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.

Most people come to Rwanda for gorilla trekking, 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 safari animals can be seen.

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 in Nyungwe Forest is another highlight. Akagera National Park is a Big Five destination; elephant and buffalo are common, but lion and rhino sightings are a bit more hit-and-miss. Although leopard is very shy, you might be lucky to spot one early morning or late afternoon. There is no cheetah in the country.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

Gorilla trekking is available throughout the year and sightings are pretty much guaranteed. 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.

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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