Rwanda is a beautiful and culturally rich country in East Africa known for its stunning landscapes, wildlife, and vibrant culture. If you’re looking for budget-friendly tour options in Rwanda, you have several choices for exploring this fascinating destination without breaking the bank. Here are some budget tour ideas for Rwanda:
The unique opportunity to see gorillas in their natural habitat is unforgettable, some even say life changing. Encounters with gorillas as they go about their daily lives are carefully managed, with expert trackers and guides leading small groups of tourists up bamboo-covered slopes to spend a precious and awe-inspiring hour just a few feet away from the gentle creatures.
The largest living primate, gorillas are spread across much of the equatorial African rainforest. Broadly speaking, the species is split into lowland gorillas and mountain gorillas.
The volcanic range which spans Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo is home to the endangered mountain gorilla. Tracking gorillas in Rwanda is safe and relatively accessible.
At the latest count, there are approximately 1,000 mountain gorillas in the wild, with 604 in the Virunga Massif. The population is slowly increasing, thanks to concerted efforts between our governments, communities and NGOs.
There are twelve gorilla families living in the Volcanoes National Park, which are fully habituated, with a few others habituated solely for scientific research. The groups, or troops, consist of at least one silverback along with several females and youngsters.
2. Volcano Hiking: Rwanda is home to several volcanoes, and hiking them is a popular activity. Volcanoes like Mount Bisoke and Mount Muhabura offer relatively affordable guided hikes. The scenery and wildlife you’ll encounter during these hikes are well worth the cost.
3. Nyungwe Forest National Park: Nyungwe Forest is a biodiversity hotspot with a variety of primates, birds, and unique flora. Guided forest walks and canopy tours are available at reasonable prices, allowing you to explore this natural wonder without overspending.
Akagera National Park: Akagera is Rwanda’s largest national park and offers affordable safaris. You can go on game drives to see a variety of wildlife, including elephants, lions, giraffes, and hippos. Camping options are available within the park, which can help you save on accommodation.
4. Cultural Tours: Explore Rwanda’s rich cultural heritage by visiting local villages and experiencing traditional dance and music performances. Many cultural experiences are reasonably priced and provide insights into the country’s history and traditions.
5. Lake Kivu: Lake Kivu, one of Africa’s great lakes, offers affordable opportunities for relaxation and water-based activities. You can swim, kayak, or take a boat ride on the lake while enjoying the stunning scenery. The 100,000-hectare Akagera National Park is situated in eastern Rwanda, bordering Tanzania, and has been managed by African Parks in partnership with the Rwanda Development Board since 2010. It comprises some of the most scenic savannah in East Africa – open plains, woodlands, lakes, swamp, and grassy low mountains. Akagera has undergone an incredible transformation in the last eight years where poaching has essentially been eliminated and wildlife is now thriving. African Parks reintroduced lions in 2015 after a 20-year absence and reintroduced the black rhinoceros in 2017.
6. Self-Guided Tours: Consider exploring cities like Kigali on your own. You can visit museums, markets, and historical sites independently, which can help control costs. Kigali Genocide Memorial and Kimironko Market are among the popular places to visit.
Budget Accommodation: Look for budget-friendly guesthouses, hostels, and lodges in Rwanda. These options often provide comfortable stays at a fraction of the cost of luxury accommodations.
7. Local Food: Eating at local restaurants and street food stalls can be more budget-friendly than dining at upscale restaurants. Don’t miss trying Rwandan staples like brochettes (grilled meat skewers) and ibirayi (fried plantains).
Rwandan cuisine is a delightful blend of flavors and ingredients, reflecting the country’s agricultural heritage and cultural diversity. Here are some traditional Rwandan dishes and foods you should try when visiting Rwanda:
8. Public Transportation: Utilize public buses or shared taxis (known as matatus) for intercity travel to save money on transportation costs.
Rwanda is a beautiful, lush green, landlocked country in the heart of Africa, known as “the land of a thousand hills”. Lake Kivu is rich in flora and fauna and has stunning natural beauty with its scenic rolling hills as far as the eyes can see. On this trip, you will visit the spectacular mountain gorillas on the slope of Virunga, chimpanzees in Nyungwe, one of the oldest continuously forested locations in the world with its spectacular scenery, and kayak on the blue waters of Lake Kivu.