Photography in Rwanda

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Rwanda offers some superb opportunities for wildlife and scenic opportunities. The mountain gorillas of Volcanoes National Park are wonderful laidback photographic subject and the speeds attainable by modern cameras mean you would have to be very unlucky not to come back with some awesome pictures, even in gloomy conditions. The more restless chimpanzees of Nyungwe National Park tend to be less cooperative photographic subjects, but the same national park’s monkeys are often very easy to photograph in situ. Finally, a safari in Akagera National Park offers the opportunity to photograph the so-called Big Five (lion, leopard, black rhino, elephant and buffalo) along with the likes of giraffe, zebra, hippo and various antelope and birds.

Wildlife photography requires faster and higher-magnifications lenses than most other subjects. For gorillas, a 70-200 or similar lens should be more than adequate, possibly supplemented by a 28-70 or similar for wider angle pics. Elsewhere, a zoom that goes up to 300 is ideal, possibly supplemented by a a fixed 400 or 500 lens, with a fastest f-stop of 4 or better 2.8.

A tripod can be useful to stabilise your camera in forests and for scenic shot. If you visit Akagera, bring a beanbag upon which to rest your lens to minimise the risk of camera shake; to save weight you can carry it empty to Rwanda and fill up with rice, beans or a similar instance after you arrive.

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Rwanda’s mountainous scenery makes for great scenic shots. The perfect volcanic outlines of the Virungas are highly photogenic, especially day dusk and dawn, as are lakes such as Kivu and Burera. If you want to photograph people in Rwanda, it is important culturally to ask permission first.

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Lake Kivu

Lake Kivu | Credit: Shared between Rwanda and the DR Congo, beautiful Lake Kivu extends for 2,370km² across the floor of the Albertine Rift, and hemmed in by a steep terraced escarpment that rises up to 1.5km above its surface. Ranked among the world’s 20 deepest and 20 most voluminous freshwater bodies, it is lined with pretty fishing villages and a trio of larger ports in the form of Rusizi, Karongi and Rubavu. The latter in particular has long served as a…

Volcanoes National Park

Protecting the Rwandan sector of the Virunga Mountains, the 160km2 Volcanoes National Park is best-known as the place where Dian Fossey launched her pioneering study of mountain gorillas in the wild in 1966, and where the Oscar-nominated film Gorillas in the Mist was shot on location in 1988. It is one of Africa’s most scenic national parks, comprising a chain of six extinct and three active volcanoes whose steep forest-swathed slopes are linked by fertile saddles formed by…

Packing list for Rwanda

It is highly recommended visitors to Rwanda take anti-malarial drugs. Seek advice a few weeks before you travel to determine the most suitable regime, and bear in mind you may need to start on the course a couple of weeks before you arrive in Rwanda. At the same time, check whether any vaccinations require updating. Most common over-the-counter medication is available at pharmacies in Kigali, Huye and other large towns, but not in smaller towns or the likes of Akagera and Nyungwe…

Popular Rwanda Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

The Uganda Hills | The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)

The complete East Africa experience

Enjoy East Africa's most celebrated highlights, from a snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro, to sailing above the Serengeti in a hot-air balloon and meeting mountain gorillas...

 | Nature, Romance, Exclusivity and Luxury - A Complete African Honeymoon

Nature, Romance, Exclusivity and Luxury - A Complete African Honeymoon

This exclusive African honeymoon through East and Southern Africa is the perfect way to celebrate the start of your new journey together...

Elephant Herd | Best of Africa Safari (EA 16 days)

Best of Africa safari

Experience the best of Africa, from the Okavango Delta – one of Africa's Seven Natural Wonders – to the endangered mountain gorillas and East Africa's Great Migration...

Gorillas | Gorillas and the Migration Combined (EA 11 days)

Rwanda gorillas and the migration, both sides of the Mara River

Enjoy two of Africa's most magnificent wildlife experiences – mountain gorillas and the Great Migration – on one unforgettable safari...

Chimpanzee | The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda

Primates and wildlife of Uganda and Rwanda

See mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, golden monkeys and tree-climbing lions, take a boat cruise and visit Rwanda's genocide memorial ...