5 Must-Do Activities While in Rwanda

5 Must-Do Activities While in Rwanda

Go on safari in Akagera National Park

Can you go on safari in Rwanda? Yes! Just a short 2.5-hour drive from Kigali brings you to Akagera National Park, Central Africa’s largest protected wetland. The park’s 440 square miles of preserved land brim with wildlife, including a plethora of birds, antelope, zebra, hippos, elephants and giraffe. You may even see some of the other Big Five animals—if you’re lucky. Increase your chances of spotting rare wildlife by hiring a local guide, which can be arranged ahead of your safari by calling the visitor’s center.

Volunteer with the community during Umuganda

Take a look around Rwanda and you’ll see hardly any trash. You can credit a couple of things for the country’s cleanliness—a ban on plastic bags, which has been active since 2008, and Umuganda, a community service day that takes place on the last Saturday morning of every month. The tradition, which is mandatory for able-bodied working-age adults, was reintroduced by the government in the late 1990s to “rebuild Rwandan society and nurture a shared national identity” after the genocide. Neighborhood committees decide what project to focus on each month, whether it’s cleaning up the community, building a road, constructing a school or healthcare center or repairing houses. After the work is done, the community gathers together to discuss issues affecting them. It’s an uplifting experience that tourists are welcome to participate in.

Visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial

100 days. The tragic event changed the course of history for the country, as well as the lives of everyday people who lost countless friends and relatives just a couple of decades ago. Travelers can begin trying to understand the incomprehensible event at the Kigali Genocide Memorial. Through halls of photographs, artifacts and informative stories, the museum explains the build up to the genocide, what occurred during those 100 horrific days and how Rwanda has worked to unite as a country in the wake of the devastation. It also includes an exhibit on the youngest victims of the genocide, with life-size photos and touching personal details about these children’s short lives. Visiting the Kigali Genocide Memorial is equal parts heartbreaking and insightful, but without a doubt essential to understanding the complex country of Rwanda.

Experience the only canopy walkway in East Africa

Hiking on the ground of Nyungwe Forest National Park is rewarding. But walking on a bridge suspended 200 feet above the park’s ancient treetops? Sublime. The canopy walkway is a 60-90 minute walk from the Uwinka Visitor Center along the Igishigishigi Trail, brimming with incredible umbrella trees, blooming orchids and lush greenery. Listen carefully, and you may hear beautiful birdsong and calls from the 13 species of primate that live in Nyungwe. Your views change substantially once you reach the series of three suspension bridges that compose the canopy walkway. The safe, albeit wobbly walk gets your adrenaline pumping, and the views of the tree canopy and Uwinka Ridge at sunset make your heart soar.

Learn how to pick tea leaves

After trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park, you might be eager to relax with a cup of tea. Fortunately, tea plantations blanket the area around the park, offering not only dreamy scenery, but the chance to learn the art of cultivating the caffeine-laced leaves. Gisakura Tea Estate invites tourists to experience a couple of hours in the life of a tea leaf picker. The pickers will let you wear their backpack-basket and show you the delicate technique of plucking tea leaves with just three fingers. It’s harder than it looks! Then, you’ll watch as their impressive hauls are weighed and trucked to the factory for processing. Tours can be arranged with the Rwanda Development Board.

Categories: Uncategorized
Share :

Post a Comment

Planning for a Safari? We Can Help!