National parks of Rwanda : Rwanda is a small landlocked African country blessed with abundance of natural resources in national parks. Rwanda is located in the eastern part of Africa bordered by Uganda in the north, Tanzania in the East, Burundi in the south and the Democratic republic of Congo in the west. Rwanda is commonly referred to as the land of a thousand hills because of the terrain, numerous hilly land all over the country. Rwanda’s capital city is Kigali and this is the first city that guests will land in on arrival into this country as it is the base of the Kigali International airport.
Kigali city is a tourist town as well as a business city as this is where the administrative offices are mostly located and is also the largest city of the country. Guests on a Rwanda safari get to do a Kigali city tour on the day one before heading out to the national park. Rwanda is sitted on an area of 26,338 square kilometers and within this are four national parks that guests get to visit.
The four national parks of Rwanda are the Akagera national park, the wildlife park, the Nyungwe forest national park, home to Rwanda’s chimpanzees, the Volcanoes national park, the most visited of the national parks and the home of the mountain gorillas of Rwanda and the Gishwati Mukura national park, the newest addition to the national parks of Rwanda and home to one of the chimpanzee families in Rwanda thus National parks of Rwanda.
The Akagera national park
The Akagera national park is the largest of all the other three national parks in Rwanda sitted on an area of 1,085 square kilometers. The Akagera national park is located in the north eastern part of country, a 2 hour road drive away from Kigali the capital city of Rwanda. The Akagera national park is majorly a savannah land giving the perfect environment for the wildlife of Rwanda to thrive.
The Akagera national park is a home to the big 5 animals which are the lion, the leopard, the buffalo, the elephant and the rhino. There are other animals that guests can spot in the Akagera national park such as the giraffes, the antelope species, the crocodiles on the boat cruises. The Akagera national park is open to guests through out the year and there are a number of activities that guests can engage in such a savannah game drives, a boat cruise on the Lake Ihema, nature walk, community walks, cultural experiences. Take on a behind the scenes tour and get to have an insight on the daily running of this park.
The Akagera national park is also a great place to visit for birding as there is a number of birds you can spot in the park. It is relatively warm through out the year favoring the growth of the broad leafed and acacia type of vegetation and grasslands as seen in the park.
The Nyungwe forest national park
The Nyungwe forest national park is located within the Nyungwe forest which is Africa’s largest pristine rain forest. The Nyungwe forest covers over 1,000 square kilometers and the Nyungwe forest national park was established as a national park in 2005 to be managed by the Rwandan government however later in 2021, the management was taken up by the African parks.
The Nyungwe forest national park is a home to the chimpanzees and other primates such as the blue monkeys, the black and white colobus monkeys, to mention but a few. There are about 12 primate species within this forest. The Nyungwe forest national park also offers bird watching experiences, canopy walk, waterfall hikes, nature walks and even take on a community tour thus National parks of Rwanda.
Volcanoes national park
The Volcanoes national park is Rwanda’s most visited national park located only a 2 hour drive from Kigali city. The Volcanos national park is the home of the mountain gorillas in Rwanda and also the golden monkeys and five of the Virunga volcanic mountains. The Volcanoes national park is sitted on an area of 160 square kilometers bordering the Virunga national park of the DR Congo.
The Volcanoes national park is a home to about 178 bird species with about 13 of these being endemic bird species to the region, the Albertine rift.
The Gishwati Mukura national park
The Gishwati Mukura national park, the baby of the national parks of Rwanda was established in 2016. This national park is sitted on an area of 992.48 hectares and this covers both the Gishwati forest and the Mukura Forest thus its name. The Gishwati Mukura national park is a home to the other chimpanzees of Rwanda and also has some forest animals that guests can spot on a visit.
This national park can be visited after a Congo safari visiting the Virunga national park for a gorilla trekking experience or hiking the Mount Nyiragongo. It is located along the Lake Kivu in the western part of the country lying in four districts of Rwanda; Rubavu, Rutsiro, Ngororero and Nyabihu.