Rwanda, the Land of a thousand hills has got 3 main Rwanda National Parks that attracts Tourists including Volcanoes Gorilla National Park, Akagera National Park and Nyungwe Forest
Rwanda National Parks
Akagera National Park
Akagera is one of the Rwanda National Parks, Akagera is located in the north eastern park of Rwanda sharing border with Tanzania. In 2010, a joint venture with African Parks helped the park to regain it’s glories after it had been re-allocated as farms in 1934.
Akagera National Park got it’s name from Akagera River that flows along its eastern boundary and feeds into a labyrinth of lakes of which the largest is Lake Ihema. The forest fringed lakes, papyrus swamps, savannah plains and rolling highlands combine to make Akagera amongst the most scenic of reserves anywhere in Africa. It has exceptional levels of biodiversity and forms the largest protected wetland in central Africa.
Akagera National Park is a home to large plains game species as well as species restricted to the papyrus swamps such as the Sitatunga and the sought-after Shoebill Stork. Notable plains game include elephant, buffalo, topi, zebra, waterbuck, roan antelope and eland. Other antelope are duiker, oribi, bohor reedbuck, klipspringer, bushbuck and impala. Of the primates, olive baboons, vervets and the secretive blue monkey are seen during the day, with bushbabies often seen on night drives.
Larger predators including the king of the jungle the Lion that was re-introduced to the park in 2015, leopards, hyenas and side-striped jackals. Plans are underway for the reintroduction of the black rhino to the park to make Akagera Park the big 5 National park.
Akagera National Park is a habitant to 500 bird species that attracts Bird watching safaris in Rwanda.
Activities in Akagera National Park
Game viewing, Bird watching , Boat trips and Fishing
Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park also known as Parc Des Volcans or Parc National des Volcans is a major Rwanda National parks. It is a home to the endangered mountain gorillas in the land of a thousand hills Rwanda.
Volcanoes Park lies in the northern part of Rwanda and is 90 Kilometers from Kigali capital city of Rwanda., Volcanoes National Park Rwanda constitutes part of the Congo-Nile divide extension that separates the two of the most important watersheds in Africa.
Parc National des Volcans protects the steep slopes of this magnificent mountain range – home of the rare endangered mountain gorillas and rare golden monkeys, with high diversity of mosaic of montane ecosystems, that consist of ever green forest, open grassland, swam, heath and Bamboo forest on which the mountain gorillas feed.
The major activity in this park is Gorilla trekking,
Other activities include;
Golden monkey tracking, Karisoke Hike or visiting the tombs of Dian Fossey, 3,00 metres up the slopes of Mt. Bisoke, Mt.hiking (Mt. Karisimbi and Bisoke), Musanze caves visit, Twin lake (L. Burera and Ruhundo ) tour, Rwanda traditional community experience etc.
Permit fees per person:
Mountain Gorilla Trekking Permit: $750
Dian Fossey Hike Permit: $75
Golden Monkey Tracking Permit: $100
Crater Lake Hike permit: $75
Gorilla Families in Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National park Rwanda Apparently has 10 gorilla families that are fully habituated and open for tracking
1) Susa family, the biggest with 37 individuals, 4 silverbacks
2) Amahoro family with about 15 individuals, 2 silverback
3) Sabinyo family with 10 individuals, 2 silverbacks
4) Group 13 family
5) Kwitonda family
6) Umubano family
7) Hirwa family
8) Karisimbi family
9) Ugenda family
10) Tambara family
Nyungwe Forest National Park
Another Rwanda National Parks covering over 1000 km2, Nyungwe is Africa’s largest protected mountain rainforest.
The Government of Rwanda declared Nyungwe a national park, affording it the highest level of protection in Rwanda. Being the largest mountain rainforest in all of Africa, it shelters 13 species of primates including the Angola colobus found in groups of 300-400 animals that is an attribute unique to Nyungwe. It also hosts a large population of chimpanzees and two other threatened species of monkeys; the owl faced monkey and reported but unverified sightings of the golden monkey.
Nyungwe Forest is a home to over 280 bird species, 25 of which are endemic. Nyungwe’s forests extend to altitudes occupied by few other forests in Africa; 1600-2950 meters above sea level. It is also home to myriad orchids, butterflies, moths and other fascinating insects – all of which constitute the potential for a major, low volume, tourist destination in the making. (Source: Draft Investors Guide to Nyungwe National Park Area, South Western Rwanda, Preliminary version 1 – 2008)
Nyungwe is also Rwanda’s primary water catchment, sheltering more than two-thirds of all of its waters and receives 2000mm rain fall annually.
Activities done in Nyungwe Forest include;
Chimpanzee tracking, Black and white colobus monkey tracking, Canopy walk and water falls hike
A combination of Rwanda National Parks makes a complete unforgettable Safari package in Rwanda.
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