Rwanda — Things to Do
Rwanda is an adrenaline seeker’s paradise, with the country offering many opportunities for travelers to experience the challenges and beauty of its natural environment. From trekking and wildlife spotting to hiking and mountain climbing, there certainly is no shortage of activities to keep the heart racing.
There are, however, also many excursions on offer aimed either at relaxation or cultural enrichment. These, no doubt, are aimed at travelers who are not as outdoor-inclined. Whether it’s witnessing a traditional Rwandan folk dance or spending an afternoon at one of the many gorgeous lakes, there is something for everyone.
Activity-wise, Rwanda is perhaps best known for the many treks that can be done through its natural environment. What makes these treks special, however, is the high probability that one, or many, species of primate will be spotted. The Chimpanzee Trek is one of the most popular treks and takes place in the gorgeous Nyungwe Forest National Park. Home to one of the largest troupes of chimpanzees and colobus monkeys, the forest is certainly the best place for such an excursion. The reputable Rwanda Eco-Tours organizes several of these trips at reasonable prices.
Another popular trek, and one that has a certain element of danger, is the Gorilla Trek in the Parc National des Volcans. One of the most magical experiences for any traveler to the region, the Gorilla Trek allows visitors to spend one hour with the gorillas. Different groups take different routes in the park but private tours of the park and its inhabitants can also be arranged. The park is located quite close to a politically unstable area, but is guarded by the military so there is no need for concern. Another company, Rwanda Eco-Tours and Safaris has also been known to organize great gorilla treks.
Outdoorsy types will be pleased with the plethora of adventure activities on offer including climbing the Virunga Volcanoes. Located between the regions of Gisenyi and Ruhengeri, the Parc National de Volcans is home to two majestic volcanoes. Known as Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira, these volcanoes provide a challenging trip even for the most experienced of climbers. Travelers who would prefer a tour of the region should contact Wildlife Tours Rwanda.
While in the Nyungwe Forest, why not embark on the Forest Canopy Walk? Located a breathtaking 150 feet above the ground, the bridge spans a distance of 300 feet and is one of the most remarkable structures in the region. Not for the faint hearted, as the bridge is quite shaky at its best, the canopy walk is nonetheless an absolute must, providing views of the park that were unattainable before. Trips on the canopy walk can be organized at the Nyungwe Forest front office.
If adventure is not your cup of tea, there are other activities which are far tamer. Travelers should definitely visit Kibuye, a charming lake resort which is the perfect place for some rest and relaxation. Laze by the lake or take part in the daily displays of traditional dancing and cultural practices.
A treat for lovers of theater and dance is a trip to the Rwanda National Ballet. Most of the performances are based on the local culture of the country, including the activities of the Royal Court which ruled the country for centuries. Performances can be caught at several venues in the country.