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Plan Your Rwanda Vacation

Rwanda has made massive strides in security and national development in the two decades since the infamous 1994 genocide and is now among the safest countries in Africa. A sense of order prevails: violent crime is nearly nonexistent, and police can be spotted at most major intersections. New roads and tidy villages characterize the countryside. Citizens are required to participate in a monthly day of community service, and you'll be hard-pressed to find litter on the streets, particularly plastic bags, which are banned. You'll find new businesses, homes, and roadways under construction in every corner of the country.

It's worth noting that Rwanda offers more than just gorillas: The primeval forests of Nyungwe National Park are inhabited by more than 75 different mammals, including hundreds of chimpanzees and nearly 300 bird species. Akagera National Park in the northeast offers a savanna safari experience without the usual khaki-clad crowds.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Gorilla Trekking. Navigate your way through emerald foliage, bamboo forests, and gauzelike mists to behold the world's largest living primates on their own turf. Their sheer size and eerily humanlike interactions will leave you spellbound.
  2. Volcanoes National Park. This slice of the Virunga Mountains may be synonymous with gorilla trekking, but its active volcanoes, caves, and grasslands offer stunning views and rewarding hikes. You can spot buffalo, hyena, golden monkeys, and some 200 bird species in its environs.
  3. Kigali. Arguably East Africa's safest and most future-focused city, Rwanda's capital is a patchwork of palm tree–lined boulevards, artisan coffee shops, international restaurants, and a downtown dotted with new buildings.
  4. Off the Beaten Path You can still spot all of the Big Five in Uganda without the tourist hordes and inflated rates that characterize the more well-known safari parks in Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa.
  5. Kampala. Uganda's capital city is regionally renowned for its dancing-till-dawn nightlife, bustling markets, and white-knuckle motorbike taxi rides. Cafés and an active National Theatre offer more low-key entertainment options.

When To Go

When to Go

Gorilla trekking occurs year-round, but the optimal time is during the two dry seasons: June through September (the long dry season) and December...

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Fodor's The Complete Guide to African Safaris

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