In Rwanda you will not only find gorillas, but you can also discover a very interesting country. See chimpanzees and up to twelve other species of primate in Nyungwe Forest National Park or relax on the sandy shores of Lake Kiwu, one of Africa’s largest lakes.
According to thereligionfaqs, Rwanda offers the easiest way to go gorilla trekking in Africa. The capital Kigali is only a few hours’ drive from the famous Volcanoes National Park and the wild gorilla families that live there. On the bamboo-covered slopes of the Virunga volcanoes in Rwanda, the late researcher Dian Fossey studied the behavior of the endangered mountain gorilla for 20 years, followed by the filmmakers who shot “Gorillas in the Fog”. Small tour groups can now experience one of the most unforgettable encounters with these wild animals – gorilla trekking through the pristine rainforest of Virungas.
A vacation in Uganda can be combined well with other East African destinations like Kenya or Tanzania , but the green and hilly Rwanda offers more than just gorillas. The primate-inhabited Nyungwe Forest National Park has chimpanzees and great bird watching opportunities. The Akagera National Park, on the other hand, offers big game viewing in a varied savannah landscape.
Lake Kiwu between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a beautiful lake surrounded by the gently rolling slopes of Rwanda. Because of its hilly landscape, the people of Rwanda refer to their homeland as the land of a thousand hills. The country is easy to travel to and offers an insight into the cultures, wildlife and environment of Central Africa that is usually difficult to come by.
Best travel time
Most of the visitors come to Rwanda to see gorillas . This is basically possible all year round, because the proximity to the equator and the altitude of the country ensure even temperatures. The average daytime temperature is 30 ° C. The capital of Kigali has an average temperature of 21 ° CD. The best time to travel to Rwanda is from mid-May to mid-October. This is the long dry season and the conditions are perfect for tracking gorillas. The short dry season from mid-December to early February also offers ideal conditions. At this time there are by far the most pleasant hiking conditions and the lowest risk of malaria.
If you travel to Rwanda outside of the dry season , keep in mind that trekking can be strenuous if the terrain is wet and rainy. But don’t be put off by the short rains in November and the longer rains in March and May, because at this time you have the forests, lakes and mountains almost all to yourself. Some photographers even prefer the rainy season, as the trees appear less contrasting and you can only concentrate on your subject.
The best travel time for chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe National Park, on the other hand, is the rainy season from mid-February to early June and from mid-September to mid-December. At this time the monkeys are easier to find. In the dry season it is more difficult for them to find food, so the chimpanzee families often live far inland.
Optimal travel time after months
December – February
The weather from December to February is essentially dry across Rwanda, making it a popular time to travel. However, this also means that the prices are higher. It is therefore important to book early. Warm, sunny weather conditions make gorillas viewing a pleasure, and outdoor activities can be enjoyed across the country.
The rainy season slowly begins in March and lasts until mid-May. But it is also the best time to watch chimpanzees. The ripe fruits bring the chimpanzees from the tall trees to lower regions or near the ground. If you are not shy about the rain and bring the right clothes, you can also go on gorilla observations during this time, especially since there are often cheaper offers due to the weather.
The rain continues throughout April, but chimpanzee spotting is still great and this is a good time to track down gorillas. With a little luck, you can take advantage of special offers and discounts at this time of year.
The rain gradually subsides in the middle of the month and the national parks are lush green. Newborn animals make their first forays into the national parks.
June – September
The dry season in Rwanda lasts from June to September and is also the main travel season. There is always the possibility of short showers, so waterproof clothing is particularly recommended for trips into the rainforest. Game viewing becomes easier due to the weather, but for this reason the prices increase accordingly.
October and November usually bring sudden rain showers with them, which disappear a short time later and conjure up blue skies. It is an excellent time to travel for photographers and the ideal time to admire Rwanda’s beautiful mountain scenery.
Climate in Kigali
The maximum temperature in Rwanda is 27 ° C. In April, May and June the thermometer rises to a maximum of 25 ° C. The summer (June to September) with average 26 ° C very warm . In the winter months it is around 26 ° C very warm . During the day, the average annual temperature in Rwanda is a warm 26.2 ° C.
At night it gets coldest with 14 ° C in July. While the nights in summer are averaging a pleasant 15 ° C, the thermometer drops to a mild 15 ° C at night between November and March. The temperature averages 14.9 ° C at night all year round.
With 16 rainy days, April and November are the rainiest months of the year. The July is the driest month of the year . From June to September Rwanda is very dry with an average of only 4 rainy days each, the winter (November to March) is relatively humid with 11 rainy days. An annual average of 9.3 days of rain falls per month.
One of the main reasons to travel to Rwanda is to see the famous mountain gorillas. While this is undoubtedly a wonderful experience, the country has much more to offer. We recommend that you take your time and combine gorilla tracking with some time in Kigali to relax on the shores of Lake Kivu or to spot chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest.
The national language is Kinyarwanda, but the majority of Rwandans speak at least one international language. People in the tourism industry usually speak French and English.
Food and drink
In the tourist-oriented restaurants and hotels, good Western cuisine with a Belgian influence is served. Rwandan favorites include goat kebabs, grilled tilapia (sea fish), ugali (corn porridge), matoke (cooked banana), and potatoes.
The currency of Rwanda is the Rwandan Franc. The exchange rate against the euro is € 1 = 1025 RWF. US dollars are also widespread in Rwanda. Credit cards are usually only accepted in the major Kigali hotels, so make sure you have plenty of cash with you during your vacation across the country.