A start of a new year is also the start of another vacation planning season. To help travelers make the right decision, several dedicated teams generate lists for travelers to choose from. Tripsavvy too lately released their list titled “Where to Go in 2020: The Best Places to Travel This Year”
Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills appeared on this list as the second-best destination to visit in 2020 and titled “Best for a Bucket List: Rwanda”.
Tripsavvy derived the list using data from their Editors’ Choice Awards and first-hand knowledge from teams of editors and writers from around the world.
These destinations are carefully selected to suit each kind of traveler either adventurous, one who loves traditional safaris, or extraordinary tours.
On the Tripsavvy where to go in 2020 list, Rwanda was described as noted below;
“Rwanda’s been on intrepid travelers’ bucket lists for years now, primarily due to its popularity among visitors hoping to see the endangered mountain gorillas that populate the northern part of the country.
But with an ever-growing roster of world-class resorts and logistical improvements that make visiting more accessible than ever, 2020 is prime time to check this one off your list.
This tiny country, roughly the size of Maryland, has overcome a horrific past—a genocide and civil war, resulting in the murder of hundreds of thousands of Rwandans—to become a modern-day tourism success story, with eco-friendly and progressive measures that rival its “developed” counterparts.
Rwanda banned plastic bags and packaging 12 years ago, has implemented mandatory education and universal healthcare, and boasts more women serving in Parliament than any other government. Not surprisingly, it’s also among Africa’s safest countries.
Tourists have taken note—and with $400 million in tourism revenue in 2016, the supporting infrastructure needed to become a vacation destination has followed. One&Only just opened its intimate Gorilla’s Nest, situated in the foothills of the Virunga mountains with views of Pyrethrum farmland, while eco-friendly Singita opened the Kwitonda Lodge, an eight-suite compound, and Kataza House, a private villa, in August.
A stay at either won’t come cheap, but both companies actively support initiatives in reforestation and conservation, ensuring that generations to come can enjoy Rwanda’s natural beauty and wildlife wonders.
One of the original lodges in the region, Volcanoes Safaris’ Virunga Lodge, celebrated its 15th birthday in 2019 and is undergoing a complete refresh, set to be finished before the end of the year.
As an added perk, making the trip has never been easier. Rwanda implemented a simple visa-on-arrival system in 2018, and the highly-regarded national carrier, RwandAir, is looking to launch a direct flight from New York to Kigali sometime this year.”
To see the full list you can check the Tripsavvy where to go in 2020 list here
An easy to trek and close mountain gorilla park from the country’s national airport is Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park one of the 4 gorilla inhabiting national parks.
World over, there are only 2 habitats with 4 national parks that are home to the remaining population of mountain gorillas one being the Virunga massif and the other Bwindi forest.
Volcanoes National Park is home to the highest population of mountain gorillas in the Virunga volcanoes that comprises of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park of Uganda and Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
When Dian Fossey decided to stay in Virunga and interact with the mountain gorillas, she was definitely the first human being to closely relate with these species in the wild.
Her book was later turned into a movie version titled Gorillas in the Mist and this drew worldwide attention to mountain gorillas.
A gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda costs US$ 1500 for each trek and 80 permits are available each day to enable 8 tourists to treks a single family of the 10 habituated gorilla families in the park.
Rwanda gorilla tour permits are the most expensive but still, travelers have opted to visit the country and leaving out the cheaper permits in Uganda and Congo.
Why trek gorillas in Rwanda anyway when the permits are much expensive? Here is why Rwanda gorilla safaris are a good option;
Apart from gorilla trekking, Rwanda is also home to several safari activities. The activities that can be done in Rwanda include chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park. In the same park, tourists can also undertake canopy walk.
Birding can also be done all through Rwanda with a high bird list that can be checked off at the Nyungwe forest.
Kigali city tours and cultural tours are also a good way to learn about the history of Rwanda and the horrific 1994 Rwanda Genocide.
Akagera National Park is the perfect Big Five African wilderness safari destination. The park is home to the Big Five which are Lions, Buffaloes, Rhinos, Leopards, and Elephants that are sought after on many trips. Lake Ihema in the park is also great for a boat trip.
For relaxation and adventure water sports, Lake Kivu is the place to visit.
Rwanda isn’t only a beautiful land of a thousand hills but a great place to visit. It may not be an ideal African safari destination, however, if you want a luxurious and classic safari then Rwanda should be on your bucket list.
The Uganda Safari are categorized into 3 major categories namely Short safaris, medium safaris, and long safaris. The short safaris range from 1-3 days, the medium safaris range from 4-6 days and the long safaris range from 7 days and beyond.