How to Self Drive From Kigali City To Top National Parks

Kigali is the capital city and largest urban center in Rwanda strategically situated near the county’s geographic center dotted with scenic rolling hills, valleys and ridge that best depict the reason why Rwanda is called the land of a thousand hills. Kigali is Rwanda’s major cultural economic and transport hub used as a base for exploring the country’s cities, remote villages and parks.

Whether you decide to rent a car in Kigali city and drive yourself to these destinations with the help of GPS or Google Map apps or travel with a professional driver- you will easily get where you are going if you understand the distance, time and routes to get there. Are you planning to do a safari in Rwanda starting from Kigali city?, Find information about the distance and time taken to travel from Kigali city to the parks and attractions plus the best routes to use when getting there.

Kigali to Akagera national park

Akagera national park is the nearest national park to Kigali city located 110 km east of the capital with a road trip lasting between 1 and half to 2 hours. You can get there by starting your trip in Kigali driving 100m to the airport, taking a left turn heading eastwards to Rwamagana. Pass through Rwamagana to Kayonza where you will take a right turn at the roundabout driving to Discenter station as you approach Kabarondo town. Take the dirt road close to to Discenter station driving 15km till you reach the Rwinkwavu junction where you will see a signpost that reads Akagera National Park- take that 13 km route and you will arrive at the park gate.

Kigali to Volcanoes National Park

The mountain gorilla is the star attraction in Rwanda attracting thousands of nature and wildlife enthusiasts every year. Home to over 300 mountain gorillas, Volcano National Park offers the most expensive but easiest gorilla trekking experience in Africa. Volcano National Park is located 117 km northwest of Kigali city with a road trip lasting about 2 and a half hours using the NR2 route. DXrive from Kigali to Musanze lasts about 2 hours and once in Ruhengeri, it will take only 21 minutes to the park.

Kigali to Nyungwe forest

The furthest park from Kigali city is Nyungwe Forest which is located about 177km southwest of the city with a road trip lasting up to 4 hours. Nyungwe forest is home to large populations of chimpanzees and other 10 primate species including the golden monkey, vervet monkey, olive baboon, grey-cheeked mangabey, L’hoest monkey and red-tailed monkey, blue monkey, silver monkey among others. You can get to Nyungwe forest from Kigali using two major routes namely Huye (Kamonyi, Muhanga, Ruhango- Nyanza- Huye- Nyamagambe district) and Karongi town (Kamonyi- Muhanga- Karongi- Nyamasheke district )

So if you are planning a park safari and would love to rent a car in Kigali for self drive trip, you can esily use the above information to get an insight of which route to take plus the distance and time taken to get there. We at Rent A Driver Rwanda offer well-serviced cars plus drivers at affordable rates, get in touch with us today by sending an email to or call us now at +256-700135510 to speak with the reservations team.

Bryan Muhoozi