Rwanda, the kingdom of gorillas
Rwanda is commonly referred to as “Le Pays des Milles Collines” – the land of the thousand hills – because of its rolling green mountains and the chain of seven volcanoes dotting the panorama of Central Africa. Although it is best known for gorilla trekking, one of the most thrilling adventures to experience in Africa, the country has plenty of other aspects to explore and fall in love with. To the east is the wide-open savannah of Akagera National Park, while to the west the hills become more mountainous and are dotted with rainforests.
These places are undeniably breath-taking, but they are also considered extremely valuable by international zoologists and naturalists. Along with Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is considered the centre of the “triangle of wonders”, where mountain gorillas – a rare and endangered species – can be observed in their natural habitat.
Akagera, at the Tanzanian border, is the second most important national park, but it is the largest in area. Although it does not have big herds of animals, you can observe elands, topi antelopes, buffaloes, giraffes, elephants and several predators here, and crocodiles and hippos can be sighted in the swamps.
The forest of Niungwe National Park is also fundamental in terms of fauna, with 13 different species of primates, including chimpanzees. It is a true paradise for bird lovers, and rare Johnston’s chameleons can also be found here.