Many travellers to Rwanda, often visit the country purposely for the famous Rwanda Gorilla trekking activities besides that, there are several other smaller primate species that can also be spotted such as; habituated golden monkeys, also do not miss to see the I’Hoest’s monkeys, red-tailed monkeys and the Rwenzori colobus monkeys. Rwanda has three main nature parks where most safari animals can be seen, the national parks include; Volcanoes National Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park and Kagera National Park, each housing a quite special Savannah reserve where many animals in the park can be seen from. When you visit Rwanda, there is a lot the country offers besides primate safaris and wildlife viewing there is also birdwatching that will offer you the best of your wildlife safari visits in Rwanda.
Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National park is famous for hosting a higher number of mountain gorillas in the park, the park harbours a habituated gorilla family which have been opened to the tourists for gorilla trekking, with total of 10 habituated gorilla families where by 80 gorilla permits are issued daily for trekking. Volcanoes national park, also hosts other wildlife species which include; the golden monkeys, Albertine rift endemic, other animals like the Elephants, buffalos, giant forest hogs, bushbuck, black forested duiker, bush pig with over 200 recorded bird species spotted around the park.
Nyungwe forest national park
Nyungwe Forest National Park is Rwanda’s most biodiverse location, in addition to 85 primates, 310 bats, 32 amphibians and 38 reptile species, it supports at least 1,050 plant species which has acted as the home to many wildlife living in the park. Nyungwe forest national park, also harbours other twelve primate species which include chimpanzee, Ruwenzori colobus, L’Hoest’s monkey, golden monkey, owl-faced monkey, red-tailed monkey, Dent’s monkey, crowned monkey, vervet monkey, olive baboon, potto and bush baby. The leopard is the only member among the big five is seen in Nyungwe forest national park, the leopards include the duiker, bush buck mostly spotted early morning or late afternoon, the cheetah are not found in Rwanda. Nyungwe is one of Africa’s best avian woodland areas, and is a must-visit destination for nature lovers.
Akagera National park
AKagera National Park is a more traditional Savannah park in Africa where you could see all the Big Five game in the wild, including the Buffaloes and elephants are most commonly seen animals although the leopards are shy, they are mostly spotted during the night game drives or early morning hours they are being seen frequently the lion and black rhinos-reintroduced in 2015 and 2017 respectively-are also in great exposure although sometimes it’s a hit- and – miss but still if your lucky you may spot them. Certain species comprises Maasai giraffe, Burchell zebra, warthog, olive baboon, vervet monkey, hippo, Impala, waterbuck, bushbuck, common duke, eland, topi, Bohor reedbuck, oribi, roan antelope, klipspringer and the elusive semi-aquatic sitatunga. Spotted hyena, genet, civet, white-tailed mongoose, bush baby, elephant-shrew and numerous owl and nightjar species are commonly seen at night, with 480 bird species and around the park like the raptors, water birds, Savannah and woodland species. A kagera national park, is the must visit destination for travellers visiting Rwanda for wildlife safaris.
Best time of the year for wildlife viewing in Rwanda
Gorilla trekking is possible all year round and encounters are relatively assured. Chimpanzee trekking is a bit more difficult-the best time is part of the Wet season from October to February. The Dry Season is great for general nature watching in Akagera National Park from June to September. The wettest months are best avoided, from March to May since they are recorded to receive heavy amount of rainfall which may interfere with wildlife viewing.