It is Travel Tuesday and for Black History Month we wanted to promote Rwanda. We have a bucket list of places to go when the lockdown is finally over. Like One & Only’s Gorilla’s Nest is a luxury eco-resort that has been capturing the heart of Rwanda’s wildlife since it opened in November 2019. Freestanding lodges are hidden amongst eucalyptus trees, and the One&Only spa draws on ancient tribal remedies… However, the greatest guest attraction is a once-in-a-lifetime, personal encounter with Rwanda’s majestic mountain gorillas roaming free in their natural habitat.
Stunning yet sustainable accommodation
Nestled on Volcanoes National Park’s edge, Singita Kwitonda Lodge further raises the bar on sustainable luxury ecotourism. Kwitonda’s farm-to-table food journey celebrates Rwandan cuisine and fresh produce from the on-site garden. Simultaneously, the Akarabo Nursery is a fundamental part of Singita’s ambitious undertaking to contribute to the long-term conservation of endangered mountain gorillas by increasing their habitat through reforestation.
Jaw-dropping outdoor and adventure activities
Rwanda is not short of exciting outdoor activities for visitors to experience with four extraordinary national parks home to an array of wildlife, expansive lakes, and dense forests. Volcanoes National Park is the largest, with towering volcanoes covered in the thick, green rain forest and a prime location for spotting mountain gorillas. Or book onto a safari in the Akagera National Park, and look out for the Big Five. Rwanda is also home to one of the oldest rainforests in Africa, located in the Nyungwe National Park, rich in biodiversity and beautiful. With 322 bird species, feel entirely surrounded by the sounds of nature.
Fourth is the Gishwati Mukura National Park, home to 20 chimpanzees that live alongside the Golden Monkey. Visitors can take part in guided nature hikes, guided chimp and monkey tracking and enjoy cascading waterfalls. For an even more thrilling experience, Rwanda’s cycling and kayaking routes allow tourists to authentically interact with the rural population whilst being immersed in the country’s natural beauty.
Easy for a multi-centre holiday
Known as ‘the land of a thousand hills’, Rwanda is heralded for its rolling hills and expansive parkland, whilst being an exceptionally accessible destination for travel. In one trip, an itinerary can fit in gorilla trekking in the national parks, a visit to Rwanda’s cultural and colourful capital of Kigali, cycling on the infamous Congo Nile Trail, plenty of culinary options, and an experience of one of the country’s luxury eco-resorts…to name a few!
See primates in their natural habitat
Rwanda offers a rare opportunity for visitors to go primate trekking sustainably and ethically. With the endangered mountain gorilla housed and protected in Volcanoes National Park visitors can purchase a permit to view these incredible mammals via an official tour. The tours also reinvest a proportion of the profit money into the gorillas’ continuous conservation, highlighting the country’s commitment to ecotourism. In addition to the famous mountain gorillas, Rwanda is also home to selecting other incredible animals such as chimpanzees, a host of monkeys, olive baboons, the nocturnal potto and bushbaby. The ability to view such wildlife in the same destination is scarce, proving that Rwanda’s biodiversity is truly phenomenal.
It boasts a rich cultural scene
Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, is colourful, vibrant and bursting with culture. With a growing restaurant scene, there are a variety of both traditional Rwandan and international cuisines for foodies to indulge in. Just like the country, Rwandan art is bold and bright, from clothing to jewellery, artisan souvenirs and outdoor galleries, the country is packed with colour. A trip to watch Intore dancers’ movements is a must, with unique dances ranging from graceful and elegant to powerful and fierce. To top it all off, the local people are known for being kind and friendly. Have a chat with the locals and discover the heart and soul of Rwandan culture.