5 REASONS TO VISIT
The “land of a thousand hills”, Rwanda is a country that seems to be covered in a magical mist with many reasons to visit. With its rolling green hills, lush mountains and forests, incredible wildlife, and friendly people, this small country is making its mark on the African continent.
It’s one of Africa’s most inspiring and incredible countries. It will leave you feeling enriched, emotional and eager to return.
Here are 5 reasons to visit Rwanda.
1. The Wildlife Encounters
Rwanda may be a small country, but there is no shortage of incredible wildlife. Of course, it is famed for being home to the Mountain Gorilla. You can follow in the footsteps of Diane Fossey with a gorilla trek through Volcanoes National Park, arguably one of the most magical and special safari experiences. Not only is Rwanda home to the gorilla, but also 12 other species of primates. A trip to Akagera National Park, will not only take you to a place fighting for the conservation of endangered species, but also to a place where you can encounter the Big Five, including tree-climbing lions.
2. The Element of Adventure
A place after all 21st Century Indiana Jones’ hearts, Rwanda is a dream for all outdoor and adventure enthusiasts alike. The hills and forests are full of challenging and beautiful hiking trails. For the cyclists, the Congo Nile Trail is a 141-mile long mountain-biking expedition through the country’s rolling hills. Those with a fear of heights have the chance to conquer their fear with a 70-metre high, 160-metre long Canopy Walkway. Prefer adventure on the water? Don’t worry, you can kayak on Lake Kivu; all while watching the “Singing Fisherman” as they sing and paddle in synchronisation.
3. A Luxurious Escape
Some of us tend to opt for more glamourous travel, and there is nothing wrong with this. At the end of the day, what is a holiday but the opportunity to indulge, relax and treat yourself? Rwanda should not be discounted as lacking in luxury and glamour. In fact, it is home to a number of luxury hotels offering the chance to immerse yourself in and relax amidst the emerald-greenery of the country.
The One&Only Nyungwe House is a boutique lodge that provides an exclusive and immersive experience of Rwanda. Gastronomic picnics, chimpanzee tracking, open-air spa treatments and tea-leave picking all offer a window into the culture and magic of Rwanda. The Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel offers the chance to relax completely with volcano views, the sound of songbirds and easy access to all the incredible activities available in Rwanda.
4. A Birdwatcher’s Paradise
Birders should add Rwanda to their birding bucket list. The country is home to an estimated 650 bird species. Half of them can be spotted in Nyungwe Forest National Park. It is the best of Rwanda’s national parks for birding with over 310 bird species. Avid birders will be excited at the possibility of some of the Albertine Rift endemic species such as red-collared mountain babbler and Albertine owl.
Akagera National Park is also a fantastic birding destination. Because it differs in ecology to Nyungwe, being savannah park with rolling hills, wetland, woodlands and lakes, it differs in its bird species. 490 Species of bird have been spotted in the park, including the red-faced barbet, white-winged swamp warbler, grey-crowned crane, the shoebill and the papyrus gonolek.
5. A Bustling Capital
Looking for one more reason why you should visit Rwanda? Its capital, Kigali, is must-visit destination on its own. It is a cultural hub, home to a number of talented artists showcasing their artistic, singing, dancing, sculpture and weaving skills. A walk through Kimironko Market will take you through the colourful stalls where talented seamstresses will create a unique outfit for you in about an hour. The food scene is also worth indulging in. Try the local dishes such as brochettes with ibirayi, or treat yourself to sushi, pizza or ice-cream if you’re feeling homesick. As the day transitions into night, you’ll experience the unpretentious, laidback nightlife with live music, dancing and karaoke. The city is also considered one of Africa’s friendliest capital cities – the locals are kind and will go out of their way to ensure you have a special experience.