Unforgettable Travel Company

Luxury Rwanda Safari Tours & Vacations

Rwanda, known as the ‘land of a thousand hills,’ boasts stunning national parks, lush rainforests, and crater lakes. The country’s iconic feature is its mountains, with over 370 named peaks. Rwanda is renowned for its mountain gorillas, found in the Volcanoes National Park, part of the Virunga Mountains. Its diverse ecosystems support a wide range of wildlife, making Rwanda a compelling safari destination.

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Rwanda proudly homes the Volcanoes National Park – a dense and beautifully-lush rainforest that is part of the Virunga Mountains. For those that want to combine the mountain gorillas with a safari experience, consider Akagera National Park to the north, or fly seamlessly to the Serengeti in Tanzania.

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Gemma D Souza

Africa Specialist
Gemma DSouza Expert profile

Private Rwanda Escapes: Custom Itineraries & Exclusive Tours

Discover the beauty of Rwanda with our carefully crafted itineraries and tours.

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Why we love Safaris in Rwanda

Gemma Africa Specialist

Gemma

Africa Specialist

Rwanda is nicknamed the Land of a Thousand Hills, and rightly so. The African Rift Valley has shaped this country to become the dramatic and unique landscape that it is today, and some of the world’s most fascinating and endangered species are proud to call this their home. The species that Rwanda is most famed for is the mountain gorilla. With less than 1,000 mountain gorillas left in the world, it is extremely important to protect the Virunga Mountains, to which they call home.

Almost all our luxury Rwanda safari tris include a couple of days to stay in Volcanoes National Park. With only a two-hour drive from Kigali, a mountain gorilla trek is a truly unforgettable experience. Although everyone attends the same safety briefing at the park headquarters, each gorilla trek is completely unique and can last between an average of 2-6 hours. Once you find the gorillas, you are allowed to spend one hour with them, enjoying their enormous presence.

Safaris in Rwanda also include the Nyungwe Forest, where you can do other primate treks and scenic hikes. Akagera National Park in eastern Rwanda is also worth visiting, and a great way to spend a couple of nights on safari. The wildlife here is thriving as species have been reintroduced to the park, and the management of the park is doing a great job.

Best Places to Go in Rwanda

  • Volcanoes National Park

    Volcanoes National Park

    Volcanoes National Park in northwest Rwanda is renowned for its volcanoes and the Virunga Massif. It’s famous for the habituated mountain gorillas, with guided treks taking 30 minutes to 6 hours, offering a humbling experience in this breathtaking landscape.

  • Akagera

    Akagera National Park

    Rwanda’s largest national park, Volcanoes, has made a remarkable recovery over the past two decades, thanks to organizations like African Parks. Efforts include a successful translocation of southern white rhinos to Akagera National Park, signaling hope for its ecosystem’s restoration.

  • Nyungwe Forest

    Nyungwe Forest

    Nyungwe Forest, in southwest Rwanda, stands as one of Africa’s best-preserved montane rainforests, known for its rich biodiversity, including 13 primate species like chimpanzees and golden monkeys. Various lodges make it an ideal addition to a Rwandan travel itinerary.

  • Lake Kivu

    Lake Kivu

    Lake Kivu, bordering Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, is a stunning location surrounded by mountains and dormant volcanoes. It’s Africa’s sixth largest lake, offering relaxation, water activities, and scenic trails, making it an ideal post-safari destination.

  • Kigali

    Kigali

    Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, surprises visitors with its cleanliness and welcoming atmosphere. Despite a tragic past, locals are open about the city’s history, reflecting Rwanda’s resilience. The city also thrives in art and architecture, making it a convenient starting point for your journey.

Rwanda

Best Time to Visit Rwanda

The best time to visit Rwanda is during the dry season from June to September. This period offers optimal weather for exploring its lush landscapes and, most notably, for gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park. The skies are clear, and the terrain is more manageable. You’ll have a higher chance of witnessing these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

For more information on the best time to visit Rwanda, please visit.

What to do in Rwanda

Rwanda is known as the land of a thousand hills, and is a country of dense forests, vibrant national parks. There are so many places to explore and things to do in Rwanda, but most famously, trekking with the habituated mountain gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park, and the golden monkeys in Nyungwe Forest.

  • Gorilla trekking

    Trek with the mountain gorillas

    Spend a few days in the Volcanoes National Park – home to the habituated mountain gorillas. The ascent is a great way to see the park with dramatic landscapes extending over Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, before trekking through the forest to spend an hour with a gorilla family.

  • Kigali

    Explore Kigali

    Spend a few days in the Volcanoes National Park – home to the habituated mountain gorillas. The ascent is a great way to see the park with dramatic landscapes extending over Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, before trekking through the forest to spend an hour with a gorilla family.

  • Akagera National Park

    Game drives in Akagera

    Explore this beautiful national park, home to broad-leafed forest and acacia woods. You’ll be able to do morning and afternoon game drives, with the opportunity to see animals such as giraffes, buffalo, elephants, hippos, and hyenas among others. The lion population is also thriving, so keep an eye out for the big cats.

Rwanda advice from travel experts

  • Gorilla in Bwindi National Park Listing

    Gorilla Safaris

    There are only around 1,000 mountain gorillas left in the world today. These gorillas can be found in the dense rainforests in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Wherever you head to for your gorilla trek, the experience will be simply magical. When you are in the presence of a mountain gorilla – be it a whole family, or a huge Silverback gorilla – you will feel vulnerable and humbled at the same time. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Although there is constant threat to these incredible primates, conservation and tourism initiatives is what keeps them protected. The cost of gorilla permits may seem quite high ($750 per person in Uganda, and $1,500 per person in Rwanda) but this money goes directly towards the protection of the mountain gorillas, contributing to ranger salaries and sustaining their efforts. We regularly get asked “What is the difference between a Uganda and Rwanda gorilla trek?” Our travel experts have done both experiences so we are happy to discuss the differences with you over the phone but, as a short overview, the main difference is the logistics behind the treks.
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  • Untitled 210 × 210 px 12

    11 reasons why an African safari should be on your bucket list

    There is nothing quite like an African safari. Enjoying the sunrise every morning, watching animals in their natural habitat, and drinking a G&T over the savannah as the sun goes down are all activities you can do on a daily basis. It is the wildlife, the landscape, and the people of Africa that make an African safari so special. Here are 11 reasons why an African safari should be on your bucket list. Banner image: Ol Pejeta Bush Camp

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  • Typical Day on Safari Listing

    A Typical Day On Safari

    Going on safari is a unique experience and many people have no idea what to expect when they first go on safari. Here is the Unforgettable Travel Company’s guide to a day in an African Game Reserve.
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  • Best time to go on Safari Listing

    Best Time To Go On Safari

    Africa is a vast continent and the best time to visit varies hugely depending on the area, the weather patterns are specific to each country. The dry season is normally the best time for safari as the animals congregate around waterholes and the vegetation is less dense, making game viewing easier. Having said that, every season is special in Africa. The arrival of the rains will often result in the birth of many baby animals which is a wonderful thing to see on safari. Generally, in East Africa the dry seasons are January to March and June to October. For Southern Africa, the dry season is May to October. There are many local variations to this, often travelling just outside the peak dry season offers great value for money.

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FAQs

How long should my Rwandan safari be?

Although there are plenty of national parks and forests to visit across the country, Rwanda safaris tend to be shorter, or combined with other countries to make a longer trip. The most desirable thing to do in Rwanda is trek to see the mountain gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park and this can be done in a two or three-night private tour, depending on how many gorilla treks you’d like to do. That said, there are plenty of destinations to combine to offer a fantastic week-long safari in Rwanda. 

Which national parks are the best in Rwanda?

Rwanda has four national parks which are all protected and closely monitored ecosystems. These include Akagera National Park, Nyugwe National Park, Gishwati-Mukura National Park, and the Volcanoes National Park. Nyungwe National Park is in the south of the country and is home to 13 primate species including the blue monkey, the red-tailed monkey, the velvet monkey, and the golden monkey. The Volcanoes National Park is in the north and is the go-to for mountain gorilla treks. Akagera National Park, in eastern Rwanda, is more of a varied safari destination and, as a result of the successful translocation in 2021, they now have southern white rhinos in the parks.

How much is a gorilla trek in Rwanda? 

The price for a gorilla permit in Rwanda is currently $1,500 per person per trek. The cost of the permit, although high, is extremely fundamental in keeping these gorillas safe. The money is spread across the team of dedicated rangers, trackers, guides, and staff at the park headquarters, whose sole job is to protect these endangered species and to ensure their numbers stay stable. The total cost of your gorilla safari will vary depending on how many treks you decide to do, and which camp you decide to stay in. We offer four and five-star lodges in the Volcanoes National Park but we can create an itinerary that is suited to you and your budget.

Is Rwanda good for a honeymoon safari?

Absolutely! Rwanda is perfect for those looking for an adventurous honeymoon, with unique destinations and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. As most of the safari experiences – like the golden monkey and mountain gorilla treks – are quite demanding physically, I would recommend Rwanda for younger or active honeymooners. There are plenty of incredibly special lodges across the country I would recommend for couples, like Bisate Lodge and the One and Only portfolio in particular.

 

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