Wildlife and Nature
Things to See and to Do
Meet the Local People
Rwanda is often called ‘Land of a Thousand Hills’. Rwanda is a small, land-locked country on the eastern rim of the Albertine Rift Valley, part of the Great Rift Valley. Rwanda is experiencing a tourism rebound after falling of the map after the genocide in 1994. The country now has many international visitors and is regarded as a safe place for tourists. Getting around is very easy, because the distances are relatively small and the paved roads are generally in good condition. Rwanda is bordered by Uganda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania.
Come and see for yourself, Rwanda has a lot to offer: Five volcanoes in a row and the biggest concentration of mountain gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park, vast tropical rainforest in Nyungwe Forest, with Chimpanzees, large troops of Angolan Colobus Monkeys, Mona Monkeys, Red-tailed Monkeys, Patas Monkeys and Blue Monkeys.
Great Savannas in Akagera National park with the large animals like Elephants, Lions, Buffaloes, Leopards, Giraffes, Zebras, Hyenas, Warthogs, Hippos and Crocodiles and a stunning scenery at Gisenyi on lake Kivu. Kigali is the vibrant capital, which is slowly regaining its former reputation of its great nightlife. Kigali’s international airport serves domestic and several international destinations. Kigali is also home to the National Genocide Memorial.
Western and central Rwanda has steep mountains and lies at elevations between 1500 and 2500 meters above sea level. The Virunga Volcanoes give a lot of hiking opportunities through beautiful scenery. The steep mountains only give way in the eastern part of the country, nearby the Tanzanian border. The lower lying terrain is part of the Lake Victoria Basin, with the Kagera River. Much of this ecosystem is protected within the Akagera National Park.
Rwanda is a tropical country and much of it lies on the African plateau. This gives Rwanda a nice tropical climate, with temperatures averaging between 23 and 28 degrees Celsius during the day and between 11 and 17 degrees Celsius at night. The rainy seasons are from March to May and October to December.
The official languages of Rwanda are French and Kinyarwandais, but English is also widely spoken. And nowadays English is getting more and more popular. The currency is the Rwandan Franc (RFr). The land is 26.338 sq. kilometers, with a population of 8 million.
East Africa is the best place in the world to watch wildlife. Large animals are more abundant, diverse and visible than anywhere else in the world. East Africa is also one of the best places in the world for birdwatching. It’s not unusual for birdwatchers to see 500 or more species in one trip.
There are more then 100 mammal species in East Africa: Elephants, Rhinos, Giraffes, Buffaloes, Lions, Leopards, Cheetahs, Hyenas, Monkeys, Zebras, Warthogs, Bushpigs, Giant Forest Hogs, Hippos and more then 40 antelope species, such as Kudus, Topis, Waterbucks, Hartebeests, Uganda Kobs, Oribis, Bushbucks, Elands, Impalas, Roan Antelopes, and Gazelles. Other species include Nile Crocodiles, Nile Monitors, other lizards and snakes, Mountain Gorillas, Chimpanzees and 15 monkey species.
There are over a thousand bird species, which makes East Africa a birder’s paradise. Species include: Shoebill Stork, Saddle Billed Stork, Pelicans, Herons, African Fish Eagle, Bateleur, Long Crested Eagle, Vultures, Owls, Grey Crowned Crane, Great Blue Turaco, Rwenzori Turaco, Hornbills, Honey birds, Sunbirds, Weavers and the African Finfoot.
All these species are visible in Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. And in the western part of Uganda and in Rwanda, there’s an unique combination of the savanna animals from East Africa and the forest animals of West Africa. Species such as Mountain Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Black-and-White Colobus, Red Colobus, L’Hoest’s Monkeys, Brazza’s Monkeys, Patas Monkeys, Red-Tailed Monkeys, Blue Monkeys, Forest Elephants and Forest Buffaloes.
Rwanda is very colorful and has many different tribes of local people. The best known are the Hutu’s, Tutsi’s and Pygmies.
Meet the local people and spend an afternoon with them, have a meal together, visit a school or a typical African Church Ceremony, or visit one of the projects. Kafu Safaris, supports the local people and encourages clients to visit one of their programs and give them support.
During a trip with Kafu Safaris, there are many opportunities to visit the local people. Our driver can take you there or just make a stop on the way to visit a market, a church or a school.
Rwanda made a remarkable come back after the 1994 genocide. The country is built up in a good and modern way and the dividing between Hutu’s and Tutsi’s is no longer there. For people willing to see that part of the Rwandan history there are memorial centers in the bigger towns. The best know is in Kigali.