​Wildlife & Animals – Rwanda

Philip Briggs
Expert
By Philip Briggs

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Bradt guidebooks to African destinations, including the guide to Rwanda.

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Bradt guidebooks to African destinations, including the guide to Rwanda.

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Bradt guidebook to Rwanda.

Philip is the author of the Bradt guidebook to Rwanda.

Rwanda is one of only three countries that are home to the endangered mountain gorillas. Seeing these gentle giants in their natural environment, the bamboo zone of the dramatic Virunga Mountains, is an unforgettable experience. Similar to a gorilla trek, you can also track habituated chimpanzees and golden monkeys.

Abundant
Common
Occasional
Rare
None
GorillaCommon
White RhinoOccasional
LionOccasional
HippoAbundant
BuffaloAbundant
ZebraAbundant
ElephantOccasional
GiraffeCommon

Wildlife Highlights

Aside from 15 primates, Rwanda is home to another 136 mammal species. To see any of the usual safari animals, you need to go to Akagera National Park, a scenic savannah reserve in eastern Rwanda. Here you’ll see elephants, buffalo, zebras, giraffes and plenty of antelope species such as topi, impala and defassa waterbuck. Black and white rhinos, as well as lions, have recently been reintroduced.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

Gorilla trekking is available throughout the year and sightings are pretty much guaranteed. However, the Dry season, from June to September, offers the best tracking conditions. This is also the best time for general wildlife viewing in Akagera. The wettest months, March and April, are best avoided.

Wildlife Rating

Recommended Wildlife Books

  • Stuarts’ Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of Africa
    Comprehensive coverage of large mammals; app available.

    Chris Stuart and Mathilde Stuart
  • The Safari Companion: A Guide to Watching African Mammals
    This unique book provides rich insight into mammal behavior.

    Richard D. Estes
  • East African Wildlife
    A useful beginner’s guide to East Africa’s varied fauna.

    Philip Briggs
  • Wild Rwanda: Where To Watch Birds, Primates, & Other Wildlife
    Wonderful guide full of expert tips for locating wildlife.

    Ken Behrens, Christian Boix and Keith Barnes

Wildlife Photos

Want To Visit Rwanda?

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Wildlife Photos

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