Preparation for Rwanda trips


Rwanda is one of the best tourists’ destinations in Africa. It is among the smallest country but with the cleanliest and organized city in East and central Africa. Rwanda was nicknamed “the land of a thousand hills” due to its mountainous nature!

Rwanda is found in East Africa bordered by Uganda in north, Tanzania in East, Democratic Republic of Congo in West and Burundi in the south.

Major safaris in Rwanda include primate trekking (Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Colobus monkeys, Golden Monkeys among others), Game drive trips in Akagera national park, Nature trips, Birding in Nyungwe forest national park, Boat trips on Lake Kivu, Lake Ihema, Lake Buhondo and Burera among others.

The three national parks in Rwanda include: Nyungwe forest national park, Akagera national park and Volcanoes national park which receives more visitors.

Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park is the major tourist activity in Rwanda with the highest number of trekkers/ tourists recorded every year.

How can I prepare for Rwanda primate trekking safaris?

Before boarding a plane to Rwanda, make sure you have enough funds for running the trip. Note that, private tours are more expensive than group tours so, you are advanced to make adequate preparation.

Choose a reputable tour and travel company tour operators to help you arrange or organize your Rwanda safaris. The tour operators can help you book gorilla permits, chimp permits, hire you cars, get for you a good driver/ guide among others.

Local tour operators can help you draft a suitable itinerary for your safari in Rwanda. Tour operators can also help you book accommodation in Rwanda basing on your budget. But you can decide to book your self-accommodation but do it in advance.

For Gorilla trekking, you are advised to buy/ book your Gorilla permits in advance. This is because, gorilla permits are on high demand throughout the year and in peak season, the demand becomes extremely high. High seasons in Rwanda occurs every year in January, February, March, June, July, August, September, October and December. Low season occurs in April, May and November.

For chimpanzee, colobus monkey or golden monkey trekking, it is also wise to book in advance but you can as well make order while in the park since the demand is not so high like that of Gorilla trekking.

Ensure that you have strong cameras and reserve lenses for capturing pictures and films. It is noted that flash lenses are not allowed on gorilla trekking. Therefore, avoid flashing cameras while on Gorilla trekking. It’s better if you can also get camera stands to enable you take clear photos.

Book your flights basing on the drafted itinerary- it’s better to arrive at Kigali international Airport during day light. Flights should be booked in advance. You can book your flight with Rwandair, Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airways or with any other Airways. It’s better to book two way flights (arrival and departure flights).

Advance application of Rwanda visa is highly recommended. You can book online or request your local tour operator to apply for you visas in Rwanda.

For primate trekking, endeavor to move with your tracking gears like:

Sample of things to carry on the trip

- 1-2 long sleeved shirts
- 3 short sleeved t-shirts
- 2 –3 pairs of light weight slacks/trousers – that can dry quickly (if wearing on treks)
- 1 pair of shorts
- 1 sweater or sweatshirt
- A waterproof and windproof jacket
- 1 skirt ( for women)
- Gloves – gardening or similar (for gorilla trekking)
- Strong waterproof walking boots – pants should be tucked into socks and boots while trekking (heavy soled rain boots also work well)
- Pair of sports sandals like Tevas
- Hat-wide brim or with a visor for sun protection
- Sleepwear
- Underwear
- Lightweight wool socks
- Swimsuit (and a plastic bag)
- Sunscreen
- Sunglasses with neck strap
- Insect repellent with DEET
- Small day pack
- Flashlight
- Binoculars
- Extra batteries
- Camera and extra lenses
- Film particularly fast film for the gorillas.
- Personal toiletries
- Prescription medicines and possibly prescription itself
- Kleenex tissues
- Small notebook
First Aid Kit including rehydration sachets, anti-diarrhea medicine, aspirin, cold medication, antiseptic cream, band-aids, motion sickness pills, lip balm, eye drops and personal medication.