Covered mainly by steep hills and deep valleys with its highest point being Karisimbi (14,187 ft.; 4,324 m) in the Virunga mountains also famously known as the 'Land of a Thousand Hills', Rwanda is in the Great Lakes region of Africa - and for a good reason too! On the borders with the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west in the Albertine Rift, ‘The Remarkable’ Rwanda is defined by the huge Lake Kivu, a turquoise paradise and one of the few lakes in Africa where it is possible to swim. The resort towns of Kibuye and Cyangugu Gisenyi benefit from magnificent views of the lake.
Subjugated by five towering volcanoes, the heavily rain forested Volcanoes National Park is the jewel in Rwanda's national parks, a magnificent mist-shrouded forest that is home to the mountain gorilla species. Two other national parks well worth a visit are Akagera to the east and Nyungwe to the south. The first is an animal and bird shelter, a stretch of savannah where you can also spot antelopes, zebras, hippos, hyenas, buffalo and giraffes in breath-taking settings. Nyungwe Park, which borders Burundi, is a forest reserve home to some incredible plant life, including orchids and thousand year-old trees. River Rukarara, considered as one of the sources of the Nile, flows through it. The products of Rwanda’s violent volcanic past, the Musanze Caves are a 2.01 kilometers long cave network offering explorers the opportunity to look into the nation's fascinating geography and culture.
Rwanda is an undiscovered incredibly beautiful country with ever changing landscapes that offers outstanding flora and fauna and spectacular scenery. Misty, moody rainforest in the south gives rise to lushly forested volcanoes and bamboo in the north. Dugout canoes ply the serene waters of Lake Kivu in the west and undulating grass plains of Akagera in the east are interspersed with light acacia woodlands.
One of the ultimate highlights of Rwanda is tracking the elusive Mountain Gorillas of the Volcano National Park in the West of the country, but though this is an undeniably wonderful experience there is a great deal more to the country and it can easily be combined with some time game viewing at Akagera, relaxing along the shores of Lake Kivu or chimpanzee and Colobus monkey tracking in Nyungwe Forest.
In addition to the ecological diversity of the country Rwanda also boosts 670 species of birds in its small boundaries of a country half the size of Scotland. Between Kigali and the Nyungwe National Park lies the former royal residence is a common stopping off point on the lengthy drive.