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Many people don’t think of Rwanda as a holiday destination as they still have the images of the horrific genocide in mind. It has been over 20 years now and Rwanda has recovered to a level that will astonish you.

Rwanda is also called the land of thousand hills and is famous for having the opportunity to encounter the mountain gorillas. It is rich with stunning mountains, covered with rainforest, tea and coffee plantations, valleys and lakes, abundant wildlife and friendly local people. Touring around Rwanda is quite easy and fun, given the country’s security and the government’s efforts to encourage and facilitate tourism.


Below a pick of our favorite places in Rwanda.
  • Kigale –stroll around the oldest neighborhood of Kigale, Nyamirambo
  • Visit Nyungwe National Park –East Africa’s largest protected high-altitude rainforest and have the opportunity to meet one of the rarest monkeys in the world – the golden monkey. It is monkey paradise with more than 13 different species. So if a Gorilla encounter is too expensive for you then this is something you shouldn’t miss out on. Besides Nyungwe boost with wildlife, it also has an extensive network of trails that take between two hours to four days. They will take you through tropical forest, rolling hills and tea plantations.
  • Volcanoes National Park – head for Mount Bisoke with its beautiful crater lake at the summit or try the two-day trek of Mount Karisimbi, Rwanda’s highest peak at 4507m.
  • Hike up Nyiragongo and sleep at the top – Nyiragongo, is an active 11,400-ft volcano just west of Rwanda. The volcano is located near the city of Goma in Virunga National Park.
  • Meet the Mountain Gorillas – encounter the endangered mountain gorilla in Virungas National Park
  • Relax at Lake Kivu – visit Gisenyi, a quiet resort town on the shore of Lake Kivu. Head south to Kibuye, a sharming little town where you can learn more about Rwanda’s traumatic history.
  • Meet stunning wildlife in Akagera National Park – the park is just a 2-hour drive from Kigali due to the good paved roads. You can see one of the largest hippo populations, elephants, buffalo, giraffe and plenty of antelope. Rhinos will soon be introduced too. Lions who are relocated here in 2015 and leopards are more elusive.

What to eat

Rice and beans are the staples in Rwanda. Traditional Rwandan cuisine also includes potatoes, plantains called matoke, cassave, and meat (beef, goat, and pork). Sadly enough you will not find any street food in Rwanda. It is maybe not the most exciting cuisine, but it is tasty and diverse enough.

  • Brochette –a kind of shish kebab of meat or fish which Rwanda is really good at.
  • Ugali –if you have not been to any other East-African country then this is something you should try. Although the taste of its own is a bit blend, it absorbs all the flavors what its served with.
  • Jacket Potato – no dish in Rwanda is complete with potato. The Jacket potato is skinned, cut in two, and served in any number of sauces.
  • Ibihaza – boiled pumpkin with beans.
  • Dodo – a spinach-like dish with plenty of garlic, groundnuts and chillies.
  • Sambusa – it is the equivalent of the Indian samosa that is either filled with meat, or potato.

When to go

Best time to visit Rwanda is from June to mid-September or from mid- December to beginning of February as these are the dry seasons. Although Rwanda is located just below the equator the temperature is nice all year round due to its high elevation.

What to know

Nowadays everyone needs a visa except nationals of East African countries and the DRC. For Germans, Israeli, South Africans, Swedish, British and Americans visas are now available on arrival for US$30. Everyone else needs to apply for a visa in their country of residence at a Rwandan embassy or high commission. The price of the multi-entry visas is US$50, and are valid for 90 days.

If Rwanda isn’t represented in your country then you need to register online at Rwanda Immigration

Top rated activities

Local village experience Kibuye
$16.44 p.p.p.n.

Help in Mama Dunia Bakery

Kibuye, Rwanda

Basket weaving class Kigali
$25.50 p.p.

Basket Weaving with the Women of Nyamirambo

Kigali, Rwanda

Lake Kivu hike
$46.03 p.p.

Hike to Lake Kivu with Ernest

Congo Nil, Rutsiro, Rwanda

Rwandan cooking class Kigali
$24.40 p.p.

Aminatha’s Traditional Cooking Class

Kigali, Rwanda

Street walk Nyamirambo Kigali
$25.50 p.p.

Street Walk Through Nyamirambo

Kigali, Rwanda

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