Wildlife & Animals – 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.

Rwanda offers some of the best forest primate viewing in Africa. Gorilla trekking is the main reason people come to Rwanda, but many smaller primates can be seen as well, including habituated golden monkeys. Other species to look out for are l'Hoest's monkey, red-tailed monkey and Rwenzori colobus. Rwanda has one savannah reserve where most of the big safari animals can be seen, including the Big Five. Elephant and buffalo are common, but lion and rhino sightings are a bit more hit-and-miss. Leopards are very shy and seldom seen. There is no cheetah in the country.

Abundant
Common
Occasional
Rare
None
GorillaCommon
LionRare
HippoCommon
BuffaloCommon
ZebraCommon
ElephantOccasional
GiraffeOccasional

Wildlife Highlights

While gorillas can be tracked in the Virunga mountains, chimpanzee trekking is another highlight on offer in Rwanda. Several habituated troops can be tracked in Nyungwe Forest, while the new Gishwati-Mukura NP will soon offer visits to its own habituated troop of chimps. There are long-term plans to connect both parks with a corridor to provide free movement between the parks for chimps and other animals.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

Gorilla trekking is available throughout the year and sightings are pretty much guaranteed at any time. Chimpanzee trekking is a bit more difficult – the best time is from October to February, part of the Wet season. The Dry Season, from June to September, is best for general wildlife viewing in Akagera National Park. The wettest months, from March to May, are best avoided as the very heavy rain and slippery trails can interfere with your activities.

Wildlife Rating

Recommended Wildlife Books

  • Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of Africa
    Chris Stuart
  • Pocket Guide to Mammals of East Africa
    Chris Stuart

Wildlife Photos

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