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Wildlife safaris in Rwanda
Wildlife safaris in Rwanda
Wildlife safaris in Rwanda
Wildlife safaris in Rwanda
Wildlife safaris in Rwanda

Rwanda wildlife safaris

Best lodges for wildlife safaris in Rwanda

Having walked since dawn, you're tired but your senses are alive. You hear them grunt before you see them: a group of mountain gorillas, spread through the dense vegetation. The massive silverback isn't far. You look at him - and he stares back, wide-eyed; it's the intense gaze of an intelligent, thinking being.

An encounter with wild mountain gorillas is certainly the best wildlife safari in Rwanda. About half of the world's remaining mountain gorillas live in the Volcanoes National Park - and the wildlife safaris here are probably the best gorilla safaris in Africa.

Made famous by Dian Fossey's work and the film Gorillas in the Mist, the park offers well-organized gorilla safaris in small groups, led by experienced, English-speaking guides. Watching those rare animals, which are actually among the closest relatives to human, is an impressing experience you won't forget. Read more about gorilla trekking safaris and the gorilla groups.

In more general terms, two other national parks also compete to offer travellers the best wildlife safaris in Rwanda. The enormous tropical forests of Nyungwe National Park harbour further endangered species including 13 primates, from silver and golden monkeys to chimpanzees and we can organize guided walking safaris here. For birding and more 'traditional' savannah species, Akagera National Park can also be recommended.

Sabyinyo Silverback

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is just outside the Volcanoes National Park and makes a great base for trekking to see the world-famous gorillas in Rwanda, without sacrificing creature comforts.


Nyungwe House

The major attraction in Nyungwe Forest National Park are the primates. Here you can see chimpanzees, L'Hoest's monkey, grey managabe, amongst others. There are also over 275 different species of birds and 75 different species of mammals in these lush surroundings.


Rekero

Rekero was the camp where Jackson Looseyia (of Big Cat Diary fame) first earned his spurs as a spotter and outstanding guide. More recently its first-class lion, leopard and cheetah viewing made it ideal as a base for much of the filming of Disney's African Cats documentary.


Lamai Serengeti

Lamai Serengeti is in a great location for the wildebeest migration, which is typically from around July to October in this area. Outside of these months, it still offers great game viewing, with the bonus of very few people!


Nomad Serengeti Camp

Nomad Serengeti Safari Camp is a mobile camp that moves several times a year to follow Tanzania’s wildebeest migration. Though the movements of the migration can be unpredictable, the camp tries hard to predict where the main herds will be.


Kwara Camp

If you’re looking for a wildlife safari in Botswana that focuses on predators, look no further. Kwara’s game and environments are varied, with plenty of tsessebe, impala, zebra, red lechwe, reedbuck, kudu, giraffe, buffalo and elephant – as well as the big cats and wild dogs.

Wildlife safaris elsewhere in Africa

Our top ideas and inspiration for Wildlife safaris in other countries.


Wildlife safaris in Botswana

Botswana

Botswana's wildlife safaris are perhaps the best in Africa: the vast reserves are usually un-fenced, ...

Wildlife safaris in Kenya

Kenya

Kenya is the country where the word 'Safari' (Swahili for 'journey') actually comes from. Close ...

Wildlife safaris in Malawi

Malawi

Don't expect spectacular game on a wildlife safari in Malawi, instead come for a relaxed safari ...

Wildlife safaris in Mozambique

Mozambique

Mozambique is best known for its wonderful beaches and marine life, not its 4WD safaris. There ...

Wildlife safaris in Namibia

Namibia

Wildlife safaris in Namibia can be outstanding. The country has Africa's highest cheetah population, ...

Wildlife safaris in South Africa

South Africa

Expert Africa covers only the western side of South Africa, including the Cape and Kgalagadi. Within ...

Wildlife safaris in Tanzania

Tanzania

Tanzania offers a winning combination: some of Africa's best wildlife safaris plus stunning tropical ...

Wildlife safaris in Zambia

Zambia

Top-class walking safaris, the outstanding quality of guiding, and many highly individual lodges ...

Wildlife safaris in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe

If watching wildlife from a 4WD is not close enough for you, then go on a wildlife safari in Zimbabwe! ...

Where to see wildlife species in Africa

Maximise the chances of seeing your favourite African animals based on traveller sightings reports from the field.


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

1,112 sightings from 1,335 observations

Where to see buffalo in Africa

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

17 sightings from 17 observations

Where to see chimpanzee in Africa

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.

91% SUCCESS

1,590 sightings from 1,750 observations

Where to see elephant in Africa

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

1,523 sightings from 1,833 observations

Where to see giraffe in Africa

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

1,168 sightings from 1,310 observations

Where to see hippo in Africa

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.

50% SUCCESS

903 sightings from 1,799 observations

Where to see spotted hyena in Africa

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

840 sightings from 1,873 observations

Where to see leopard in Africa

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

1,314 sightings from 1,646 observations

Where to see lion in Africa

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.

95% SUCCESS

18 sightings from 19 observations

Where to see mountain gorilla in Africa

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

261 sightings from 899 observations

Where to see black rhino in Africa

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

27 sightings from 1,487 observations

Where to see pangolin in Africa

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

43 sightings from 1,572 observations

Where to see aardvark in Africa

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

613 sightings from 1,362 observations

Where to see eland in Africa

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.

84% SUCCESS

1,724 sightings from 2,057 observations

Where to see zebra in Africa

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

228 sightings from 959 observations

Where to see roan antelope in Africa

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

198 sightings from 954 observations

Where to see sable antelope in Africa

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.

20% SUCCESS

25 sightings from 122 observations

Where to see sitatunga in Africa

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