See Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park

Located in the far northwest of Rwanda, in the Virunga conservation area, lies the Volcanoes National Park, famous for having the highest density of mountain gorillas in the world. Set off on a gorilla trek with expert guides to see these powerful creatures in their natural habitat – a bucket-list worthy experience that will blow your camera lens off. Other species in the park include golden monkeys, spotted hyenas and a whopping 178 bird species, at least 29 of which are only found in the park. As well as gorilla trekking, travellers can visit the tomb of Dian Fossey, the American primatologist and committed conservationist; hike up Karisimbi volcano; go mountain biking and visit the beautiful twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo.

Visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial

As the capital and largest city in Rwanda, Kigali provides a wide variety of things to do in Rwanda for every kind of tourist. With wide tree-lined streets and a flourishing art scene, a trip to Kigali is not complete without a visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial. The memorial seeks to promote remembrance and education and is the final resting place of more than 250,000 victims of the genocide against the Tutsi in 1994. The memorial has several exhibits which cover the genocide but also the events leading up to it in a mission to promote peace and education.

Day Trip to Lake Muhazi

Lake Muhazi is the perfect day trip destination for those visiting the city of Kigali. Running along the eastern side of Rwanda, this narrow lake empties its water into the Nyabugogo River and is the ideal top off for lovers of the outdoors. The 37-mile-long lake is home to various bird species and is the ultimate place for birdwatching and boating.

Browse Kimironko Market

Another Kigali destination, the bustling Kimironko Market - located in the Kimironko neighbourhood - is the place to experience Rwanda at its liveliest. The large complex is housed within a warehouse and offers a wide variety of goods, from local produce to imported souvenirs. It’s easy to get lost in such a busy place, but there are many porters in yellow shirts who can offer assistance. The market itself is popular among locals as well as visitors to the city, especially for the vendors selling produce and household necessities.

Relax by Lake Kivu

One of the African Great Lakes, known for its emerald-green waters and lush surrounding mountains, Lake Kivu is the largest lake in Rwanda. Situated between the Congo and Rwanda, the lake is an important location for fishermen, who catch large volumes of the endemic fish, sambaza, each night. Lake Kivu is a popular destination for relaxation, but also offers activities such as biking and kayaking. The lake is home to many islands that sit off its jagged coast, but Napoleon Island is the most well-known. These smaller islands are accessible only by traditional boat, and several tour companies offer island-hopping trips.

Hike in Nyungwe Forest National Park

Along the border of Burundi, in the southwest of the country, Nyungwe National Park is the largest remaining tract of forest in Rwanda. The park is dedicated to the protection and regeneration of the indigenous forest, and as such the forest is rich in biodiversity and has extraordinary sights. Traverse across the canopy via the suspension bridge or feel the spray of water from the Isumo waterfall on the park’s 15 remarkable trails. With at least 13 different primate species, 120 species of butterly and over 322 bird species (many of which are endemic to the area), the forest is perfect for wildlife lovers and is known to be one of the best places in Africa to birdwatch.

Visit the King’s Palace Museum

Reminiscent of a beehive, the King’s Palace is a reconstruction of the residence of Rwanda’s monarchy, built using traditional materials and methods. Located in Nyanza - once the heart of Rwanda, where the monarchy was settled during colonial rule - the King’s Palace Museum is the perfect thing to do in Rwanda for lovers of history and culture. The museum has records of Rwanda’s history dating back to the fifth century. Visitors can enjoy Rwandan traditional dances and meet the Inyambo, horned cattle descended from the king’s own herd, which are involved in many important ceremonies.

Go to the Inema Art Centre

The Inema Art Centre was founded in 2012 by brothers and self-taught painters Emmanuel Nkuranga and Innocent Nkurunziza. Their goal was to use creative expression to showcase Rwanda’s artistic talent and bring the community to life. The gallery itself has ten slots for resident artists and showcases sculptures, portraits and mixed media works. Through classes, workshops and their work with orphanages, Inema Arts Centre nurtures creativity within the community for people, both young and old. Located in Kigali, this is a must-do for lovers of art and culture.

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