"The more you learn about the dignity of the gorilla, the more you want to avoid people"
Rwanda is a beautiful country that for many evokes the memory of the tragic genocide that tore it apart in 1994... And we should remember. A visit to the country’s capital, Kigali, and to the Genocide Museum there, is a journey we should all take to to remind us of what happened there. Rwanda has recovered astonishingly well and today this tiny country, the fourth smallest in Africa, has a lot to offer travellers. Its stunning natural beauty, volcanoes and endemic wildlife places it on our top 5 list of places to visit above all others. The key reason to visit Rwanda is of course to head towards the Volcanoes National Park and their gorillas- this is one of the most humbling and moving experiences of our lives- not only due to the fact they are so intensely interesting to observe, but for the fact that they are so terribly endangered. Rwanda Tourism is forging ahead with developing a lot more of its fascinating natural wonders, and for those who seek off the beaten path experiences, we love destinations such as the Akagera National Park and Nyungwe as great combinations with your primate safari. Should you want something a little more mainstream, a trek to the gorillas works really well with a safari into Tanzania or Kenya.
Tiny in size, large in delivery
Rwanda is located in Central/Eastern Africa, and is bordered by the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, Uganda to the north, Tanzania to the east, and Burundi to the south. It lies a few degrees south of the equator and is landlocked. Access into the country is via the capital, Kigali.
There are several international flights that arrive at Kigali International Airport, located 10 Km from central Kigali. These include Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Air Burundi and Rwandair Express.
Rwanda's high altitude ensures a very comfortable, tropical highland climate, with periods of plenty of rain between two dry seasons. The peak season for travelling is over these dry periods, so please enquire a long time in advance should you want the best experiences out of your journey here.
June to September, January to March
Between the periods of rain, Rwanda has two dry seasons: one, characterized by very little to no rainfall from June to September and a shorter dry period from December to February. It is always good to bear in mind that given the location of this country, you should not be surprised if you experience rain outside of the “formal” wet season. In addition, should you want to travel over the dry period to experience gorilla trekking, it is imperative that you book a long time in advance in order to secure gorilla permits and accommodation. For good reason, this is a very popular experience.
If your primary reason for visiting Rwanda is to visit the gorillas at the best time of year, this is the season for you- especial the long dry season between June and September. Both dry seasons also tie in well with other safari destinations in Rwanda such as Akagera, as well neighboring countries, Kenya and Tanzania.
April and May, October to December
Rwanda has two rainy seasons. The one lasts from February to June, and the other from September to December. The parks at this time of year can be refreshingly quiet as most people tend to want to focus on primate trekking when conditions are dry. If you don’t mind rain, and want to avoid lots of other people on the same route, then travelling out of “peak” season is a great option.