Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in southwestern Uganda

Things to do in  Rwanda

A beauty in its own right

Rwanda has been nicknamed both the Switzerland and the Singapore of Africa, but this East African land of a thousand hills deserves its own recognition. Despite its small size, Rwanda boasts a range of reliefs, from the rolling peaks of the Virungas to the sloping surrounds of Lake Kivu. Its four national parks are home to diverse wildlife, including mountain gorillas. But it’s not all natural attractions—a fascinating history of ancient kingdoms and a vibrant (and incredibly clean) capital offer more things to do in Rwanda.

Top 2 attractions in Rwanda

Volcanoes National Park

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Along with the neighboring parks of Mgahinga and Virunga, Volcanoes National Park is one of the last strongholds of wild mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. Tropical flora, bamboo forest, and five individual volcanoes cover the park’s more than 60 square miles (160 square kilometers), which visitors explore on regulated wildlife tours.More

Kigali Genocide Memorial

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Between April and July 1994, countless Rwandans were murdered by Hutu extremists, who terrorized the country in an attempt to wipe out the Tutsi population. More than 250,000 victims are buried at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, which aims to provide a context for the slaughter and educate visitors about prevention of future genocide.More
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All about Rwanda

When to visit

Rwanda is fairly temperate year-round. Wildlife-watchers should schedule their treks in the June–September dry season when washouts are less likely and the terrain is most manageable. If you’re lucky, your visit will coincide with the annual Kwita Izina gorilla baby-naming ceremony, a sweet celebration of the country’s conservation efforts.

Getting around

Rwanda’s long-distance roads are some of the best in the region, making it easy to drive between major destinations—which is fortunate, as there are no trains. Most travelers take advantage of tours with private transfers or catch an intercity coach bus. If you’re traveling within towns, moto (motorbike taxi) is the most popular way to zip about, though some prefer the added security of a classic taxi car.

Traveler tips

Rwanda frequently tops lists of Africa’s cleanest countries, and this is in part because of umuganda, a monthly cleaning event when all citizens are required to dedicate part of their day to community upkeep. The practice has had its controversies, but it remains an important part of life for locals, so make sure you’re doing your part as a guest and look after the environment around you.

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People Also Ask

What is Rwanda best known for?

Rwanda is best known for its endangered mountain gorillas and golden monkeys, thanks, in part, to Dian Fossey's work in what's now Volcanoes National Park. The country is also known for its hills, modern infrastructure, and far-reaching history, including the ancient Kingdom of Rwanda and 1990s civil war and genocide.

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Is it worth going to Rwanda?

Yes. Rwanda is a must-see. It is one of the few places to spot wild mountain gorillas, and it's home to the Big Five game animals, and rare bird and plant life. You'll also find some of the continent's cleanest towns, pretty scenery, adventure activities, and a rich cultural heritage.

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What are the top attractions in Rwanda?

Volcanoes National Park, home of the mountain gorilla and golden monkey, is Rwanda’s top attraction, followed by Akagera National Park, Gishwati-Mukura National Park, and Nyungwe National Park with its 230-foot (70-meter) forest canopy walkway. Other top attractions include Kigali Genocide Memorial in Kigali and the Ethnographic Museum in Huye.

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Is Rwanda tourist friendly?

Yes, Rwanda is tourist friendly. Rwanda has a very low crime rate overall, though tourists should keep personal items secure and book tours and accommodations through reputable companies. Wildlife tourism, including gorilla trekking, is a top Rwanda draw, so there's priority given to keeping these experiences safe and inviting.

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How many days should I spend in Rwanda?

Minimum, you need seven days in Rwanda, especially for the gorillas. Plan at least two days for your trek, factoring in extra days for travel, plus one day (minimum) to explore Kigali. With two weeks, you'll see most major attractions, while also having time for relaxation on Lake Kivu.

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Is Rwanda a cheap country to visit?

Yes and no. Getting to Rwanda can be expensive, but once there, the costs are relatively low, with accommodations and restaurants available for most budgets. The biggest expense is gorilla trekking—it's more expensive than in neighboring Uganda or DRC. The higher price and limited permits means a more exclusive experience.

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Frequently Asked Questions
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