Rwanda Natioanl Parks-Nyungwe Forest National Park, Akagera National Park, Volcanoes National Park:- guide to gorilla safaris and tracking, wildlife adventures, Karisimbi, Bisoke climbing, trekking and hiking tours, air travel, honeymoons, hotels and lodges, car rental, hire in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania including Zanzibar. The three national parks of Rwanda are Volcanoes, Nyungwe and Akagera national Park

  Rwanda National Parks-Akagera National Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park, Volcanoes National Park

  

 

 

 Nyungwe Forest Lodge   

AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK

Year of Gazetted: Akagera was established in 1934.

Size:  Akagera currently occupies an area of approximately 1085 KM².

 

Location from Kigali:  Akagera National Park is located two and half hours drive east of Kigali Rwanda.

 

Akagera National Park Habitats:

Bush Savannah tangled with acacia and branchystagia woodlands with stands of Euphorbia candlebrum, patches of rolling grasslands, riverine, lakes and swamps. 

 

To the west of the park are hills reaching to elevations of 1600m-1800m above sea level.

 

Features:

The main features and attractions of Akagera National Park include Akagera River Lakes: Ihema, Kivumba, Hago, Mihindi and  Rwanyakizinga. Akagera National Park has a large mammal population.  Within Akagera are elephants, buffalos, lions, Maasai giraffe, gazelles, impala, baboons, oribi, Butchel’s zebra, topi, bush baby, leopard and bushbuck.  Aquatic include crocodiles and hippos. Akagera National park features a  large concentration of bird life with over 525 species identified. Unique species such as Shoe billed stocks and papyrus gonolek can be encountered.  Endemics include the jacanas, ibis, sand pipers and herons.

 

Accommodation:  Akagera Game Lodge, Campsites.

 

Gates: Akagera can be accessed through two gates Kabarando and Kiyonza.   One can also access the park by air.

  • Visitors to Akagera are not allowed to go beyond point 19 in the direction of Gabiro Guest House.

  • The park is open between 07:00 Hrs and 17:00 Hrs.

  • For maximum enjoyment of this park, always use a ranger guide.

  • ORTPN is not responsible for any injuries sustained from animals within the park.

  • Clients are advised to respect the right of animals especially the flight distance.

Activities: The activities in Akagera National park include:- Camping, Picnics,Nature walks, Bird watching and Boat rides

Nyungwe Forest National Park

Volcanoes National Park

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NYUNGWE FOREST NATIONAL PARK

Nyungwe forest was established as a national park in 2004.  The park has a total area of 970 KM².  

 

Distance: Nyungwe forest national park is located 225 Km from Kigali, 90 Km from Butare and 54 Km from Cyangugu. 

 

Altitude:  Nyungwe forest has an altitude range of between 1600 M-2950 M above sea level with temperatures varying between 0°C and 30° C; average day temperatures 15°C.

 

Rainfall: 1800-2500 mm per year. Rainy season is September to May.  Dry season June to August with some dry weeks in December and January.

 

Features:  

The main features and attractions in Nyungwe forest include the following.

  • Largest montane rain forest remaining in Africa.

  • Mt. Bigugu (2925M)

  • Kamiranzovu marsh (13 Km²)

  • In the vicinity Cyamudongo community forest with resident population of Chimpanzees.

  • 260 species of trees and shrubs.

  • Over 100 species of orchids and giant lobelias.

  • More than 275 species of birds recorded Including the Ruwenzori turaco, Ross’s turaco, Grey –cheeked hornbill, Red-throated alethe, Red-breasted sparrow hawk, White-headed wood-hoopoe, Kungwe apalis, Ruwenzori batis, Blue-headed and Regal sunbirds.

13 recorded species of primates (25% of Africa’s total) including:-

  •  Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes)

  •  Ruwenzori colobus (Colobus angolensis ruwenzori)

  • L’Hoest’s monkey (Cercopithecus l’hoesti)

  • Silver monkey (C.mitis doggetti)

  • Golden monkey (C.mitis kandti)

  • Owl-faced monkey (C.hamlyni)

  • Red-tailed monkey (C. ascanius)

  • Den’t mona monkey (C. mona denti)

  • Vervet monkey (C.aetiops),

  • Olive baboon (papio anubis)

  • Grey-cheeked mangabey  (Cercocebus albigena)

  • Three species of bushbaby.

Leopard, golden cat, serval cat, side stripped jackal, Genet, African civet, slender and marsh mongoose represents the carnivores. 

  • Other mammals include three species of duikers, two species of flying squirrels, tree hyrax, and Congo clawless otter.

  • 120 species of butterflies.

  • Reptiles including three species of horned chameleons.  

Activities:  

There are a number of activities that one can undertake within and in the vicinity of Nyungwe Forest National Park.  These inlcude.

  • Bird walks.

  • Primate trekking.

  • Excursions to Kamiranzovu Marsh.

  • Excursions to Lake Kivu and Gisakura tea factory.

  • Scaling Mt Bigugu(2925M).

  • Photography.

Chimpanzee tracking starts at 06:00 Hrs.  Visitors are advised to book chimpanzee tracking in advance.

 

Accommodation:

The newly opened Nyungwe Forest Lodge is an eco-lodge located in the tea estate overlooking Nyungwe forest.   With all the trapping of modern day traveller- wifi internet, tv, health club, the Lodge goes for USD 400pp per night.  Other places of stay are  Uwinka Rest House, Gisakura Guest House, Ortpn campsites.

 

Primate visits can be undertaken from Uwinka Tourist Centre and at Gisakura ORTPN headquarters.

 

On your way to or from Nyungwe if you have time, you can stop briefly at the following places:

  • Nyabisindu to visit the Nyanza King’s Palace, the capital of ancient Rwanda Kingdom.

  • Butare –visit the Museum, University, cathedral, arboretum and the curio worshops.

  • Genocide memorial of Murambi.

  • The Cathedral of Kabgayi and the adjacent small enthnographic museum.  Kamageri’s Rock (Uratare rwa Kamageri)- on the roadside after Ruhango towards Gikongoro. 
Park fee and other charges
  • Park Entrance USD 20.  This is paid on daily basis.

  • Tracking Chimpanzee USD 50

  • Tracking Colobus USD 30

  • Birding USD 30  

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VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK

Gazetted: 1925 to protect the Mountain Gorillas.   It was the first National Park in Africa.

Size: 12,500 Hac.

Location:Volcanoes NP is located Ruhengeri 1 hour 30 minutes drive from Kigali to the Northwest of Rwanda.

 

Special Features:  

  • The Virungas with five peaks-Karisimbi (4507M), Bisoke (3711M), Sabyinyo (3634M), Gahinga (3474M) and Muhabura (4127M).

  • The last families of mountain Gorillas on earth.

  • Other animals including– the rare golden monkeys (Cercopithecus mitis kandti), Cape buffalo, black fronted duiker; a profusion of bird life including the Ruwenzori turaco, and beautiful francolins.

  • In the vicinity the beautiful lakes Burera and Ruhundo.

  • The Virunga ecosystem is composed of 4 major vegetation zones: Bamboo (base altitude), Hagenia and Hypericum forest (2600-3300m), Sub-alpine (3300-4000m), and Afro-alpine (4000m+).

  • Between Bisoke and Sabyinyo volcanoes lies lakes Ngezi, Nyirambubu, Gasindikira and Muraro.  Crater lake is at the peak of Bisoke.  Visit to the lakes can be organized.

High altitude makes it generally cold, especially during the evenings. Gorilla viewing is possible all the year round.


Five families of gorillas are habituated for tourist.  These are:

  • Susa group- the largest group with recent count of 37 due to recent twin birth.

  • Amahoro groups A and B

  • Sabyinyo group.

  • Group 13

Age qualification for tracking: One must have reached his or her fifteenth birthday at the date  of tracking.

 

Apart from Gorilla tracking other activities in the vicinity of Ruhengeri and Volcanoes include:

  • Visit to the grave of Dian Forsey and her gorilla Digit.

  • Climbing Karisimbi 2 days.

  • Climbing Bisoke 1 day.

  • Tour of the lakes Burera and Ruhondo.

  • Cave exploration – visit Musanze cave and the natural bridge.

  • Tracking the Golden Monkey.  

Away from Ruhengeri and volcanoes one can organize the following excursions if you finish trekking in time and return comfortably for overnight. 

  • ½ day excursions to lake Karago. 

  • ½ Excursion to lake Kivu.

Accommodation: Kinigi Guest House, Gorilla Nest, Muhabura Hotel, and Hotels in Gisenyi. No accommodation is available inside the park.

 

NB:

The golden monkey tracking is undertaken in the morning from ORTPN Kinigi/ Ruhengeri office.  Two families of the golden monkeys are open for tracking ; Kabatwa at the base of Sabyinyo and Musanga at the base of Karisimbi.

 

Those wishing to track specific gorilla families are advised to book in advance.

Tracking begins at 07 :00 Hrs at ORTPN Kinigi office.

 

Park Entrance Fee and Other Charges
  • Park entrance fee USD 25.00

  • Tracking gorillas USD 350.00

  • Tracking golden monkeys USD 75.00

  • Climbing Bisoke USD 75.00

  • Climbing Karisimbi USD 175.00

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Amboseli National Park   
Bisinadi National Park  
Buffalo Springs  Reserve  
Kora National Park  
Lake Nakuru National Park  
Maasai Mara  Reserve    
Meru National Park  
Mt. Kenya National Park   
Samburu  Reserve  
Shaba National Reserve  
Tsavo East National Park  
Tsavo West National Park  
   
Rwanda National Parks  
Akagera National Park  
Nyungwe forest N.  Park  
Nyungwe forest N.  Park  
   
Uganda National Parks  
Bwindi National Park, Uganda  
Kidepo Valley National Park  
Lake Mburo National Park  
Mghahinga National Park  
Queen Elizabeth  Park  
Murchison Falls National Park  
   
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