Bisoke Crater Lake

Mount Bisoke Crater Lake – Bisoke Crater Lake is one of the fascinating natural features situated on the summit of mount Bisoke which is one of the easiest volcanic mountains to hike while trekking. Bisoke Mountain is situated in volcanoes national park in Rwanda which is one of the destinations in Africa to trek the habituated Mountain Gorillas in their natural habitat. Mount Bisoke is found on an altitude of about 3700m, the intriguing mountain reflects a conic shape of the great volcano and within its crater, there is an amazing deep crater lake.

Hiking Mountain Bisoke will take you about 6 hours and this is inclusive of the 2 hours of descending back at the starting point. For travelers are physically fit and have experience in hiking will take only 3 hours to hike and only one hour to descend back to the starting point.

While hiking mount Bisoke, you will encounter with numerous levels of vegetation cover which starts with the Bamboo Forests, then the Hypericum forests, Senecio and as you are nearing the Lobelia bush you will start to view the Bisoke Crater Lake in a distance before you reach the summit of the mountain.

Hiking to Bisoke Crater Lake begins at 7:00 am with briefing at the volcano park headquarters situated at Kinigi, it is here during the briefing that grouped and assigned a park ranger guide who is very knowledgeable with park and the mountain. Then at exactly 8:00 am you will begin the hiking adventure experience with hired porters to assist you to carry your back pack bag and other luggage.

Mount Bisoke Crater Lake Hike is charged about 75 USD per person and the fee is inclusive of a park ranger guide. Booking the Bisoke lake hike can be done directly at the park headquarters and there is advance booking required you interest to explore the Bisoke crater lake if you have already visited Volcanoes national park.

How to make booking for Bisoke Crater Lake hike

Feel free to contact Adventure in the Wild Safaris one of the leading safari experts that will assist you to arrange and book your hiking permit to Bisoke Crater Lake, our package includes booking for the accommodation of your choice and all transportation required while on your safari.

However it is important that know the hiking gears to Bisoke Crater Lake. We present to you some of the hiking equipment that will help you have a successful thrilling experience during the Hike the Summit

Strong hiking gum boats and gloves

Don’t forget to carry your strong hiking gums boots which are light to enhance movement on the slippery steeps of mount Bisoke. hiking mount Bisoke can be very fascinating if have the gum boots due to the fact during the rainy season, the mountain is wet slippery but with the boots movement can be easy and they are also needed during the dry season as one of the hiking gears.

The hand gloves with help to protect your hands from germs since during the hiking there are some point were your hiking will supported by the plants which will keep touching so as give you support as proceed with the hiking.

We also advise travelers to carry their strong waterproof rain jackets that can be of use in case it rains on your hiking experience to Bisoke Crater Lake. On the other hand hikers are required to carry enough water and snacks which will quench off their thirsty and give them energy to continue hiking.

Travelers are as well advised to be inquisitive keeping the hears and eyes open since by coincidence you can land on a gorilla family, thus you need to be careful that you see it be sees you to act aggressive.

It is important to note that the summit of mount Bisoke offers a rewarding thrilling lifetime experience since you will have an insight to enjoy the glimpse sight of the forest cover at the rim of the crater as well as the astounding spectacular beauty of the Mount Bisoke crater lake.

Canopy Walk in Nyungwe Forest National Park

Nyungwe Forest Canopy Walk – Nyungwe forest is located in the southwestern part of Rwanda, at the border with Burundi. The forest is found in Rusizi district and is bordered by Lake Kivu and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west. It stretches southwards and adjoins Kibira national aprk in north of Burundi. The forest is one of the largest remaining afro montane forst in Africa.

Nyungwe forest national park was established in 2007. It covers an area that ranges from 1600 to 2000 square kilometers. The park has a rich biodiversity because of the varying vegetation including rainforest, bamboo, swamps, grasslands, marshes, open woodland and heath. Nyungwe forest has over 1,060 plant species with over 200 tree species, 248 Orchid species and others which make a thick beautiful canopy which tourists walk over during Nyungwe canopy walk tour.

Nyungwe Canopy walk is one of the main activities of the park and is enjoyed by all tourists that get a chance to participate in it because it is a thrilling way of exploring the forest from above it. it offers spectacular views of the park and this is how special Nyungwe national park is in East Africa.

The canopy walk in Nyungwe starts by reporting at Uwinka visitor’s center which is located about 200 meters from the main road. The canopy walk starts from the Uwinka Starting view point which is 2500 meters above the sea level. It starts with a walk of about 200 meters down the forest with guides. The area is hilly and hiking enthusiasts will enjoy each and every part of this encounter. There are different sections of the canopy walk which takes about 2 hours. The first section is 45 meters long, the second one is 90 meters long and the last is 25 meters long. As you walk over the forest, you will enjoy the cool fresh air and also spot several birds flying around.

The 25 meters section is the final and it takes you back to the forest for a nature walk. It is an adventurous part of the walk as you find stability through the trail to exit the forest. You could spot some monkeys at this point.

The canopy walk in Nyungwe started in 2010. Nyungwe national park is the place you can do canopy walk in east Africa and it the third to establish the activity in Africa.

Nyungwe canopy walk price

The minimum age for doing a canopy walk is six (6) years and young ones must be with adults. A canopy walk permit in Nyungwe forest national park costs US$60 for each individual.

Nyungwe forest national park is a home to about 85 mammal species including 13 species of primates which are the most sought out attractions in the forest. Primates in the forest include chimpanzees, L’Hoest’s monkeys, Black and white colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys and blue monkeys among others. Nyungwe forest national park is a home also to 38 reptile species, 32 species of amphibians and about 300 bird species.

Getting there

You can get to Nyungwe forest national park by road or by air. Nyungwe is situated about 220 km from Kigali and it takes about 5 hours and a half to arrive there. Quick routes to the park are Kigali-Huye-Nyungwe road and Kigali-Karongi-Nyungwe routes. Rwanda has well developed roads and tourists remain comfortable on the road in our safari vehicles when travelling by road.

Those who want to get to the park in the shortest time possible can opt for air transport. We book for your flight with Rwandair or Akagera Aviation to Kamembe national airport and then be transferred to the park by road.

muhabura

Climbing & Hiking Mount Muhabura

Mount Muhabura also called Mount Muhavura is an extinct volcano situated at the border of two East African countries, Uganda and Rwanda. It is one of the eight Virunga volcanoes and is the third highest among them, standing at a height of 4,127 meters above the sea level. Part of Mount Muhabura sits in Mgahinga national park in the far southwest of Uganda and the other part in Volcanoes national park in the northeast of Rwanda. The two national parks are gorilla trekking destinations.

The mountain was named Muhabura, a local Rufumbira/Kinyarwanda word which means “the guide” in Rufumbira and “sentinel” in Kinyarwanda. Mount Muhabura is the steepest of the eight volcanoes and it provides a challenging ascent to hikers. Its first resting point is at an elevation of 3,116 meters above the sea level, the second is at 3,855 meters above the sea level and the you then get to the top which is 4,127 meters above the sea level.

Hikers on Mount Muhabura go through different kinds of vegetation starting with the montane forest at the lower slopes where mountain gorillas live. Unlike Mount Sabinyo which can only be climbed from Uganda, Mount Muhabura can be hiked from both Uganda and Rwanda sides. As you ascend on the mountain, you will have spectacular views of the surrounding including other volcanoes and when you arrive at the top, you will be thrilled to see the beautiful Crater Lake. The mountain offers stunning views of Rwanda’s twin lakes Burera and Ruhondo and many other areas around Rwanda. Hiking to the top of mountain Muhabura takes 6-8 hours, meaning that if you start your hike very early, you are able to ascend to the top and descend back. The hiking time will however depend on your fitness.

In Uganda, Mount Muhabura is the highest among the three Virunga volcanoes which the country shares. The other two are mount Gahinga which stands at 3,474 meters above sea level and Mount Sabinyo at 3,645 meters above the sea level. Mount Muhabura is cone-shaped and this hsape can be clearly seen even from a far.

The steep slopes of the mountain are covered with vast vegetation including shrub and thickets. Regardless, they become muddy and slippery during the wet season when rainfall is often received. Hikers are therefore advised to carry strong waterproof hiking boots. Hiking on mount Muhabura offers opportunities of spotting some of that live around this place such as buffaloes, elephants, different birds and others.

Hiking on Mount Muhabura from Uganda

Hiking Mount Muhabura -Most tourists hike Mount Muhabura after trekking for mountain gorillas in Mgahinga national park. You are required to be at the park headquarters at Ntebeko by 7:00am. You will meet the guide here and get a briefing about the hike and the experience. You can hire a porter in case you need one. At exactly 7:00am, you will start the hike with your armed ranger guide leading you through the trails. The armed ranger guides and also protects you from dangerous animals that you may come across.  The guide will give information about each and everything that you will see including identifying other volcanoes that you will be able to see when you arrive at top.

Hiking on Mount Muhabura from Rwanda

Travelers on a gorilla safari in Volcanoes national park in Rwanda can as well go for mountain climbing on Muhabura after other activities such as gorilla trekking, golden monkey trekking and hiking to Dian Fossey tomb. Hikers meet their ranger guide at the headquarters located at Kinigi. Before the hike starts, they are briefed about things they should expect on the way.

Getting there

In Uganda, you can get to Kisoro by road transport or by air and then connect to the park by road. From Kampala, it takes about 9-10 hours to reach the park and 3-4 hours by air and connecting to the park by road.

In Rwanda, after arriving at Kigali international airport, the driver guide transfers you to Volcanoes national park by road. It is a 3 hours drive from Kigali to Volcanoes national park.

Gishwati Forest Reserve

Gishwati forest is a protected natural forest and part of Gishwati Forest Reserve (GFR). It is located in the northwest of Rwanda, near Lake Kivu. It is located near Mukura forest which was also part of the forest before effects of human activities including mining, grazing and deforestation for land for subsistence farming.

From the 1970s to the 1980s, Gishwati forest occupied an area of 250,000 acres and was still virgin. When Rwanda experienced the 1994 Genocide, people ran away from their homes and a number of them fled to areas around Gishwati forest where they started to settle as refugees. They cleared portion after portion of the forest mainly for settlement and subsistence farming and by 2001, the forest cover was left with a vegetation cover of only 1,500 acres. Meaning that 80% of the forest had been destroyed and the area started facing problems of soil erosion and degradation as well as landslides.

Gishwati forest was previously a large rainforest stretching west beyond Lake Kivu to link up with the rainforests in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The vast forest extended to the south and connected to Nyungwe forest but were fragmented because of deforestation and population increase. Even before refugees reached this area and destroyed it, it had earlier been degraded by other people that were living close to the area by encroaching it for cattle ranching and agriculture.

In 2007, Rwandan president Paul Kagame collaborated with Great Ape Trust which was founded by a philanthropist known as Ted Townsend and began the Gishwati Area Conservation Program (GACP) which was aimed at creating a national conservation park through which the biodiversity of Gishwato forest would be protected. In 1930, Gishwati forest covered an area of 70,000 acres but 90% of this cover had been lost. The GACP also aimed at stopping rapid degradation and restoring the huge loss of that had been faced by the area.

In 2011, a Rwandan non-governmental organization known as the Forest of Hope Association took over from Gashwati Area Conservation Program (GACP) and is managing the Gishwati forest reserve up to date. Good news is that there has been an increase of 67% of the forest since the association started its effort in Gishwato forest. A number of research and conservation initiatives have been employed in GFR.

Destruction of the forest had led to a terrible loss biodiversity. There was a decline of 99.7% of fauna but fortunately, it is said that the population of chimpanzees in the forest has grown after several years of protection by Forest of Hope Association. There was serious decline of flora whereby there was 93.3% decline of wild fruits, wild vegetables declined by 99.6%while medicines declined by 79.9%.

Gishwati forest reserve has recorded 58 species of trees and shrubs, including various indigenous hardwoods and bamboo. The forest is a habitat to a variety of animals. It has four species of primates namely the eastern chimpanzee, the golden monkey, the blue monkey and the L’Hoest monkey. Other large mammals in the forest include the southern tree hyrax, the river hog, the black front duiker, the Felis aurata and the serval.

Gishwati forest has recorded 84 bird species and some of them include the White-headed Woodhoopoe, Mountain Yellow Warbler and Old World Warblers. It hosts reptiles such as bush viper and different kinds of chameleons.

The government of Rwanda passed a law in 2015 to upgrade Gishwati Forest reserve into a national park after combining it with Mukura forest reserve. The national park is set to be opened in the near future and it will be Rwanda’s 4th national park. Rwanda looks forward to encouraging tourist to visit it as a combined destination with Volcanoes and Nyungwe national parks. This way, the country will increase its earnings from the tourism industry.

Activities that tourists will do in Gishwati-Mukura national park include chimpanzee trekking, golden monkey trekking, bird watching and nature walks among others.

There are already beautiful and comfortable lodges that have been constructed where visitors can stay when they visit the park. For example Gishwati lodge, constructed in a simple but eco-friendly way.

Hirwa Gorilla Group

Hirwa Gorilla Family is one of the gorilla families well known in volcanoes national park in Rwanda but recently shifted to Uganda’s Mgahinga national park. These two national parks neighbor each other in the Virunga Massif with exactly the same kind of vegetation cover which enables these animals to stay in any of the areas.

Mountain gorillas are critically endangered subspecies of the eastern gorillas. the only place you can find these primates is the Virunga massif (Mgahinga national park, Volcanoes national park and the DRC) and Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park. Gorillas are very mobile animals and for quite a long time, Mgahinga and Volcanoes national park have been sharing Nyakagezi gorilla family which roams around the two parks and has been the only habituated gorilla group trekked in Mgahinga. It was however good news to hear that Uganda has received another gorilla family (Hirwa gorilla family) which migrated in august 2019 from the northern part of Volcanoes national park in Kinigi province and settled in the southern part of mgahinga national park. hirwa gorilla family consisted of 17 members at the time they migrated to Uganda but lost 4 of them that were struck by lightning in the forest of Mgahinga.

Uganda Wildlife Authority has been availing only 8 gorilla trekking permits for Mgahinga national park daily but this has now increased to 16 permits availed daily until the group migrates again back to Rwanda. we have no idea about when it could move back to Rwanda but all the members are very safe in Uganda as they remain under the Conservation policy of the International Gorilla Conservation Program which is in charge of all gorillas of the Virunga area.

Trekking for gorillas in mgahinga national park

Mgahinga national park is the smallest national park in Uganda. There have always been only 8 permits produced each day for tourists who want to go for gorilla trekking in the park since there was only one gorilla group called Nyakagyezi. Nyakagyezi was joined by an interesting gorilla family from Rwanda in August 2019 increasing the gorilla trekking permits to Mgahinga to 16 per day. Contact us to book for your gorilla trekking permit to trek for Hirwa gorilla family. A gorilla trekking permit costs $700.

Dian Fossey Brief Biography

Dian fossey education, Dian fossey husband, Dian fossey timeline

Dian Fossey was born on 16th January 1932, in San Francisco, California. Her parents divorced when she was still young and she therefore grew up with her mother and her step father. Dian developed love for animals at an early age and at the age of 6 she started horseback riding lessons. She was able to gain a letter on the riding team during her time in high school. At the age of 19, Dian got a chance to work on a ranch in Montana where she fell more in love with the animals but she was later on forced to leave because she had contracted chicken pox.

Dian Fossey later on enrolled for a course at the University of California as a pre-vet student but gave up on the way because of the challenges encountered in some courses of chemistry and physics. She started a degree in occupational therapy at St. Jose State College where she graduated in 1954 and worked with tuberculosis patients at different hospitals in California.

Dian Fossey in Africa

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Dian Fossey’s love for animals forced her to put a lot of effort to travel to Africa after she had been told about the abundant animals of Africa by a friend who had been in Africa on vacation. She did all she could afford to travel to Africa and this dream came to be realized in 1963 when she made her first step on the continent. Among the countries she visited are Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Congo.

While in Africa, Dian Fossey met some of the most impactful people towards her work: Joan and Alan Root who were working on a documentary of African gorillas. They were native wildlife photographers and they considered going with her for a trip where they were searching for primates. This was one of the best moments in her life and her feeling and experience is well explained in the book “Gorillas in the Mist”. Dian had earlier met Louis Leaky and her wife in her earlier days in Africa and he later on invited her for a long-term study about the endangered mountain gorillas of Rwanda. Dian took on the study and ended up living in the DRC with the gorillas but due to civil unrest, she shifted to Rwanda where she continued with the study and research.

Dian Fossey encountered several obstacles during her effort for conservation of these endangered primates but that did not limit her from continuing with her work. She established Karisoke Research Foundation in Volcanoes national park to facilitate the primate study. She did fieldwork in the park while taking on her Ph.D which was based on her research at Cambridge University and graduated in 1976.

To save and conserve the endangered mountain gorillas, Fossey’s work and effort led to establishment of the first dedicated ranger patrols. She also destroyed traps and put down dogs of poachers and rejected the plans of game wardens and government officials who wanted to turn the habitats of the gorillas into farmlands and this created some enemies. On the 26th of December, 1985, Fossey was found brutally killed by poachers and her body was lying at her forest camp in Rwanda. She was buried close to the grave of one of her favorite gorilla friends Digit and it is one of the places you can visit on your African safari to Rwanda. However, it is absurd that no one has ever been found to have a hand in her murder for persecution.

Even after her death, her work continued. She had inspired a number of conservationists who took on the conservation work through the Dian Fossey Gorilla Foundation which is still going up to now.

Caplaki crafts village is located in Rwanda’s capital Kigali. It is made up of different temporary shelters that were built in the same location to form a craft village which was named “Caplaki craft village”. There are about 40 brightly colored huts with shelter from alpine trees over them. The huts look very similar but each of them is independent. They are filled with various African handmade crafts made in Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

There is a variety of beautiful craft items at Caplaki crafts village such as bags, jewelry, baskets, painted utensils to use in the house, wood carvings, home décor, dolls and many more. Their craft items are genuine and authentic, very colorful and eye-catchy and make the best gifts for your loved ones. There are cotton fabrics which leave you with all comfort when using or wearing them. Caplaki crafts village opens at 8:00am and closes at 8:00pm.

You can visit Caplaki crafts village on your city tour in Kigali and grab yourself a souvenir that will keep memories for the Rwanda safari. The stalls have a range of similar craft items but they may be of different colors and versions. Prices of items at the craft village are open for bargaining and your bargaining skills could enable you attain more items.

Apart from visiting ands shopping at Caplaki crafts village, there are much more things you can do around Kigali and in other areas of Rwanda outside Kigali.

Other places to visit in Kigali are;

  • Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre is one of the sites where you can have a clearer way of learning about the 1994 Rwanda genocide that led to an estimated number of 1,000,000 people in Rwanda.
  • Presidential Palace Museum, this was a home for Rwanda’s former President, Habyarimana whose death triggered the 1994 Rwanda Genocide. Moving around the house offers an opportunity to know how Habyarimana lived and the things he used to do.
  • Kandt House museum of Natural History, this was a home to Dr. Richard Kandt who founded the current Kigali town in 1907. He was a German explorer and discoverer who situated his house on Nyarugenge hill in Kigali. The museum has three exhibits to present to you the history of Rwandan life before colonial time, the evolution of the standards of living, the flora and fauna and geological features in Rwanda, what Rwanda experienced during colonial period and things that happened during colonial and after time.
  • Inema Arts Centre is an art gallery with paintings, sculptures and traditional crafts. You can also get entertained by dance and music performances on some days

There are a lot of areas out and far away from Kigali city that you can visit for adventurous and exciting activities. They include;

  • Volcanoes national park: this is one of the best places to visit in Rwanda and things you can do there are gorilla trekking, golden monkey trekking, hiking to Dian Fossey tomb and enjoying the Iby’Iwacu culture.
  • Nyungwe forest national park: this is one of the biggest tropical forests remaining in East Africa. The main activity here is chimp trekking and canopy walk which are all extremely thrilling things you can enjoy in Rwanda.
  • Akagera national park: this is the only savannah game park in Rwanda and you can see a lot of animals such as zebras, buffaloes and lions during game drives.
  • Lake Kivu: Lake Kivu is located in the west of Rwanda and you can go there to relax and chill at the beach, do some swimming, kayaking, boat cruise and many other activities there. This place offers spectacular views of Virunga volcanoes.

You can book for your Rwanda safari to enjoy any of these things or a combination of them for a remarkable African safari.

Rwanda gorilla trekking cost

Gorilla Trekking Rwanda Cost – There are many peope who wish to travel to Rwanda to trek the endangered mountain gorillas in Volcanoes national park. Rwanda is known as a provider of luxury gorilla tours. There are various pacakegs for a gorilla toru to Rwanda and each of these tours will have varying prices. There is no standard price for the tours and the prices depend on a number of factors including the type of accommodation the traveler wants to use, the starting point of your trips, other activities you wish to participate in and the Tours and Travel Company that you want to travel with.

Price of a gorilla permit in Rwanda

The cost of a gorilla permit for one person is USD 1,500 in Rwanda. the previous price was USD 750 until 2017 when Rwanda Development Board doubled it to USD 1,500 and Rwanda became a luxury gorilla trekking destination. Of the three destinations where you can trek mountain gorillas, Rwanda charges the highest price for its gorilla permits. a gorilla permit costs USD 700 in uuganda and USD 400 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

How to book for a Rwanda gorilla trekking tour

Adventure in the wild safaris is the prime travel company for goprilla safaris and strives for the best of your African safari. We organize for gorilla safaris to Bwindi Impenetrable, Mgahinga, Volcanoes and Virunag national park. In case you want to travel to any of the destinations, contact us and have your dream brought to reality.

You are advised to book early, about 4 or more months before your travel date to the destination for the safari. Early booking is important because gorilla permits are always on high demand. If you get plans for travel and need to trek for gorillas in a short period, inform us immediately so that we shall quickly try our best and find out if we can obtain a gorilla permit for you. Immediately after confirming your booking with us, we update you abouty the next processes until your permit is secured.

Driver guide for your Rwanda gorilla safari

A well experienced English speaking guide will receive you, breiaf you about the tour and handle all other things throughout the safari. Feel free to ask him about anything regarding the tour, things that you see during the journey and any help needed. He will update yopu about all the activities of the following day before you rest and your Rwanda gorilla trekking safsari weill surely be the best.

Accommodations in Volcanoes national park

The kind of lodge that you choose to stay at plays a big role towards the enjoyment of your tour. We as Adventure in the wild safaris, we have a number of lodges that we collaborate with to provide excellent services and facilities throughout the tour.

 There are a number of lodges around Volcanoes national park with different prices so travelers can choose the best for their budget.

Luxury lodges at Volcanoes national aprk include; Bisate lodge, Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel, Sabyinyo Silverback lodge, Mounatin Gorilla View lodge and Virunag lodge.

Midrange lodges at Volcanoes national park are; Le Bambou Gorilla lodge, Da Vinci Gorilla lodge, La Palme Hotel, Gorillas Volcanoes Hotel, Garr Hotel, Garden Place Hotel, Mountain Gorillas Nest lodge and Best View hotel.

Basic/budget accommodation at Volcanoes national aprk includes Kinigi Guest house, Villa Gorilla and Muhabura hotel among others.

Getting to Volcanoes national park

Volcanoes national park is part of the Virunga massif. It is located in the northern part of Rwanda at the border of Uganda and the DRC. It is located in Ruhengeri, about 105 kilometers from Rwanda’s capital Kigali. Our clients travel to Volcanoes national park in 4X4 safari vehicle that will keep them comfortable throughout the journey. The driver guide picks you from Kigali International airport and transfers ypou to the park by road, a distance that takes about 2 hours.

Belgian Peacekeepers Memorial

Belgian Peacekeepers Memorial / Camp Kigali Belgian Memorial is a site in Kigali where ten Belgian UN soldiers were killed as they were guarding the then Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana at the beginning of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide. It is a former Rwandan military base located in Nyarugenge in Kigali.

The 1994 Rwanda Genocide was triggered by the assassination of the Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana on the 6th April 1994. It is said that this violent attack had earlier been planned by the Hutu to kill the Tutsi in Rwanda but the Prime Minister Agathe was against it. The killing of the president initiated it faster. An estimated number of 5,000-1,000,000 people are said to have lost their lives in this genocide.

Camp Kigali Belgian MemorialAfter killing the Rwandan president, General Dallaire commanded 10 Belgian Blue Beret soldiers to guard the Prime Minister Agathe at her home. On the 7th of April 1994, the Hutu presidential armed guards invaded her home, captured the UN soldiers, disarmed them and took them to the military base in Kigali where they were brutally killed. Four of them were killed immediately on arrival at the base while the rest first barricaded themselves in a room where they tried to fight the presidential guards before they were finally killed.

After killing the soldiers, their bodies were injured and dumped at a mortuary of a close hospital. The killing of the UN soldiers forced the United Nations to withdraw the Belgium troops from Rwanda and U.N directed peacemakers to defend themselves. After taking the U.N forces, there was a quick spread of killings from Kigali to all other parts of Rwanda. Within a period of three months, about 800,000 people had been massacred. A lot of people from Rwanda moved to the Democratic Republic of Congo where they took refuge.

Camp Kigali Belgian memorial was established by the Belgian government. It was opened on 7th April 2000 in commemoration of the Belgian soldiers. There are ten stone pillars that were put in place, each to represent each of these soldiers who served the command of the United Nations Mission Assiatance for Rwanda. Each of the pillars has horizontal cuts which indicate how long each soldier lived. The building where the soldiers that tried to fight before they were killed has been maintained with gunshot holes which were created when the Forces Amees Rwandaises (FAR) extravagantly shot around the building so that whoever was in there died.

Also known as Madame Agathe, Agathe Uwilingiyimana was the Rwanda’s first and so far the only female prime minister. After arresting the Belgian soldiers that were guiding her, she was also killed.

The Belgian jury convicted Bernard Ntuyahanga on 5th July 2007 to a jail of 25 years because he was the army major during the time of the genocide and he was involved in the arrest and killing of the Belgian soldiers. Camp Belgian Kigali memorial is one of the areas where you can go for dark tourism. It also has some information about the 1994 Rwanda genocide.

There are other areas in Kigali and outside Kigali which you can visit for dark tourism. They include Kigali genocide memorial, Murambi genocide memorial site, Ntarama memorial site, Gisenyi memorial site, Bisesero memorial site and Nyanza memorial sites among others.

Today, Rwanda is at peace and the people have been promised never again to face such a traumatic attack. It is one of the highly developing countries in Africa, one of the most organized and with friendly people. Besides dark tourism, you can spend your time in Rwanda on a gorilla trek, chimp trek, wildlife viewing, relaxing at Kivu beach or learning more and being entertained by the culture of Rwandan people.

Belgian Peacekeepers Memorial, Kigali, Rwanda

Money Information for Tourists

Money tips and Advice for travelers planning a visit to Rwanda 

This article, will guide you through and clearly understand the basic of Rwandan money Information for tourists and the visitors in Rwanda. Rwanda just like any other East and Central African country is mostly a cash- based society. The Rwandan Franc, is official currency but many Rwandan citizens, especially those in the Tourism industry, use the US Dollar as the currency of choice.

While in Rwanda, the use of credit cards, master cards are accepted, for the tourists using American Express, this is accepted in few spots and usually, 5% charge is imposed on every transaction made. Visa master cards, are too accepted here. Many places for example, hotels, safari companies and airlines will ask for payments in US Dollars. Rwandan Franc will be needed in other places which is possible for you to find exchange the currency. Travellers checks, are usually herder to cash here since it may require extra fees in banks and only few banks may accept the use of checks. The forex Bureau, does not allow use of checks. You can only use master cards, credit cards for your payments in Rwanda. Therefore, you do not need to carry bulky cash while travelling to Rwanda due to some incidences that may occur for instance, the cash being stollen which may disorganise your visit in Rwanda.

Below are some of the Rwanda -money information that you may find useful during your visit in Rwanda, its always good to know before you make that journey.

The US Dollar is the preferred currency charged from tourists visiting Rwanda

The Rwandan Franc id an official currency in Rwanda but for places like the tourism companies, they basically use US Dollars for the tourists in Rwanda as the currency of choice. also you can use the EURO, UK Pound for the money changing in to Rwandan currency in case you need to purchase products or use it in various places like the bars, restaurants, souvenirs strictly use Rwandan currency since you may get cheated in case you se the US Dollars direct.

For the money exchange, is best to always a bit higher bills like 50 and 100 for the best exchange rates, but in case you the smaller bills, you may end getting less in return, also note that, you should obtain dollar bills newer than 2003 and no tears or any marks on them , the money should be new and clean so that its accepted at the forex Bureau.

For the case of Tips, while on the safari in Rwanda, any you need to Tip the guides, potters among others, do not use the US Dollars but only use the Rwandan Franc, since this can immediately be used by the person you are tipping to. Sometimes changing small rates, may be a bit challenging for the people.

The Banks in Kigali and other towns in Rwanda

While using banks in Rwanda to get the money, you can use your credit cards since its quite better since less are imposed on the transactions you make and also it reduces hustle when it comes to identification, also for money exchange, I recommend you use the banks although it may consume much of your time, but you get reasonable rates so it best to use the banks for your transactions.

While using the traveller’s checks, you will; be required to show proof of purchase and the traveller’s passport to prove that the check belongs to you. Using the banks also means that you will receive a lower rate than cash but this process is quite a hassle and time-consuming process but it will require you be a little patient here.

Using credit cards while on your visit to Rwanda

The use of credit cards in Rwanda, may not possible, the government suggest not to use the credit cards reason being that its always possible for some one to steal your credit card information which may lead to your money being stolen. These cases happen in almost all the countries therefore, you need to be very vigilant while making withdraws with the Credit card in case you do not have any other choice. But the first choice in the use of the Credit cards, is the Visa or the mater card.

Travellers who have always booked their safaris with at Adventure in the wild safaris, we have always recommended them to use pesapal which is much easier when using the credit cards, the services are low, quicker and sufficient compared to the use of Banks while in Rwanda.

The Forex Bureaus in Kigali and other towns in Rwanda

There forest Bureaus situated throughout Rwanda, the use of the Forex Bureaus, usually is recommended since they give you the best exchange rates and the services are faster and accurate compared to the banks that may require you to wait much longer and the process can be quite longer. Whereas the forest Bureaus are situated in and outside the city you just walk in, and the money is changed for you.

You may as well opt to exchange money at the hotel you are staying at, but the exchange rate might be lower compared to the Forex Bureaus at the city centres.  for the best and for the value of your money, always use an official forest Bureau to change your money. Do not use Us Dollars or exchange the money while in the restaurants, you will lose your money since the exchange rate is usually low.

ATM’s in Rwanda

Besides carrying huge sums of money in Rwanda, the best way to keep your money safe, is to have a visa card, while here, you can use the ATN Machine at any time you need to withdraw the money. Its also easy as you get the best rates from your countries currency while changing it to Rwandan Franc, its quite convenient since it does not require you to have a lot of cash on you which may even be unsafe to move around with it.

Whereas everything as a disadvantage and advantages, using ATM Machines, may also be a bit challenging because there are extra fees that you have to pay during the withdrawals. Also at times to use the card in Rwanda, just like Uganda, Rwanda or any other African country can be challenging,  you will need to notify your bank when travelling to any country in east Africa or Africa, for the case of here now we are looking at Rwanda, you will need to inform your bank that you will be travelling in Rwanda and you will need to be using your card while making withdraws in Rwanda so it may not cause challenged when the transactions are not made.

Also some times while your making payments, or withdraws, you bank may block the transaction, but you can a rectify this by going online to your account to make some verifications that the account belongs to you and you were making attempts to withdraw the cash. So that your bank accepts your request and make that transaction for you.

Travelers Cheque use in Rwanda

The Use of travellers’ cheques in Rwanda, is limited and only few banks may consider this, but it’s also challenging since some time, you may not get the cash and may also require along process before you can get the cash. It might also be some old fashion way since its time consuming and a hassle but the best and easier way is to use the ATM card for you to get the Rwandan Franc.

While in Rwanda, instead of using cheques, the best and convenient way for your currency, is the use American Express only, others impose much charges on every transaction and when changing the currency, it may also be at a lower rate, others, you may encounter challenges in getting the cash. When using American express, you will only need proof and the passport to prove ownership of the cheque and the exchange rate is also low compared to using direct cash when changing to Rwandan Currency.

How to Keep your money safe in Rwanda

Rwanda is safe but there some small problems you may encounter but still you can avoid them such as the pick potters, robbers, petty thieves among others just like any other country even in the USA there such problems. But you can avoid these by being conscious. To keep your money safe, you can wear a money belt around your waist to hide your cash while in public places. Also, do not flash money in public, restaurants, bars, markets, do not pull large sums of money out it will attract attention and you will be potential target and you will be followed which you do not want, these may cause problems to you.

In the hotels, there is always safe, use the safe to hide your money in your room or at the official Hotel safe, also keep vital documents such as passports, air ticket and the money together to prevent some misfortunes from happing when the document get stolen or misplaced.

Also, when travelling, make other copies of your documents such as passports, airline tickets and all documents that are important to you and you will be needing them while in Rwanda or any country you will be travelling to. Besides all these, Rwanda is sae for visitors and all the citizens in Rwanda.

Buying things in Rwanda

While purchasing items such as craft and Souvenirs, avoid using US Dollars this may cause you to lose the money, also try to use the Rwandan Franc. You can change your money to Rwandan currency from any forex Bureau before you purchase any products in your currency. Also, there some hotels that the charges are made in Rwandan Franc, always try to make payments in Rwandan Franc do not use US Dollars you will lose your money due to the exchange rates you will be using at that hotel.

When buying local foods, buying lunch, or dinner in restaurants or stick, use Rwandan Franc.

The Rwanda Money Changers:

For the proper way to change your money while in Rwanda or any country you have travelled to in Africa, avoid money changers, mostly at the boarder crossings, many are corn- artists, they will robe you in the blink of an eye. They will deceive you that it’s the full amount while in actual sense, its less. Some even have fake notes, they will deceive you and robe you off your money.

Avoid using money changers if you need safety and a peaceful safari trip in Rwanda, they are often at boarder crossings they will surround you, confuse you and later you will realise they have robbed you off your money.

The best way to change your money, is to wait, cross the border until when you reach the town or the city and look for the forex Bureau in Kigali or use an ATM Machine to change your money to avoid losing junks of money to the corn. Men and thief planting them selves in many parts of the city.

Money transfers in Rwanda

It might cost you a lot to send money overseas, in particular if your secret fees are not identified. Transfer businesses and banks earn money not just with a transfer fee, but often also with a secret premium exchange rate. Through calculating exchange rates and transfer fees in real time, you could save a lot of money. The best way to transfer money is using the World Remit, western Union or Money Gram this way you will get the money. This usually costs less than western Union.

For the US Dollars, you get them at the Forex Bureau although it may cause you to lose some little money.

There is also possibility of sending and receiving money through western union or world Remit directly in to your phone using MTN Phone and you will and receive your money from any authorised agent in Rwanda. This is easy and convenient faster and tome saving does not cause much charges imposed on the transactions. It also the best way to get money in case you run out of cash and the Credit Card may have failed to Work in Rwanda.

Rwanda is a safe country you do not need to worry about your cash while in Rwanda all you need is to be conscious and enjoy your stay in Rwanda, for more information on Rwanda -money information for the tourists, reach to us at adventure in the wild safaris, and we will be glad to respond to you and offer you all the information you will need.