Rwanda attractions

Nyungwe National Park

Nyungwe National Park offers a rare and important habitat for many species, especially primates and birds. And at over 1000 km2, Nyungwe is Africa’s largest protected mountain rainforest. With about 310 bird species, 26 of which are endemic, Nyungwe is one of the most important -- and still undiscovered -- bird watching destinations in Africa. Reaching to almost 3000 meters above sea level with Mount Bigugu the highest point in the Park, Nyungwe’s forests extend to altitudes occupied by few other forests in Africa. Nyungwe is also home to one of Africa's greatest concentrations of chimpanzees and a sometimes noisy, acrobatic combination of other primates such as Ruwenzori colobus and Lhotse’s monkeys. A variety of hiking and walking trails criss-cross the Park leading to a canopy walk, primate tracking adventures, the southernmost source of the Nile and ecotourism attractions. The park includes a colorful array of orchids, butterflies, moths and other insects. The forest has a growing network of walking and hiking trails and a number of camping sites near the Uwinka Visitor Center.

Volcanoes National Park

The magnificent Virunga Mountains, situated in the Northern Province of Rwanda, on the border of Rwanda, DRC and Uganda. These mountains consist of six Volcanoes, 125 km2 of mountain forest, and are home to the famous gorilla families.The Volcanoes National Park was first gazetted in 192 5, as a small area bounded by Karisimbi, Bisoke and Mikeno Volcanoes, intended to protect the gorillas from poaching. It was the very first National Park to be created in Africa. There are many activities to be enjoyed in this area apart from Gorillas Trekking in the Volcanoes National Park. This area is home to numerous caves, a number of Cultural and Community Tourism initiates as well as being an excellent location for bird watching.For the sport enthusiast there are a number of hiking trails in the magestic Virunga Mountains or you can enjoy cycling the area, boating on the Twin lakes or even try your hand at fishing .Development is proposed of further extreme sports in the area, such as mountain climbing.

Akagera National Park

Set at a relatively low altitude on the border with Tanzania, Akagera National Park could scarcely be more different in mood to the breezy cultivated hills that characterize much of Rwanda. Dominated to the east by the labyrinth of swamps and lakes that follow the meandering course of the Akagera River, the most remote source of the Nile, this is a diverse landscape of tangled acacia woodland interspersed with open grassland, high rolling hills along the western boundary and patches of thick forest. Akagera is big game country. Large herds of buffalo, giraffe and zebra move across the savannah, lucky visitors might catch a glimpse of elephants emerging from the woodland to drink at the lakes. Akagera is home to more than a dozen types of antelope, most commonly the handsome impala, but also oribi and bushbuck, as well as the ungainly topi, the rare roan and the world's largest antelope, the cape eland. Leopard and hyena might be seen on a night drive as well as other secretive creatures of the night. And hippo and crocodile are almost guaranteed on a boat trip in Akagera’s largest lake, Ihema. Lining the lakes are some of the continent’s densest concentrations of water birds and with a species list of 525, Akagera is birders paradise. Camping alongside the picturesque lakes of Akagera, or atop Muyumbu ridge overlooking the lakes and Tanzania in the distance, is a truly mystical introduction to the wonders of the African bush.

Akagera National Park

Set at a relatively low altitude on the border with Tanzania, Akagera National Park could scarcely be more different in mood to the breezy cultivated hills that characterize much of Rwanda. Dominated to the east by the labyrinth of swamps and lakes that follow the meandering course of the Akagera River, the most remote source of the Nile, this is a diverse landscape of tangled acacia woodland interspersed with open grassland, high rolling hills along the western boundary and patches of thick forest. Akagera is big game country. Large herds of buffalo, giraffe and zebra move across the savannah, lucky visitors might catch a glimpse of elephants emerging from the woodland to drink at the lakes. Akagera is home to more than a dozen types of antelope, most commonly the handsome impala, but also oribi and bushbuck, as well as the ungainly topi, the rare roan and the world's largest antelope, the cape eland. Leopard and hyena might be seen on a night drive as well as other secretive creatures of the night. And hippo and crocodile are almost guaranteed on a boat trip in Akagera’s largest lake, Ihema. Lining the lakes are some of the continent’s densest concentrations of water birds and with a species list of 525, Akagera is birders paradise. Camping alongside the picturesque lakes of Akagera, or atop Muyumbu ridge overlooking the lakes and Tanzania in the distance, is a truly mystical introduction to the wonders of the African bush.

More Forest Facts

An Ancient Forest Nyungwe forest has existed for hundreds of thousands of years, and is one of Africa’s oldest. Thus, there is a possibility that climate change will not affect Nyungwe as much as other forests, as long as it is protected from threats like fires and tree cutting. Why is Nyungwe So Diverse? Scientists think that Nyungwe was one of the few places in Africa to remain green during the last Ice Age. Species took shelter in Nyungwe and never left! What’s Special about a Mountain Rainforest? It is home to a variety of plants, animals, and habitats found almost nowhere else. Nyungwe: Part of Africa’s Great Rift Valley This forest is in the Albertine Rift, a mountainous section of East Africa that, as a whole, harbors more endemic birds, mammals, and amphibians than any other region in Africa. For example: over 1000 species of birds, about 52% of all of Africa’s birds, have been recorded in the Albertine Rift. Nyungwe is the largest protected area within the Albertine Rift, and contains 25 of these endemics, more than any other site in east Africa. What is a Rift? A rift is where sections of the earth are slowly spreading apart over millions of years, creating mountains, lakes, valleys and volcanoes. Lake Kivu Visible from points in Nyungwe, it is one of the Great Lakes of Africa and the fifteenth largest in the world. Dissolved gases in the lake have the potential to generate enough electricity to power Rwanda for 400 years! Mount Bigugu The highest point in Nyungwe, it rises 2950m.

Nyungwe and Water - Lots of Water

Nyungwe is Rwanda’s primary water catchment, sheltering more than two-thirds of all of its waters. Nyungwe receives more than 2000 mm a year of rain and thus is also the source of Africa’s great rivers. Rain that falls on the east side feeds the Nile and on the west runs to the Congo. The Congo-Nile Divide is a mountain range that runs north to south through Rwanda.

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