Volcanoes National Park: It is located in the Viringa Mountains. It has a magnificent chain of dormant volcanoes in the North of the country. It forms part of the extension of the Congo-Nile divide separating two of Africa's most important watersheds. They are home to the world's last surviving mountain Gorilla populations. For a unique experience you can go out trekking to view fully habituated golden monkeys in the Volcanoes National park. You can visit the Dian Fossy Memorial Center which is at the volcano where Dian Fossy carried out her studies on the mountain gorilla for 18 years. She was murdered on the 27th of December 1985 at the Research Center and buried near Digit, her favorite gorilla.
The following are some of the activities you can do at Volcanoes National Park:
• 1/2 day mountain gorilla trekking (including a guaranteed 1 hour with the great apes) [please note that children below 15 are not allowed to trek the gorillas]
• 1 day hiking and mountain climbing (Mt. Bisoke - 3, 711m)
• 2 days hiking and mountain climbing (Mt. Karisimbi - 4, 507m, overnight camping)
• Golden Monkey trekking
• Visit to the Karisoke Research Centre
• Visit to the tomb of the legendary Dian Fossey
• Nature walk (volcano flora and fauna)
Nyungwe Forest National Park: This is a 1, 000 square kilometers jungle in the south of Rwanda. It is the largest and most ancient afro-montane forest that remains in the East Central part of Africa. It dates back to the last iceage. One of Africa's best kept secrets. The forest is inter-spersed with well-marked and maintained trails. It boasts 13 rare primates species and the world's largest ever recorded arboreal troup of black/white colobus monkeys. Over 300 species of birds and 100 types of orchids. Nyungwe Forests and chimpanzee tracking is the ideal complement of any gorilla safari.
The following are some of the activities you can do at Nyungwe Forest:
• Chimpanzee trekking
• Colobus monkey trekking and nature walk (13 species of primates, 300 species of birds, 250 species of trees, hundreds of different flowering plants including 100 species of orchids)
Akagera National Park: It is situated at the lower altitudes on the Tanzanian border. Akagera is dominated scenically by a labyrinth of swamps and lakes that follow the meandering course of the Akagera River. Giraffe and Zebra hount the savannah alongside more than a deozen types of antelope, such as the diminutive Oribi and the world's largest antelope, the Eland. Pods of hippopautamus splutter throughout the day while outsized crocodiles soak up the sun with their vast jams agape. Along the lake shores are some of the continent's densest concentrations of water birds. While the marshes are home to the endangered bird species like the exquisite papyrus Sonolek and the bizzare Shoe-bil. The Shoe-bil is probably the most eagerly sought African birds.
Other Attractions in Rwanda
Lake Kivu: Lake Kivu is extra ordinarly beautiful in land sea enclosed by steep green terraced hills along the Congolese border. Three resort towns (Gesenyi, Kibuye, and Cyangungu) stand on the littoral zone. It is connected by a wild roller-coater road that tumbles through lush plantain fields and relic patches of misty rain forest. It offers sweeping views of the blue water. It is one of the classic road journeys of all of Africa. There is also a charter boat service on the lake connecting to three towns.
The following are some of the activities you can do at Lake Kivu:
• Water sport facilities in Kibuye and take cruises between popular resort towns such as Cyangugu, Kibuye, and Gisenyi
• Nature discovery tours around the many deserted islands with largely unexplored natural attractions
• Napoleon's Hat Island: Climb to the top of Napoleon's hat and experience of thousands of bats darkening the sky
• Island of Peace: Swimming, relaxing, beach volleyball, eating and drinking, watching the sunset
Gisenyi: Gisenyi is the most developed of these resorts. It lies less than an hours drive from the Volcanoes National Park. It is set on a sandy beach lined with swaying plams and colonial-era hotels that exude an atmosphere of tropical languor.
The following are the activities you can do at the Hot Springs near Gisenyi:
• Hot springs near Gisenyi (boiling of eggs while taking a swim in the heated waters of the adjacent Lake Kivu)
• Hot springs of Bugarama (springs bubbling up into a large green pool)
Kibuye: At Kibuye, to it's south, tourist activities are centered on a modern lakeshore questhouse. It overlooks pine covered hills seemingly transplanted from the alps. Different is Cyangugu, close to Nyangwe Forest where more subdued tourist development is compensated by a stimming of curving inlets winding into narrow valleys.
Butare: The town of Butare situated 135 kilometers south of the capital city, Kigali. It is still considered Rwanda's cultural and intellectual center. The national university and various institutions of higher learning are situated here. The most prominent attraction is the superb national museum. It has perhaps the finest ethnographic collection in East Africa. Butare's cultural significance is farther underlined by a visit to nearby Nyanza, the traditonal seat of Rwanda's ancient feudal monarchy.
Twin Lakes Burera and Ruhondo/Musanze Cave: Nature discovery tours are offered at the Twin Lakes Burera and Ruhondo. You can take a traditional canoe. There is breathtaking landscape, wetland habitat, and water birds. Take an exploration tour to the Musanze Cave (near Ruhengeri). At this cave, the lava flow from an earlier volcanic eruption formed a natural bridge.
Genocide Memorial: For survivors and others whose families were murdered in Rwanda's genocide in 1994. The memorial sites and centers are places of dignified remembrance for loved ones lost. It is a place of reflection and learning for the wider community, both in Rwanda and internationally.