Rwanda Attractions

  • How to Plan The Ultimate Lion Safari

    Chris Walker Bush
    August 10, 2018

    Planning the Ultimate Lion Safari

    When people think of African wildlife, a variety of images probably come to their minds.

    The colossal silhouette of an African elephant against the backdrop of thorny acacia trees.

    Long-necked giraffe or stealthy leopards.

    But for most, the regal lion is the most enduring symbol of Africa, and they come from all around the world to experience their own lion safari.

    But if you're as obsessed with lions as we are, where is the best place to go for a lion safari?

    Do you want to see lions on your African safari? Here's how to plan the ultimate lion safari on your travels to East Africa! #lion #safari #africa #travel #tanzania

    Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania

    One of two places in the world that can proudly boast being home to tree-climbing lions, Lake Manyara National Park is a popular choice for Tanzanian lion safaris.

    During the annual wet season (April - May), the park comes alive with life as all manner of wildlife flock to the lake's shores.

    Hippopotamus and water birds are popular sights in the park, but it is its resident tree-climbing lions that make it a good lion safari destination.

    Believe me, you haven't seen a lion until you've seen it lazily lounging in the branches of an umbrella acacia!

    When to Visit: April, May, or November.

    Where to Stay: Check out our fantastic Lake Manyara accommodation guide!

    What to See: Hippos, water birds, and tree-climbing lions.

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    Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

    The other park that can boast tree-climbing lions, Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda is a popular spot between Kibale's chimp trekking and Bwindi's gorilla trekking.

    The park's Ishasha sector is especially popular, as it is here that you can find prides of lions relaxing in trees between meals.

    Queen Elizabeth National Park is arguably Uganda's best safari park, but it's especially popular as a lion safari destination. It's the perfect stop on the road to Bwindi!

    When to Visit: Year-round.

    Where to Stay: There are some fantastic lodges in Queen Elizabeth, but Enjojo Lodge puts you closest to the action!

    What to See: Lions, elephants, antelope, and chimpanzees.

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    Maasai Mara, Kenya

    One of Africa's most famous safari destinations, Kenya's Maasai Mara is a fantastic place to spot lions in the wild.

    While only home to the Wildebeest Migration for a few months of each year, the Maasai Mara is a top-class lion safari destination regardless of what time you visit.

    The best part about the Maasai Mara is how affordable accommodation can be during the off-peak season, with luxury lodges for the price you'll pay for a regular tented camp across the border!

    When to Visit: Year-round for lions or in August/September for the Migration.

    Where to Stay: There are too many Maasai Mara lodges to count! Our favourites are Sopa Maasai Mara, Ashnil Mara, Mara Leisure, and Ol Moran.

    What to See: The Big Five, African wild dogs, and the Wildebeest Migration.

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    Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

    The piece de resistance when it comes to lion safari destinations, the Serengeti is Africa's most stunning wilderness and the home of the annual Wildebeest Migration.

    With an abundance of Serengeti accommodation options and something to be seen throughout the year, it is the ultimate safari destination.

    The Seronera region, in particular, is known as 'big cat country', and the famous Simba kopjes are said to have inspired Pride Rock from The Lion King!

    When to Visit: Year-round. Check out our post on when to visit the Serengeti.

    Where to Stay: Check out our Serengeti accommodation guide for some great ideas.

    What to See: The Big Five and the Wildebeest Migration.

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    Akagera National Park, Rwanda

    You don't need to take an international flight to see lions while in Rwanda.

    Akagera National Park is now home to a pride of 14 lions, making it possible to embark on a lion safari as a day trip from Kigali!

    While not of the same quality as a safari destination as the Serengeti or Maasai Mara, Akagera National Park is the perfect option if you're in Rwanda and need more to do than 'just' gorilla trekking.

    When to Visit: Year-round.

    Where to Stay: Consult your Shadows of Africa safari expert for Akagera accommodation recommendations!

    What to See: The Big Five, Nile Crocodiles, and water birds.

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    Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

    If you want to see a kill, there are few places better than the World Heritage-listed Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

    Rare are the days where guests on safari in Ngorongoro Crater don't see a pride of lions guarding a fresh kill against hyenas looking for an easy meal.

    When you add the spectacular backdrop of the soaring crater walls, you've got a recipe for an unforgettable lion safari.

    When to Visit: Year-round.

    Where to Stay: Check out our Ngorongoro accommodation guide.

    What to See: The Big Five, especially rhinos.


    Planning a lion safari? Reach out to your Shadows of Africa expert and let them help you design the perfect itinerary!

    Want to experience a lion safari in Africa? Here's how to see lions on your travels to East Africa! #safari #africa #lion #travel

  • Experience Tribal Culture with Cultural Tours in East Africa

    Chris Walker Bush
    July 30, 2017
    There is more to East Africa than world-class game drives and stunning landscapes. A cultural activity is a great way to learn more about the tribes and cultures of East Africa.
  • Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda Too Expensive? Try Uganda!

    AdminSoa
    May 26, 2017

    Price Change

    The Rwanda Development Board's recent announcement that they would immediately be lifting the cost of gorilla trekking permits from $750 USD to $1,500 USD has shocked a lot of people.

    While there's no debating that generating more money for gorilla conservation can only be a good thing, the price change has made the prospect of gorilla trekking in Rwanda a daunting one for many travelers.

    Thankfully, we're here to suggest a few ways in which you can still live your dream of seeing mountain gorillas in the wild without breaking the bank.

    Existing Permits

    If you've already purchased your gorilla trekking permit, your price is unaffected!

    While there were rumors that the price change would affect existing bookings, we can confirm that all pre-booked gorilla trekking permits retain their original price.

    Is gorilla trekking in Rwanda too expensive? Why not try gorilla trekking in Uganda instead? #gorilla #wildlife #trek #safari #rwanda #uganda #travel #africa

    Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

    An obvious alternative to gorilla trekking in Rwanda is heading to neighboring Uganda, where permits range from $450 USD in low season to $600 USD during peak season.

    While gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a more difficult hike, the experience is no less awe-inspiring.

    With flights to Kigali still more affordable than flights into Entebbe, we've made things easier with our four new Ugandan gorilla trekking safaris.

    Starting and finishing in Kigali, these trips include transfers into southern Uganda where you'll enjoy the thrill of gorilla trekking in either Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park.

    You can check out our new itineraries below:

    Three Day Uganda Gorilla Trekking Itineraries

    The above two itineraries are perfect for people on a tight schedule.

    While the drive north into Uganda is a long (six-hour) one, you'll be hard-pressed to find a more scenic drive in your travels.

    You'll then get to go gorilla trekking in either Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park, both of which offer world-class gorilla trekking at a fraction of the cost.

    Four Day Uganda Gorilla Trekking Itineraries

    If time is less of a factor, you might want to take advantage of these slightly longer itineraries.

    Combining your Uganda gorilla trekking experience with either golden monkey trekking or a cultural tour, these are a great way to expand your trip without expanding your costs by too much.

    Why Combine Uganda and Rwanda?

    These four safaris allow you to combine Uganda's affordable gorilla trekking permits with Kigali's superior accessibility.

    They also all include a complimentary Kigali city tour.

    Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda

    If you still have your heart set on gorilla trekking in Rwanda, there are ways to make the experience more affordable.

    By combining Rwanda's other national parks with your visit to Volcanoes National Park, you can earn a 30% discount on the cost of your gorilla trekking permits.

    How to get cheap Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Permits

    It's as simple as paying a visit to Akagera National Park and Nyungwe Forest National Park.

    Why not combine your gorilla trekking experience with chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe and a Big Five game drive in Akagera?

    Our seven day Ultimate Rwanda Wildlife Safari combines all three parks into one fantastic itinerary, allowing you to take advantage of the 30% discount on gorilla permits.

    Uganda Instead of Rwanda

    if you didn't have your heart set on Rwandan and don't mind flying into Entebbe, why not just make your whole trip about Uganda?

    The Pearl of Africa offers a huge variety of experiences and landscapes, as highlighted in our recent 10 Reasons Not to Overlook Uganda post.

    From Big Five safaris to gorilla trekking to world-class chimpanzee trekking to whitewater rafting to hiking the Rwenzori Mountains, Uganda has something for everybody.

    Why not browse some of our favorite Uganda itineraries below?

    Combine Rwanda with Tanzania or Kenya

    if the price of gorilla permits isn't an issue for you, why not combine your visit to Rwanda's famous mountain gorillas with a complete safari experience in either Tanzania or Kenya?

    With Kigali International Airport so well connected to the world, it's easy to pair your visit to Rwanda with a Big Five game safari in either Tanzania or Kenya.

    If witnessing the Wildebeest Migration on the Serengeti or Maasai Mara is also a dream of yours, we've got you covered!

    These itineraries are just a taste of what we can offer.

    With offices in Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Kenya - Shadows of Africa is ideally situated to assist in planning a cross country safari.

    Want to know more?

    Are you planning to see Rwanda's mountain gorillas? Contact us to discuss how we can help to make your gorilla trekking dream a reality.

    Do you want to go gorilla trekking in Africa on a budget? Why not gorilla trek in Uganda! If trekking with gorillas in Rwanda is too expensive, Uganda is the perfect budget option for you! #trekking #gorilla #gorillatrekking #uganda #rwanda #africa #travel

  • East African Destinations for a Family Safari

    AdminSoa
    May 8, 2017

    Planning a Family Safari

    Planning a safari for your family can be a stressful affair. You've not only got to consider your own safari ambitions, but also the shorter attention spans of your younger travelers.

    While we've written before about how to plan a family safari, we thought we'd highlight some must-see destinations when it comes to entertaining young and old alike.

    From learning about Maasai culture in Tanzania to walking with giraffes in Kenya to beach escapes in Rwanda, there's a little something for everybody in East Africa.

    Don't leave the kids at home! You can plan an east Africa family safari in Kenya and Tanzania. There are plenty of family safari activities to enjoy with your kids! #familytravel #safari #africa #tanzania #kenya

    Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya

    This former cattle ranch is today a beacon for conservation in East Africa. Not only is Ol Pejeta the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa, it's also home to some of the world's last remaining white rhinos.

    The conservancy is also home to a large variety of other animals, including plenty of Africa's iconic big cats and a chimpanzee sanctuary.

    The opportunity to go on a game drive, visit the chimpanzee sanctuary, and meet Najin, Fatu, and Sudan (three of the world's last white rhinoceros) are the highlights, but there's more!

    Night game drives, lion tracking, bush walks, birding, and plenty to occupy young and old alike make Ol Pejeta a premier family safari destination.

    Lake Naivasha, Kenya

    While it's not a national park in its own right, Lake Naivasha is a regular inclusion on Kenyan safaris.

    Located between Lake Nakuru National Park and the Maasai Mara, Lake Naivasha is often included as a stop due to its abundance of comfortable lodges, its beautiful scenery, and its proximity to a variety of Lake Naivasha attractions.

    Key among these attractions are the opportunity to take a boat ride on Lake Naivasha to see hippos and a variety of birds.

    You can also pay a visit to the Crescent Island Sanctuary, where kids can wander alongside giraffes, zebras, and antelope.

    Nairobi, Kenya

    Nairobi is a common starting point for safaris in both Kenya and Tanzania, but the Kenyan capital is also full of exciting activities for families.

    Our half-day Nairobi tour and full-day Nairobi tour pack in a variety of activities including the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, the Giraffe Centre, Bomas of Kenya, and more.

    Why not add a day in Nairobi to the start or finish of your safari?

    Hell's Gate National Park, Kenya

    Located a short drive from Lake Nakuru, Lake Naivasha, and Nairobi - Hell's Gate National Park is often thought of as a playground for those who love extreme outdoor activities.

    While rock-climbing and hiking might be a bit much for a young family, Hell's Gate's unique landscape and lack of predators make it a great place for a relaxed family excursion.

    Renting a bike and traveling through Hell's Gate is a great way to see Africa up close. You can also visit the local hot springs and even camp!

    Zanzibar, Tanzania

    Africa's premier beach playground is tailor-made for families.

    With a variety of resorts catering to all budgets and all walks of life, there's something for everybody on Tanzania's spice island.

    Whether you're looking to relax in luxury, take excursions for snorkeling, or learn more about the island's history - there is plenty of things to do in Zanzibar.

    Africa Amini Maasai Lodge, Tanzania

    Authentic cultural experiences can be difficult to come by while traveling. With many locals realizing the value of tourism, there has been a rise in 'fake' attractions aimed at selling souvenirs.

    Thankfully, Africa Amini Maasai Lodge near Arusha has filled this niche. A not for profit organisation aimed at bettering the lives of local Maasai, Africa Amini Lodge combines luxury with an authentic cultural experience.

    At this beautiful lodge, adults and kids alike can participate in Maasai led activities such as guided nature walks, traditional craft lessons, local food, spear throwing, music, and dance.

    Arusha National Park, Tanzania

    Not as popular as the Serengeti or Lake Manyara, Arusha National Park is nonetheless worthy of inclusion on your safari.

    Without any predators to worry about, visitors to Arusha National Park can trade the car for the open air - with both walking safaris and canoe safaris available.

    There's plenty to do in Arusha National Park, and it's thoroughly worth including in your trip if time allows.

    Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda

    While Murchison Falls National Park is a little out of the way compared to Uganda's other popular parks, there are plenty of reasons why your family will love the park.

    Not only is the park home to some of Africa's most iconic animals, but the waterfall from which it takes its name is worth a visit.

    Murchison Falls is the world's most powerful waterfall, and the chance to witness its power up close and take a cruise on the Nile are this park's big selling points.

    Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

    Located on the drive between Kibale Forest National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda's premier game drive destination.

    Famed for its tree climbing lions, the park's open plains are also home to a variety of other animals and an equally huge variety of lodges and camps.

    A highlight of any visit to the park is the chance to take a boat safari on Kazinga Channel to see elephants, hippos, crocodiles, and a huge variety of birds.

    Lake Kivu, Rwanda

    Rwanda's main attractions - chimpanzees and gorillas - aren't available to kids under the age of twelve, but there are still reasons to visit The Land of 1,000 Hills.

    Lake Kivu is one of the most beautiful bodies of water in all of East Africa - the perfect place for a beach escape without the ocean.

    The shores of Lake Kivu are dotted with gorgeous accommodations ranging from luxury lodges to quaint B&Bs, and there are a variety of local cultural activities to participate in.

    Iby Iwacu Cultural Village, Rwanda

    Located in Musanze, the Iby Iwacu Cultural Village is a project by reformed poachers to raise awareness of traditional Rwandan culture.

    Visitors to this cultural park can try traditional food, see displays of local dance and music, learn about traditional culture, and even try their hand at being King or Queen for a day!

    Are you planning an East African safari with your family? Here are some awesome safari activities for kids and families of all ages in Tanzania and Kenya! #Safari #kids #family #familytravel #tanzania #kenya #africa

     

  • How to Spend a Day in Kigali

    AdminSoa
    April 7, 2017
    Kigali is more than just a layover city. In addition to its historic genocide sites, there's a wealth of cultural and culinary experiences to be had.
  • Optional Activities in Rwanda

    Lesia
    January 6, 2016
    While many come to Rwanda for the gorillas, there are a wealth of natural and cultural sites worth adding to your Rwandan itinerary.
  • Why Travel to Rwanda?

    Chris Walker Bush
    December 12, 2015
    Planning a visit to Rwanda? We've got all of the information you'll need for your visit here.
  • Chimpanzee Trekking: What You Need to Know

    Chris Walker Bush
    November 30, 2015
    Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda and Rwanda is a fantastic way to see our closest relatives up close and personal. We've assembled this handy guide with all the info you need before your trek.
  • What to do in Kigali

    Chris Walker Bush
    November 29, 2015
    The Rwandan capital is a cosmopolitan city that both embraces its dark past and celebrates its bright future. We've put together a helpful guide to this colourful city.

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