Best Time To Visit Rwanda
What is the best time to visit Rwanda for a safari to Volcanoes national park, Nyungwe forest and Akagera national parks? Rwanda is a small country located in east Africa and famously known for a thousand hills, mountain gorillas which can only be trekked from volcanoes national park, golden monkeys, mountains, chimpanzees, birds, and other wildlife species.
Rwanda has four national parks and these are Volcanoes national park famous for mountain gorilla trekking, Akagera national park for game drives, Nyungwe forest national park for chimpanzee trekking, and canopy walk which is one of its kind in central and east Africa, and Gishwati Mukura national park. All these national parks offer unique experiences for travelers but volcanoes national park is the most visited because it harbors endangered mountain gorillas as well as five out of eight Virunga massif volcanoes meaning that it offers volcanic climbing.
When is the Best Time To Visit Rwanda?
Just like Uganda, Rwanda has two main dry seasons and two wet seasons, all through the country can be visited at any time of the year some months are better than other months that can be seen below.
There are two dry seasons in Rwanda that is from June to September and December to February. During this season the vegetation is not much making it easy to spot wild animals. It’s also the best season to trek mountain gorillas in Virunga national park as the roads leading to the park are accessible and the trekking trails are not muddy and slippery but in good condition.
The wet season in Rwanda happens from March to May and September to October. The wet season is also good for trekking chimpanzees and mountain gorillas in Rwanda and this is because during this time food is plenty for these animals so they don’t move to high elevations in search of food, the primates can easily be trekked in this season of the year. You can visit Rwanda at this time of the year though the roads leading to the park are impassable and the trials for trekking are muddy, slippery, and very steep.
Mid October to November
Mid October to November is the best time for bird lovers to visit Rwanda, bird watching can also be carried out in early December and late May. This is also the best time of the year to take good photography because the vegetation is just blooming and lush green. Although most of the time it rains the sky clears up fast and the sunshine bright again.
National parks in Rwanda
Rwanda has four national parks and these are Akagera national park famous for game drives, volcanoes national park for gorilla trekking and golden monkey trekking, Nyungwe national park for chimpanzee trekking, and the newly gazetted Gishwati Makura national park.
Volcanoes national park
Volcanoes national park is one of the oldest national parks in Africa having been gazetted in 1925 in the northwestern part of Rwanda. The Park is famous for hosting a large number of endangered mountain gorilla species alongside other primates such as golden monkeys, vervet monkeys, over 700 bird species, 218 mammal species as well as tree species. Activities to do in volcanoes national park include gorilla trekking, golden monkey trekking, bird watching, hiking, exploring the Musanze caves, Dian Fossey hike, and others. Other national parks where gorilla trekking tours take place include, Bwindi forest and Mgahinga gorilla national parks in Uganda as well as Virunga national park in DR Congo
Where is volcanoes national park located?
Volcanoes national park is located in the northwestern part of Rwanda in Musanze district and is the only park where you can meet face to face with mountain gorillas. the park has 10 habituated gorilla families that are open for trekking at any time of the year namely Amahoro, Sabyinyo, Susa, Agashya, Umubano, Hirwa, Kwitonda, Karisimbi, Bwenge, and Ugenda. The Park also hosts 5 out of 8 Virunga volcanoes and these are Mount Nyiragongo, Mount Sabyinyo, Mount Bisoke, Mount Karisimbi, and mount Gahinga.
How to access volcanoes national park
Volcanoes national park is located in the northwestern part of Rwanda next to Maghinga national park of Uganda and Virunga national park of DR Congo. Depending on your travel budget or the time you have in the country, you can access volcanoes national park using road transport or air transport
Volcanoes national park can be accessed by road transport from Kigali to Kinigi park headquarters taking you only 2-3 hours. This means it’s very possible to sleep in Kigali and do gorilla trekking on the day of tracking if you are only using private means of transport. Road transport takes you through beautiful scenery, tea plantations, rolling hills, and well-constructed roads with markets and smiling people on the roadsides.
By air transport
Travelers can use helicopter flights by Akagera aviation from Kigali international airport to Musanze airstrip in the northwestern part of the county for ultimate luxury experiences and this can take you only 30 minutes. There are helicopters are available daily and upon arriving at Musanze airstrip you will have to use ground means of transport to the park or to your accommodation.
Where to stay in volcanoes nations national park
Volcanoes national park has numerous accommodations surround it. these accommodation facilities range from budget to mid-range to luxury and it depends on your travel budget to choose where to stay. The accommodations in and out of the park include Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, One and Only Gorilla’s Nest, Kinigi Hotel, Bisate Lodge, Davic Lodge, Virunga Hotel, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Best View Hotel, Lebambou Gorilla Lodge, Amakoro Songa Lodge, and Singita Kwitonda Lodge, Virunga Lodge.
What is the best time to visit the volcanoes national park Rwanda?
Volcanoes national park can be visited at any time of the year but the best time to visit this park for gorilla trekking is during the dry season which occurs from June to September and December to January. It’s during these months that the roads are accessible and the trails are dry. For bird lovers the best time to visit the park is the wet season and this happens in the months of March to May and October to November when the vegetation is not very thick making it easy to spot different bird species and migratory bird species from North Africa and Europe are also in the area during this time.
Akagera national park
Akagera national park was the second national park to be gazette in Rwanda in 1934 after volcanoes national park. Akagera is the largest savannah park located in the eastern part of the country covering a total area of 1,120 sq. the most done tourism activity here is game viewing since the park is home to so more than 800 large mammals including the big 5 such as hyenas, lions, buffaloes, zebras, rhinos, elephants, leopards, topis, impalas, elands, and 525 different bird species such as fish eagle, scared and hadada ibis, sqaucco herons among others.
How to get to Akagera national park
Akagera is the only park in Rwanda where game viewing safaris are conducted. Visitors to Akagera national park will need to travel for 5-6 hours by road or 20 minutes by air. This means that one can get to Akagera national park by air or by road transport.
Tourists can access Akagera national park Rwanda by using chartered flights from Kigali international airport to Akagera airstrip.
Tourists accessing Akagera national park by road transport get an opportunity to explore the beauty of the country with smiling people, markets on the roadside, and well-terraced valleys and hills. The Park is located 110km northeast of Kigali city and driving to the park from Kigali takes you 2-3 hours.
Where to stay in Akagera national park
There are so many accommodation options at Akagera national park where one can stay depending on their travel budget and these range from budget to midrange to luxury. Some of the accommodation facilities here include Karenge bush camp, Akagera resort and country club, Akagera game lodge, Magashi camp, Ruzizi tented lodge, and The Elegant Masai camp.
What is the best time to visit Akagera national park Rwanda?
Akagera national park can be visited all year round but the best time to visit this park is during the dry season when most of the animals are concentrated on the water sources to drink water. The dry season occurs from June to September and December to January and during these months the roads are accessible and the trails are dry. For the bird lovers, the best time to visit Akagera national park is the wet season and this happens in the months of November to April when the vegetation is not very thick making it easy to spot bird species including the migratory ones from North Africa and Europe are also in the area during this time.
Nyungwe forest national park
Nyungwe forest national park is one of Rwanda’s national parks located southwest of the country on the borders of DR Congo and Burundi. The Park is a home to chimpanzees in Rwanda, other 12 primate species, and more than 310 bird species. activities that can be done in Nyungwe forest national park include chimpanzee trekking, nature walk, and bird watching.
How to access Nyungwe forest national park
Accessing Nyungwe forest national park is easy because Rwanda has well-developed infrastructure and the roads leading to the park are clear. You can get to Nyungwe forest national park by road from Kigali city to the park taking you only 5 hours or air transport using chattered flights at Kigali international airport to Kamembe national airport where you can use road transport means to the park.
Where to stay in Nyungwe forest national park
Nyungwe forest national park has a lot of accommodation facilities ranging from budget to mid-range to luxury where you can choose to stay depending on your travel budget. Some of the accommodation facilities in Nyungwe forest national park include One and Only Nyungwe House, Nyungwe Forest Lodge, Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel, Nyungwe Nziza Ecolodge, Gisakua Guesthouse, Wilderness Campsite.
Best time to visit Nyungwe forest national park Rwanda
Nyungwe forest national park can be visited at any time of the year but the best time to visit is during the drier months of June to September or December to February. During these months, the vegetation is less thick, the trials are less wet and slippery.