EN ROUTE ATTRACTIONS TO RWANDA NATIONAL PARKS
TOURIST ATTRACTIONS ON THE WAY TO VOLCANOES, NYUNGWE AND AKAGERA NATIONAL PARKS
Rwanda is endowed with three major parks namely Volcanoes national Park, Nyungwe National Park and Akagera National park. The parks are known for hosting mountain Gorillas, Chimpanzees and wildlife respectively. The journey to each park is memorable due to different attractions seen en route therefore, all visitors are advised to carry their cameras and set them ready to take pictures of the amazing attractions –so, tourists should travel 4WD safari van possessing pop up roof for excellent viewing and photography.
Tourist attractions on the way to volcanoes National park-being the most popular and visited national park in Rwanda, the journey to this park is also wonderful since it takes visitors through the rolling hills of Rwanda characterized by much of Rwanda’s relief. The road to the park goes on meandering through different hills suitable for memorable photos.
The meandering road to Volcanoes National Park:
The road to the park is well constructed through the rocks but experiences some rock falls and mud flow creeping from the top of the mountain down wards during rainy season. The rock fall is due to physical weathering when man cultivates up hills forcing the rocks loss stability hence falling down, More so, rock fall occurs when the sun heat the rock during day, followed by low temperatures at night resulting into contraction and expansion of rock hence breaking down. The debris fallen are so attractive and taking their photos is memorable.
The visitors to Volcanoes national park also enjoy the view of the beautiful gardens set on different hills. The distant view of the gardens is also eye catching hence making the journey more attracting. Crops grown in Rwanda include potatoes, beans, bananas, coffee, and cassava among others.
The Planted forest well set at the hills also makes the journey enjoyable- trees are planted on the slops to control soil erosion – trees planted include pine tree, eucalyptus and so on. The setting of trees on the slops makes this journey educative in such a way that visitors learn the skills and which tree species do better in mountains.
The Virunga ranges:
The Virunga Mountains are among the major en route attraction to the home of mountain Gorillas. The mighty virunga ranges straddles the borders of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The massif covers a huge area of over 8,000km², encompassing six active and three extinct volcanoes which include Bisoke/ visoke, Karisimbi, Gahinga, Karisoke, Sabyinyo, Nyamuragira, Nyiragongo, Mikemo and Muhabura. Among the mentioned virunga volcanoes, Mount Nyiragongo 3,462 metres (11,358 ft) and Mount Nyamuragira 3,063 metres (10,049 ft) are active and aligible of erupting and are found in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Recent eruptions occurred in 2006 and in January, 2010. Mount Karisimbi is the highest volcano at 4,507 metres (14,787 ft). The oldest mountain is Mount Sabyinyo, which rises 3,634 metres (11,923 ft) above sea level. However, some of the volcanoes are viewed in distant while going to Volcanoes National Park to encounter Mountain Gorillas.
Musanze or Ruhengeri town is the hub of Rwanda’s gorilla trekking tourism, with plenty of cafes, bars and restaurants among others. It is found after a 1-2 hour drive from the Kigali.
Tourist attractions found on the way to Akagera national Park- the one hour journey to the home of a variety of wildlife rewards visitors the view of the true African Home stead setting, hills, forest/bush among others.
Nyanza Kings's Palace:
En route tourist attraction to Nyungwe Forest National Park-From Kigali to the park, it is approximately eight hours drive and the journey is full of attractions like Nyanza King’s palace. Nyanza or Nyabisindu) is a town located in Nyanza District in the Southern Province of Rwanda. The old Royal Palace of the Rwandan monarchy is located in the town of Nyanza and on the way to Nyungwe Forest national park.
The Murambi Genocide memorial museum- It was the site of a massacre during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. When the killings started, Tutsis in the region tried to hide at a local church where most of them were killed- therefore, en route visit to the museum rewards visitors the view of the remains of the deceased, read about their profiles, look at their photos and listen to the testimonies of the survivors and how they managed to escape death during the war.
Rwanda National Museum: It is a government institution which was inaugurated in September 18, 1989. The institution aims to preserve the history and cultivate cultural knowledge through each of the six individual locations across the country. Lots of attractions are found here and serious studies can be done here.
Lake Kivu is yet another attraction seen en route to Nyungwe forest National park. Lake Kivu is among the greatest African Lake with bilharzias free waters – therefore, suitable for swimming. A lot of activities can be done here and among them include swimming, sport fishing, boat cruise /canoeing, sun bathing among others. Tourists can stop here for lunch at Kivu Serena Hotel, Kivu Sun Hotel, Paradise malahide among other. Then proceed to Nyungwe with en route view of the forested areas and above all Nyungwe forest- this is the largest tropical forest in Rwanda and well known for hosting 13 species of primates.