Rwanda supports a wide variety of animal life, but a rapidly-growing population has meant that habitat loss and poaching has decimated most large species outside of the handful of national parks.
Inside the borders of Rwanda’s four national parks – Akagera, Gishwati-Mukura, Nyungwe, and Parc National dec Volcan – wildlife viewing can be extremely rewarding. It’s well known that Rwanda is one of the premier gorilla trekking destinations, but aside from this activity Rwanda is home to 13 species of primate. Many of these are critically endangered – and including Africa’s largest arboreal primate troops, the Angolan colobus monkey, which can live in groups of up to 400-strong.
Rwanda is also a wonderful destination for bird fans, with an incredible 700 species recorded in the country made up of both forest and savanna birds.
Rwanda’s four national parks each protect very different eco-systems. Broadly speaking:
Although there are fewer large animals here than Parc National des Volcans, the park can claim to have one of the richest variety of forest-dwelling species in Africa. There are 13 species of primates the elusive golden cat, duiker, and giant forest hog.
Here you can track habituated groups of chimpanzees, along with the chance to spot four other primate species – the blue monkey, golden monkey, black-and-white colobus, and L’Hoest’s monkey. As well as around 80 species of birds, other residents include the serval, red river hog, black-fronted duiker, and multiple species of chameleon.
Parc National des Volcans
The lower slopes of the Virunga mountains support bamboo specialists like the endangered mountain gorilla and golden monkey. Africa’s largest mammals – elephant and buffalo – are also found in this park.
So there you have our take on the 13 most iconic Rwandan animals you could expect to see when on safari in Rwanda. What do you think – any controversial picks… or Rwanda wildlife that are missing from the list? Let us know in the comments section below!