Rwanda is one of the last remaining sanctuaries of the mountain gorilla and a great destination for adventure travel. There are believed to be no more than 700 mountain gorillas left in the world today. As such, seeing these rare and captivating primates in their native habitat is the focus for most Rwanda holidays. It's an unforgettable and moving experience that ranks as one of Africa's undisputed travel highlights.
Gorilla treks among the forest-clad slopes of Volcanoes National Park form the basis for tailor-made tours of this tiny, landlocked African country. The park contains the volcanic peaks of the Virunga Mountains and it was in this scenic corner of Rwanda that American primatologist Dian Fossey undertook her pioneering studies into mountain gorilla behaviour.
Wildlife sightings can be had in Rwanda's other excellent National Parks. Nyungwe and Akagera National Park are home to Big Five animals and a spectacular array of birdlife. Rwanda has more than 500 bird species, around a third of the birds found in all of Africa.
Adventure and wildlife tourism are gradually enabling Rwanda to get back on track, following the conflict between the Hutu and Tutsi that ignited in the early 1990s. This culminated in a brutal genocide, which is commemorated at the Kigali Genocide Memorial in the capital, Kigali.
Rwanda is now a thriving and safe travel destination. All of its major attractions are within easy striking distance of Kigali, a busy city known for its good restaurants and vibrant nightlife. Beyond lies a green and pleasant land of rolling farmland, terraced tea and coffee plantations, and swathes of rainforest. Rwanda's lush landscape has given it the name of Les pays des milles collines - the land of a thousand hills.