TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN RWANDA.
The largest population of mountain gorillas in the Virunga Conservation area may be found in Volcanoes National Park, which serves as the starting point for all Rwanda gorilla safaris. The VNP is the most accessible gorilla national park in the world due to its advantageous location just over two hours' drive from the international airport of Kigali. In addition to gorillas, Volcanoes National Park is home to a wide range of birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and other animals that combined make up a comprehensive Rwanda safari itinerary.
Volcanoes National Park, which covers a 160 sq km area in northern Rwanda, is a component of the vast Virunga volcano protection region that also includes Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The mountain gorillas, which were in danger of going extinct due to poaching, were first protected in a limited region among the volcanoes of Karisimbi, Mikeno, and Visoke. Volcanoes National Park is also home to elephants, black-fronted duiker (Cephalophus niger), bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus), spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta), buffaloes (Syncerus caffer), and mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei). 178 different bird species, including at least 29 indigenous to the Virungas and the Rwenzori mountains, are also found in the park.
Nyungwe, one of Africa's oldest rainforests, is rich in biodiversity and breathtakingly stunning. The mountainous region is teeming with wildlife, including a tiny population of chimpanzees and 12 other primate species, including the L'Hoest's monkey, which is endemic to the Albertine Rift. With 15 footpaths, some of which are described here, and a variety of other activities, visitors can sample the forest's delights or spend a week or more in one of Africa's most beautiful forests.
Primate tracking is at the top of most visitors' to-do lists, but those with time to unwind and take in the primal atmosphere should linger a bit longer. The 1,068 species of plants and 140 orchids will amaze botanists. With 322 bird species, including the Red-collared Babbler and 29 other endemic species to the Albertine Rift, birdwatching here is among the finest in Africa. At least 120 species of butterflies are also commonly observed. Nyungwe is home to 75 known mammal species, including the cerval cat, mongoose, congo clawless otter, and leopard, to mention a few. Many tend to be timid, so sightings are a matter of chance.
Moments that are memorable and photogenic include ascending the Isumo waterfall or traveling along the Canopy Walk suspension bridge. Tea plantations adjoin the park, and Gisakura is home to a troop of habituated Ruwenzori colobus monkeys and forest edge birds.
Nyungwe is the most important catchment area in Rwanda, supplying water to 70 percent of the country. A ridge extending through the forest serves as a watershed between the Nile and Congo drainage systems. It is believed that a spring on the slopes of Mount Bigugu is the most remote source of the Nile, the world's longest watercourse.
Akagera National Park is Rwanda's solely savanna national park, located on the eastern side. This park contrasts with the country's forested and mountainous regions. Akagera National Park has beautiful scenery, unique fauna, and a variety of landscapes, including savanna plains, woodlands, hills, lakes, and wetlands. Akagera National Park is home to varied wildlife, including the "Big Five" (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhinoceros). Giraffes, zebras, antelopes, hippos, crocodiles, and birds are all frequent in the park, with over 500 species documented.
The park borders Lake Ihema, offering boat safaris to watch aquatic wildlife such as hippos, crocodiles, etc.
Akagera National Park is easily accessible, a 2-3 hour drive from Rwanda's capital, Kigali. Overall, Akagera National Park gives a unique view of Rwanda's natural splendor and an exhilarating safari experience in a savanna ecology.
Lake Kivu in western Rwanda, which is part of Africa's Great Rift Valley, is surrounded by majestic mountains and has a surface area of 2,700 km2 of deep, emerald waters. The largest lake in Rwanda and the sixth largest in Africa.
Rubavu, formerly known as Gisenyi, is a large town on the northern shore of Lake Kivu, one hour from Volcanoes National Park, and the best location to unwind after gorilla trekking. Once a colonial seaside resort, the lakeside of Rubavu now features fading historic homes, hotels, and modern cafés serving sundowner cocktails. Karongi is a well-liked seashore resort with pine and eucalyptus-covered hills surrounding the lake. At dawn and dusk, local fishermen sing as they paddle together.
From Rubavu in the north to Rusizi in the south of Lake Kivu, the Congo Nile Trail traverses 227 kilometers of breathtaking landscape. The trail progressively winds between hills and slopes alongside the lake, bordered by eucalyptus trees and banana plantations. In Rwanda, adventurers can kayak on Lake Kivu, mountain cycle, or hike one of the six remote Congo Nile Trail stages.
This is the ideal location for relaxation after a safari or a beach vacation.
Since the Virgin Mary's appearance on November 28, 1981, to three women namely, Alphonsine Mumureke, Nathalie Mukamazimpaka, and Marie Claire Mukangango, Kibeho has become a place of pilgrimage for Rwandan and international Catholics. The apparitions preached prayer, repentance, and conversion. The Virgin Mary purportedly advised against violence, hatred, and reconciliation. Ever since this place has been a site of pilgrimage. The site attracts pilgrims who come to pray, seek spiritual guidance, and contemplate the apparitions' messages. Typically, religious ceremonies, Masses, and prayer services accompany pilgrimages. The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Kibeho was founded as a place of worship and contemplation. It consists of a basilica, chapels, and outdoor areas where pilgrims can pray and meditate. The sanctuary contains statues and images associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary and the alleged apparitions. Kibeho Church, where the devout receive Holy Communion, is the focal point. Today, the site is visited by pilgrims throughout the year, with two significant dates dominating the calendar: Assumption Day (15 August) and the anniversary of the Virgin Mary's apparition (28 November).
Depending on the visitor's faith, visiting kibeho would be an occasion to learn about the history of this holy land and to commune with God.