Rwanda Bucket List – 30 Awesome Things To Do In Rwanda

Thinking of visiting Rwanda? This ultimate Rwanda bucket list will give you plenty of ideas of things to do in Rwanda. 

This small country in Africa is packed with awesome things to do – I’ve put them all together in 1 list so you don’t have to.

About Rwanda

Rwanda is a small African nation located in East Africa bordering Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In 1994, the country was devastated by a genocide where over 800,000 refugees were killed. Since then the country has not only recovered but blossomed into a peaceful and truly welcoming country. 

Rwanda is known for its friendly and welcoming locals as well as its stunning scenery from dormant volcanoes to epic lakes.

The most popular reason for visiting Rwanda is for gorilla trekking! There’s plenty more fun things to do in Rwanda besides gorilla trekking – read on to find out more.

Top Things To Do In Rwanda – Rwanda Bucket List:

  1. Hike a dormant volcano in the Volcanoes National Park. Some of the best include Mount Bisoke, Sabinyo or Gahinga. You could try a day hike or spend the whole weekend here!
Mount Sabinyo
  1. Bike the Congo Nile Trail which stretches along the coastline of Lake Kivu. You’ll be wowed by the stunning landscapes.

  1. Go gorilla trekking and see if you can spot a mountain gorilla! There’s less than 900 left in the whole world. One of the best places to do this is the Volcanoes National Park. 

  1. Take a break and try some of Rwanda’s delicious coffee at the Kinunu Coffee Washing Station. You’ll also get an insight into how it’s made!

  1. Camp out by Lake Burera. One of Rwanda’s most stunning spots, this lake sits at the foot of the Muhabura Volcano offering an incredible backdrop.

Muhabura Volcano in the background

  1. Get wet and wild and go kayaking on Lake Kivu. 

Lake Kivu
  1. For epic views of Kigali, dine at one of Kigali’s best restaurants – Le Panorama Restaurant. Whilst you eat you can enjoy the incredible views of Rwanda’s capital from above.
  1. Explore Rwandan culture and watch some traditional Intore dancing! This type of dance is unique to Rwanda and is usually performed at celebrations such as weddings. It is highly choreographed and very impressive! 

Intore dancers photo by Thomson Safaris Tanzania Safaris and Kili Treks
  1. Take some time out and relax in Rubavu. You can chill out on the beach or by the waterfront in this peaceful resort town located by Lake Kivu.
  1. Explore the markets of Kigali and purchase a souvenir. One of the best is Kimironko Market which is actually Kigali’s largest market.

Vendor at Kimironko Market – Photo by Kigali Today
  1. Learn more about Rwanda’s tragic past at the Kigali Genocide Memorial. Sadly in 1994 a genocide devastated Rwanda where over 800,000 people died. 
  1. Head out on a safari at the Akagera National Park. You’ll see zebras, hippos, crocodiles, elephants, giraffes and, if you’re lucky, lions!

Akagera National Park
  1. For an adventure, why not climb Mount Kigali? It will give you fantastic views of the city below.
  1. Get a birds-eye view of Nyungwe Forest from the canopy walk. This 91 metre suspension bridge sits over 50 metres above the rainforest giving a spectacular view of the forest from above.

Nyungwe Forest Canopy Walk
  1. Explore Musanze Caves which are known to be home to a lot of bats. These caves are really fascinating and were actually formed from lava flows from 65 million years ago!

  1. Track chimpanzees in the Nyungwe Forest National Park. This park also has an incredible biodiversity featuring over 300 different species of birds and over 70 different mammals. 
Nyungwe Forest National Park

  1. Visit the King’s Palace Museum where you can view the royal residences and see the fascinating sacred cows, Inyambo.

  1. Stick around to see the royal cow singers who sing to the sacred cows, Inyambo, who have horns as large as elephant tusks!

Inyambo Cows

  1. Immerse yourself in Rwandan culture at the Gorilla Guardians Village. This village is run by reformed poachers and allows tourists to learn to carry a basket on your head, weave baskets, shoot arrows and much more! It’s a very authentic experience.

  1. Take a tour around Rwanda’s capital, Kigali. 

Kigali skyline at night
  1. If you like art then check out the Rwanda Art Museum in Kigali which features the best contemporary pieces from Rwanda.

  1. Take some time to speak to the locals! Rwanda is known to have a big heart and the locals are super friendly. 
Photo by Stuart Isaac Harrier on Unsplash

  1. Sample some spirits at East Africa’s first craft distillery, 1000 Hills. You can try a range of spirits from rum, gin, vodka and whiskey to some more unique Rwandan flavours like coffee or macadamia nut. 

  1. Learn how to pick tea leaves at the Gisakura Tea Estate where you can spend a few hours experiencing the life of a tea leaf picker!
Tea Estate

  1. Explore the Inema Arts Center in Kigali. You’ll see some beautiful artwork on display here from some of Rwanda’s best talent. You can also purchase locally made items here!

  1. Visit Kigali’s most iconic building, the Kigali Convention Center. The colourful building is shaped like a beehive!
Photo by ilf_
  1. Delve into the past at the Ethnographic Museum which features one of Africa’s best collections of archaeological artefacts. 

  1. Take a boat ride around the islands in Kibuye! One of the best times to do this is sunset. You can also stop off on the islands for swimming, hiking or just relaxing.

Sunset in Kibuye
  1. Take a cultural tour at Nyamirambo Women’s Center. This non-profit provides Rwandan women with education and training helping them get a job. The women who work here create clothing, accessories and much more. You can also head out on a walking tour of the local area.

  1. Discover the story behind a movie. The Hotel des Mille Collines was the main feature in the movie, Hotel Rwanda (2004). The film followed the hotel manager who provided shelter to 1,200 refugees during the Rwandan Genocide, saving their lives.

Thanks for reading this Rwanda bucket list that gives 30 ideas of the best things to do in Rwanda. 

This list is by no means complete so please let me know if there’s anything I should add!

Happy Travels!

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