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Visit Rwanda: Your Essential Guide for a Remarkable Trip

Visit Rwanda - gorilla trekking - singita

Introduction to Visit Rwanda

Visit Rwanda, a captivating country in the heart of Africa, where nature’s allure and cultural wonders blend seamlessly. Join Mallerby’s Luxury Travel as we guide you on an unforgettable journey through this East African gem, a country blessed with captivating landscapes and a resilient spirit, awaits your exploration. Known for its rolling hills, vibrant culture, thrilling encounters with primates and interactive safaris, Rwanda has something to offer every traveller seeking an authentic and enriching experience.

Visit Rwanda - waterfall

The Best Time to Visit Rwanda

Rwanda enjoys a temperate tropical climate, making it a year-round destination. However, the best time to visit Rwanda is during the dry seasons, which run from June to September and December to February. Although there’s occasionally light showers during the dry seasons, these periods generally offer pleasant weather, with clear skies and manageable temperatures, ideal for outdoor activities and wildlife sightings.
Avoid the long rainy season from March to mid-May and the short rainy season from mid-October through November.

Getting To Rwanda

To visit Rwanda, most international travellers fly into Kigali International Airport (KGL), which is well-connected to major cities worldwide. Mallerbys Luxury Travel will arrange seamless airport transfers and transportation to your overnight destinations throughout your stay.

Areas of Rwanda

Visit Rwanda and explore the many areas of this incredibly diverse country, from the bustling Capital, Kigali, to the wide-open savannahs and big five wildlife in the Akagera National Park, to the forests of Nyungwe and Volcanoes for primate trekking, Rwanda offers a range of scenery, topography and wildlife to explore on any visit.

Visit Rwanda - kigali

Kigali – The Vibrant Capital City

Your visit to Rwanda begins in Kigali, the captivating capital of Rwanda and the gateway to this incredible country. The city is a perfect blend of modernity and tradition, offering travellers an opportunity to immersive themselves in the Rwandan way of life. Explore the vibrant markets, where the scent of freshly roasted coffee fills the air, and colourful crafts and fabrics delight the senses. A highlight of any stay is the Kigali Genocide Memorial, a poignant tribute to Rwanda’s history and a testament to the nation’s resilience and unity.

Visit Rwanda - Wilderness Bisate

Akagera National Park – Wilderness & Wildlife

On Rwanda’s north-eastern border, Akagera National Park is a 3-hour drive or short helicopter flight from Kigali and a highlight on your journey when you visit Rwanda. As Rwanda’s largest national park, prepare to be awestruck by the diverse wildlife that calls this place home – from majestic elephants and graceful giraffes to elusive leopards and lions, the park is a sanctuary for both iconic and rare species. Explore the diverse landscape on game drives, cruise along the picturesque lakes spotting hippo’s, crocodiles and water birds or try your hand at catch-and-release fishing.

Our favourite accommodation in the Akagera National Park is Magashi. Perched on a peninsula overlooking the picturesque Lake Rwanyakazinga, Magashi Camp is set within an exclusive-use area in Akagera, allowing private safaris for its camp guests only.

Visit Rwanda - Singita

Volcanoes National Park – Encounter Majestic Gorillas

When you visit Rwanda, your journey wouldn’t be complete without trekking through the lush jungles of the Volcanoes National Park, renowned for its population of endangered mountain gorillas. Just 2.5 hours’ drive north of Kigali, an ethereal encounter with these gentle giants is an experience that will remain etched in your heart forever. Accompanied by experienced guides, the trek into the forest brings you face-to-face with the gorilla families, where you can observe their playful interactions and distinct personalities. Whilst gorilla trekking will be the absolute highlight to your visit to Rwanda, the area lends itself to further incredible experiences, from witnessing the playful golden monkeys to hiking to Dian Fossey’s gravesite to pay homage to the renowned conservationist and researcher at her final resting place.

Our favourite accommodations in the Volcanoes are Singita Kwitonda Lodge and Singita Kitaza House, which share a border with the Volcanoes National Park; Bisate Lodge, designed as an homage to Rwandan Royalty; and One&Only Gorilla’s Nest set surrounded by swaying eucalyptus trees.

Visit Rwanda - Nyungwe Forest

Nyungwe Forest – An Immersive Rainforest Experience

Nyungwe Forest is a breathtaking paradise brimming with biodiversity, located approximately 6 hours’ drive from Kigali in a south-westerly direction. This ancient rainforest shelters an astonishing array of flora and fauna. Embark on thrilling canopy walks suspended above the treetops, offering an unparalleled view of the lush wilderness. Nature enthusiasts will delight in the chance to spot chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, and hundreds of bird species that inhabit this pristine forest. Whilst slightly off the track when you visit Rwanda, this area is well worth it, should you have the time.

Our favourite accommodation is One&Only Nyungwe House, set on its own working tea plantation, surrounded by the untamed Nyungwe National Park.

Visit Rwanda - Planning your rwanda trip

Planning your itinerary

When you visit Rwanda, your stay should be a minimum of 3 nights, if only wanting to trek gorillas in the Volcanoes. Your first night is always in Kigali, followed by a visit to the Genocide Museum before heading up to the Volcanoes for your first night stay. Gorilla trekking is always first thing in the morning, so you’ll do this on day 3 and then have the afternoon to explore the area and locals. Depending on your flight departure time from Kigali, you may be able to do a second trek on the morning of day 4, before travelling back to the airport. Although it’s tight, it’s doable, and experiencing two hikes is highly recommended as the first trek is like walking down the aisle; it’s over in a flash, so the second trek allows you to fully soak in the experience.

If you have more time, we recommend 3 or 4 nights at Magashi and 4 nights at Volcanoes. This allows you to be fully immersed in each area, soaking up the sights, sounds and experiences on offer as well as spending time relaxing in between.

If you’ve got a few more nights to spare, definitely add on a visit to the Nyungwe Forest – at least two nights here is required, but three would be ideal.

Visit Rwanda - primate trekking - gorilla trekking

Trekking Primates in Rwanda

For primate enthusiasts, especially those interested in gorilla trekking, the dry months of June to September and December to February are still the best choices. During these months, the trails are less muddy and slippery, enhancing the overall trekking experience. It is crucial to book your permits well in advance, as they are limited and can sell out quickly, especially during peak tourist seasons. Mallerby’s Luxury Travel will assist you in securing these permits as part of your itinerary. Please note that trekking has an age restriction of 15 years and older.

Visit Rwanda - safari rwanda - magashi

Safari in Rwanda

To catch the most incredible wildlife moments in the Akagera National Park, plan your safari between June and September. During this period, the vegetation is less dense and the animals tend to congregate around the water sources making them easier to spot during game drives.

Visit Rwanda - rwanda safari- magashi - leopard

Travel Advice for when you visit Rwanda

When considering travel to Rwanda, it’s essential to plan carefully to ensure a safe, enjoyable, and memorable experience. Here are some travel advice and tips to bear in mind when you are ready to start planning:

  • Check the latest travel advisories issued by your government regarding travel to Rwanda and stay informed about any safety or health-related concerns in the region.
  • Visas depend on your country of origin – some nationalities may be eligible for visa on arrival.
  • Make sure your passports are valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay.
  • Comprehensive travel and medical insurance are essential and should cover, but not be limited to, medical emergencies, trip cancellations, luggage and any other unforeseen events.
  • Consult your local travel clinic well in advance to receive recommended vaccinations and take necessary health precautions.
  • The Rwandan Franc (RWF) is the official currency. Credit cards are widely accepted in urban areas, but it’s advisable to carry some cash for rural transactions.
  • Tipping is widely appreciated as the industry relies heavily on tourism.
  • When buying at the markets, bartering is acceptable, but be friendly and fair.
  • The locals make wonderful gifts and souvenirs, so keep space in your luggage for special mementos for yourself, friends, and family.
  • The official languages are Kinyarwanda, English, and French.
  • Rwanda is generally safe for tourists, but like any destination, exercise the usual precautions.

Travel with Mallerby’s Luxury Travel

At Mallerby’s Luxury Travel, we strive to provide unparalleled experiences tailored to your preferences. Planning and executing your journey can become a stressful experience, so allow us to take care of the logistics and stress for you! Our expert guides will personally design an itinerary based on your specific travel requirements, offering suitable suggestions on accommodations and activities, and then add in the finer details to ensure you have a seamless and unforgettable journey that surpasses your expectations. Mallerby’s Luxury Travel assists with travel advice on visas, best international flight options to consider, packing lists and trekking permits.

Visit Rwanda - Magashi - water safari

Summing up your journey to visit Rwanda

Get ready to embark on an extraordinary journey through Rwanda, guided by Mallerby’s Luxury Travel. Immerse yourself in its stunning landscapes, encountering majestic primates, experiencing thrilling wildlife interactions and exploring the vibrant culture that makes this destination truly unique. Prepare to let Rwanda’s charm embrace you on an unforgettable experience that will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime.

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