Rwanda beyond the primate safaris –it is with no doubt that by a mere mention of Rwanda, the first thing that rings at the back of most travelers minds is gorilla trekking or primate safaris. But did you know that there is a lot more to encounter or experience beyond mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, golden monkeys etc while on Rwanda safaris? Yes, Rwanda is amazingly one Africa’s leading gorilla safari destinations, but visitors have guarantee of engaging in other multiple activities or experiences.
First, Rwanda has four national parks for you to consider spending a holiday and they include Volcanoes National Park (most popular not only for mountain gorilla safaris but also other experiences like volcano hiking), in the Eastern Province Rwanda –visit Akagera National Park (ANP) for uninterrupted big 5 game viewing, Gishwati-Mukura & Nyungwe Forest NP for excellent chimpanzee treks.
Besides primate safaris, here are other unique experiences not to be missed on Rwanda safari;
Big 5 game safaris
Rwanda by size is very small, but all its national parks have what you would wish to see in the rest of East African countries. If it is the big 5 game that you would like to encounter, still you have a chance to make your dream come true while on Rwanda safaris. Akagera National Park, located in the extreme Northeastern Rwanda is an exceptional savanna park where all the big five game survive plus other countless savanna species.
On a safari in Akagera NP, some of the interesting animal species to be spotted include the cape buffaloes, rhinos, lions, leopards, and elephants. Other animals to see include the Masai giraffes, elands, roan antelopes, bushbucks, zebras, Klipspringer, duikers, topis, and others.
Birds that live in Akagera NP total up to 500 species, including the giant kingfishers, African wattled plovers, hammerkops, long-crested eagles, grey crowned cranes, African open bill stork, Senegal lapwings, African darters, grey backed fiscals, black headed and vieillot’s black weaver birds, shoebill stork, Augur buzzard, squacco herons, and more.
Bird watching trips in Rwanda introduce you to numerous birding spots rich in bird species. More than 700 species of birds exist in the different parts of Rwanda and some of the important birding areas include papyrus gonoleks, kingfishers, Kungwe apalis, handsome spur fowl, stripe-breasted tit, Kivu ground thrush, Rwenzori turacos, mountain masked apalis, red-faced barbets, and more.
The set canopy walk in Rwanda is the first of its kind throughout East Africa. This is found in Nyungwe Forest National Park, a rich primate destination in Rwanda and excellent spot for chimpanzee tracking. The canopy walk in Nyungwe Forest takes 2 hours for you walk to and from the ending point while spotting birds, flora and view of the park’s forest canopy.
Volcano hiking is one of the amazing adventures that you should expect enjoying on Rwanda safaris. The must-hike volcanoes in Volcanoes National Park include Bisoke Volcano (3700 meters), Sabyinyo, Muhabura, Gahinga and Karisimbi volcanoes. The primate safaris can be incorporated with volcano hiking/climbing in Rwanda.
Cultural & community tours
If you are enthusiastic about cultural experiences in Africa, then you have a reason to visit Rwanda this 2023. Rwanda boasts of its rich cultures and traditions that you can explore and experience on cultural safari in Iby’Iwacu cultural village/Gorilla guardian. Or embark on community combined with farm tours to explore how tea or coffee is grown till its stage when it is ready for consumption.
Cycling or biking safaris are also enjoyable on Rwanda safaris in addition to primate trekking. Rwanda features a breathtaking landscape, characterized by rolling hills, and one of the areas of interest to go cycling is along the Congo-Nile trail.