Luxury Travel Advisor Susan Reder will be quick to tell you that everyone should visit East Africa at least once, if not more. As a well-seasoned traveler, listing this as one of her all-time favorite trips is remarkable. Like Susan, when you journey to East Africa, you will discover the experience is incredible, fascinating, and unique, especially with her insider tips.
The so-called “Land of a Thousand Hills” is one of the smallest, most beautiful countries in Africa with volcanic mountains, lush rainforests, and vast plains. Explore caves constructed over 65 million years ago by volcano lava flow in the Albertine Rift Valley or visit the source of the famed Nile River. Either way, visitors to Rwanda note the incredible community and warm, hospitable people as life-changing moments.
Once known for the horrific 1994 genocide, Rwanda has transitioned into peaceful democratic nation, a popular tourist destination, and one of the safest countries in Africa and the world. Known for its thriving mountain gorilla population, most visitors here find their way to Volcanoes National Park to witness these mesmerizing primates.
Before a trip to Rwanda, watch Gorillas in the Mist, the award-winning film starring Sigourney Weaver. The movie is an adaptation of Dian Fossey’s book, in which she shares her story and lifelong quest to protect these extraordinary animals from extinction.
With only a few places on earth to see mountain gorilla families, it’s a rare privilege to experience this transformative journey in Rwanda. The government strictly limits the number of park visitors in order to protect its greatest treasures, the magnificent wildlife.
The minute you begin your trek, you’ll be in awe of your surroundings and the animal encounters. Expert trackers guide you to the best viewing locations; you’ll hardly believe how close you will be to the gorillas as they swing from vines and go about their daily lives. Porters anticipate any need you might have to ensure your time spent in the park is spectacular.
Kigali Genocide Memorial Park is a powerful and moving place of remembrance honoring more than 250,000 victims of the 1994 Genocide. As you learn about the atrocities against the Tutsi, you will also gain an understanding of the various educational programs instituted to ensure peace and prosperity in Rwanda. A visit to the memorial will stay with you forever.
Rwandans take great pride in their country, which will be evident wherever your journey takes you and with each person you meet. The citizens take to the streets every Sunday to clean up their local communities, even the Prime Minister does his part! In your hotel, you might hear singing in the morning as the people gather to welcome the new day. Visit local villages, shop in the bustling markets, watch basket weavers immersed in their craft, and purchase beautiful art from artisans to be shipped home.