Self Drive to Rwanda National Parks

Plan the self drive holiday in Rwanda through best Rwanda car rental agency to experience the country on your own pace and cheaper than the guided Rwanda Safari and taking same activities in Rwanda National Parks. If you want to book the very suitable vehicle for this experience it is 4×4 Car Hire Rwanda will offer you best 4WD fleets to take you to Rwanda’s national parks: Nyungwe National Park to track chimpanzees and other primates, Akagera National Park to spot wildlife and boat cruise, and Volcanoes National Park to trek mountain gorillas.

Rwanda is bordered by Democratic Republic of Congo to the west, Tanzania to the east, Burundi to the south, and Uganda to the north. Despite being landlocked Republic one of Africa’s smallest countries (26,338km) Rwanda has an incredible treasure trove of biodiversity that requires protection. The Albertine Rift Eco- zone (ARE), a region that stretches across six countries with Rwanda as its epicenter, is of particular importance as it has an exceptional level of species endemism.

Kigali has a population of more than 1 million (2012), is the capital and largest city of Rwanda. It is situated near the geographic centre of the nation. The city has been the economic, cultural, and transport hub of Rwanda since it became capital at independence in 1962. The main residence and offices of the President of Rwanda are located in the city, as are the government ministries. The city is coterminous with the province of Kigali City, which was enlarged in January 2006, as part of local government reorganization in the country. Kigali’s city limits covers the whole province, it is consolidated. The city’s urban area covers about 70% of the municipal boundaries.

Volcanoes national park western province

Volcanoes national park is known for mountain gorilla / golden monkey tracking and hiking trails. Tracking the endangered mountain gorilla on the slopes of the Virunga volcanoes is magical. Experience an unforgettable gorilla tracking through forests or a golden monkey visit through bamboo forests.

Also available is the Dian Fossey Tomb Trail, a beautiful yet challenging hike to 3,000 meters up the slopes of Mount Bisoke or hike to the beautiful Ngezi Crater Lake at the top.

Permit cost per person:

Mountain gorilla $ 750 USD

Dian Fossey Hike $75 USD

Golden monkey $ 100 USD

Crater Lake $ 75 USD

Permits should be booked 3to 6 months in advance (particularly for gorillas in high season from June- September as only 80 permits are issued per day)

Caving

Rwanda’s caves date back 65 million years and lie within the volcanic region where lava flow layers long ago created the Albertine rift valley. The caves offer easy hiking of up to 2 kms and showcase many entrances most being roof collapses.

Buhanga Eco Park

A small forest dominated by magnificent dragon tress and abundant bird life offering nature walks.

Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village

This village shows some aspects of Rwanda’s ancient ways and support the local community some of whom were once poachers. Here you will see a traditional healer, a black smith, and grind sorghum, shoot arrows after being greeted by traditional Intore dancers and drummers.

Akagera national park eastern province

Akagera is the largest national park in Rwanda comprising acacia woodlands, Savannah grasslands and mountain habitats. The Akagera River feeds a labyrinth of lakes and papyrus swamps making it the largest protected wetland in central Africa with one of the highest concentrations of hippopotamus in Africa. Enjoy big game viewing as well as one of the best bird watching sites in Rwanda.

Game viewing

However, it is also possible in Akagera to self-drive your own vehicle round the park. Guides are available to accompany you on your drive. The guides can direct you to areas where wildlife is most abundant and guide you to stunning scenic spots that you may otherwise miss.

Boat trips

If you are looking for a variation on the usual safari experience, a boat trip on Lake Ihema will not disappoint. Drift along the forest-fringed lake edge, past huddles of hippo and basking crocodiles. For the serious birder a boat trip is a must. Trips are scheduled 4 times per day at 7.30am, 9am, 3.30pm and 5pm. Non-scheduled, private, trips can also be arranged at other times.

Birding

Birding safaris are popular amongst regular visitors and the immense variety and abundance of species will not fail to impress. From the vast concentrations of waterfowl to the myriad of savanna species, there is never a dull moment, with more than 500 species recorded in Akagera.

Nyungwe Forest National park Southern Province

Located in the South West corner of Rwanda, Nyungwe National Park is an untouched natural rain forest that is filled with exciting biodiversity. Covering over 1000 square kilometers, Nyungwe is surely one of the world’s most beautiful and pristine mountain rain forests. It’s believed to be one of Africa’s oldest forests, staying green even through the Ice Age, which explains its diversity.

Home to habituated chimpanzees and 12 other primates species (including a 400-strong troop of habituated Ruwenzori Black & White Colobus), it’s also a birder’s paradise with over 300 species, including 16 endemics, and is home to 75 different species of mammal.

Chimpanzee Trekking

Nyungwe is home to one of East Africa’s last intact populations and boasts two wild chimp communities that welcome guests (one in Cyamdungo and other around Uwinka). Thus, it’s not surprising that chimpanzee tracking is a popular activity in Nyungwe (especially when the park’s trees are in full bloom during the summer) as well-trained guides often lead visitors through the park’s forests. And while actually viewing chimpanzees is not guaranteed, you’ll enjoy learning about these creatures and their natural habitats from your guides. But you’ll probably have to get up around four a.m. to succeed in this very challenging activity as chimps are mostly likely to be seen early in the morning.

Other primates

Chimpanzees are far from the only creature that will fascinate wildlife lovers in Nyungwe as with thirteen recorded species; the park is home to East Africa’s most diverse primate population. Nyungwe is the only location in Africa where you’ll find “super groups” of more than 300 Colobus monkeys and one of the few places worldwide where you’ll see L’Hoest’s monkeys (primarily on the main round near Uwinka). Another rare animal you might also run into is the owl-faced monkey, an Albertine Rift endemic that inhabits Nyungwe southern forests. In fact, most of the monkey species found in the park is endemic.

Canopy Walk

Visitors to Nyungwe National Park can experience the rain forest from a new perspective: the Canopy Walkway. Hanging 60 meters above the forest floor between giant trees and towers, East Africa’s only Canopy Walkway provides a stunning view of the park’s amazing wildlife and nature. The Walkway is accessible as part of a specialized guided tour along the Igishigishigi trail or if you’re not part of a tour, hiking the Imbaraga or Umuyove trails.

Birding

Nyungwe National Park is home to roughly 310 bird species, 27 of which are endemic to the Albertine Rift. Although actually spotting birds in the park’s forests may be challenging, the bird songs you’ll hear during the trek will surely make it more enjoyable. If you would like to learn about birds you might see and hear, book a guide for $50 U.S. at the headquarters of the Rwanda Development Board. The guides so knowledgeable about bird life in Nyungwe they can identify birds by ear, such as the Rwenzori turaco and grey-chested kakamega.

Culture

As wonderful as exploring the diverse ecosystem of the Nyungwe National Park is, you really won’t get a feel for the area until you discover its rich culture. The region’s song, dance, music and cuisine are all integral parts of Nyungwe’s culture and walking tours of Banda Village – located 15 km down the mountain from the Uwinka Visitors Centre – represent the perfect setting for learning about an area where people have lived for more than 50,000 years. The tours provide guests the opportunity to participate in activities such as local food tasting and basket weaving and if you’re fortunate, you might able to attend a traditional wedding ceremony and learn about traditional medicine.

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