While Rwanda is famous for it's Volcanoes National Park, where you will find the mountain gorillas, there are two other national parks that make a wonderful addition to your gorilla trekking experience.

Volcanoes National Park is world renowned for its gorilla trekking experience with the habituated mountain gorillas, a conversation project started by Dian Fossey in the 80's. Located in a small village called Musanze this dense mountain forest range is conveniently located a 2 hour drive from Kigali. Volcanoes National Park is part of the Virunga Mountains that spread through Rwanda, the Democratic of Congo and part of Uganda.

Many actives can be arranged within the national park. Aside from gorilla trekking one can trek the golden monkeys in combination with a trek to Dian Fossey's tomb.  Gentle to very strenuous hikes can also be done on Mount Karisimbi or Mount Bisoke, two active volcanoes.

Nyungwe National Park is located in the south-west corner of Rwanda and is known as one of the oldest mountain rainforests in Africa. It is a source for the mighty Nile River and a very important part of biodiversity and forest conservation in Africa.

Tracking chimpanzees is one of the major draws for Nyungwe National Park, however, there is much more to discover within the misty jungle. Filled with natures' beauty this National Park is home to a total of 13 primate species, over 1000 plant species and more than 300 types of birds, 80 mammal species and nearly 40 varieties of reptiles.

Akagera National Park is a small park in northeast Rwanda and was named after the Akagera River, which plays a large role in the biodiversity with in the protected wetland - the largest in central Africa. An excellent choice for game viewing and birding in Rwanda, Akagera National Park offers diverse opportunities for wildlife sightings within it's swamps, lakes, mountains and Savannah.

Search for the elusive Shoebill Stork on your safari while capturing photos of elephants, zebra, crocs, hippos and many types of antelope; roan antelope,bohor reedbuck, oribi. Akagera National Park is home to around 12,000 large mammals and nearly 500 bird species. In 2015 lions were re-introduced to the park from South Africa by Africa Parks in an ongoing conservation project to name Akagera National Park the only "Big 5" game park in Rwanda. Lions have been absent from the park for more than 15 years due to wars and genocide of 1994.

Being only a 2-3 hour drive from Kigali Akagera National Park is a great option for those with limited time yet looking for more than the gorilla trekking. For those with more time I recommend a two day visit in combination with Volcanoes National Park and Nyungwe National Park.