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10 Destinations to visit in Rwanda

Attractive and beautiful is what comes to everyone’s mind when they first set foot in the land of a thousand hills. When it comes to places to visit in Rwanda, nearly every tourist thinks of mountain gorillas, however, there are other places and tourist attractions that need to be added on any tourist’s bucket-list while visiting Rwanda.

The country is filled with beautiful hills, wildlife, springs, cultural sites and many others.

These are some of the places to visit in Rwanda.

1. Akagera National Park

Akagera National Park is central Africa’s largest protected wetland and the last remaining refuge for savannah-adapted species in Rwanda. The park is located in the North East of Rwanda and it’s named after the Akagera River that flows around its eastern boundaries, it’s known for its richness with various wild species including the big five; such as lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, African buffalos and many others.

2. Kivu Noir Café

For coffee lovers, Rwanda is among few countries in Africa with the best coffee and coffee spots like Kivu noir café. Kivu noir café serves the best coffee that grows along the shores of Lake Kivu, grown and processed in Rwanda from newly harvested Red Bourbon Arabica beans. Kivu noir coffee is in the top 1 percent of coffee worldwide that scores above 86 per cent on the Specialty Coffee Association Scale. It is located in Kiyovu Kigali next to Moshions and at Norrsken hub Kigali.

3. Kigali Genocide Memorial

The museum reflects into the timeline that led to the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi; there are halls of photography, art facts and information. The museum continues with another permanent exhibit on the history of Genocide around the world and intervention efforts from international communities helping to put the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi into context. Visiting the Kigali memorial site is an important part of understanding the country’s history. Give yourself time to contemplate the experience and have a moment of silence for the victims resting at this site which is located in Gisozi Kigali.

4. Volcanoes National Park

Without a doubt, the number one thing to do in Rwanda is gorilla trekking at the Volcanoes National Park, which is located in the North Western part of Rwanda. It covers 160km of rainforest and encompasses five of the eight volcanoes in the Virunga Mountains namely Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo. It is home to mountain gorillas and the golden monkey and was the base for the primatologist Diane Fossey. Experts estimate that there are about 600 gorillas in the park.

5. Nyungwe National Park

Nyungwe National Park, located in South Western Rwanda, is one of the most important forest conservation areas in Africa. It contains a spectacular array of birds and 75 types of mammals. Most tourists came to this rainforest to track chimpanzees which have been habituated to humans by park rangers. The park is also home to the only canopy walk in East Africa.

6. Lake Kivu

Lake Kivu is one of the African Great Lakes; it lies at the border between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. After all outdoor adventures, one must not forget to visit the lake and relax. The lake is surrounded by misty mountains and luxury hotels like Serena in Rubavu and Cleo in Karongi.

7. National Museum of Rwanda

The richness of a country’s heritage is very vital, as it contains aspects that identify people in any nation. Rwanda as it is, has a rich history that dates back to the Kingdoms, colonial and post-colonial times; this is well displayed in the various museums. They include: The Natural History Museum-Kigali, the Ethnographic Museum in Huye, Presidential Palace-Kanombe in Kigali, King’s Palace Museum-Rukari in Nyanza, Environmental Museum in Karongi and the National Art Gallery-Rwesero in Nyanza.

8. Fazenda Sengha

Fazenda Sengha is an outdoor recreational centre that offers horseback riding experiences, zip lines, archery, quad bikes, bungee trampoline, and others. Guests can also enjoy their picnics in a beautiful garden or terrace surrounded by nature and facing the Nyabarongo valley. Fresh air, lots of space to run around, Fazenda Sengha is also popular as a family destination, only 15 minutes from Kigali’s city centre located on top of Mount Kigali Nyamirambo.

9. Kwa Issa (Issa’s)

Ending your trip in Kigali without having a bite of Issa’s brochette (known as the staple dish of Rwanda), and his famous potatoes is a total miss. You can find Issa in Kimihurura near Papyrus and Envy club.

Brochette is a favourite dish for locals as well as tourists who come for different activities in Rwanda.

10. Mashyiga Rocks

Mashyiga rocks hiking is an experience that everyone would wish to explore while visiting Rwanda. Located in Kamonyi, southern part of Rwanda, the site caters both hiking and walking experience on the renowned holy rocks of Mashyiga.

This site is called Mashyiga because of the rocks that stand together as a team to fulfil a common goal, just like the three stones holding a cooking pot in a traditional kitchen.

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