Top things to Do in Rwanda After Gorilla Trekking
Top things to Do in Rwanda After Gorilla Trekking : Due to its distinctive and beautiful sights and tourist activities that may be explored and make your Rwanda safari spectacular and enjoyable, Rwanda, a landlocked nation in the heart of Africa, is quickly rising to the top of the list of must-visit safari destinations in Africa. While there are many sights to see and things to do in Rwanda, trekking to view the mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, where Jane Fossey did much of her research, is the activity that is at the top of the list for the majority of visitors.
The main draw and the main reason why most tourists travel to Rwanda is to go gorilla trekking in Volcano National Park, but there are a ton of other sights and things to do in this fascinating nation as well, including the Kigali Genocide Memorial, Nyungwe Forest National Park, King’s Palace Museum, Akagera National Park, Ethnographic Museum, and Nyamatta Genocide Memorial, to name a few. In addition to gorilla trekking, Rwanda offers a variety of safari activities that will make your safari vacation truly unforgettable. Some of these activities include a canopy walk through the Nyungwe forest; tracking golden monkeys; visiting Dian Fossey’s tomb; birdwatching; hiking Mount Karisimbi; climbing Mount Bisoke; and more.
What should you do in Rwanda before or after your gorilla expedition? Whether you’re looking for a traditional safari experience, a lakeside hideaway, or want to learn more about the genocide of the 1990s, we’ll highlight some of the finest things to do in Rwanda after or before your mountain gorilla trekking safari in this post.
- Go sightseeing in Kigali.
The hospitable capital of Rwanda, Kigali, is one of the cleanest and safest towns in Africa, sprawling across a number of hills in the country’s center. International embassies and consulates are located there, which has led to a proliferation of eateries with international influences and a vibrant nightlife. There are many reasons to stay a bit longer in Kigali, even though most tourists only view it from their car window as they rush to Volcanoes National Park.
The Kigali Genocide Memorial, which provides documentation of the horrors committed in Rwanda in 1994, should not be missed. In addition to serving as a memorial to the victims, it also serves as a venue for teaching both locals and visitors about the dangers of inciting hatred and the value of fostering peace.
Visit the bustling Caplaki Crafts Village to purchase traditional handicrafts, including woven baskets and woodcarvings. While local artists are on display at the Inema Arts Center, brightly colored fabrics are stacked high at the Kimironko Market alongside fresh food and home products. The Rwanda Art Museum, which is housed in the former Presidential Palace, features both historical exhibitions and modern paintings and sculptures. The Rwanda Art Museum is among the biggest attractions in Kigali, and the wreckage of a presidential plane that crashed here in 1994 is also located on the museum’s grounds.
- Relax on the shores of Lake Kivu.
Maybe all you want to do is rest after a taxing (but worthwhile) hike to visit the mountain gorillas, and Lake Kivu has plenty of opportunities for that. This glittering oasis, which covers an area of 2,700 square kilometers, is best viewed from one of the lakeside villages. Its emerald-green waters are bordered by mist-covered mountains.
In Rubavu, which is about an hour from Volcanoes National Park, you’ll find a sandy beach and enticing waters close to Lake Kivu’s northern point. Rubavu, which was formerly a colonial beach resort, is dotted with lovely old mansions, some of which are now bars where you can sip sundowners at the end of the day.
The 227-kilometer Congo Nile Trail from Rubavu to Rusizi passes across terraced slopes covered with agricultural fields. This fabled road, which is best explored on foot or on bicycle, is a great opportunity to experience the “true Rwanda,” passing past small communities and banana plantations. Rent a boat and travel to Idjwi, the largest of Lake Kivu’s islands, if you’d like to take in the captivating surroundings from the sea. Another dreamy way to leisurely explore this magnificent region of Rwanda is through multi-day kayaking excursions.
- Chimpanzees trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park.
Nyungwe Forest, a vastly biodiverse area of montane rainforest that is protected within a national park, is located in the far south of Rwanda. It is home to more than 1,000 recognized plant species, 300 or more bird species, and 75 distinct kinds of animals. The chimpanzee population of Nyungwe is well known for having been accustomed to the area’s high-altitude environments. One of the most popular activities in Rwanda is going on guided treks to see these primates up close, and the permits are far less expensive than going gorilla trekking.
In addition to seeing chimpanzees, owl-faced monkeys, and colobus monkeys in Nyungwe, you may also do the only canopy walk in East Africa. It stretches for just over 90 meters and provides a singular view of the canopy above the forest floor, in addition to breathtaking vistas of the neighboring mountains.
- Go on a wildlife safari in Akagera National Park.
While some travelers only stop briefly in Rwanda to see the mountain gorillas on their way to or from an East African safari, Rwanda is also a great place to see big game. Akagera National Park, which was established in 1934 and is today one of Rwanda’s most popular tourist sites, hugs the nation’s border with Tanzania. The spectacular grassland, montane woods, and wetlands that make up Akagera are home to zebras, giraffes, and hippos. Elephants and Nile crocodiles are frequently seen, while lion and rhino populations are steadily growing.
With more than 480 distinct species documented inside the park’s boundaries, birdwatchers won’t want for inspiration. The scenery of Akagera is equally as magnificent as the creatures that call it home, guaranteeing that a safari in Rwanda will be one to remember.
- Visit the King’s Palace Museum.
You may stroll around a replica of a 15th-century Rwandan king’s palace at this outdoor museum in Nyanza. This beehive-shaped home has a thatched roof and is situated next to a fresh milk cottage, which was historically run by an unmarried woman. A colonial-style home that was King Mutara III Rudahigwa’s residence in the middle of the 20th century is also a component of the complex. The king personally owns several of the pieces in its chambers, which perfectly integrate native Rwandan design sensibilities with European-style furniture.
A herd of sacred long-horned Inyambo cattle, descended from the king’s herd, resides behind the palace. They were ornately jeweled and played a significant part in festivities in earlier times. You can hear singers lulling the cows with traditional lyrics throughout the day as part of a rite that is particular to Rwanda.
- Get your cultural fix at the Ethnographic Museum.
It is simple to combine a trip to the King’s Palace Museum with a stop at the Ethnographic Museum, which is close to the town of Butare. On its 25th anniversary of independence, Belgium sent Rwanda a gift that has since grown to become one of the continent’s most spectacular collections of cultural items.
You will be taken back in time to Rwanda in the ages before colonization thanks to the exhibits of traditional spears, handmade baskets, and clothing made of animal hides. Old musical instruments and agricultural implements that date back hundreds of years are also on display. Watching a live demonstration of a craft is the highlight of any trip.
- Gishwati Mukura National Park.
The little-known Gishwati Mukura National Park is situated on a ridge that separates the catchment areas for the Nile and the Congo, close to Lake Kivu. After being severely depleted by cattle ranching and subsistence farming during the Rwandan genocide, one of the few remaining montane rainforests in Central Africa was classified as a protected area in 2015.
Currently, the forest is home to roughly 20 chimpanzees and 60 different varieties of trees. These amusing primates can be seen during guided treks, along with golden, L’Hoest’s, and blue monkeys. The Albertine Rift is home to various rare bird species, making the Gishwati Mukura National Park an exceptional place to observe birds.
Discovering the natural marvels and cultural wealth of the area is part of a visit to Gishwati Mukura National Park. There are other community-based activities available, such as handicraft and beekeeping displays, farm stays, and the chance to study with conventional healers.