Rwanda has unparlleled diversity of wild fauna and flora where big number of them found in protected areas of Rwanda. Those protected areas are Volcanoes National Park (in north),Akagera national Park ( In East) ,Nyungwe National Park ( in South west) and Gishwati-Mukura National Park ( in North West ) . It has also different wetlands and swamps mainly Rugez ( in North ) and other swamps along the main rivers in south east and in Bugesera region .
It has different lakes which harbours different aquatic plants and animal species mainly in eastern part of Rwanda in Akagera national Park as well as Burera and Ruhondo,twin lakes located to the skirt of Volcanoes National Park. Kivu lake is the biggest lake in Rwanda which has different ileland where one of them known as “ NAPOLEON ILELAND “ habours a hundreds of bats which are visited by many tourists near the east cost of Kivu lake in Karongi district ( former Kibuye).
I. Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park is the Firstest National Park created in Africa in 1925 , during Colonial period under the name of ‘Parc National Albert ,for protection of indengered mountain Gorillas which are restricted only in Virunga massive which is shared by Rwanda,Uganda and DRC. Apart from mountain Gorillas,Volcanoes national park has also buffaloes,elephants and antelops which include bushback and duikers.
Attractions / Actvities
• Mountain Gorilla tracking
• Golden Monkey tracking
• Dian Fossey Tomb
• Volcanoes Climbing ( Karisimbi,Bisoke and Muhabura).
II. Akagera National Park
Akagera National Park was created in 1934 for the purpose of protecting its unique landscape which is dominated by hills,savanah habitat ,lakes and swamps which covers nearly 1/3 of its total surface. Hippopotamus and crocodiles can bee seen easly.
Currently it habours all savanah animals like giraffe,zebras,impalas as well as all big five ( lions,elephants,Buffaloes,Rhinoceros and Leopards) which attract many tourists.
Attractions / Activities:
• Game viewing / Game drive ( you can see Elephants,buffaloes,Impala,Giraffe,Hippopotanus,Lions, birds,.....)
• Boat ride in Ihema lake
• Fish sport
• Night game drive
• Bird watching
III. Nyungwe National Park
yungwe National Park was created in 1933 as forest reserve,but it became national park in 2005. It is known to herbor a big number of primate species where 13 species or 25% of all African species are represented there. It has also diversity of birdspecies ,about 278 species including 27 indemics in Arbertine rift , which attract many tourists apart from trails networks developed there for Nature walk.
Attractions / Activities
• Chempanzees tracking
• Monkey tracking ( Colobus Monkeys,Blue Monkey)
• Bird watching
IV. Gishwati-Mukura National Park
Gishwati-Mukura is newest nationl Park created in Rwanda in 2016 for forest and ecological restoration purposes because big area of the forest has been going lost 20 years ago and that area has been dramatically reduced from 200.000 ha to 3430 ha and the forested area was replaced by farming and grazing lands.
In 2008, the Rwandan Government, the Great Ape Trust of Iowa and the Earth Park have announced that Gishwati Forest Reserve will be recognized as National Park for setting into motion one of the Africa’s most ambitious forest restoration and ecological research efforts ever undertaken. Curently,there are some primates species such as Chimpanzees,Mountain monkeys and Golden money.
Some bird species also can bee seen including some Albertine indemic species.