Volcanoes National Park
“In the heart of Central Africa, so high that you shiver more then you sweat,” wrote the eminent primatologist Dian Fossey, “are the great old volcanoes towering up almost 15,000 feet and heavily covered in rich, green rainforest – the Virungas”.
The Volcanoes National Park protects the steep slopes of this magnificent mountain range and the rich mosaic of montane ecosystems, which embrace evergreen, bamboo forests, open grassland, swamp and heath. Volcanoes National Park (Parc National de Volcans) is situated in north-western Rwanda. It borders Virunga National Park in the Demographic Republic of Congo And Mgahinga National Park in Uganda. It is a 90 minute drive for Kigali, the Capital of Rwanda. Volcanoes National Park is home to five of the eight volcanoes of the Virunga Mountains (Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo). The park was first gazetted in 1925 and was the first national park in Africa.
Best known for the mountain gorillas, other mammals that reside in the park are the golden monkey, black-fronted duiker, buffalo, spotted hyena and bush buck. There are 178 recorded bird species with at least 13 species and 16 subspecies endemic to the Virunga and Rwenzori Mountains.
Akagera National Park
Set at a relatively low altitude on the boarder with Tanzania, Akagera National Park is characterised by sweeping grasslands and rugged acacia woodland, interspersed with a labyrinth of swamps and lakes that follow the Akagera River, the most remote source of the Nile. This breath-taking landscape is an exhilarating change from the magnificent rainforests that dominate most of Rwanda.
Akagera provides a real eye opener to the wonders of the flora and fauna of the African bushland, with herds of elephant and buffalo emerging from the woodland to drink at the lakes. An observant visitor may also spot a stealthy leopard, hyena or pride of lions resting in the cool shade provided by the feral acacia trees. Akagera National Park is almost bursting with more then a dozen species of antelope, most commonly the handsome, regal impala, but also oribi, bushbuck, tsessebe and the world’s largest antelope, the striking Cape eland are resident within the park
Nyungwe Forest National Park
This magnificent national park consists of the largest block of montane forest in East and Central Africa. It is home to a marvelous diversity of unique fauna and flora. The forest has more than 200 different types of trees, and a myriad of flowering plants, including the beautiful and treasured giant lobelia and a host of colourful orchids.
Nyungwe National Park is most treasured for its primates, there is a remarkable 13 primate species recorded resident in this lush rainforest. This includes man’s closest living relative, the chimpanzee as well as the delightful L’Hoest’s monkey and numerous fun-loving troops of Black and White Colobus. But bird lovers don’t despair, for Nyungwe National Park is the most important ornithological site in Rwanda. Almost 300 species of bird species have found a home on Nyungwe National Park of which nearly 30 are restricted to a handful of montane forests in the Albertine Rift.
Lake Kivu is one of Africa’s Great Lakes and lies on the border between DRC and Rwanda. It is part of the Albertine Rift Valley. Lake Kivu is approximately 2700km squared and in one of three known ‘exploding’ lakes. This term in used to describe the severe lake overturns which it experiences. It is not yet proven what triggers these lake overturns but volcanic activity is suspected. Lake Kivu has a unique gaseous chemical composition of methane and carbon dioxide. The Rwandan government is looking into large scale methane extraction. This project is likely to increase Rwanda’s energy generation capability by as much as 20 times and will enable Rwanda to sell electricity to neighbouring African countries.
Lake Kivu is an excellent place to relax and settle into for a couple of days. There are not many formal activities to take part in, but with its red sandy beaches, beautiful views of lush, green hills and the nearby Gisenyi town, Lake Kivu is definitely worth a visit. Boat rides can be taken on the lake, there is a prolific amount of bird life to be seen along the lake shore and Gisenyi offers lovely sightings of old colonial buildings and a chance to experience the hustle and bustle of a local market.
Iby’Iwachu Cultural Village
Iby’ Iwachu Cultural Village is located near Parc National des Volcans in Kinigi. Its has been developed to display local and traditional lifestyles, activities and artefacts.
Local communities benefit and earn directly from this community based tourism initiative to improve their socio-economic ways of living and as an incentive for conservation of the gorillas and their habitat.
Given the cultural value attached to it, the Iby’ Iwachu Cultural Village is a platform to showcase the Rwandan ways of living, traditional lifestyles and dances to tourists and community members in a way that encourages them all to be a part of it while generating income for poor local people. The money generated is used to support their household income based activities; encourage sustainability; reducing unemployment and empowering local people politically, economically and socially to alleviate poverty (which is the underlying cause of poaching) while developing these entities as linkages towards conservation of the endangered mountain gorillas.
COMMUNITY & CULTURAL TOURISM
Rwanda cultural Tour will take you to visit the most predominant and well known cultural sites in Rwanda including the famous genocide memorials, the Kigali Traditional Construction Experience,the safari gives you enormous opportunity to explore splendor treasures related to the ancient history of Rwanda. These rich historical treasures are housed in different museums. The rich history of Rwanda is a very significant aspect that creates an identity of Rwandan people. The 5 Days Historical Rwanda Tour of Rwanda dates back to the kingdom era, colonial and post-colonial times; which have for long not been explored to attract tourists and create awareness on the Rwandan people. Your tour inside these museums will enable you to know why Rwandese believe their society has strong power and mysteries. You will spend a day learning their ancient lifestyle and traditions.