Rwanda is a country of immense beauty and anyone seeking an East African Safari often considers Rwanda as a top destination. The country has numerous places to visit and here is a countdown of the top five places to Visit in Rwanda.

  1. Kigali City

Kigali city is the capital of Rwanda as well as being the commercial center. The meticulously maintained city ranks as the cleanest city on the African continent. It is a true reflection of Rwanda’s transformation over the last 27 years after a turbulent history of civil conflicts. The beauty of its streets alone and modern architecture are worth the admiration they attract. Modern structures like the Kigali International Convention Center is an iconic master piece of modern architecture. The dome like structure gets lit up in colors that will inspire you, every time the night falls on Kigali.

The Genocide memorial center is another highlight of Kigali City. Here, 250,000 remains of victims of the 100 days 1994 genocide are interred. The horrific terror that was unleashed unpon civilians is retold through sculptures, weapons, and pictures of the genocide. There is children’s room dedicated to the youngest victims of the genocide, whose stories are told by over size pictures and videos from survivors. The memorial   is a place to reflect on what Rwanda has been through, yet a picture of hope and the resilience of the people who overcame this tragedy.

  • Akagera National Park Safari.

The Akagera National Park is a true reflection of Rwanda’s story of recovery. The park land had been invaded by Rwandans seeking land for cultivation as they escaped the effects of the genocide. More than 10,000 herds of cattle were grazed on much of the parkland leading to human conflict with park animals. As a result, lions were hunted; buffalos and elephants were hunted to extinction in the park.

The recovery of the park started with the new government, lions were reintroduced in 2015, rhinos and giraffes followed subsequently.

The park now boosts of all the big five, and a vast swamp and marshland where birding thrives like no other. Atleast 520 bird species inhabit the Akagera National Park.

A boat cruise on the Akagera river unveils the true beauty of vast shores infested with colorful birds and savannah lands as viewed from the waters.

The hot air balloon gives the tourist bird’s eye view of the wide savannah grassland, dotted with zebras, giraffes, antelopes, and buffaloes. The alternative is a game drive, but whichever way you choose to experience Akagera, the safari is a reward of extra ordinary measures.

  • Volcanoes National Park

The volcanoes National Park is a magical preamble to the Virunga massif that spreads into Uganda and DR. Congo. Gorilla trekking is the, most popular adventure in the park. At least 380 mountain gorillas spread between 17 families that are fully habituated inhabit the park. The one hours’ opportunity to live in the realm of the gentle giants, in a close and intimate observation their nature is an absolute satisfaction.

Other sightings in the park include, the numerous black and white colobus monkeys, bird species like the African marsh harrier, common moorhen, long-crested eagle, grey-throated tit, fly catcher and many more. The forest elephants are a rare sight however when fortunate meets adventure, one can catch a glimpse of the gentle giant. However, the more common animals are the black fronted duiker, bushbucks, forest buffaloes, and the bush pig.

  • Nyungwe Forest Canopy walk.

Whereas bridges over Rivers are common, those over forests remain a distant dream. However, in Rwanda, dreams of adventure come alive! A guided Igishigishi trail in the ancient Nyungwe Forest National Park leads one to the 70-meter high and 160-meter-long suspension bridge. The only bridge of such amusement in East Africa. The walk of nature high above the forest reveals breath-taking scenes of uneven canopies of the ancient forest. Moments of glory descend upon those who walk along this bridge as every view from a 360ᵒ is of astonishing beauty. Singing birds are a complimentary item on the walk.

  • Lake Kivu.

Rwanda’s largest fresh water lake is another popular travel destination, attracting tourist from across the entire globe to sail upon the 2,700 square kilometer lake. The lake is located in the north western region of Rwanda and crosses in to Democratic republic of Congo. The lake empties its waters into River Rusizi, which flows into Lake Tanganyika.

An evening boat cruise on the lake reveals stunning sunset views in a colorful horizon, while in a distance, fishermen cast their nets. The experience brings one closer to the local angler communities, to live in their realm, hustle and bustled life on the waters. The view of Goma town in Congo while on the lake, are equally fascinating.