When it comes to things to do in Rwanda, almost every visitor has one activity on their bucket list: gorilla trekking. The allure of getting up close and personal with creatures that share 99 percent of our DNA draws visitors from all over the world, and there’s no better place to do it than Rwanda. To protect the animals, the country has made significant progress in conservation.
However, seeing these gentle giants is only the beginning of Rwanda’s attractions. After being ravaged by the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, the country has made remarkable progress in recent decades, becoming a peaceful, welcoming destination with plenty to see and do.
Nature lovers can go on a safari in Akagera National Park and take a canopy walk to get a bird’s-eye view of Nyungwe Forest. If you’re interested in culture, go to Rwanda’s Ethnographic Museum to see the fascinating exhibits on traditional customs and beliefs. At the King’s Palace Museum, don’t miss the royal cows (and the singers who sing to them).
The Albertine Rift, a well-watered arm of the Rift Valley that runs along the Congolese borders with Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania, is mostly associated with Rwanda’s main tourist attractions in the far west of the country. Lake Kivu, a vast inland sea on the Rift Valley floor, and the Virungas, a range of magnificent volcanic mountains, are the most prominent geographical features of western Rwanda. Further south, the vast Nyungwe Forest National Park, which covers 1,015km2, and the much smaller Gishwati-Mukura National Park, which was gazetted in 2016, are both important relics of the lush montane forest that once covered most of the Albertine Rift escarpment.