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Rwanda’s Major Tourist Attractions

Rwanda’s Major Tourist Attractions

Rwanda has got many tourist attractions that the tourists find interesting before visiting the country. Attractions Below are some of Rwanda’s Major Tourist Attractions enjoyed by the travelers while in Rwanda.

Gorilla trekking is one of the main activity carried out in Volcanoes National Park, one of Rwanda’s Major Tourist Attractions. The activity takes 2 to 8 hours and it starts by having a briefing at the headquarters about the dos and don’ts of trekking the mountain gorillas. Once you meet them, you are given 1 hour to interact with them and take photos. This activity can be mixed with other safari activities like chimpanzee trekking, bird watching, Dian Fossey Visit, and the Karisimbi Hike and many more. Gorilla trekking can only be done after buying a gorilla permit which costs $1500 per person per day.

Chimpanzee trekking takes place in Nyungwe Forest National Park and it’s the cyamudongo forest in South western Rwanda. The country has got a large population of chimps in Nyungwe Forest of about 500 members of which tow troops have been habituated for chimpanzee trekking safari, one of the troop is found in the main forest and the second is found in Cyamudongo which is a small patch of the forest located to the east of Nyungwe forest and part of it. Chimp trekking in the forest starts from the reception centres including; Kitabi, Gishakura as well as Uwinka where the tourists can meet the ranger guides. These tourists are expected to be at this reception as early as 4:30am and by 5 am, get to drive to the starting point of the trek into the forest.

Since the chimps construct nests every night, there are trackers who go ahead of the trekking group to find them and communicated with the ranger guides. The tourists spend one hour with the chimps in Nyungwe Forest National Park which is also one of Rwanda’s Major Tourist Attractions. These get to see them so closely as they go about their lives and viewing these human like creatures and their behaviours that make them our closest relatives with 98% DNA. The chimps communicate by way of defending the screams, loud hoots as well as the buttresses. The habituated chimps group is bigger with 60 members, however given the magnitude of the forest and terrain, it gives few chances of seeing the chimps, while in the groups in Cyamudongo forest which has got smaller sizes that is covered and the chimps can be found in any part.

Chimpanzee trekking is so different from gorilla trekking as the chimps are running around the tree canopy and they might be running to catch up sightings which is more rushed and irregular. The cost of chimpanzee trekking permits in Nyungwe cost $90 per person for the foreign non-residents and $60 for the foreign residents of Rwanda and East Africa. The main tips for tracking chimps in Rwanda include; being 16 years and above to be able to track the chimps, you must have hiking shoes or boots, long sleeved shirts and rain jackets, have an average fitness and carry 2 litres of drinking water and snacks.

Dian Fossey tomb is another great attraction in Rwanda. Tracking this tomb is one of the most safari activity that is carried out while visiting volcanoes National Park for gorilla safari. The trek involves a 30 minutes’ drive from the park headquarters to the trail head so as to access the Karisoke research camp where the visitors walk for 10 minutes to the park boundary. This walk from the park boundary to the grave takes 1 hour and half and gives you good views of the forest hog, primates, elephants as well as bird species. The hike is a good adventure and good for learning about someone who dedicated her life to conserving the gorillas and left a legacy that’s up to today.

This hike also involves moving through the forests and hiking up the slopes and needs some degree of fitness and patience. At the site, you will find the house of Dian Fossey who was killed in 1985 but the most peaceful place is where she was buried next to her favorite gorilla friend Digit and many other mountain gorillas that were killed by the poachers or those that suffered death for other reasons. In case you are planning to visit Rwanda to hike Dian Fossey tomb, it’s important to either book through a travel agent with Rwanda and also give a one-day notice prior to your real hiking date. The hike starts at the same time as gorilla trekking and the clients come at the headquarters by 7 am and get briefing. The hike is so muddy and this means that you need strong water proof boots with good traction, using of the trekking sticks. It’s an energetic trek and tough as trekking the Susa group.

Golden monkey tracking takes place in volcanoes national Park and starts at the same time as the mountain gorillas. These are the rare species that are listed as endangered and there are two habituated golden monkey troops in the park that are present for trekking by the tourists in the park and both have got 80 members. These live in bamboo vegetation towards the base of the volcanoes and habituation that has helped them in overcoming their initial shyness to accepting their daily visits by researchers and the tourists.

Tracking of these golden monkeys and the gorillas is the same in a small group of no more than 8 and you spend one hour with these monkeys once you find them. These are so active creatures and always jump from tree to another which is so interesting and a little in photograph. The trek is worth going for while in volcanoes National Park and in case you are interested in wildlife, this is a rare and so pleasant adventure not to be missed.

Mount Karisoke hike in Rwanda, this is a mount at 4507m above sea level and it’s the highest of the 8 main volcanoes of the Virunga filed and 5th highest in Africa. It passes along the border of Rwanda and DRC on the western branch of East Africa rift valley. The Karisimbi lava have been dated from 0.24ma to 0.010 ma including the volcano which is very young. The name Karisimbi is derived from the word Amasimbi which is a Kinyarwanda word meaning white shell that refers to the white capped summit seen on top of the vet on the other side of the rift valley. It’s located in Volcanoes National Park which is common for the mountain gorillas.

Hiking of Mt Karisimbi which is an active though more rewarding 2 days’ hike. It starts so early in the morning and takes 6 hours and includes moving through the Bisoke side before reaching the first stopping place at 3700m altitude for the overnight camping finishing off the journey the next day. The hike to the summit is not ordinary and gives sights of many birds, primates including; monkeys and the mountain gorillas since the volcanoes lie in the primate zone of the national park. Its known for its plants in the four belts of vegetation, from the dense forest at its base of the volcano core at the summit.

The hike is a muddy trail in during the rainy season, though due to the altitude, it can rain at any time of the day. You need to be in good health and stamina to hike through these slippery slopes to reach to the summit that is the white capped as a result of hail and slush that accumulates in the higher elevations from its frequent storms. This also means you need to hire out a porter at $20 per day in carrying the luggage and hiking equipment’s, Karisimbi is close to Karisoke research centre where the grave of the famous mountain gorilla conservationist and a zoologist, Dian Fossey lies. This means that you can get an opportunity to visit the tomb of Dian fossey.

The IbyIwacu cultural village visit; the village is among Rwanda’s Major Tourist Attractions and is located around volcanoes national Park in NyabigomaKinigi in Musanze district in the northern province. You are able to visit these people to share with them home and heritage treasures including; activities, lifestyles, artefacts and the way of living of the local people. This cultural village shows the ways of living, traditions, lifestyles and the dances to the tourists. The cultural villages give you a chance of meeting the local people, in their natural environment, with the taste of their traditions and cultures as well as briefs. The only ways to get to know the people is by getting close to them and try to interact with these local people as they engage in their activities.

Mt Bisoke Hike is one of Rwanda’s Major Tourist Attractions and an attraction to be enjoyed while in Rwanda, this is one of the most adventurous activities in Rwanda just at the top of the volcano were you can find a very great crater lake and its 6 hours’ hike including the 2 hours coming down to the starting point. The experienced hikers get up to the top of the mountain in 3 hours or even less and return to the base in only 1 hour. On the day of hiking, the hikers go to the headquarters at Kinigi by 7:00 am in order to attend to the briefing session and assigning the rangers. The park rangers are mostly natives of the park location and are so knowledgeable about the mountain adventures. You are provided with the hiking equipment.

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