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6 Best Places to Visit in Rwanda on Safari

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A family of Mantled Guereza monkeys in Rwanda.

A family of Mantled Guereza monkeys in Rwanda.

A country that offers breathtaking landscapes and wildlife experiences that range from bird-watching safaris to gorilla trekking, the best places to visit in Rwanda on safari will capture your imagination.

Spend time visiting museums and mountains, walk trails through montane forests, and trek in search of cheeky chimpanzees and mighty gorillas. Take a trip on Lake Kiva and marvel at the beauty of the Virunga Mountains.

Whether you plan to stay in Rwanda for a short visit or are eager to embark on a journey that explores different national parks, this list of must-see places in Rwanda is sure to immerse you in the natural and cultural beauty of the country.

  1. 1. Kigali
  2. 2. Virunga Mountains
  3. 3. Volcanoes National Park
  4. 4. Nyungwe National Park
  5. 5. Akagera National Park
  6. 6. Lake Kivu
  7. Explore the Best Places to Visit in Rwanda on Safari

1. Kigali

View of Kigali, capital city of Rwanda.

Kigali, Rwanda.

Discover the history and culture of Kigali on walking tours and guided visits during the best time to visit Rwanda, which will showcase the distinctive ambiance that spans mountainous ridges and colorful valleys.

Enjoy the cosmopolitan atmosphere, with its skyscrapers, luxury accommodations, and culinary options that reveal the traditions of local communities in distinctive neighborhoods and rural areas. Charismatic and eccentric, Kigali is a destination that inspires and delights visitors from around the world.

Highlights: Kigali Genocide Memorial • Inema Arts Center • Rwanda Art Museum • Kimironko Market

Recommended length of stay: 2-3 days

2. Virunga Mountains

View of Mount Gahinga and Mount Sabyinyo from a lodge in Rwanda.

View of Mount Gahinga and Mount Sabyinyo in Rwanda.

The Virunga mountain range in Rwanda lies in the Great Rift Valley, more specifically the Albertine Rift. Derived from the local Kinyarwanda word meaning volcano, this impressive chain of dormant volcanoes is separated by lakes Edward and Kivu, whose waters add a majestic shimmer to the landscape as you adventure through the breathtaking jungle terrain.

The Virunga Massif serves as a dramatic backdrop to the Volcanoes National Park and offers an array of activities and adventures set among tree ferns and forests.

Highlights: Hiking Mount Karisimbi • Mount Gahinga • Bird Watching • Golden Monkey Trekking • Scenic Sightseeing Visits from Volcanoes National Park

Recommended length of stay: 3-4 days

3. Volcanoes National Park

Gorilla trekking at the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.

Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.

The most notable and popular national park in Rwanda, the Volcanoes National Park offers an experience lined with intrigue, beauty, adventure, and incredible memories.

Set against the backdrop of the dramatic Virunga Mountains, the landscape comprises a diverse ecosystem that includes montane forests, open grasslands, and swamps.

Home to lowland gorillas, stepping through the lush terrain as the sun peeks through a bamboo canopy will allow you to bask in the scents and sounds of your surroundings, which combine to create a truly special experience.

Highlights: Gorilla Trekking • Golden Monkey Sighting • Bird Watching • Hiking and Walking Trails • Wildlife Spotting • Amazing Views of the Virungas

Recommended length of stay: 1-2 days

4. Nyungwe National Park

Ruwenzori Turaco bird in Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda.

Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda.

One of the oldest rainforests in Africa, the Nyungwe National Park seems like a wonderland once inside, with several trails inviting you to explore, a swing bridge suspended above the trees, and the chance to lose yourself in a world of lush green and gold colors.

Situated on the western border of the Great Rift Valley between lakes Tanganyika and Albert, every inch teems with botanical gems, while mountains and lakes add to Nyungwe’s overall natural beauty and allure.

Highlights: Bird Watching • Chimpanzee Trekking • Canopy Walkway • Butterfly Haven • Kitabi Village and Banda Cultural Villages • Hiking

Recommended length of stay: 3-4 days

5. Akagera National Park

Zebras and gazelles in Akagera National Park, Rwanda.

Akagera National Park in Rwanda.

Discover a Rwandan gem in Akagera National Park. Dotted with lakes and papyrus swamps that cover almost a third of the park, it stands as one of East Africa’s most protected wetlands.

Boastful mountains create a dramatic backdrop, with scenic sights from the Akagera River to montane forests and savannas surrounded by ever-changing habitats.

Highlights: Wildlife Spotting • Prolific Birdlife • Gorgeous scenery • Canoe on Lake Ihema • Local Community Cultural Tours

Recommended length of stay: 2-3 days

6. Lake Kivu

On the shore of Lake Kivu in Rwanda.

Lake Kivu, Rwada.

Lake Kivu lies on the border between the Congo and Rwanda, and on the Albertine Rift, and is one of the deepest lakes in the world.

Free of hippos and crocodiles, the inviting waters stretch 55 miles long and 30 miles wide to create a welcoming ambiance in which you can see many visitors relaxing after a day of exploration in the forests and mountains of Rwanda.

Local communities live near the shoreline and offer a welcoming wave to guests as they fish and frolic under the Rwandan sun.

Highlights: Kayaking and Canoeing • Swimming • Fishing • Walks Along the Shoreline • Cultural Interactions • Nearby Coffee Tours

Recommended length of stay: 2-3 days

Explore the Best Places to Visit in Rwanda on Safari

Golden monkey in the Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda.

Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda.

Adventure and awe await you in Rwanda, with exceptional cultural experiences and places to inspire the perfect trekking excursion. You can also embrace history, art, and culture for the perfect experience. A broader adventure can take you deep into the jungle in search of more dynamic wildlife or around protected parks to create fascinating memories.

To find out more, explore our African safari travel guide or take a look at our featured Rwanda safaris and gorilla-trekking tours.

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