For most naturalists Rwanda was made famous by the exploits of the late Diane Fossey, who publicised the Mountain Gorillas that live in the Volcans National Park near Ruhengeri. Sadly many other people remember Rwanda because of the 1994 genocide which caused so many tragic deaths. But despite that it is a fun country to visit; music and dance are an integral part of its culture while its traditional arts and crafts are much sought after including imigongo, a unique cow dung art!
Rwanda is arguably the best country in which to find most of the Albertine Rift Endemics, and Nyungwe Forest Reserve holds 25 of these including the much sought-after Red-collared Babbler which can only be seen in other countries at some personal risk! And for mammal enthusiasts it has a number of impressive primates.
Another must-see site is Akagera National Park, a savanna-dominated area in the north-east of the country. It has one of the longest bird lists for any conservation area of its size in Africa and over 525 species have been recorded, with many birds reaching their northern limit here. Thankfully it is still home to the Shoebill, which should be searched for in papyrus along the lake shore. Contributed by Keith Betton/African Bird Club.
Tree Hyrax, Owl-faced Monkey, Burchell's zebra, Impala, Senegal Bushbaby, Blue monkey, Cape Porcupine