20 Unmissable Attractions in Rwanda

Lake Burera
Lake Burera | © Rachel Strohm / Flickr
Photo of Leah Feiger
1 September 2017

Welcome to Rwanda! Home to vibrant city life, mountain gorillas, and breathtaking vistas, there are many places to explore and activities to do. Here are 20 unmissable attractions for your trip to the land of a thousand hills.

Volcanoes National Park

Located in northwest Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park is home to the Virunga Mountain range, mountain gorillas, beautiful volcanoes, golden monkeys, and excellent views.

Volcanoes National Park | © John Cooke/Flickr

Karisoke Research Center

Funded by The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, the Karisoke Research Center works to track and study Rwanda’s mountain gorillas, fund anti-poaching initiatives, and teach visitors and locals about conservation.

Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park | © Carine06 / Flickr

Lake Kivu

Rwanda’s largest lake, located in the west of the country, is stunning. Gisenyi and Kibuye, two of the largest towns on the lake, have plentiful guesthouses, restaurants, and activities.

Kibuye on Lake Kivu | © Francois Terrier / Flickr

Nyungwe National Park

Nyungwe National Park is one of the most remote locations in Rwanda. A fairly untouched rainforest, the park holds chimpanzees, hundreds of bird species, colobus monkeys, and many hiking trails. Endless tea fields are located right outside the park gates.

Canopy walk in Nyungwe National Park | © Justin Raycraft / Flickr

Twin Lakes

Lake Burera and Lake Ruhondo, known as the Twin Lakes, sit just a few kilometers outside the town of Musanze. Known for their volcanic views and ideal for weekend trips, the twin lakes are undoubtedly one of Rwanda’s most beautiful attractions.

Lake Burera | © Rachel Strohm / Flickr

Akagera National Park

Home to Africa’s Big Five (the lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros), Akagera National Park’s sweeping views, plentiful wildlife, and easy access render this spot one of the best parks in the area.

Zebras in Akagera National Park | Courtesy of Leah Feiger | © Leah Feiger

Sorwathe Tea Plantation

Halfway between Kigali and Musanze, the Sorwathe Tea Plantation offers lunch, tea tastings, fantastic views, and a tea production tour.

Sorwathe tea fields | © Nick Fraser / Flickr

Lake Muhazi

Lake Muhazi, located less than 50 kilometres (31 miles) from Kigali, is one of the city’s best options for a day trip. Small restaurants and cafés line the calm shores, and sunsets over Muhazi are unforgettable.

Views of the lake | © Francisco Anzola/Flickr

Kigali Genocide Memorial

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Photographs at the Kigali Genocide Memorial
Photographs at the Kigali Genocide Memorial | © Trocaire / Flickr
Noted as a place for ‘remembrance and learning,’ the Kigali Genocide Memorial remembers the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. In addition to the memorial, the space also has an incredibly informative museum that leads visitors through the events and historical implications of the genocide.

Repub Lounge

Restaurant, African, Vegetarian, $$$
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Repub Lounge
Repub Lounge | © Courtesy of Illume Creative Studio

Sample traditional Rwandan food in an upmarket setting with fantastic views. Located in the Kimihurura neighbourhood, Repub Lounge is known as one of Kigali’s best restaurants.

Inzora Rooftop Cafe

Cafe, Vegetarian, Coffee, $$$
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Drinks on the Inzora rooftop
Drinks on the Inzora rooftop | Courtesy of Kigali Eats
Inzora is one of Kigali’s leading cafés. Located inside the city’s main bookstore with an excellent view of the city centre, Inzora serves baked goods, grilled cheese, and some of Rwanda’s best coffee.

Hôtel des Mille Collines

4.2/5 (161 Reviews)
Pool at Hotel des Mille Collines
Pool at Hotel des Mille Collines | © Innocent Kaneza / Flickr

Hôtel des Mille Collines, featured in the movie Hotel Rwanda, is still in its original location in the Kiyovu neighbourhood. Nowadays people visit to hang by the pool, watch live music, and enjoy brunch.

More info

Baso Patissier

Cafe, Patisserie, Dessert, Vegetarian, $$$
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Baso Patissier
Baso Patissier | Courtesy of Kigali Eats

Kigali’s newest bakery, Baso Patissier, has the best eclairs in town. Though their vanilla eclair reigns supreme, don’t hesitate to check out their other dessert offerings.

Meal service:

Lunch, Breakfast, Brunch


Fast Casual, Arty, Cosy, Casual

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