Full List of Rwanda National Parks : Located in the Eastern region of Africa, Rwanda is one of the smallest countries on the continent. However, when you pay a visit to the country, you can never imagine what wonders the land holds.

Rwanda has one of the best national parks in the region blessed with biodiversity ranging from birds to flora and fauna species. Every national park in Rwanda is unique in its own shape and offers a unique experience to the visitors.

Rwanda has four national parks and these include; Volcanoes National Park, Akagera National Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park and Gishwati-Mukura National Park.

Volcanoes national park.

Volcanoes national park is located in the far northwest of Rwanda. The park got its name from one of the magical chain of Virunga Mountains of Sabyinyo, Karisimbi, Bisoke, Gahinga and Muhabura. It is situated in Ruhengeri, Musaze district and lies just 116 kilometers from Kigali city.

How to access Volcanoes National park?

Accessing Volcanoes national park can be done using both air and road transport. By air, one can use a chartered plane from Kigali international airport to Musanze airstrip which is five minutes away from Volcanoes national park. The flight takes about 30 minutes.

What are the attractions and activities in Volcanoes national park?

  1. Mountain gorillas.

Volcanoes national park is a home to about twelve habituated gorilla families ready for trekking in addition to several families which are not habituated yet.

  1. Golden monkey tracking.

Other than gorilla trekking, Volcanoes national park is famous for golden monkeys and other primates like baboons, monkeys, and mammal species. The activity gets you into deeper parts of the park and you get to discover wonders of Rwanda.

  1. Birding

Volcanoes national park is a reliable destination for birders since it is home to over 300 bird species such as Archers ground robin, red-faced woodland warbler, Ruwenzori double collared sunbird, Ruwenzori turaco, handsome francolin, strange weaver like Archers ground robin, red-faced woodland warbler, Ruwenzori double collared sunbird, Ruwenzori turaco, handsome francolin. Some of these birds are Rift valley endemics.

  1. Hiking adventures.

Visitors to Volcanoes national park get an opportunity of hiking Mt. Bisoke and get to visit the two magical crater lakes on the top. The expedition is gorgeous as it comprises of scenic views of the surrounding areas.

Akagera National park.

Covering an area of about 1,122 square kilometers, Akagera National Park is located in the East of Rwanda. The park is real deal when it comes to animal views. It is also one of the biggest national parks in Rwanda.

Attractions and activities in Akagera National Park.

  1. The Big five.

Akagera national park is one of the few national parks in East Africa where one can get a chance of seeing all the big five animals namely; lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhinoceros in one place.

  1. Game drives.

Akagera national park offers one of the best game drive experiences in the region. The game drives take you through rolling hills, lush vegetation and savannah plains. It gives tourists an opportunity of seeing as many animals as they wish.

  1. Boat cruising.

The boat cruise in this park happens at Lake Ihema, offering interesting views of several animal species especially aquatic ones like crocodiles and hippopotamuses.

  1. Birding 

Akagera national park is also famous for having over 480 bird species some of which are Rift valley endemics.

How to access Akagera National Park?

Akagera national park lies 110 kilometers from Kigali city and can be reached within 2 to 3 hours by road. Once travelers use a trusted tour operator, getting to Akagera national park can be the easiest thing.

Nyungwe National Park.

One of the oldest national parks in Africa, Nyungwe Forest national park. It is located in south-west of Rwanda near the border of D.R. Congo and south of Lake Kivu. The park covers an area of about 970 square kilometers characterized by a rain forest, swamps, bogs and plantations.

Attractions and activities in Nyungwe Forest national park.

  1. Chimpanzee trekking.

Have you been passionate about seeing human-like creatures – chimpanzees? Make Nyungwe forest national park the first choice. It is a home to over 500 chimpanzees with 90 families habituated and ready for trekking.

chimp trekking in Rwanda

  1. Canopy walk.

Nyungwe Forest national park offers a unique adventure known as canopy walk – which is a walk on the suspended bridge on top of the lush forest. The walk offers a great bird viewing opportunities and the photography scenery is always breathtaking.

  1. Bird watching 

Nyungwe forest shelters over 310 bird species among which include; Chestnut Owlet, Olive and Elliot’s Woodpeckers, Great Blue and Ruwenzori Turaco, White-headed Wood-hoopoe, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo,, Stripe-breasted Tit, the remarkable Red-collared Babbler, Archer’s Robin Chat, White-bellied Robin Chat, Doherty’s Bush-Shrike, Black-faced, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Purple-breasted and Regal Sun-birds, Chestnut – throated, Neumann’s Short-tailed Warbler, White-tailed Blue-flycatcher, etc. some of these species are endemic to the area.

How to access Nyungwe Forest national park?

Nyungwe Forest national park can be accessed on both road and air. By road, you can either use public or private means or drive the 2 to 3 hour road from Kigali city to the park.

By air, you can book a chartered plane with RwandAir for a flight from Kigali international airport to Kamembe airport. You will then drive the 32 kilometer road from Kamembe to the park.

Gishwati – Mukura national park.

Located in the western wing of Rwanda in the districts of Rutsiro and Ngororero. The park is made up of two forest reserves namely; Gishwati and Mukura covering an area of 13.2 square miles.

What are the activities and attractions at Gishwati-Mukura national park?

  1. Primate tracking.

The park is home to over 20 chimpanzee individuals, in addition to other primate species such as golden monkeys, L’Hoest’s and blue Monkeys. Visiting the park also introduces you to over 60 tree species.

  1. Bird watching 

There are over 100 bird species in both Gishwati and Mukura forests which include; grey crowned cranes, weaver birds, strange weaver, wood hoopoes, duikers, red-throated alethe, martial eagle, regal sunbird, mountain yellow warbler, Rwenzori Turacos and to mention but a few.

birding in rwanda

How to access Gishwati-Mukura national park?

Gishwati Mukura national park can be accessed by road, or air.

By road, you can use the Rubavu-Kivu-Goma-Karongi-Rusizi-Gishwati Makura national park road which takes about 2 hours.

From Uganda, you can as well opt for Kampala- Mbarara highway and cross to via Kisoro district to Gishwati Mukura National park road which takes about 11 hours.

By air, you can use a chartered plane from Kigali international airport and connect to Gisenyi airport and then drive to Gishwati-Mukura national park.

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