Rwanda is one of the smallest and landlocked States in East Africa with its capital city Kigali featuring as one of Africa’s cleanest cities. It straddles at 121 kilometers south of the Equator in the tropic of Capricorn, 1416 kilometers west of the Indian Ocean and 1250 kilometers east of the Atlantic Ocean. It covers an area of about 26338 square kilometers and it is surrounded by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In 2014, Rwanda had over 12.3 million people. The main economic drivers include tourism, agriculture and mining. There are 3 official languages are used in Rwanda which include English, French and Kinyarwanda. Rwanda is best described as “the Land a Thousand Hills.” The head of the Republic of Rwanda is H.E. President Paul Kagame. He has conferred great constitutional powers especially establishing policy together with his cabinet, exercising the prerogative of mercy, negotiating and signing agreements, commanding the army and declaring war or state of emergency. He appoints the prime minister and the cabinet among other things.
History of Rwanda
Before European colonization, Rwanda was the site of one of the region’s most complex monarchical systems. The first occupants of the area were the Twa, a Pygmy people. Rwanda is one of the few countries in Africa to closely follow its ancestral borders. The kingdom of Rwanda run by a Tutsi royal family, ruled the area throughout the recorded history. Most Hutus were among the nobility while the majority of the Tutsi represented 15 to 18 percent of the population, were poor peasants. The 1994 genocide in Rwanda was one of the horrific events at a time that claimed thousands of innocent people in a Rwanda’s civil war between the Hutus and Tutsis. About 23 years now Rwanda is once again peaceful and the reconciliation process has brought people together. This small country is no longer divided into 3 tribes; Rwandan people are currently part of a single nation, working as one. This country has progressed in terms of education, health, social security and encouraging individual entrepreneurship. Each time one returns to Rwanda, one will astonished by the growth that has occurred compared to the previous visit and this describes it the remarkable Rwanda. Ever since the 1994 Rwanda genocide, the country has continued registering a boost in commerce, investment, infrastructure and many more.
Tourist attractions in Rwanda
There are several tourist activities that you can catch a glimpse while on a safari in Rwanda, but the rare mountain gorillas feature as its star tourist attractions. Gorilla trekking is conducted in Volcanoes National Park, Northwest of Rwanda and permits are issued at $1500 per person. Other exciting adventures to par take include Volcano hiking, Cave exploration at Musanze caves, chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest national park, hiking through the Nyungwe forest trails as well as biking along the Congo trail. Also features wildlife safaris in savanna national park-Akagera National Park where tourists can view the big game (Lions, Elephants, Buffaloes, Rhinos and Leopards as well as other wildlife species).
The people in Rwanda
Rwanda’s culture is best described by its warm welcoming people as well as the most exhilarating Intore culture dancers and singers. More than 85 percent of the Rwandans stay in the rural areas. Despite the impact of the 1994 genocide, Rwandans live together and also share the common aspirations. Music and dance plays a big role in the traditions of the Rwandans. The Rwandan people feature diversity of music and dance with am assortment of acts that express epics celebrating excellence and bravery, humorous lyrics and hunting root. The Intore Dance Troup is the finest model of Rwanda’s varied and dynamic traditional musical and dance style. A wide range of traditional handicrafts is produced in rural Rwanda, ranging from ceramics and baskets to traditional and contemporary woodcarvings.
What you should know before you visit Rwanda
If you are planning your trip to Rwanda, makes sure that you check the latest up date Foreign Office advice on the areas that you wish to visit. You are encouraged to be updated with the current foreign office advice on their destinations
Best time to visit Rwanda
Rwanda features 2 (two) wet seasons (from February to April, November to January) but during the wet seasons there can be some sun shine. The wet season is a great time to visit if you need scenic photo taking. The weather in Rwanda is conducive; temperatures are not that hot and steamy. The average temperatures range from 16 to 22 degree Celsius. Given the nature of altitude, Rwanda offers the best safari holidays for you and your family. It is one of Africa’s best states to visit. It is mainly credited for its rare mountain gorillas that thrive in Volcanoes National Park northwest of the country.
If you are traveling to Rwanda for safari, Rwandese use Rwandan franc (RWF) and the Rwanda’s international dialing code is +250. If you are calling from Rwanda, you will require dialing 0044 for the UK/001 for the United State, followed by an area code and local number.
Food in Rwanda
The food in Rwanda differs. Fresh fruit and the Belgian inspired cuisine are always nice and the hygiene standards are also well maintained. The local Rwandese’ diet is largely the sweet potatoes, peas, beans, millet, corn and fresh fruit including avocados, papayas and mangos. Umutsima (cassava and corn), Isombe (Cassava leaves with eggplants and spinach) and Mizuzu (Fried plantains), feature among the Rwanda’s traditional dishes. The drinks comprise of beer and ikigage a locally made beer from sorghum.
In conclusion, Rwanda the “Land of a thousand hills” is a small country but endowed with abundant attractions that are worth exploring while on African tour. Visitors lifetime experiences in Rwanda is largely dependent on mountain gorilla trekking, golden monkey trekking, chimpanzee adventures, colobus monkey tracking, volcano hiking, biking and hiking via the Congo Nile trail, game viewing in Akagera national park and chill around Lake Kivu.