This small, landlocked part of Africa contains more than a third of the world's mountain gorillas. But this is just one of the many reasons to visit this extraordinarily beautiful country. Dramatic landscapes provide the backdrop to an abundance of wildlife, culture and adventure that is waiting to be explored.
Begin your journey in the capital, Kigali. Get a true sense of how Rwandans have strived to put the past behind them and pave the way for the future, by meeting some influential members of the community. Speak to the Head of the Rwanda Stock Exchange to discover how they have affected a new chapter of economic transformation. As a growing nucleus of technology start-ups emerges, meet some of the local entrepreneurs who have harnessed an appetite for innovation and driven private sector growth. Or perhaps learn about Rwanda’s pursuit for peace and prosperity from a leading human rights lawyer.
All of the Big Five can be found wandering across the plains of Akagera National Park. We will find you an idyllic sanctuary, perhaps overlooking Lake Rwanyakazinga, where you can sip a sundowner next to a firepit and watch animals making their way to and from the water’s edge. The mix of savannah, woodland, wetland and lakes shelters immense biodiversity, including some rare savannah-adapted species. The activities are just as diverse. Take a swamp cruiser along the labyrinth of channels fed by the meandering river, share the same water as crocodiles and hippos to do some traditional fishing, or take a nocturnal game drive to see bush babies and predators on the prowl at night.
Take a helicopter to the high-altitude cloud forests of Volcanoes National Park. Carpeted in verdant rainforest, the slopes are a playground for hikers and bikers. Visit villages and markets to find out how locals live in sustainable harmony with the flora and fauna. Track the playful and inquisitive golden monkeys in the forest. See them leaping between bamboo branches and frolicking on the forest floor.
Naturally, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to spend time with one of the families of mountain gorillas living in the ancient forests of the Virungas. From the foothills, head up into the dense, misty mountains. In the presence of these mystifying creatures, whether it’s a 400lb silverback or a mother caring for her infant, you realise the fragility of even the most mighty of creatures.
Rwanda's lush landscapes are full of nature’s treasures. Magic moments and heart-warming encounters await in the Land of a Thousand Hills.
Best time to travel: December to February or June to September
Number of nights: Eight
For individuals, couples or small private group