When is the best time to visit Rwanda? Month by month?
When is the best time to visit Rwanda? See our monthly suggestions in this article. Rwanda is open for a visit annually, but the dry season stands out. Visiting Rwanda for a safari has gorilla trekking at the top of the list of activities. It would help to get a gorilla trekking permit from the Rwanda Development Board. Rwanda is open to several safari activities yearly, but gorilla trekking is at the forefront.
Most Popular Safaris
Many tourists book Rwanda safaris, especially during the peak season: June, July, August, September, December, and January. Gorilla trekking stands out on the list of possible activities you can engage in while in Rwanda.
During the low season, which is usually also the wet season, which is March, April, May, and November, fewer tourists visit Rwanda. The low number of tourists that visit Rwanda in this period doesn’t mean there is less to see. Most of the Rwanda safari activities are open all year and not seasonal.
What To Do On A Visit To Rwanda
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda
As mentioned earlier, the gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda is top on the list of possible activities you can do. Volcanoes National Park is the only gorilla trekking destination in Rwanda. About 15 gorilla trekking families are currently open for this activity. Rwanda Gorilla families include Kwitonda, Agashya, Amahoro, Sabyinyo, Muhoza, and Hirwa.
At Encounter Africa Safaris, we can assist you in purchasing the Rwanda gorilla permits from the Rwanda Development Board when you enquire. Our safari consultants can help you draw the best Rwanda safari itinerary with activities to engage in during your stay.
Currently, Rwanda opens only 96 gorilla trekking permits for the entire world to book; however, due to unlimited demand, they sell out fast on a first-come, first-served basis. None of these permits is reserved without payment.
How much is a Rwanda gorilla permit?
Currently, a Rwanda gorilla permit costs $1500 for foreign non-residents, $500 for foreign residents, and $300 for East Africans.
The cost of a Rwanda gorilla permit covers mountain gorilla conservation, park entrance fees, ranger guide fees, certificate after gorilla trekking, government tax, local community support, and others.
Some exclusions are Rwanda gorilla permit tips, porter hire, transport, and personal expenditures.
Golden monkey trekking
Golden monkeys are a charming monkey species with golden brown hairs at the lower bottom. They are residents of Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. These primates still possess their charming nature even after they have been habituated. While on a golden monkey trekking adventure, you will keep on your toes as they try hard to hop from one branch to another. It would help if you secured a Golden Monkey trekking permit from the Rwanda Development Board. Only one hour is allowed with these charming primates for conservation reasons.
Chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda
While in Rwanda, you can spend some time with the chimpanzees in their natural habitat. Nyungwe National Park is the only home for the Rwanda chimpanzees. Although these chimpanzees are still semi-habituated, they are exciting to trek.
Two chimpanzee communities can be trekked in Rwanda, one in Nyungwe National Park and another in Cyamudondo on the park’s periphery. Park trek starts from Uwinka, where the main headquarters of the Park Parks is situated. Then, you follow the trails within the garden created by regular visitors.
You may spot other monkey species like black and white colobus, red-tailed monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, olive baboons, etc.
Rwanda has varied vegetation that favors the survival of over 800 bird species. Rwanda has over 44 regional endemics and more than 4 pure endemics. It would help if you had a planned Rwanda birding safari itinerary by a professional birding guide. Some of Rwanda’s best birding destinations include Nyungwe National Park, Volcanoes Forest, Akagera National Park, and many others.
A few of the birds you may spot on Rwanda birding adventure include Archer’s Robin-Chat, Sunbirds, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Barred long-tailed cuckoo, White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, Rwenzori Turaco, Dusky Crimsonwing to mention but a few.
Game drives in Rwanda
Akagera National Park is the only game park in Rwanda currently recovering from the tremor of the 1994 genocide. May wild animals fled, and others were killed during that terror time, but the park is trying to regain its glory.
During the game drives in Akagera National Park Rwanda, you may spot zebras, Rhinos, waterbucks, giraffes, cape buffaloes, rare leopards, lions, and herds of elephants, to mention but a few.
Kigali city tour
Rwanda has one of the cleanest and most organized cities in Africa. During the Kigali city tour, you may visit the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology, the Kandt, commercial centers, coffee shops with incredible aromas of Rwandan coffee, and the Presidential Palace Museum in Kanombe. To mention but a few. Take a tour of the genocide memorials preserved as a reminder of the 100 days of ignorance in Rwanda that claimed several lives of natives.
You can also visit the Rwanda Ancient History Museum in Rukari Nyanza, where you can find the traditional royal palace of the Rwandan king, the Inyambo, which signifies the conventional royal cow, the court of King Mutara III Rudahigwa, built-in 1932.
To know how urban Rwandese behave day and night, you must take the Kigali city tour.
Over Nyungwe National Park is the fantastic suspension bridge that gives you a clearer view of this tropical rainforest. From this 90-meter-long bridge, you can spot several features surrounding the park, Parkoy, the dense forest canopy, and feel the cool breeze.
This is the only one of its type in East Africa. You can create great memories while on the top of Nyungwe National Park.
How Safe Is A Visit In Rwanda?
Since the 1994 Rwanda genocide, the country has been enjoying tremendous peace, and you can visit anytime. Rwanda is very strict with items you carry into its borders, as drugs and narcotics are forbidden. When you engage in unlawful acts in Rwanda, you may face jail or a hefty penalty.
As an individual, you need to mind personal safety by not walking the streets with your money easy to access. Only allow people you are familiar with into your room, or you may invite the wrong characters.
Do not dump garbage while in Rwanda, or you may receive a penalty. Never drive off the shoulder in Rwanda because it is a pro-eco system nation.
What is the cost of the Rwanda safari?
The cost of a Rwanda safari varies with factors like the activities to do in Rwanda, the number of days on safari, people traveling with you, the safari package you choose, and the time of booking the Rwanda safari, to mention a few.
For gorillas, chimpanzees, and golden monkey trekking in Rwanda, you need a permit, and booking is required because of the limited number of people open to the public daily.
When Is The Best Time To Do the Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safari?
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is open all year, but the most preferred time is the dry season when there is less precipitation in the forest. The mountain gorillas and other primates linger in the woods and may be quicker to find. The dry season in Rwanda is usually June, July, August, September, December, and January.
The trails in Volcanoes National Park are drier, and the river flows within the confines of their course. This, however, is the peak season. Demand for the limited number of gorilla permits is high, with a maximum of 8 gorilla permits open to public booking each day.
When you travel to Rwanda gorilla trekking in the low season, which usually serves as the wet season of March, April, May, and November, chances of having a solo gorilla safari adventure are open. Since fewer people are booking, you may be assigned to a gorilla family alone on that day.
Chances to discounted gorilla safaris are more open in the low season when service providers have to break even. Rwanda typically offers promotional gorilla permits in the low season, where if you spend at least more than two nights in either Akagera National Park or Nyungwe National Park, your gorilla permit is discounted to $1050 per person. Terms and conditions apply.
What to Pack for a visit to Rwanda?
- Wear warm clothes because the country is generally cold almost throughout the day.
- Safari gear is in wilderness-friendly colors like khaki, army green, brown, and others.
- Insect repellant
- Long-sleeved shirt and trousers in case you have to walk in the wilderness
- Foldable hat with a large brim
- First aid kit for emergency treatment
- Some hard cash to change into local currency
- Travel adaptor and charger
- Duffel bag
- Extra light clothes
- Rainproof gears
- A camera
- A pair of stockings
- Simple ornaments
- Light Shoe bag
- Safari boots or canvas shoes can protect your feet if you are walking in the wilderness.
Can I use Credit Cards while on a Rwanda Visit?
Credit cards are a rare means of transaction in Rwanda, just like many other African countries. The lengthy procedure of collecting money off the credit card makes it difficult to use it. Even there are fewer people with knowledge of how to operate credit card machines.
This is why you need hard cash that is within the required amount. You can exchange this into local currency in case you want on-ground purchases. The local currency for Rwanda is Rwandese Franks.
How Long Is A Rwanda Safari?
The duration of Rwanda safaris depends on what you do. Each of the activities mentioned above has varying times. Only one hour is allowed before these primates go on a gorilla, chimpanzee, or golden monkey trekking safari in Rwanda. This allows them to carry on with their day-to-day activities like grooming, searching for food, and lounging, to mention a few.
Some patience is needed before finding these primates because they are wild animals living freely in the wilderness, where they are not confined to one location.
During game drives in Akagera National Park, keep an open mind and do not focus on seeing particular animals. There is plenty to view during a Rwanda game drive.
What Is the Least Time For a Rwanda Safari Visit?
Depending on where you go and what you do on the Rwanda safari, you need at least two days of gorilla trekking in Rwanda for the gorilla tour. Rwanda is the ideal choice if you wish to make a stopover for a gorilla safari. If you have a gorilla permit, you can drive to Volcanoes National Park, about 3 hours from Kigali Airport, then do gorilla trekking the next day and depart.
Although you have limited time to explore the rest of Rwanda, you can do gorilla trekking quickly compared to your counterparts in Uganda and D.R.Congo, where you require extra days.
What Are The Guidelines For A Rwanda Safari Visit?
- Obtain a Rwandese visa in advance to avoid inconveniences on arrival
- Carry no forbidden substances like narcotics or drugs, as you may be heavily punished.
- Do not litter while in Rwanda, or you may be penalized
- Carry some hard cash to change into local currency for any on-ground purchases.
- Follow all the traffic road signs in Rwanda to avoid getting penalties
- Carry bags you can lift in case you get no help, or you may lose some or be inconvenienced during your visit
- Inoculate for all required diseases before traveling into Rwanda, or you may be disturbed on arrival.
- While on self-drive in Rwanda, keep right and follow the traffic rules.
- Avoid bribing in Rwanda, or you may get imprisoned.
- Only carry something from the park Parkout permission from the Rwanda Development Board. International laws also forbid the trafficking of wild animals or their parts.
- Rwanda is an eco-friendly country, so be in the know to avoid legal trouble.
Our safari consultants are ready to assist you in organizing the safari of your dreams. Contact us for more information.