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.

Rwanda offers arguably the best gorilla trekking experience in Africa (and this can easily be added on to any East African safari). Rwanda is also a worthwhile safari destination in its own right. Volcanoes National Park is the place to track gorillas, and other activities include volcano hikes and tracking golden monkeys. Chimps and several other primates can be found in Nyungwe Forest National Park. Akagera National Park offers a low-key but increasingly rewarding off-the-beaten-track savannah safari.

Rates (USD) $290 to $1,263 pp/day
Best Time to Go Jun to Sep (Except for chimp trekking in Nyungwe)
High Season June to September (Gorilla permits are scarce)
Size 26,338km² / 10,169mi²

Pros & Cons

  • One of the very few places to see endangered 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 hassle free
  • Young, relatively inexperienced tourist industry
  • Not the best destination for a classic savannah safari

Rwanda Safari Reviews

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

Wildlife

Rwanda has an amazing variety of primates. Aside from mountain gorillas and chimpanzees, there are many different monkey species to look out for including the very localized golden monkey, as well as l’Hoest’s monkey, Rwenzori colobus and red-tailed monkey. All of the Big Five can be seen in Akagera NP but there is no cheetah in Rwanda.

Weather & Climate

Straddling 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 months March and 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. During these months some roads can become difficult to navigate. 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.

Premier Parks & Reserves

Want to Visit Rwanda?

Rwanda Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Rainforests, savannah, volcanoes and Lake Kivu
4/5

I was apprehensive when I first visited Rwanda in 2000, just six years after the horrific genocide in which close to a million people were killed. The wounds were still raw, but even then Rwanda had started to rebuild its tourist industry...

Latest User Review
5/5

I refer you to my review, an amazing experience