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Guide to Major Tourist attractions in Rwanda

The Land of a Thousand Hills, Rwanda is one of the smallest countries in Africa, but in terms of biodiversity, culture and scenery, it punches well above its weight. Having emerged from the darkness of the 1990s, when ethnic tensions erupted into a genocide that saw some 800,000 people, predominantly Tutsis, killed in just 100 days, Rwanda is thriving again as a tourism destination.

Much of Rwanda’s appeal derives from the small population of endangered mountain gorillas that live in the bamboo forests of Volcanoes National Park, with gorilla trekking tours a vital source of income for local communities and conservation projects alike. You can also see the Big Five in Akagera National Park. This park is another one of the major tourist attractions in Rwanda.

Rwanda is landlocked but dotted with many picturesque lakes, of which Lake Kivu, spanning almost the entire western border and famed for the beauty of its beaches, is the largest. The lake is lined with tea and coffee plantations, and at its southern tip, Nyungwe Forest National Park, home to primates, is another major tourist attraction in Rwanda.

A nostalgic trip to the historical Kigali Genocide Memorial gives a sense of purpose and personal responsibility towards fostering compassion and coexistence.

A trip to the communities is a heart-warming opportunity to appreciate the rich cultural heritage of the people of Rwanda; through music, dance (the Intore dance of heroes) and traditional cuisines.

Major Tourist attractions in Rwanda

Mountain Gorilla

Gorilla Tracking

Gorilla tracking at Virunga Mountains is comparable to none. Mountain gorilla families dwell in the lush forests of the mountains and are a spectacle to behold.

Nyungwe Couple Birdwatching

Canopy Forest Walks

Canopy forest walks and hiking in Nyungwe Forest are engaging activities to do in Rwanda, blend them with mountaineering and biking

Trekking and Biking

Trekking and biking along the Congo Nile trail: take in the magnificent landscapes; visit coffee stations and tea plantations along the 227km stretch

Best time to visit

Rwanda’s climate is predictably moderate and warm. One is likely to encounter heavy and constant rainfall between March and May. Navigation, especially in the parks and other major tourist attractions in Rwanda, can be difficult due to heavy rain and muddy roads. Fortunately, it’s much easier to acquire mountain gorilla permits in Volcanoes National Park during the rainy season. This is also a good period for chimpanzee tracking holidays in Nyungwe Forest National Park, as fruit is abundant during the rains, and large groups of these primates can often be seen congregating at ground level.

May – October is considered the optimum time for wildlife viewing, and this is when accommodation and flights tend to be most expensive. If you want to take a mountain gorilla trekking holiday, it is a good idea to book in advance to ensure you can get a permit. During the dry season, the undergrowth in Akagera National Park is sparse, meaning the animals can be seen far more easily. From October to November, the scenery is at its most magnificently green. Again, gorilla trekking in the rainforest can be arduous due to rain and mud, although still highly rewarding.

December to February is also good for gorilla viewing and other Rwanda wildlife vacations, resulting in price hikes.

The Premium Plan

Choice of Accommodation: Gorilla Safari Lodge

Gorilla Safari Lodge is a private and secluded upmarket lodge with spectacular views of the Bwindi rainforest and located close to the Gorilla Trekking starting point. The lodge consists of spacious chalets, the main lodge area with a restaurant, and a bar overlooking the Bwindi rainforest and a gift shop. It also has free WIFI available at the main lodge area.

Room description:

These are chalets, each consisting of a spacious room, a private terrace, and en-suite bathroom. They are beautifully decorated and nicely lit with great views of the Bwindi rainforest. Each room is fitted with large comfortable beds, plush linen, mosquito net wrapping around the bed, lounge furniture, and a fireplace. The bathrooms have flush toilets and showers with hot and cold running water.

Meals:

Meals are all included; 2 breakfasts, two lunches, and two dinners. The restaurant offers 3-course meals of local and international specialties.

Benefits

Spacious and nicely-decorated rooms

Great location

Spectacular views of Bwindi rainforest

Elaborate meals and variety of choices

Spacious restaurant

Free WIFI

Drawbacks

No WIFI in the rooms

What is the price?

Pax123456
Price per person$2,125$1,754$1,692$1,661$1,642$1,629

Prices are based on double room occupancy. You can upgrade to a single room for $106 per person.

Available Extensions to your 3 days Gorilla Trekking Safari to Bwindi

  • One night extension to Ishasha for a safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park - $510 per person
  • Two nights extension to Ishasha for a safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park - $965 per person
  • One night extension to Lake Bunyonyi including canoeing excursion - $239 per person
  • Two nights extension to Lake Bunyonyi including canoe trekking - $418 per person
  • One night extension to Lake Mburo National Park for safari - $415 per person
  • Two nights extension to Lake Mburo National Park for safari - $799 per person
  • Two nights extension to Lake Mburo National Park for safari including a 4-hour Horseback Safari and Bush Breakfast - $934 per person
  • One day extension of the Gorilla Trekking Safari including 1 Gorilla permit - $1,066 per person

The Medium Plan

Choice of Accommodation: Rushaga Gorilla Camp

Rushaga Gorilla Camp is a mid-range mountain lodge located in the south-eastern part of the park near one of the four gorilla trekking starting points known as Rushaga. The lodge has excellent panoramic views of the Bwindi forest and is a 5 minutes' walk to the gorilla trekking starting point. It also has a restaurant that offers a full English breakfast, an a la carte lunch menu, and a choice of 3 set meals for dinner. You can also access free WIFI at the main lounge and restaurant area of the lodge.

Room description:

These are spacious cottages with large comfortable beds and linen, lounge furniture, and a private terrace looking towards the Bwindi rainforest. All rooms have a spacious private bathroom with flush toilets, solar-powered hot showers, a sink, and a dressing countertop and mirror.

Meals:

Your stay includes two breakfasts, two lunches, and two dinners. The meals are all made from western or intercontinental cuisine.

Benefits

Relatively good price

Great location

Spacious rooms

Views of the Bwindi rainforest

Free WIFI

Drawbacks

Not nicely decorated

The linen is comfortable but not plush

Limited food items at the restaurant

What is the price?

Pax123456
Price per person$1,834$1,448$1,385$1,354$1,335$1,323

Prices are based on double room occupancy. You can upgrade to a single room for $146 per person.

Available Extensions to your 3 days Gorilla Trekking Safari to Bwindi

  • One night extension to Ishasha for a safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park - $290 per person
  • Two nights extension to Ishasha for a safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park - $527 per person
  • One night extension to Lake Bunyonyi including canoeing excursion - $239 per person
  • Two nights extension to Lake Bunyonyi including canoe trekking - $418 per person
  • One night extension to Lake Mburo National Park for safari - $279 per person
  • Two nights extension to Lake Mburo National Park for safari - $527 per person
  • One day extension of the Gorilla Trekking Safari including 1 Gorilla permit - $913 per person

The Basic Plan

Choice of Accommodation: Gorilla Valley Lodge

Gorilla Valley Lodge is a small, low-budget lodge located in the south-eastern part of the park near one of the four gorilla trekking starting points known as Rushaga. The lodge has a small restaurant that offers a basic continental breakfast and a few options of international cuisine for lunch and dinner.

Room Description

These are clean and modestly furnished brick and motor rooms consisting of a comfortable bed, linen, towels, and en-suite bathrooms. The bathrooms have solar-powered hot water showers and flush toilets. The rooms also have lighting, power plugs, and mosquito nets over the beds.

Meals

Only breakfast and dinner are included in the basic plan. You can order lunch daily at the restaurant.

Benefits

Affordable and comfortable rooms

Good location

Drawbacks

Basic facilities

Small rooms

Limited meal options

Limited views

No internet access

Note:

If there are no rooms available at the time of your booking. We will provide a suitable replacement.

What is the price?

Pax123456
Price per person $1,438$1,187$1,125$1,094$1,075$1,062

Prices are based on double room occupancy. You can upgrade to a single room for $89 per person.

Available Extensions to your 3 days Gorilla Trekking Safari to Bwindi

  • One night extension to Ishasha for a safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park - $234 per person
  • Two nights extension to Ishasha for a safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park - $415 per person
  • One night extension to Lake Bunyonyi including canoeing excursion - $169 per person
  • Two nights extension to Lake Bunyonyi including canoe trekking - $278 per person
  • One night extension to Lake Mburo National Park for safari - $212 per person
  • Two nights extension to Lake Mburo National Park for safari - $392 per person

The Premium Plan

Choice of Accommodation: Paraa Safari Lodge

Paraa Safari Lodge is an upmarket lodge with the refinements of a 3-star hotel, located in the center of the park looking over the Nile river. Facilities include spacious rooms, a restaurant, a bar, a pool with a bar, and a gift shop.

Paraa safari lodge boasts the best location in the park and offers the conveniences of being so close to the jetty for your boat safari on the Nile river, and close to the game viewing areas of the park. No lodge offers more conveniences for your 3 Days Murchison Falls Safari than Paraa Safari Lodge.

Room description:

The rooms are nicely lit, decorated with plush linen, and towels. All rooms have a private bathroom with hot showers and a hairdryer. The rooms have a coffee bar, a reading table, refrigerator, complimentary bottled water, and a private balcony.

Meals:

Meals are all included; two breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners. The restaurant offers three-course meals of local and international specialties.

Benefits

Spacious and comfortable rooms

WIFI available in all rooms

Great location for game drives and boat safari

Elaborate meals and variety of choices

Drawbacks

The standard rooms have a ceiling fan, but no air-conditioning. You can upgrade to a deluxe room for $35 per person per room.

Note: If there are no rooms available at the time of your booking, we will recommend a suitable replacement.

What is the price?

Pax123456
Price per person$1,241$902$825$786$763$748

Prices are based on double room occupancy. You can upgrade to a single room for $106 per person.

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The Medium Plan

Choice of Accommodation: Pakuba Safari Lodge

Pakuba Safari Lodge is a mid-range lodge, located on the northern side of the park facing the Albert Nile. The facilities include a restaurant, terraced room blocks and a swimming pool.

The lodge is in an excellent location for game drives and with nicely furnished rooms, offering you better value for your money compared to other mid-range accommodations, making Pakuba the ideal lodge for your 3 Days Murchison Falls Safari.

Room description:

All rooms have a private bathroom with solar-powered hot showers, a reading table, a closet, and a private terrace. The rooms are all air-conditioned.

Meals:

This plan is inclusive of all meals. The price includes two breakfasts, two lunches, and two dinners during your stay. The meals are all made from western or intercontinental cuisine.

Benefits

Reasonably priced.

Excellent location for game drives

Comfortable rooms with air-conditioning

WIFI at the main lobby and at the restaurant

Drawbacks

The lodge is a 45 mins drive from the Paraa jetty, where the boat safari begins and ends.

Rooms lack a coffee or tea bar and Hair dryer.

The linen is comfortable but not plush

Note: If there are no rooms available at the time of your booking, we will recommend a suitable replacement.

What is the price?

Pax123456
Price per person$1,141$763$685$647$624$608

Prices are based on double room occupancy. You can upgrade to a single room for $146 per person.

The Basic Plan

Choice of Accommodation: Red Chili Rest Camp

Red Chilli Rest Camp is a low-budget camp located in the center of the park on the southern side of the Nile, only 500 meters from the ferry crossing point. You stay in brick and motor, African thatched houses locally known as bandas.

The camp also has a restaurant that offers an a la carte breakfast and lunch menu, and a choice of 3 set meals for dinner. The combination of a great location and a right level of comfort makes Red Chilli Rest Camp the ideal budget accommodation for your 3 Days Murchison Falls Safari.

Room description:

The bandas all include a double bed or two twin beds with linen and a mosquito net. A few bandas have private bathrooms, but most uses shared bathrooms. All the bandas have lighting, power plugs, and a fan. There’s a limited number of Ensuite bandas. The camp has shared toilets and bathroom stalls with hot water available.

Meals:

The basic plan includes breakfast. You can buy lunch and dinner every day at the restaurant.

Benefits

It’s inexpensive and safe.

Drawbacks

Even though Red Chilli Rest Camp’s location is better than other budget accommodations, it’s not the best for game viewing. It takes about 30 minutes, including crossing the Nile on a ferry to get to the wildlife. The ferry has set crossing times, and these can limit the amount of time you spend viewing the animals. All the other low-budget camps have the same challenge. None is close to the wildlife.

Electricity is only available at set times of the day, except lights are always on. The set times are from 7 am to 9 am, 11 am to 2 pm, and 5 pm to 10 pm. Outside these hours, guests charge appliances such as phones and camera batteries at the restaurant.

No WIFI

Note: If there are no rooms available at the time of your booking, we will recommend a suitable replacement.

Price Scale

Pax123456
Price per person$918$597$520$481$458$442

Prices are based on double room occupancy. You can upgrade to a single room for $89 per person.