Affectionately coined “the Land of a Thousand Hills” thanks to its endless mountainous landscapes, Rwanda also conceals stunning inland beaches, lush bamboo forests and the cosmopolitan capital city of Kigali. But one of the main reasons why people from all over the world come to visit this beautiful country is to witness the wildlife in Rwanda.
Found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the world’s largest band of mountain gorillas. Watching these wonderful creatures in their natural habitat is a humbling experience and one you’ll never forget. A close up encounter with gorillas and Rwanda wildlife is like nothing else on earth and it’s worth every step of the high-altitude trek to see them.
Gorillas & Masai Mara is one of our most popular Rwanda wildlife holidays as it takes you deep into the heart of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to go in search of these incredible primates. You’ll also explore the immense Masai Mara, where animals such as lions, wildebeest and cheetahs can be spotted roaming the African savannah. If you’re a lover of birds, Lake Nakuru National Park is home to a wide variety of species as well as a large population of White and Black rhinos.
As well as exploring the Masai Mara, our Rwanda wildlife holidays take you on several game drives through two national parks, including Lake Nakuru and Queen Elizabeth, where you’ll see elephants, buffalo, hippos and leopards in the wild. That first moment when you first spot the wildlife in Rwanda is indescribable and an experience you’ll remember forever.
Gorillas: Rwanda’s volcanoes are a natural habitat for the mountain gorilla with around a third of the country’s population found here. The gorilla is one of the most significant species of wild animals in Rwanda but sadly they have become endangered in more recent years. There are two different species of gorilla: the mountain gorilla and Grauer’s gorillas. One of the best places to see these majestic animals is at Volcanoes National Park which lies in north-western Rwanda. The park covers approximately 160k of rainforest and plays host to eight volcanoes.
Elephants: There are various species of elephant found in Rwanda, mainly in Akagera National Park where there are believed to be 100 living at this present time, although the population is on the increase. Unfortunately poaching is still a huge threat to these beautiful animals but there are ongoing conservation projects in place to protect the species. The African savanna elephant is the largest of the species and an adult male can weigh up to a staggering 10 tonnes. Surprisingly their prehensile trunks are extremely strong and can lift almost 3% of their own body weight.
Lions: Prior to the Rwandan Civil War in 1994, lions were in abundance. However, many were sadly killed during the conflict and there are believed to be just 25 remaining in Rwanda. The majority of the lions are now protected in Akagera National Park, and it’s thought that some may have arrived from Tanzania. During a major conservation project, seven lions were donated by two national parks in South Africa to increase the population in Rwanda.
Antelope: Native to Africa, there are several species of antelope found in Rwanda, mainly in Akagera National Park, which stands in the east of the country. While impalas, duikers and klipspringers have made the park their home, the more common roan antelopes are often found in woodlands and savannah grasslands. The roan is one of the continent’s largest hooved animals, only outsized by the eland and African buffalo. Easily recognised by its reddish-brown colour, the roan is the most familiar species to anyone embarking on a wildlife tour of Akagera National Park.
Guereza: Probably the least recognisable of all the above Rwandan wildlife, the Guereza is a small black and white monkey found in African countries such as Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Nigeria. The beautiful mantled species has a long silky white fringe, and its natural habitat is that of savannah woodland, swamps and rivers where there are plenty of trees to feed off.
This trip exceeded expectations in terms of the variety of wildlife spotted and the competences of the group leader.
A really excellent tour. I don’t think I can find fault with anything. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. The locations visited were incredible and we saw an amazing amount of wildlife with the help of our guide. The accommodation was good and the transport between locations was very good.
Another amazing tiger trip – this was my 6th tiger trip with Exodus (5th with Paul) – and they just keep getting better and better. We had some quality sightings and some unusual behaviours seen – like a mock-charge and a territorial battle between 2 males – which I had not seen before. The 2 full days in the Park were great and a plus, though it was hot (and we did have a big thunderstorm too – unusual for this time of year!). I love Bandhavgarh, the Lodge is lovely and I also enjoy meeting up with the people I now know as friends there.