15 Best Things to Do in Rwanda


This coun­try with vast ter­ri­to­ries, mes­mer­iz­ing land­scapes and an incred­i­ble vari­ety of wildlife, can be called the best place for pho­tog­ra­phers. Rwan­da impress­es with its exter­nal appear­ance — it seems that noth­ing has changed here for cen­turies, and in places for mil­len­nia.


Who and why to visit Rwanda

Rwan­da attracts active tourists, who offer the oppor­tu­ni­ty to go for a walk, hav­ing pre­vi­ous­ly cho­sen a route: green hills or impen­e­tra­ble jun­gle, a qui­et lake or a moun­tain top. Trav­el­ers who are inter­est­ed in the coun­try’s past explore Abo­rig­i­nal vil­lages and learn about multi­na­tion­al tra­di­tions.

Fam­i­ly tourists relax on the beach­es and spend time in muse­ums, vis­it­ing ancient mon­u­ments in cities. Young peo­ple love to go to night­clubs and trav­el to exot­ic islands. Fam­i­lies with chil­dren will be inter­est­ed in trips to the savan­nah, where ele­phants, mon­keys, giraffes, lions and oth­er ani­mals live.

Notable cities



The city still keeps the mem­o­ry of the ter­ri­ble events of the past, but today it has become com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent. Where gangs and patrols roamed, today we will see bright mar­kets and stalls with fra­grant spices and sou­venirs. Changes here are vis­i­ble in every­thing: gar­dens are laid out on the ter­ri­to­ry, sky­scrap­ers are being built.

Tourists should see the Geno­cide Memo­r­i­al and the Grand Pres­i­den­tial Palace. Next to the memo­r­i­al there is a muse­um that tells about the events that took place ear­li­er.



Butare is the place where the coun­try’s first Nation­al Uni­ver­si­ty and Insti­tute for Sci­en­tif­ic Research was found­ed, as well as a num­ber of oth­er edu­ca­tion­al cen­ters.

With the devel­op­ment of sci­ence and edu­ca­tion, the lev­el of cul­ture in the city has grown. There is a the­ater, a muse­um, a gallery, which are active­ly vis­it­ed by tourists. Every­one espe­cial­ly likes the cathe­dral, built in 1930 in mem­o­ry of Princess Astrid. Its beau­ty and grace are sim­i­lar to Greek build­ings.



Undoubt­ed­ly, this is one of the most beau­ti­ful cities in all of Rwan­da. It is sur­round­ed by high hills, which are shroud­ed in thick fog in the morn­ings, and stun­ning views of the lake and islands open up in the after­noon. Kibuye nes­tles com­fort­ably on the shores of Lake Kivu, flow­ing smooth­ly into its waters with curved capes and rocky bays.

On the shore there are sev­er­al earth­en eco-hous­es, as well as a Catholic church and a mon­u­ment to the Rwan­dan geno­cide. There are many emp­ty beach­es and boat rentals around.



In the city of Nya­gatare, locat­ed in the val­ley of the north­east­ern province of Rwan­da, peo­ple come to explore the Akagera Nation­al Park. This park is com­plete­ly unlike any­thing else in the coun­try. Before the geno­cide, when most of the large ani­mals were killed or smug­gled across the bor­der, it was con­sid­ered the best park in East Africa.

Today, thanks to for­eign invest­ment, the num­ber of wild ani­mals is grow­ing, and peo­ple are again see­ing zebras, impalas, giraffes, hip­pos and croc­o­diles, lions and rhi­nos.



The ancient cap­i­tal of the pre-colo­nial king­dom of Rwan­da is famous for its past and pre­served tra­di­tions. In Nyan­za, you can get acquaint­ed with the col­lec­tions of exhibits that are hid­den in the old court­rooms. Here is the famous art muse­um Rou Sero — the most pres­ti­gious and rich­est in the coun­try.

No less famous is the Nyung­we Rwan­da For­est Park, locat­ed near­by. The largest area of ​​moun­tain for­est in this part of the con­ti­nent is inhab­it­ed by chim­panzees, rare gold­en mon­keys and large baboons.

National parks

Volcano Park

Park Volkanov

The pro­tect­ed area is locat­ed along the bor­der with the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Repub­lic of the Con­go and Ugan­da. The main attrac­tion of the park is the unique Virun­gas chain, which con­sists of five vol­ca­noes. Tourists claim that this is the most breath­tak­ing nature reserve in Africa. Indeed, even one vol­cano is exot­ic, but here is a whole ridge.

The park offers many routes for lovers of alpine climb­ing. And here they are wait­ing for anoth­er bonus — the oppor­tu­ni­ty to meet with moun­tain goril­las. They are already accus­tomed to meet­ing tourists, so they are not afraid of peo­ple.

It is worth allo­cat­ing a day, or bet­ter two, to vis­it the Vol­cano Park.



Akagera Nation­al Park is a mosa­ic of savan­nahs and coastal swamps that can be found in all the famous parks of the East African Rift. Its ter­ri­to­ry, which is 1200 square kilo­me­ters, adjoins direct­ly to the bor­der with Tan­za­nia, where herds of giraffes, antelopes, jack­als and oth­er ani­mals of the savan­nah roam.

Safaris are grad­u­al­ly becom­ing pop­u­lar here, tourists are trans­port­ed in small and com­fort­able minibus­es. The sur­round­ing nature is sim­ply beau­ti­ful: the kinks of the Kagera Riv­er give way to the shim­mer­ing Shakani Lake, many swamps and areas where large ani­mals live.

Gishwati Forest

gishvati forest

The Gish­wati For­est Nation­al Park, locat­ed near the beach­es and resorts of Lakes Kivu and Gisenyi, is under state pro­tec­tion. In the 1990s, dur­ing the geno­cide, the area was heav­i­ly defor­est­ed. Bare ranges of hills are still vis­i­ble in the area.

Today, Gish­wati has a wildlife reju­ve­na­tion pro­gram, and in 2020, pro­grams will begin to plant thou­sands of new trees. Despite the expe­ri­ence, the reserve with green moun­tain ranges and forests in which mon­keys live is beau­ti­ful even today.

natural attractions

Gisenyi beaches

pliagi gisenii

The sandy strip, which begins just out­side the city, is a pop­u­lar beach hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion. Of course, African nature is pecu­liar and some trav­el­ers are dis­ap­point­ed to find that the waters are grey-green and the sand is rough and yel­low­ish. But after a few days on the road, Lake Kivu is a great oppor­tu­ni­ty to swim and lie in the shade of the trees.

Giseni is a place where the African jun­gle descends down the grassy hills direct­ly to the water sur­face of the lake. The shores are lined with bam­boo huts and eco-lodges, ide­al for those who want to spend a cou­ple of days away from the noise of the city.

Lake Kivu

osero kiwu

The lake rarely becomes the only des­ti­na­tion — peo­ple come here because of the many attrac­tions and enter­tain­ment. But Kivu is on the list of must-see places for tourists to vis­it.

Cov­er­ing a vast area of ​​over 2,700 square kilo­me­ters, it stretch­es from Gisenyi in the north to the mul­ti­cul­tur­al island of Ish­va in the south. On the way to the coast, vis­i­tors are greet­ed by fish­ing vil­lages with hous­es on stilts, water cata­ma­rans, a num­ber of beau­ti­ful trop­i­cal islands.


gisuma ruandi

The city right­ful­ly bears the title of cof­fee king of Rwan­da. Gisum is locat­ed among the foothills and Syl­van val­leys. It is small, but thanks to the cul­ti­va­tion of excel­lent cof­fee beans, it has become mega-pop­u­lar among baris­tas and just cof­fee lovers.

Today, the indus­try is led by the coop­er­a­tive orga­ni­za­tion Gisuma. And even if you don’t like a fra­grant drink, the area around Gisuma is beau­ti­ful. Nature lovers will be hap­py to con­tem­plate the end­less hills over­grown with cof­fee plan­ta­tions.

Musanze Caves

pesheri musanse

These are four caves with a remark­able past. They were formed when lava flows from sev­er­al vol­ca­noes com­bined to reveal the Alber­tine Rift Val­ley. The length of the rock for­ma­tions is sev­er­al kilo­me­ters, but from time to time they bring the trav­el­er to the sur­face, allow­ing you to feel the con­trast and val­ue of light.

Some­where through gaps in the ceil­ing, water­falls of green vines hang down. A large pop­u­la­tion of bats lives here. They greet guests with cau­tion, but with­out aggres­sion. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, few peo­ple vis­it the caves due to the high cost of escort ser­vices.

Nkotsi village

derevnia nkoci

The vil­lage is locat­ed 7 km south­west of Musanze. This is the best place to camp and expe­ri­ence the oth­er side of life in Rwan­da.

The local trav­el com­pa­ny orga­nizes cul­tur­al events open to all. These are bas­ket weav­ing, banana beer brew­ing, bee­keep­ing, as well as drum­ming and alter­na­tive med­i­cine lessons. The result is a com­plete immer­sion in the local cul­ture. Some lessons are free of charge, but tourists take away fin­ished prod­ucts or sou­venirs from each.

Lake Mukhazi

lakero muhasi

The waters of Lake Muhazi have long been a favorite place for relax­ation and recu­per­a­tion for the res­i­dents of the cap­i­tal of Kigali. The shores offer seclud­ed pic­nic spots and a pop­u­lar coun­try club with vol­ley­ball courts, qui­et water­side cab­ins, eater­ies, and bike and boat rentals.

Near the lake are the cities of Gahi­ni and Rweze­ro — ide­al places for cul­tur­al pas­time and fam­i­ly hol­i­days. The lake with its beach­es is becom­ing an inte­gral part of the tourist pro­gram. After enjoy­ing the cities, you can tour the near­by cof­fee fields and Catholic cathe­drals.

Rusumo waterfall

vodopad rusuma

In Rusumo, between the Rwan­dan and Tan­zan­ian bor­der posts, you can see with your own eyes the largest water­fall in Rwan­da.

It will be a great addi­tion to Akagera Nation­al Park. There is a whole cas­cade of water­falls in the reserve, which become stormy and noisy dur­ing the rainy sea­son. They are not tall, but they impress with their pow­er. If you want to enjoy panoram­ic views, you can get to the bridge between the two bor­der posts — the best van­tage point.


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