Wildlife of Rwanda

Wildlife of Rwanda

Rwanda is a small, landlocked highland country in central Africa, famous for its mountain gorillas, which inhabit the Volcanoes National Park within the Virunga Massif – a spectacular range of volcanoes straddling the borders with the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda.

In addition to Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda has three other significant protected areas: Nyungwe National Park in the south-west and Akagera National Park in the east of the country, and Gishwati Mukura national park. Nyungwe National Park is the largest contiguous block of ancient montane forest in the region and contains impressive biodiversity including 13 primate species and around 300 bird species (of which 24 are unique to the Albertine Rift). Akagera National Park is a scenic reserve containing a wide variety of species in across its mountain, savannah, and wetland habitats.

Most of Rwanda is densely populated, however, and not much in the way of natural habitat for wildlife remains outside the country’s protected areas.

Common wildlife of Rwanda

Size & Location
How to get there
Areas of interest
When to visit
Where to stay
  • Mountain gorillas.
  • Chimpanzees.
  • Golden monkeys
  • African Forest elephants.
  • Buffaloes.
  • Bush pigs.
  • Giant forest hogs.
  • Duikers.
  • Stripe sided jackal.
  • Black and white colobus monkeys.
  • Red-tailed monkeys.
  • L’hoest monkeys.
  • Blue monkeys.
  • Potos.
  • Galagos.
  • Bushbabies.
  • Baboons.
  • Vervet monkeys.
  • Owl-faced monkey.
  • Grey checked monkey.
  • Angolan colobus monkey.
  • African savannah elephants.
  • Cape buffalos
  • Giraffes
  • leopards
  • hyenas
  • lions
  • Rhinos
  • Bushbucks
  • Topis
  • Oribi
  • Waterbuck
  • Roan antelope
  • Duicker
  • Klipspringer
  • Impala
  • Eland

The countries rich forest has supported quite a good population of primates in its 3 national parks of volcanoes national park which is home to the endangered mountain gorillas and the golden monkeys, Nyungwe which is home to the chimpanzees and several other species of monkeys and Gishwati is home to the chimpanzee and the golden monkeys and in eastern Rwanda lies the savannah grassland which is home to the big five after the introduction of Lions and Rhinos.