Short trips to do in Rwanda before or after a conference in Rwanda
Short trips to do in Rwanda before or after a conference in Rwanda. Rwanda is the perfect safari destination for tourists planning a short trip before or after a conference or meeting. If you are trying to find safari destinations and activities to participate in, this is the right place.
Most Popular Safaris
Rwanda is sometimes called the Land of a Thousand Hills and is blessed with various tourist attractions where you are bound to have a great and wonderful experience. Below is a list of activities you can engage in before or after your conference.
- Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park
- Exploring Nyungwe Forest National Park.
- Game drives in Akagera National Park
- Visit the Genocide memorial sites
- Explore the museums
- Lake Kivu exploration
- Take a short trip around Kigali
Volcanoes National Park:
Volcanoes National Park is a UNESCO heritage site and one of the three destinations in the world for spotting mountain gorillas. Volcanoes National Park is the top safari destination in Rwanda, home to about ten habituated gorilla families available for trekking. Dian Fossey carried out most of her research on conserving the gorillas, and her grave can be spotted in the national park.
The main attraction in Volcanoes is the Mountain gorillas, where you must purchase a gorilla permit, which is your ticket to see Mountain gorillas. The gorilla permit costs $1500 per person, which can be purchased through local tour operators or directly from the Rwanda Development Board.
There are other activities that are carried out in Volcanoes besides gorilla trekking, and these are bird watching, where you get to see both international and endemic bird species, primate walks, Golden monkey trekking, enjoying the Kwita Izina ceremony, and visiting the communities nearby. If you want to spend more time with primates, Volcanoes National Park is the right destination for a short trip before or after a conference.
Akagera National Park:
Akagera National Park is the largest park in Savannah Park in Rwanda, located at the border of Rwanda and Tanzania. The park was home to a wide range of wildlife, but after the Genocide in 1994, the park was raided by refugees returning to the country, and this forced many of the wildlife species to flee to neighboring parks, whereas locals poached others. A few years later, the government, in a bid to boost Tourism in the country, restored Akagera by introducing lions in 2015 and black rhinos in 2017 to add to the already existing animals like antelopes, crocodiles in the Akagera River, buffalos, elephants, spotted hyenas, leopards, and bushbucks among others.
Akagera National Park is also home to over 500 recorded bird species, including primates like vervet monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, baboons, and black and white colobus monkeys. Activities carried out in Akagera include bird watching, guided nature walks, Game drives, sport fishing, community visits, and Boat rides.
Take a short trip to Lake Kivu:
Lake Kivu is one of the destinations that you should check out before or after a conference. Lake Kivu is surrounded by islands Gisenyi, Cyangugu, Amahoro, and Kibuye Island, and these are located on the Rwandan side, which is worth visiting. It is located at the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, acting as a border between the two countries. Lake Kivu is found in the Albertine Rift Valley (Great Western Rift Valley), and it is the largest Lake in Rwanda, ranking in the 6th position on the African continent. The Lake is shared between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, with about 58% of the Lake in DRC.
Some towns around Lake Kivu are worth visiting, and one of them is Rusizi, which is located along the shores of Kivu. The road leading to Rusizi from Kigali has excellent views of the rolling hills and nature around the Lake, especially on the south side. Rubavu is one of the largest towns along the shores of Lake Kivu and is also known as Gisenyi. The old and rustic houses in the town are because it was once a beach for the colonial masters in Uganda. Rubavu is a good resting spot after gorilla trekking in the Volcanoes National Park. Karonji town is also located along the shores of Lake Kivu and is extremely popular because of the beaches and beautiful views.
Some activities carried out along Lake Kivu include kayaking, cycling, Mountain hiking, and boat rides.
The Genocide Memorial sites:
Rwanda as a country faced a dark period in 1994 during the Genocide, which saw thousands and millions of people die, whereas others left the country seeking refuge from neighboring countries. Although Rwanda has recovered from the Genocide, there are several memorial sites in the different parts of the country where you can learn about the history of Rwanda. The sites that you can visit during your short trip to Rwanda before or after a conference include:
Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre: This is located within the capital city of Rwanda, Kigali. There is a mass grave with an unspecified number of victims that were buried, names of the victims of the Genocide written on the wall, and skeleton heads of some of the children who lost their lives during the Genocide.
Nyamata memorial site: This was formerly a church and is located in the Bugerera district where over 3000 people who had gone to seek refugee from the war were killed. Some of the evidence of how they were killed is still visible within the church.
Gisozi Memorial site: Gisozi Memorial site is where both Hutus and Tutsis were buried in the year 3000. The site has a library with information about the Genocide and Rwanda, a cemetery, a display house, and a photo gallery. Over 300,000 people were buried at the Gisozi site.
Ntarama Memorial site: This was a church where over 5,000 people who had gone to seek refuge were killed. It is about an hour away from Kigali town and has been preserved in memory of those who lost their lives during the war.
Bisesero Memorial site: Located in Karongi town, Bisesero, which is currently known as the Hill of Resistance, was the place where people put up an intense fight against the Genocide even when they had few weapons. Over 30,000 people were killed during the war at this site.
Murambi Genocide Memorial site: this was a school where almost 2800 people were slaughtered. It has been refurbished and is now an exhibition site.
Nyungwe Forest National Park:
Nyungwe Forest National Park is a natural rainforest that has been preserved in its natural form for all this time and is home to a variety of primate species. It is home to chimpanzees, baboons, colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, Mangabeys monkeys, and over 300 bird species. The main activity in Nyungwe is chimpanzee trekking with two chimpanzee families, the Cyamudongo and Uwinka chimpanzee families.
A short safari to the national park gives you ample time to explore it on foot as you enjoy activities like guided nature walks, chimpanzee habituation experience, bird watching, and the canopy walk, which hangs about 50 meters above the forests and is 91 meters long.
The National Museum of Rwanda:
The National Museum of Rwanda is located in the southern province of Huye district. Formed in 1987, it is referred to as the best museum in East Africa, with historically categorized items, archaeological artifacts, and seven categories. The artifacts within the museum showcase the rich culture of the people of Rwanda, and with an experienced guide, you get to learn more about the pieces and what they represent, as well as the culture and political views. A trip to the museum is the easiest way of learning about Rwandan culture.
Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda:
In cases where you have limited time before or after the conference, the one place worth visiting is the capital city of Rwanda, Kigali, which the United Nations has described as the most beautiful city on the African continent. Some places you can see around Kigali include the Statehouse Museum, Museum of National History, Handt House Museum, and the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, among others. A short trip around Kigali lets you see how locals live their daily lives and enjoy the nightlife. Other activities you can engage in while in Kigali include visiting the traditional milk shops and joining the city’s monthly cleaning that everyone carries out on the last Saturday of the month.
The Musanze Caves:
The Musanze caves found within the Virunga region are part of Rwanda’s history and are located within the Musanze district. More than 32 caves are situated at the foot of the Volcanoes National Park and are believed to have been created over a million years ago during volcanic eruptions. The caves are surrounded by thick vegetation, cover over 2 kilometers, and are home to hundreds of bats. The cave hike takes about an hour or two before you emerge from the opposite side of the caves.
Packing list for a short trip to Rwanda
Packing right for a safari is extremely important because it is the key to having an enjoyable trip in Rwanda. The things and items that are essential for your safari include neutral-colored long-sleeved shirts and trousers, a day backpack, sunscreen, strong hike ankle boots, garden gloves if you plan on trekking, a camera, extra batteries, and lenses, binoculars, insect repellent, a first aid kit fully packed with essential medicines and items to help in case of an emergency, a sunhat, a flashlight, thick socks, waterproof raincoat, warm sweater, recognition books, wet wipes, and toiletries.
Best time for visiting Rwanda
Rwanda is an all-year-round destination, depending on the activities one wishes to participate in. However, The best time is in June, July, August, and September, and December, January, and February, known as the dry months. The dry season is the best time for gorilla trekking, game drives, nature walks, cycling, canopy walks, and chimpanzee trekking. On the other hand, the best time for a bird-watching safari is during the wet months of March, April, May, October, and November.
Is Rwanda a safe safari destination?
Yes, Rwanda is considered to be the safest safari destination in Africa. After the 1994 genocide that saw millions losing their lives, the government of Rwanda has done its best to make sure that it does not happen again, ensuring that security is a top priority for both international visitors and locals.
Before traveling to Rwanda, there are a few things that you need to know and these. The main entrance into the country is the Kigali International Airport; no plastic bags are allowed. As you plan for the safari, ensure you do not bring them with you. Avoid wearing skimpy clothes while on a safari to Rwanda because showing too much skin is a crime.
The safari destinations and activities above can be carried out throughout the year, and even though you are not coming to Rwanda for a conference, you can still organize a private safari to explore the rolling hills of Rwanda and everything the country has to offer.
In conclusion, the short trips give you an insight into the different safari destinations that make your safari to Rwanda worthwhile. These can be done before or after the conference, and we always advise our clients to book the activities they are interested in as early as possible during the peak season to get the best deals.
We are here to help you plan your safari and answer any more questions you might have about organizing the short trips and more. All you have to do is contact us about your safari preference, and we can help you.