Rwanda Nature and Wildlife
Despite being one of the smallest countries in Africa, Rwanda has much to offer. Conservation and eco-tourism are very important to the government and Rwanda’s wildlife is what brings many tourists to the country each year. Protected areas enjoy frequent patrols to discourage, as well as catch poachers. There are also strict laws and severe punishments in place to protect wildlife. Wildlife census counts happen regularly as a way to monitor the various species found throughout the country. Community-based programmes are central to conservation efforts as the government strives to meet the needs of both the local communities and protected areas by including local people in decision-making.
Rwanda hosts three national parks, each with unique and diverse wildlife. The Nyungwe Forest National Park is a 1,000-square-kilometre jungle in the southern part of Rwanda. It hosts thirteen rare primate species including the world’s largest arboreal troop of black/white colobus monkeys. Leopards, golden cats, side-stripped jackals and the African civet among other animals can be found throughout the park. The forest is the largest and most ancient Afro-Montane forest found in East and Central Africa which dates back as far as the last Ice Age.
The Akagera National Park is found near the Tanzania border and houses many favourite African animals. Giraffes, zebras and antelope are common among the savannah grasslands. Elephants and buffalos are also found in the park. There are many swamps and lakes in Akagera and so pods of hippopotami and crocodiles are often spotted at the water’s edge. The lake shores of Akagera include some of the densest concentrations of water birds found in the entire African continent, many of which are considered endangered.
Volcanoes National Park is arguably the most famous of the three parks in Rwanda because it is home to the world’s last surviving mountain gorilla population. It was also the first national park in Africa, established in 1925 with the main goal of protecting the gorillas. There are currently eight gorilla groups in the park and gorilla trekking is available all year. The park is one of the most protected areas in the world and recent years have seen a rise in gorilla numbers.
However, there are still threats including poaching and habitat loss. The gorillas aren’t often hunted, yet they are injured by traps set for other animals and gorilla hands, heads and feet have been sold on the black market. While mainly known for the gorilla population, Volcanoes National Park also hosts rare golden monkeys, cape buffalo, the black-fronted duiker and many bird species.
Rwanda Travel Information
At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy-to-navigate travel information section dedicated to Rwanda.
Learn about the history and culture of Rwanda, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about Rwanda's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, along with 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information, will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering Rwanda for yourself. Start exploring… book one of our Rwanda tours today!
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