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Top Rwanda Wildlife to Look Out For During your Rwanda Tour

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Top Rwanda Wildlife to Look Out For During your Rwanda Tour

Famous as the land of a Thousand Hills, Rwanda is one of the most beautiful destinations you should visit in Africa. With three national parks and several forest reserves, Rwanda has lots of things that amaze tourists during their visit in Rwanda including amazing landscape rich characterised with mountains, lakes and savannahs. Rwanda is home to a varied range of habitats that act as home to wildlife that attracts travellers for Rwanda wildlife tours, as well as home to more than 704, confirmed different species of birds that you would see on a Rwanda birding safari. Rwanda’s undisputed king, and greatest visitor attraction, is the endangered mountain gorilla. Others include golden monkeys, rhinos, birds, lions and other wildlife species.

Top Wildlife to See in Rwanda

Mountain Gorillas

Rwanda is one of the only three countries in the world besides Uganda and Rwanda where tourists can see mountain gorillas. There are seven families that tourists are able to visit, with one group of 41 gorillas which includes rare twins. These stunning creatures can weigh up to 200 kilograms, but their powerful appearance belies their gentle nature. Mountain gorillas are primates which eat plants, tree bark, fruit and leaves, as well as occasionally ants.

Unlike Uganda, Rwanda has only one Rwanda gorilla trekking tour destination; Volcanoes National Park Rwanda. From Kigali International airport, this park is only 113 square kilometres that take about 2hours and 30minutes drive. Rwanda has the shortest distance to its Rwanda gorilla safari destination making it an easy option however, it has the most expensive gorilla permit among the three countries. In 2017, Rwanda increased the cost of one gorilla permit from $750 to $1500 which doubles Uganda’s cost per permit and literally triples the Congo gorilla permit. Volcanoes National Park is home to over 10 groups that are habituated for Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris.

Encountering face to face with mountain gorillas in the jungle is one the most breathtaking and unforgettable experiences for trekkers undertaking Africa safaris. It’s good to experience sitting or standing in silence in the cold forests for over 60 minutes, this is one of life’s greatest privileges that tourists enjoy during their Rwanda safaris.

Rwanda Gorilla safari packages


Rwanda is another stunning destination prominent for being home to the funniest primates in the world; chimpanzees. Chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda happens in Nyungwe National Park and its annexe Cyamudongo Forest, in southwestern Rwanda. It is a very interesting activity for you will enjoy time in the forest as you watch man’s closest cousin mimicking you, giggling, jumping from branch to branch and many more. They are more active during morning hours than in the afternoon. Nyungwe Forest, Africa’s largest Afro-montane Forest is home to about 500 Chimpanzees and close to 100 that are habituated and used to Humans near them. There are two groups of habituated Chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest, the larger one has about 60 chimpanzees while the smaller group of 30 is tracked in Cyamudongo Forest area of the Park.

While you are in search of your Chimpanzee Groups you will most likely see other primates that are residents of the forest such as the large groups of Colobus Monkeys as well as Wild Orchids, and plants and trees that make up this vast Rainforest.

The chimp trekking activity in Nyungwe Forest National Park sets off from three reception centres; Kitabi, Uwinka (main) and Gisakura where tourists can meet the park ranger guides. The tourists are expected to be at the reception centre as early as 4.30 am and at 5 am drive to the starting point of the trek into the forest.

Because the chimps nest somewhere new every night, there are trackers who go ahead of the trekking group to find them and communicate with the ranger guides. Tourists spend only one hour with the chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest National Park and get to observe them closely going about their lives and see the human-like features and behaviour that make them our closest relatives with 98.7% DNA. Every now and then the chimps communicate by way of deafening screams, loud pant hoots and thunderous hitting (slapping) of the tree barks and buttresses. It is such a hair-raising moment like no other, and quite memorable! The cost of the permit for chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park Rwanda is USD 90 for foreign non-residents and USD 60 for foreign residents of Rwanda and East Africa (Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Burundi).

Rwanda chimpanzee safari packages

1 Day Rwanda gorilla safari
2 Days Rwanda gorilla trekking tour
3 Days Rwanda gorilla safari
4 Days Rwanda Gorilla & wildlife safari
5 Days Rwanda Gorilla & wildlife safari
6 Days Rwanda gorilla safari tour
8 Days Uganda Rwanda gorilla trekking safari
9 days Uganda Rwanda gorilla, chimps & wildlife safari

Hamlyn’s monkey

The Hamlyn’s monkey is famously known as the owl-faced monkey. Many travellers get excited when they see them. It is one of the star attractions of Rwanda’s wildlife and it is easy to spot. This species is found in Rwanda and in a few neighbouring countries, and its typical habitat is bamboo forest high up in the hills and mountains. Their Hamlyn’s monkey’s face is characterised by a stripe which runs from the lip to the centre of the brow, as well as another running horizontally across the brow. These stripes can be found in a number of colours, adding to the intrigue of the Hamlyn’s Monkey. You will come across this monkey if you go for chimpanzee trekking safaris in Nyungwe National Park.


Did you know at one time Lions were wiped off the map in Rwanda? People had poisoned them in order to protect their and livestock. However, a group of seven has been reintroduced to the country in the North East’s Akagera National Park Rwanda. Lions were non-existent in Rwanda for about 15 years. Those reintroduced were are the first wild lions in the country in 15 years time and are now believed to be thriving. Some are actually seen by travellers on Rwanda wildlife tours in this park.

Tree hyrax

The tree hyrax is a curious creature. This small nocturnal mammal is believed to be loosely related to sea cows and elephants and is known for its distinctive call. This is then followed by a series of screams and shrieks, so if a tree hyrax disrupts your sleep in Rwanda, you could soon be having nightmares!

Best Sites to see Wildlife in Rwanda

Looking for the best places to see wildlife in Rwanda? Many of these are contained within the three national parks, where there are plenty of opportunities for visitors who want to see animals on a safari trip. At Akagera National Park you can see huge numbers of hippos, up to 400 species of birds, as well as leopards, hyenas and giraffes. Nyungwe Forest National Park is the largest protected rainforest in all of Africa and offers the chance to go chimpanzee trekking. As the name suggests, Volcanoes National Park includes the five volcanoes Bisoke, Gahinga, Karisimbi, Muhabura and Sabyinyo – and is a great place to see the famous mountain gorillas and golden monkeys.

Best Time to Visit Rwanda

The dry season in Rwanda runs from June to mid-September and is the best time for wildlife enthusiasts to visit. There is another, shorter, dry season which runs from December to February. Due to its higher elevation, Rwanda enjoys a cooler temperature than some other equatorial countries.

Rwanda Safari Packages

By |February 7th, 2020|Categories: Safari News|
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