Rwanda’s tourism industry has been built around their exceptional sightings of the rare mountain Gorilla
The Mountain gorilla is a protected species and ‘must see’ for any wildlife enthusiast. The Virunga Volcanoes, home to research work by Dian Fossey and setting for the film ‘Gorillas in the Mist’, are home to many different gorilla families, of which around 10 or so are habituated. For more detailed general information on the gorillas, please see our Gorillas & Other Primates page.
However, Rwanda can offer more than just the gorillas. In the far south Nyungwe Forest is a good place to see chimpanzee in the wild, with at least two separate groups habituated, as well as other primates such as black and white colobus, which can be seen in a huge group of around 400 individuals.
Chimps can also be seen in Gishwati Forest, though the habituation process is still ongoing. This forest is also home to golden monkeys, blue monkeys, black and white colobus and the ground-dwelling L’Hoest’s monkeys.
Rwanda is also a good birding destination, with over 700 species recorded. It is possible to see the rare shoebill in Akagera National Park.
Traditional big game is limited in Rwanda but Akagera National Park is making a gradual recovery and offers the chance to see traditional big game such as elephant, hippo, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, lion, hyaena and leopard. Sitatunga are also found in the swamps of Akagera.