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Rwanda
Rwanda
Rwanda
Rwanda
Rwanda
Rwanda

Rwanda is one of the few places to see wild mountain gorillas.

Rwanda

Map of Rwanda showing main holiday areas and national parks

See Rwanda in different ways, with different styles of maps.
Click on the buttons below.


Our map of Rwanda

This a sketch map of Rwanda – showing its key road arteries, national parks, towns, and areas of interest for visitors.

Reference map

Google map of Rwanda

This map splits the main areas for holidays and safaris in Rwanda into five areas, each marked by a large blue marker. Read about them by clicking on these large markers – then to see the more detailed maps of these areas follow links in the bubbles – or at the bottom of the page.

This next level of more detailed area maps mark the precise locations of various different beach lodges, camps and hotels.

Our top safaris in Rwanda

Here are 9 great Rwanda safaris to inspire you.


Itinerary image

Golden Monkey Safari

12 days • 5 locations
KIGALI AIRPORT TO KIGALI AIRPORT

Combine four key areas of Rwanda on this excellent-value trip, for a true wildlife and cultural experience. The perfect itinerary for those who want to see all the highlights of Rwanda.

US$8,960 - US$9,990 per person

Itinerary image

Mona Monkey Safari

9 days • 3 locations
KIGALI AIRPORT TO KIGALI AIRPORT

This example of a luxury holiday explores the wildlife of Nyungwe Forest, the scenic shores of Lake Kivu and the mountain gorillas of Volcanoes National Park, all accompanied by a private guide and vehicle.

US$10,190 - US$13,260 per person

Itinerary image

L'Hoest's Monkey Safari

7 days • 3 locations
KIGALI AIRPORT TO KIGALI AIRPORT

Meet three iconic primates – gorillas, chimps and golden monkeys – and explore Rwanda's fascinating culture on this excellent value privately guided adventure.

US$5,090 - US$5,540 per person

Itinerary image

Gorillas and Serengeti Safari

11 days • 4 locations
KIGALI AIRPORT TO KILIMANJARO AIRPORT

Combine three iconic experiences – mountain gorillas in Rwanda, and the Serengeti plains and awe-inspiring Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania.

US$10,920 - US$11,860 per person

Itinerary image

Gorillas and Maasai Mara Safari

9 days • 3 locations
KIGALI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

This trip combines two of Africa's most unforgettable wildlife experiences – Rwanda's mountain gorillas and Kenya's Maasai Mara.

US$9,760 - US$11,630 per person

Itinerary image

Mountain Gorilla Safari

5 days • 2 locations
KIGALI AIRPORT TO KIGALI AIRPORT

Staying in great-value lodges, with a private driver-guide and 4WD, this adventure includes two treks to get up close with groups of mountain gorillas.

US$5,550 - US$5,550 per person

Itinerary image

Gorillas and Migration Safari

9 days • 3 locations
KIGALI AIRPORT TO KILIMANJARO AIRPORT

This luxury safari combines two iconic wildlife experiences: trekking to see the mountain gorillas in Rwanda, then flying to the northern Serengeti in search of the wildebeest migration and spectacular river crossings.

US$14,770 - US$19,300 per person

Itinerary image

The Highlights of Africa

17 days • 7 locations
CAPE TOWN AIRPORT TO KIGALI AIRPORT

An epic adventure taking in some of Africa’s most incredible sights and wildlife experiences, from Cape Town to the Okavango Delta, Victoria Falls, the Maasai Mara and an encounter with mountain gorillas.

US$12,570 - US$15,180 per person

Itinerary image

Silverback Gorilla Safari

4 days • 1 locations
KIGALI AIRPORT TO KIGALI AIRPORT

Fly into Rwanda and you can be trekking to meet a family of mountain gorillas the next morning. An itinerary like this could easily be combined with a safari in Kenya or Tanzania.

US$8,650 - US$9,760 per person

View all holidays in Rwanda

When to go to Rwanda

Our month-by-month guide to the best time for visiting Rwanda


Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Rwanda in January

January falls into the shorter dry season in Rwanda and conditions can be good, however expect some showers during your stay. Christmas and New Year can be a very popular time of year to travel and lodges book up early. The high demand and favourable conditions lead to high prices for the more luxurious lodges.

Travellers spending at least two nights in another of Rwanda’s national parks, in addition to the Volcanoes National Park, can take advantage of lower prices for one gorilla permit. This makes it great-value to do a longer trip to Rwanda, taking time to explore Nyungwe Forest and Akagera National Park. January can be fantastic for birding too, with plenty of migrant species found in the forests.

  • Generally good weather although with some rainy spells.
  • Popular time of year to travel, particularly around New Year.
  • Advance booking advised, particularly for high-end trips.
  • Good for birding with migrant species present.
  • Special offers are great for exploring the other national parks.

Our view

A very good time to visit

Weather in January

Rwanda in February

As February progresses the likelihood of more rain increases as Rwanda heads towards the heavy rains in March and April. This can still be a good time of year to visit, particularly at the start of the month, and you are a likely to experience a mix of dry days and rainy spells. Your days are likely to be warm, however as with the rest of the year nights can be cold. This is particularly true of the Volcanoes National Park which is at higher altitude.

February can be a good time of year to combine gorilla trekking in Rwanda with seeing the wildebeest migration in Tanzania as the vast herds gather in February on the southern Serengeti plains for the calving season.

  • Transitional month, with the chance of rain increasing towards March.
  • Warm days and cold nights, particularly in Volcanoes NP.
  • High-end lodges are expensive, although demand is lower.
  • Migrant birds present with great birding to be had.
  • Good time of year to combine with the wildebeest migration.

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in February

Rwanda in March

The heavy rains typically start in March, often continuing through to early May. This is generally not a great time to visit Rwanda and conditions are likely to be fairly wet and muddy underfoot. Many people still visit at this time, taking advantage of lower prices at the more luxurious lodges and good availability of gorilla permits. The rain clears the air and it is likely to be far less hazy at this time, making it very good for photography.

The green season can be particularly good for bird watching with many migrant species visiting Rwanda at this time. This can also be a good time of year for chimpanzee trekking, as their food is plentiful in March and troops are not likely to travel as far.

  • Heavy rains make gorilla trekking conditions not ideal.
  • Lower prices and good availability for gorilla permits.
  • Good for bird watching with plenty of migrant species present.
  • Typically shorter distances to walk for chimpanzee trekking.

Our view

This is not a great time to visit

Weather in March

Rwanda in April

April is typically one of the wettest months in Rwanda, with an average rainfall of around 150mm. It is still possible to visit during April, however be prepared for heavy rain and muddy conditions in the mountains. April is the low season for high-end lodges and prices can be significantly cheaper at this time.

Comparatively few people choose to visit during April, meaning that it is likely to be fairly quiet and relatively easy to secure gorilla permits. The 7th of April marks ‘Kwibuka’, an annual ceremony which begins three months of remembrance for the victims of the genocide. During this time the whole nation enters a period of reflection, with a number of events being held in commemoration.

  • Expect heavy rains throughout the month.
  • Few visitors means it is fairly easy to secure gorilla permits.
  • It is the green season for luxury lodges, with much lower prices.
  • Good time of year for birding.
  • Kwibuka remembrance ceremony on 7th April.

Our view

This is not a great time to visit

Weather in April

Rwanda in May

May is often a transitional season in Rwanda, following on from the rains in April. Heavy bursts of rain can be expected at times, however it will often start to dry up as the month progresses. Any rainy spells are likely to last a few hours rather than all day. With the heavy rain earlier in the year it can often remain muddy underfoot when trekking the gorillas and chimpanzees and it’s advisable to wear gaiters.

Following the rains the air can be clear, without any haziness, and this leads to great photographic opportunities at this time of year. For many of the high-end lodges May is classed as the low season, which can make this month great value for money, with fairly good weather and comparatively low prices.

  • Weather can be variable, mostly dry with some rainy spells.
  • Be prepared for muddy conditions when trekking the gorillas.
  • Good air clarity leads to great photographic opportunities.
  • Can be good value for money if you’re looking at a high-end trip.

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in May

Rwanda in June

The weather in June can be fantastic and this is one of the best times of year to visit Rwanda. This is the start of the main dry season in Rwanda and the rainfall in June typically averages only around 20mm. It is likely to be warm and dry during the day, however the odd rainy shower remains possible. Conditions for gorilla trekking can be very good, although you are still likely to experience mud underfoot in parts.

This is the peak season for the high-end lodges and prices rise significantly. Rwanda is exceptionally popular between June and September and the luxurious lodges regularly fill up well over a year in advance, so we advise planning early.

  • Dry weather can lead to excellent conditions for gorilla trekking.
  • High-end lodges increase their prices and trips can be costly.
  • Very popular time of year, advance booking is strongly recommended.

Our view

Fantastic: the very best time to visit

Weather in June

Rwanda in July

July is a great time of year to visit Rwanda, this is in the middle of the longer dry period and conditions for gorilla trekking can be excellent. Expect long dry days, although always with the off-chance of rain at some point during your stay. As with the rest of the year, temperatures are likely to average around 20-25ºC during the day, though nights can be chilly.

July is a very popular time of year to travel to Rwanda and we advise booking at least 12 months ahead, particularly if you’re looking for a high-end trip. Prices at the top end of the market can be very high in July, however many of the mid-range lodges have the same prices throughout the year, making these options great value at this time.

  • Excellent conditions with dry weather for much of the month.
  • Very popular time to travel with a limited number of gorilla permits.
  • Advance booking is required to for the best choice of accommodation.
  • High-end trips can be expensive at this time of year.
  • Many mid-range lodges have the same price throughout the year.

Our view

Fantastic: the very best time to visit

Weather in July

Rwanda in August

August is one of the most popular times of year to visit Rwanda. This is the middle of the longer dry season and conditions can be very good. While it can still be muddy underfoot this is unlikely to impact your trek. Our top advice for travel in August is to plan early as many of the more popular lodges will regularly book up well over a year in advance at this time.

Many people visiting Rwanda will choose to combine this with a safari in the Serengeti and August is one of the best months for this. The wildebeest migration is in full swing, with the vast herds being up near the Mara River and river crossings likely.

  • Fantastic time to visit with dry weather and great conditions.
  • Very popular time to travel, we advise booking early.
  • Lodges book up and gorilla permits can be hard to secure.
  • Higher prices for the top-end lodges.
  • Great time of year to combine with a safari in the Serengeti.

Our view

Fantastic: the very best time to visit

Weather in August

Rwanda in September

The dry season comes to an end in September, with the rains increasing towards the end of the month. For the most part you are likely to experience dry conditions, but be prepared for rainy showers and cold nights. September remains a popular time to travel, especially for those combining the gorillas with the wildebeest migration.

The Kwita Izina festival (the official naming ceremony for all baby gorillas born in the past year) takes place ever year, usually in September. It’s a time of celebration for everyone involved in their conservation. The exact date varies. Chat to us if you’d like to plan your trip around this event.

  • Conditions typically good but expect some rain.
  • Popular time to travel and early booking is advised.
  • Great time of year to combine gorillas and the wildebeest migration.
  • The Kwita Izina festival, usually in September, names baby gorillas.

Our view

A very good time to visit

Weather in September

Rwanda in October

The short rains have typically started by October with the month’s rainfall averaging around 110mm. This rain normally falls in short, heavy bursts and you’re likely to have plenty of dry spells too. As with the rest of the year, days can be warm, although nights can be cold, and this is especially true around the Volcanoes National Park where lodges set log fires to keep you warm in the evening.

Lots of people choose to visit Rwanda at this time and prices remain high for the top-end lodges. Booking early is recommended, particularly if you plan to stay at one of the smaller, more exclusive lodges around the Volcanoes park.

  • Good time of year to travel although with an increased amount of rain.
  • Days are warm however nights can get cold.
  • October is popular, particularly for the high-end lodges.
  • Prices remain high at the top end of the spectrum.

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in October

Rwanda in November

The rains typically continue into November and this can be one of the wetter months of the year. This can still be a good time to travel, as there are still likely to be plenty of dry periods and the gorillas can still be trekked. However, expect quite a bit of mud. The high-end lodges drop their prices in November, making it much more affordable for luxury accommodation.

Between November and April there is also a special offer from the parks authorities, providing a discount on your first gorilla permit if you spend at least two nights in one other national park. This special offer combined with lower prices for luxury lodges makes Rwanda great value for money in November.

  • One of the wetter months however gorilla trekking is still possible.
  • Far less busy, making it easier to secure gorilla permits.
  • Reduced prices for high-end accommodation.
  • Special offers to encourage travel to multiple national parks.

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in November

Rwanda in December

Rwanda has a second short dry season which typically runs from December to January. Conditions at this time can typically be fairly good, although not as ideal as June – August, and you can still expect rain at this time. Many of the forest tracks can be muddy and nights can be cold.

Many people choose to travel to Rwanda over Christmas and New Year and we advise booking early, particularly if you have preferred lodges in mind. The special offer for a your first gorilla permit at a reduced price remains in place for all travellers spending at least two nights in another park, making Rwanda excellent value for money in December.

  • Short dry season, however rain is still possible.
  • Conditions for gorilla trekking can be good, but expect mud.
  • Cold at night, warm clothes are recommended.
  • Very popular over Christmas and New Year, early booking advised.
  • Special offers make December good value for money.

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in December

Where to find the key wildlife species in Rwanda

Understand the detail of where our travellers have most frequently seen the main big game species in Rwanda.


Buffalo

Buffalo

Syncerus caffer

One of the ‘Big Five’, buffalo earned a fearsome reputation in hunters’ tales. By contrast, big herds of these sociable bovids are placid, but mount formidable defences against predators.

83% SUCCESS

1,258 sightings from 1,507 observations

Where to see buffalo in Rwanda

Chimpanzee

Chimpanzee

Pan troglodytes

The chimpanzee is our closest living relative. This highly intelligent great ape is a forest animal with a sophisticated social life. Any encounter in the wild is a memorable experience.

100% SUCCESS

18 sightings from 18 observations

Where to see chimpanzee in Rwanda

Elephant

Elephant

Loxodonta africana

By far the biggest of the so-called Big Five – indeed, the largest land animal on the planet – the elephant shapes the very landscape it inhabits and is a defining presence on any safari.

90% SUCCESS

1,781 sightings from 1,968 observations

Where to see elephant in Rwanda

Giraffe

Giraffe

Giraffa camelopardalis

The world’s tallest land mammal, giraffes are herbivores which have evolved many unique adaptations. Their iconic outlines tower above the bush in many of Africa’s wildlife areas.

83% SUCCESS

1,699 sightings from 2,036 observations

Where to see giraffe in Rwanda

Hippo

Hippo

Hippopotamus amphibius

The territorial calls of the hippo create a signature soundtrack to Africa’s rivers & wetlands. Despite an endearing smile, this aquatic herbivore has a notoriously aggressive disposition.

89% SUCCESS

1,304 sightings from 1,463 observations

Where to see hippo in Rwanda

Spotted Hyena

Spotted Hyena

Crocuta crocuta

The spotted hyena may be thought of as ‘ugly’ and ‘cowardly’. In fact, this versatile and intelligent carnivore is one of Africa’s most fascinating and warrants attention on any safari.

51% SUCCESS

1,027 sightings from 2,009 observations

Where to see spotted hyena in Rwanda

Leopard

Leopard

Panthera pardus

The most numerous of Africa’s big cats, leopard occur across many habitats, from wild tracts to populated areas. Their grace and their elusive nature make them a unique safari drawcard.

45% SUCCESS

947 sightings from 2,091 observations

Where to see leopard in Rwanda

Lion

Lion

Panthera leo

Lions are at the top of the food chain and also most safari wish-lists, but with their numbers falling fast, any encounter with these majestic apex predators always feels like a privilege.

80% SUCCESS

1,475 sightings from 1,848 observations

Where to see lion in Rwanda

Mountain Gorilla

Mountain Gorilla

Gorilla beringei

The world’s most impressive primate, the mountain gorilla inhabits a handful of locations in Africa’s equatorial cloud forests, where guided treks offer an intense wildlife experience.

96% SUCCESS

22 sightings from 23 observations

Where to see mountain gorilla in Rwanda

Black Rhino

Black Rhino

Diceros bicornis

The black rhino is the smaller and rarer of Africa’s two rhino species but has the more fearsome reputation. Shy and heavily persecuted, it tends to stick to cover.

29% SUCCESS

292 sightings from 1,005 observations

Where to see black rhino in Rwanda

Pangolin

Pangolin

Smutsia sp.

Pangolins appear to be more pine cone than animal in their unique armoury of scales. These nocturnal, ant-eating oddities are not only highly elusive but also increasingly rare.

2% SUCCESS

32 sightings from 1,661 observations

Where to see pangolin in Rwanda

Aardvark

Aardvark

Orycteropus afer

The aardvark is one of Africa’s most bizarre and enigmatic animals. A shy, nocturnal termite-eater, signs of its presence may be scattered about the bush whilst sightings remain elusive.

3% SUCCESS

48 sightings from 1,745 observations

Where to see aardvark in Rwanda

Eland

Eland

Taurotragus oryx

Africa’s largest antelope, eland are culturally important from prehistoric rock art to modern game farms. Though widespread, they are also shy so sightings are uncommon and often fleeting.

45% SUCCESS

685 sightings from 1,508 observations

Where to see eland in Rwanda

Zebra

Zebra

Equus sp.

The zebra is a quintessential African animal: the horse in stripy pyjamas at the end of every child’s A–Z. There are three species, of which the plains zebra is much the most common.

83% SUCCESS

1,910 sightings from 2,294 observations

Where to see zebra in Rwanda

Roan antelope

Roan antelope

Hippotragus equinus

Africa’s second largest antelope and one of its most handsome, with a powerful build and distinctive markings, roan are wary of people, but renowned for their bravery against predators.

24% SUCCESS

258 sightings from 1,072 observations

Where to see roan antelope in Rwanda

Sable antelope

Sable antelope

Hippotragus niger

Perhaps Africa’s most beautiful antelope, sable are renowned for their combative nature, even holding off lions. Shy and restricted in range, sightings of sable are always special.

21% SUCCESS

227 sightings from 1,057 observations

Where to see sable antelope in Rwanda

Sitatunga

Sitatunga

Tragelaphus spekii

The sitatunga is the most aquatic of Africa’s antelopes and specially adapted to its swampy habitats. Though widespread across Africa, only a handful of places offer reliable sightings.

19% SUCCESS

27 sightings from 141 observations

Where to see sitatunga in Rwanda

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