the park to see gorillas and other attractions in the country makes Rwanda a country worth a holiday tour. Look at the various safari packages for a lifetime opportunity to watch Mountain Gorillas.
More to explore in this beautiful country referred to as the “Land of a Thousand Hills” almost every corner of Rwanda is meandering roads that offer another fantastic view of mountains, lakes and hills. Rwanda’s biggest draw is the opportunity to track mountain gorillas.
Visit the twin lakes
Located at the base of Muhabura Volcano in the northern part of Rwanda, twin lakes are one of the most captivating draws in Rwanda. These lakes lie along the border that separates Rwanda and Uganda close to Volcanoes National Park, a hub for Gorilla trekking in Rwanda.
Surrounded by Virunga hills Lake Bulera and Ruhondo (separated by one kilometre-wide strip of land) delight visitors with their blue waters.
Their formation was a result of volcanic activity. Nyabarongo, the largest river in Rwanda used to flow northwards to Ndorwa but after the eruption of the Muhabura volcano, the lava flows blocked the river’s channel and this led to the formation of these two twin lakes.
After its diversion, the Nyabarongo River now flows to the southeast of Rwanda where it joins the Akanyaru River to form the famed Akagera River. When combined, Lake Bulera and Ruhondo occupy a surface area of about 2800ha.
These two magnificent twin lakes are among the most photogenic spots you should not miss while exploring the northwestern part of Rwanda. Next to these lakes is the Rugezi swamp that rewards remarkable bird-watching excursions in Rwanda.
The lake’s deep blue waters, steep hills and cascading waterfalls, create a stunning setting which can feature in world-class photo shoots. To have more of these lakes, embark on a canoe ride along its waters.
Twin lakes are a fantastic stopover for visitors to Volcanoes National Park. You can visit them in the afternoon or evening time after the Gorilla trek in the Volcanoes. On the twin lakes and Gorilla trek, you can add on a visit to Musanze caves and Iby’iwacu cultural village.
Besides canoe rides, you can do fishing along the shorelines of the twin lakes. Local people here practice traditional fishing methods such as the use of fish nets, hooks and more.
Visit the Musanze Caves
A Safari to Rwanda seems incomplete without a visit to Musanze caves. This magnificent spot is situated in the heart of Volcanoes National Park, northwestern part of Rwanda.
Officially launched for tourism in Rwanda by the Rwanda development board these caves are among Rwanda’s must-sees.
It is very rare for these caves to miss on a customized itinerary to Volcanoes National Park. It is about two kilometres from the park suburbs.
These caves are just in the north of the Country – Musanze district, there are facilitated with paved tourist walkways, trails and stairs that lead you inside. Inside these caves, it appears like a house with numerous rooms and corridors.
The cave’s formation is believed to be a result of a volcanic eruption that occurred thousand years ago. Not only that, Musanze caves offer an in-depth understanding of the geological and geographical development of the globe.
Exploration of Musanze caves is usually combined with a Gorilla trek in Volcanoes National Park. These caves are in close proximity to the park suburbs, therefore it is very to visit in the evening after spending beautiful moments with the Gorillas.
Other remarkable spots you can visit nearby include the Buhanga Eco Park (known for the coronation of Rwandan kings) and more. The area as well offers sweeping views of the notable twin lakes (Burera and Ruhondo).
If not the Musanze caves, you still have things to occupy your days in the northwestern part of Rwanda. These are Karisimbi and Bisoke Volcano climbing, Golden monkey tracking and Dian Fossey hike.
Track the Golden Monkeys
Golden Monkey tracking is a reason alone to arrange a Safari to Rwanda. It grants travellers grand chances to meet with these primates in the Jungles. These animals in Rwanda are only found in its northwestern region – Volcanoes National Parks.
Therefore it’s no wonder that all customized safaris that include Golden monkeys head to this Park. The Park currently houses two habituated Golden monkey troops that are open to being visited by tourists all year round. Each troop consist of about 35-40 members.
Golden monkeys prefer staying mostly in the mountainous bamboo forested areas, that’s why any participant must be physically fit. The ones in Rwanda were wild but the habituation process has helped a lot to let them get used to human presence.
Alike Gorilla trekking, tracking of Golden monkeys is also done in small groups that consist of not more than eight or ten people. Some time is allowed while in their presence and you are free to take a lot of photos and videos. These primates are usually very active, jumping from one tree to another.
Most itineraries to Volcanoes National Park combine this excursion with a Gorilla trek, therefore if you are a lover of primates, this is what you should not miss in Rwanda.
Other than Volcanoes, you can meet with the Golden monkeys in Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park – Kisoro district.
How much is a golden monkey permit?
This adventure is worth being part though it’s not free of charge. For anyone to track the Golden monkeys, you must buy a Golden monkey tracking permit issued only by the Rwanda development board.
This permit costs $100 USD per person and it’s valid for use by one person. It is always advised to book the permit in advance. The cost for the permit includes the ranger fee, park entry and government taxes.
How long does it take to reach golden monkeys?
It is hard to tell the time taken to track the Golden monkeys. Usually, this time and distance moved depends on where these primates spent their last night.
It can be a short trek or a longer one. Therefore come when you are ready for any. The main requirement for this adventure is physical fitness.
Hike the Bisoke Volcano
For adventure lovers, the Mount Bisoke hike should be included on your bucket list in Rwanda. Situated in the northwestern part of Rwanda, Bisoke Volcano is the easiest Volcano to trek among the eight Virunga volcanoes. It starts with a briefing at the park headquarters in Kinigi and later starts the hike up to the top.
Standing at 3700m, this volcano with its typical conic shape enchants adventurers with its deep crater lake at the top.
Mount Bisoke hike is a 6-hour adventure including four hours for ascending and two hours for descending. Experienced hikers can do it in less than six hours including three hours for ascending and one hour for descending.
The trails to the top wind through various vegetation habitats that include bamboo forests, Hypericum forests and Lobelia bushes. The trek reveals plenty of Wildlife species en route embodying primates, insects, reptiles and varied bird species.
All those hoping to be part of the hike are expected to be at the park headquarters in time. At exactly 7:00 am the briefing starts and after you will be assigned to a ranger guide.
After the briefing, the adventure starts at 8:00 am. Do not forget to hire a porter who will carry your luggage up to the top. The cost of hiking Mount Bisoke is $75 USD per person.
This fee is inclusive of the park entry and the ranger fee. This permit is purchased on arrival, with no advance booking.
For transportation from Kigali, we recommend that you book with a local tour operator like Eco Safaris Rwanda and you will receive impeccable services that are worth your money paid.
Track the Chimps of Cyamudongo
Chimpanzee tracking is one of the main reasons for a trip to Nyungwe Forest National Park. This Park is situated in the southwestern part of Rwanda, part of its area is occupied by the famous Nyungwe Forest.
Tracking sessions usually start off at Gisakura Reception Centre. Tourists meet here with ranger guides as early as 4:30 am in the morning and at 5:00 am you start the drive to the Chamudongo starting point.
Trackers are usually the first to go and locate where these primates spent their night, they usually trace for the chimp nests and after they will communicate with the ranger guides via radio calls. After discovering the presence of the Chimpanzees, tourists are allowed to follow their movements in a quiet mode for some time. Within this period of time, you get to observe them as there are feeding, laughing or playing with colleagues.
These primates also communicate by way of deafening screams, loud hoots and booming hitting of tree barks. It’s such a hair-rising moment like no other and so memorable.
The habituated group of Chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest National Park consist of over sixty individuals giving chance for every tourist the to at least sight some of the members.
It is always advised to keep your voice at a low tone while in the Jungle, Chimpanzees are very active and every jumping from one tree to another. Be quiet and avoid scaring them, they may hide out.
Nyungwe Forest is home to over 13 primate species, therefore it is no wonder that you will be exposed to other primates like L’Hoest monkeys, vervet monkeys and more while in the Jungle.
This activity is exciting for anyone who is enthusiastic about primates, but it is not free of charge. You must buy a chimpanzee tracking permit from the Rwanda development board. This permit costs $90 USD per person and it is valid for use by one person on the respective travel dates.
After the tracking, you will embark on the Safari vehicle for a scenic drive back to the lodge near the Gisakura Reception Centre. Have lunch and relax after a long drive, wait for dinner and overnight at the lodge.
Take the Canopy Walk in Nyungwe
When it comes to listing the top motives for a visit to Rwanda, Nyungwe Forest National Park can’t miss. Situated in the southwestern part of Rwanda, Nyungwe is an idyllic place for lovers of primates and those after active adventures. Covering part of the Park’s area, Nyungwe forest is the largest protected rainforest in Africa.
A drive from Kigali up to Nyungwe Forest National Park offers awe-inspiring views of the country’s diverse scenery. If you prefer active adventures to Chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe, then a canopy walk is the best for you.
Adding to the primates, Nyungwe is home to the 200 m canopy walk that delights tourists with sweeping views of stretching forests, tree tops, towering Virunga volcanoes and different bird species.
Getting to the starting point of the canopy takes about two hours from the Uwinka visitor centre and it starts with descending via trails that pass through lush vegetation and valleys. You will sight plenty of primates like monkeys en route. This walk is not for the faint-hearted but it is worth it at the end.
It usually takes place on a bridge that is adjourned between huge trees at 60m above the ground. Aside from the beautiful aerial views, you will feel like you are in a world of your own while on the canopy.
Besides the canopy, Nyungwe also offers several trails that lead you to different parts of the forest. All guided walking tours via these trails start from the Uwinka reception centre, the eastern Kitabi entrance and the western Gisakura entrance.
During the walk don’t miss a visit to the cascading Ishuno waterfall, it is beautiful and welcomes visitors with its calm waters that are perfect for swimming.
The first walk to the canopy is 200m via a trial that passes through thick canopies. You are bound to see abundant primate species including blue monkeys, L.Hoest monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, and black and white colobus monkeys.
This experience costs $60 USD per person and some of the things required for the walk are strong hiking shoes, insect repellents, a walking stick and rain jackets.
Visit Ibyiwachu Cultural Village
Iby’wachu Cultural Village is located near the famous Volcanoes National Park in the Musanze district. If you are after Rwanda’s culture, this locality is a must-visit.
It was established mainly to showcase the traditional lifestyles, activities and artefacts that existed during the past years.
This project is mainly by the transformed Batwa people who migrated from the Ituri forest reserve in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Adding to the cultural value attached to it, this village is meant to display the Rwandan local ways of living, traditional lifestyles and dances performed.
Money collected from visitors is used to support these people who live around and also maintain the venue such that it remains in the same natural state for years.
This experience grants tourists and other visitors grand opportunities to meet with the local people, know more about their standard of living and as well delve into Rwanda’s diverse culture.
A guide is always available to take you around while feeding you with different information about how people used to live locally in the ancients.
The village is dotted by numerous huts including those with people who demonstrate the local way of producing fire using Stone Age tools.
A visit to this village is usually perfect after a Gorilla trek in Volcanoes National Park and the experience costs $35 USD per person. You can visit the Village even if you are in Musanze not for the Gorilla trek.