National parks of Rwanda

National parks of Rwanda : Rwanda is a small landlocked country located in the Great Rift Valley and is sitted on 26,338 square kilometers on the African continent. Rwanda is a beautiful country located in the Central Africa bordered by Uganda in the north, the Democratic Republic of Congo in the west, Burundi in the south and Tanzania in the East. The Rwanda population is estimated at 445 people living per square kilometer making it a densely populated country.

Rwanda is a small but fast growing country in the terms of economy and one of the biggest contributors to the economy is the tourism sector. Rwanda is blessed with four different national parks within its boundaries. There are so many natural resources and attractions in Rwanda for example Rwanda is the home to 5 volcanic mountains, 23 lakes and many rivers that flow to form the source of the Nile,

There are only two seasons experienced in Rwanda and these are the dry season and the wet season with the rainy/ wet season running twice in a year that is March to May then October to November with approximately 110-200 mm received per month with temperatures ranging from 24.6 to 27.6 degrees centigrade. August and September are the months where the hottest temperatures are experienced in Rwanda.

The vegetation in Rwanda ranges from the thick tropical forest covering the biggest part to the savannah lands in the East. The national parks of Rwanda depict this vegetation and these are the Volcanoes national park, the Gishwati Mukura national park, the Nyungwe forest national park and the Akagera national park. Many numbers of international visitors flock Rwanda looking to visit one or each of these national parks.

The three national parks of Rwanda have a unique tourist attraction within its boundaries and supplementary attractions with great accommodation options for all classes of tourists depending on their budget. Read more about each of the Rwanda national parks.

Volcanoes national park

The Volcanoes national park is one of the most visited national parks of Rwanda. The Volcanoes national park is located in the north western part of Rwanda in the Ruhengeri district of the Norther province. The major tourist attraction of Volcanoes national park is the endangered mountain gorilla species. Mountain gorilla trekking is a famous activity and can only be done in Rwanda, Uganda and the neighboring Democratic republic of Congo.

Mountain gorilla trekking gives guests a chance to come within 7 meters of the wild mountain gorilla which share 99% of the human DNA and spend an hour in their natural habitat. A permit goes for 1,500 USD in the Volcanoes national park.

National parks of Rwanda
Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes

There are other attractions in the Volcanoes national park like the golden monkeys, volcanic mountains that you can take a 1 day hike or overnight hike. Take on a cultural tour at the Iby’iwachu Cultural center in the area and get to enjoy some Rwandan culture and performances from the dancers at the center.

Gishwati Mukura national park

The Gishwati Mukura national park is the newest addition to the national parks of Rwanda and is situated between the Volcanoes national park and the Nyungwe forest national park. The Gishwati Mukura national park is one of the homes of the chimpanzees of Rwanda. There is a habituated chimpanzee family that guests can trek and a permit goes for 90 USD.

There are a number of nature trails that one can opt to take while in the Gishwati Mukura national park and a permit goes for 40 USD. These nature trails are a great opportunity to do some birding and spot some butterflies.

Nyungwe forest national park

Nyungwe forest national park is another one of Rwanda’s national parks and is located in Africa’s largest pristine rain forest, Nyungwe forest. Get to trek chimpanzees in Nyungwe forest by purchasing a chimpanzee permit at 90 USD. Nyungwe forest national park also has the only canopy walk way in East Africa and is a 90 meters high suspended bridge that you can enjoy at only 60 USD.

The canopy walk way is a great point of viewing the forest and also birding and on a much lucky day, spot the other primates in the forest like the Colobus monkey, grey crowned mangabeys or even the blue monkeys.

Enjoy one of the 12 nature trails in Nyungwe forest national park and enjoy the natural air or do some birding as Nyungwe is a home to over 100 different bird species. Get to visit a tea plantation. Get to also visit the Butare museum or the Nyanza King’s palace enroute from or to Nyungwe forest from Kigali.

National parks of Rwanda
Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe

Akagera national park

The Akagera national park is Rwanda’s only wildlife park and is located in the north eastern part in the Kayonza district in the Northern Province of Rwanda. Akagera national park is a 2 hour drive from Kigali and offers game drives and boat cruises.

The game drives in the Akagera national park give guests a chance to spot the Big 5 animals and more of the smaller game like the antelopes, wild pigs, crocodiles and hippos on the boat cruise done on the Lake Ihema. Park entrance is 100 USD and one gets to enjoy this savannah park of Rwanda.

book a safari