Africa + Indian Ocean Rwanda Gorilla Trekking, Primeval Forests, Bird Spotting and fascinating culture Rwanda is truly beautiful, with its jungle-smothered volcanoes, its hills and valleys covered in a dense patchwork of banana, maize, sorghum and tea plantations, and its gorgeous lakes and rivers, Rwanda overflows with tropical lushness. As well as being home to the largest and most easily accessible mountain gorilla population in the Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda has teeming birdlife in the magnificent rainforests of Nyungwe, as well as wide-open plains with a completely different ecosystem. Now well into the healing process since the genocide of 1994, Rwanda’s people have created a remarkable museum as a “never-again” reminder; to visit it is a deeply moving and very worthwhile experience. In the capital, Kigali, and other towns, a raft of new places to stay, eat, drink and dance have created a real buzz – enhanced by the Rwandans’ great love of life. There are some new, stylish lodges and camps are beginning to be developed but it’s still a place where expert guidance is essential and the more adventurous traveller will be happiest. Stories Places to Stay Highlights Location Stories As every one of the holidays we create is truly tailor-made, all of our clients come back with different and interesting stories. We love to hear from our clients on their return to find out about their most memorable moments. Our Destination Experts are also always travelling to our extraordinary destinations and every trip allows us to refine and add value to our clients' future experiences. Close Encounters With Gorillas How would you react when your just meters away from a gorilla? Jonathan Ellis recalls an hour of his life when he met such a remarkable beast. Find out more With Gorillas in Rwanda Founder of c+l Susie Cazenove writes about how her encounter with the gorilla was so overwhelming she wanted to delve deeper into the environmental protection of these beasts looking into a small charity called ICGP. Find out more Places to Stay At cazenove+loyd, we have no vested interest in the hotels, lodges, boats, trains and tented camps which we select. We only choose what is right for a particular client. We visit each destination in our three regions on a regular basis and have detailed conversations with our clients on their return so our choices are continually refined. Here are just four c+l reviews. This is by no means a prescriptive list, but hints at what we look for and value in places to stay. Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge A small, intimate lodge situated close to the gorilla trekking HQ. The managers will welcome you into their home as you sit back and enjoy the magnificent views of the Virunga Volcano range. Find out more Virunga Lodge Arrive in style, landing on the lodge’s helipad, you will feel like you are on top of the world at Virunga Lodge. Watching the mist clear as a new day begin is quite magical. Find out more Highlights For over 20 years we have been creating the best luxury tailor-made holidays, we know our countries inside and out and really know how to get under the skin of each one and the best way to experience them. Genocide memorial The Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, in Kigali, Rwanda, commemorates the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Opened in 2004 to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the start of the genocide the center is used to remember, learn and prevent anything like this happening again. We highly recommend anyone travelling to Rwanda visits the center to gain a better understanding of the struggles this nation has had to face. Find out more Volcanoes National Park The Parc National des Volcans is in North West Rwanda, known for its beautiful Virunga volcanoes and as the habitat of the impressive mountain gorilla. An area comprising 6 extinct and 3 active volcanoes, established as a National Park to protect the wildlife of the Virunga mountain range. There are currently 7 habituated gorilla families of varying sizes, which are spread around the Park. Some are typically harder to get to than others but observing these amazing creatures is more than worth the sometime strenuous walk. Find out more Location We know Rwanda better than most. The possibilities are endless and ever-changing. On the map below, we have plotted some of our current favourite places to stay, some c+l highlights and a few pertinent client stories. And you can see if there is a team member travelling in that particular country and link through to them and what they are up to, so you can get them to call you on their return. Best time to visit Rwanda Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Best time to go Being so close to the equator means that it is possible to visit Rwanda all year. The most popular times to travel are in the long dry season from June to September, and the shorter dry season from December to February. If you’re intending to track gorillas, you’ll need to plan your holiday well ahead to secure permits – especially from July to September. Rwanda’s main rainy season is from March to May, with shorter rains in October and November however and it can rain any time of year, especially in the gorilla parks areas. Travel can be slower in the rainy season but the views are often better. Gorilla tracking can also be muddier. Rwanda is usually combined with Kenya or Uganda. Meet the Team Africa + Indian Ocean Hamish Henrietta Claire Millie Cara We'd love to hear from you Our well travelled Destination Experts have extensive first hand knowledge of their destinations and can open doors that others simply can’t.