Known as the land of a thousand hills, Rwanda is a land of great natural beauty and a superb ecotourism destination. Most people come here to see the silverback mountain gorillas made famous by the film Gorillas in the Mist.
When you’re not tracking animals, partying in Kigali, watching Intore dancers in Virunga or trekking to volcanoes, enjoy just hanging out with the warm and friendly Rwandans themselves.
Rwanda boasts a rich and diverse culture which spans centuries. Very few external influences have managed to infiltrate the culture, which is admirable considering the prolonged period of Belgian rule to which the country was subjected.
As with most East African cultures, clothing in Rwanda is a representation of culture, family and in more rural communities, ranking. Female dresses worn in traditional communities are called mushanana, which are generally made from wonderfully ornate, hand-woven materials.
The best time to visit Rwanda depends entirely on the activities travelers intend to engage in. The dry season provides the perfect conditions for wildlife safaris as the animals will be drawn to waterholes more frequently and thus in plain sight.
The heat is also perfect for gorilla trekking as the trails are drier and easier to navigate, and more gorillas will be visible. The rainy seasons are, however, the best time to observe chimpanzees in their natural environment as most areas are green and lush.
Travelling around Rwanda for one week is enough to see most of the highlights of the country. If you have more time, this is only better and you can travel around at a slower pace. Along the way, you will encounter many tea estates and cute local villages. You can visit places such as Kigali, Nyungwe Forest National Park, Lac Kivu (Kibuye of Gisenyi), Volcanoes National Park, Mount Kabuye, and the Akagera National Park
When it comes to things to do in Rwanda, nearly every tourist has one activity at the top of their itinerary: gorilla trekking. Nature lovers can go on a safari in Akagera National Park and get a bird's-eye view of Nyungwe Forest from a canopy walk. To get to know a bit of Rwanda´s culture, check out the fascinating exhibits on traditional customs and beliefs at Rwanda's Ethnographic Museum. Don't miss the royal cows (and the singers who croon to them) at the King's Palace Museum.
Rwanda has a well-surfaced road network linking the major towns, and the most convenient way to travel the country is by car. Smaller roads are frequently unsurfaced with varying conditions, especially during the rainy season. Tour operators can arrange a vehicle with a driver, or a number of agencies rent out cars and 4x4s. Taxis operate in the larger towns. Travel insurance may not cover motorbike taxis, which are also common. There are no rail services and the most popular form of public transport is shared minibuses. In Kigali, buses operate a smart card system called Tap&Go.
Rwanda is quite a safe country and the usual tourism-related crimes of muggings and pickpocketing are not prolific. All travellers must have a PCR COVID-19 Clearance Certificate issued by a recognised facility within 48 hours from the date of departure, in line with WHO guidelines.
A yellow fever and Malaria vaccination certificate is required from those travellers coming from areas of risk. Furthermore, you should take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover you while you are away.
Hike with Primates in Nyungwe Forest
Climb Mount Bisoke
Kayak (or chill!) on Lake Kivu
Trek to see Golden Monkeys in Volcanoes
Visit Local Villages
Visit the Genocide Memorial in Kigali
Combine a Gorilla Trek with a Kenya Safari