​Overview – Rwanda

Ariadne van Zandbergen
Expert
By Ariadne van Zandbergen

Ariadne is a renowned Africa expert. She and her husband form a team who write and update many Bradt guides, including the guide to Rwanda.

Ariadne is a renowned Africa expert. She and her husband form a team who write and update many Bradt guides, including the guide to Rwanda.

Ariadne is a renowned Africa expert. She and her husband form a team who author the Bradt guide to Rwanda.

Ariadne and her husband form a team who author the Bradt guide to Rwanda.

Looking into the eyes of a mountain gorilla is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But there is plenty more on offer in Rwanda. Volcanoes National Park is the place to be for gorilla trekking. Chimpanzees and 12 other primates can be found in Nyungwe National Park, and Akagera National Park is home to the Big Five. For some relaxation, why not stay a few days on the shore of scenic Lake Kivu.

Rates (USD) $314 to $1,238 pp/day
Best Time to Go June to September (Dry season)
High Season June to September (Gorilla permits are scarce)
Size 26,338km² / 10,169mi²

Pros & Cons

  • One of the very few places to see mountain gorillas
  • Combine primate viewing with a classic savannah safari
  • Good balance between vehicle, boat and walking activities
  • Excellent birding
  • Scenic beauty
  • Excellent roads and infrastructure
  • Safe and clean
  • Not the best destination for a classic savannah safari
  • Expensive destination

Rwanda Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
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  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Wildlife

Located in the Albertine Rift, known as a biodiversity hot spot, Rwanda has an amazing variety of animals. Aside from gorillas and chimps you can see many other primates, such as Ruwenzori colobus and golden monkeys. Boat trips are great for seeing hippos and crocodiles, and Akagera’s savannah plains teem with wildlife, including giraffe, buffalo, zebra and defassa waterbuck. Lions are never far away either.

Weather & Climate

As Rwanda straddles the equator, temperatures are quite uniform throughout the year and there is no real winter or summer. Daytime temperatures are around 27°C/81°F. There is a Dry season (from June to September) and a Wet season (from October to May). The Wet season is divided into the short and long rains with a short period of drier weather in between. The short rains are from October to December and the long rains are the wettest months from March to May.

Best Time to Visit

Rwanda can be visited at any time of the year, but rainfall tends to be high and it is recommended to avoid the wettest month of April. During these months, the trails tend to be very slippery, which makes gorilla trekking more challenging. Rain can also interfere with your gorilla trekking experience, which is time-limited and very special. Overall, the best time to visit the country is from June to September when sunny weather is more likely and wildlife is easier to spot.

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Rwanda Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Expert
Heather Richardson  –  
South Africa ZA

Heather is a British travel / conservation journalist, and has written for publications and broadcasters such as the BBC, Departures, the Telegraph and the Sunday Times.

More than gorillas
5/5

The way Rwanda has positioned itself as one of the most exciting tourism destinations in Africa is seriously admirable. Its controversial president, Paul Kagame, has invited some of the top tourism operators to develop properties in the...

Full Review

Latest User Review
evimeyer  –  
United States US
Reviewed: May 4, 2020
Rwanda is a hidden gem for wildlife observation
5/5

Our group of three pretty active seniors (63 ,66, 72) were traveling to Rwanda to observe mountain gorillas and do a more traditional safari. Two of us were birders, so naturally we focused on avian creatures a lot, but saw plenty of other...

Full Review