Dubbed the land of a thousand hills, Rwanda is a landlocked country whose fame to most people centers on the 1994 genocide where nearly a million lives were lost within just 3 months’ period. This was the nastiest events of its kind and unforgettable moment in life. Incredibly, currently Rwanda has undergone tremendous transformation and done all that it takes to regain its legacy and vowed never again to experience what occurred at a time. Compared to most states, Rwanda is currently one of the fastest growing countries in East Africa. H.E. President Paul Kagame has been in power since 2000 and a lot has been done although he has been criticized for the 1994 Rwanda genocide. He has run this country since his rebel group ended the 1994 nasty event that took place between Hutus and Tutsis. To others, he is believed to be a visionary leader while on the other hand, he is also looked at as a despot who doesn’t tolerate any opposition.
Today, Kigali which is the capital city for Rwanda is one of the fastest growing cities and above all the cleanest. Over 11.2 million people live in this spectacular landlocked country. It spans for about 26338 square kilometers making it one of the smallest states in Africa and the major languages spoken here include French, English, Kinyarwanda and Kiswahili. They believe mostly in Christianity which represents approximately 94% while some still have indigenous beliefs/tradition African with 0.1%, Muslims with about 4.6% and the other group doesn’t believe in any religion and it comprises of 1.7%.
The ethnic groups in Rwanda
Unlike other African states, Rwanda is composed of the Hutus which represent 85%, Tutsis at 14% and Twa 1%. The life expectancy here is about 54 years for men and females 57. The country’s currency is Rwandan Franc (Rwf).
Rwanda is located strategically in East Central Africa, south of the Equator just along the Great Lakes Area, East of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is surrounded by Uganda, Burundi and others. Its spectacular landscape comprises of grassland and generally it is a hilly country with most parts comprising of rugged mountains which expand southeast from the Virunga Massifs in the northwest thus making it a true Land of a Thousand hills. Karisimbi Volcano happens to be the highest mountain and stretches up to 4519 meters.
The climate of Rwanda
Rwanda’s climatic conditions are ideal and characterized by wet seasons and dry seasons. The wet season kick starts from March to May –this is normally the first phase of it and the second phase begins from October to November. The dry season begins from June to September and December to February.
The natural wonders in Rwanda
Rwanda’s natural resources include gold, cassiterite, methane, hydropower, arable land, wolframite, wildlife which are inhabited in the 4 (four) of its national parks (Volcanoes National Park-a home to section of rare mountain gorillas, Nyungwe Forest National Park-a primate capital, Akagera National Park-the only Rwanda’s savanna grassland park where you will find the big game (elephant, buffaloes, lions, rhinos, leopards and other wildlife species including giraffes and several antelope species) and Gishwati-Mukura National Park-the newly established protected area which is also incredibly significant for its unique primates.
Most Rwandans depend on farming growing mainly tea, coffee, pyrethrum, sorghum, beans, bananas, potatoes and they also rear livestock. The main exports include tea, hides, tine ore and coffee whereas its industries mainly deal in cement, small scale beverages, farm products, soap, shoe making, plastic goods, cigarettes, furniture a mention but a few. The county’s main export partners include the DR Congo, United States, Thailand, Germany, Malaysia, Swaziland, Pakistan, China and others. The imports include machinery and equipment, steel, petroleum products, foodstuffs and many more. The import partners include China, Russia, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, India and UAE.
Rwanda’s media, newspaper readership is limited and press usually exercise self-censorship. The critical bloggers are normally based abroad, notes US based freedom house, and State TV and Radio on the hand cover wider area.
What to do while on safari in Rwanda
Rwanda’s main safari destinations include Akagera National Park which is popular for the big game safaris for you to catch a glimpse at the African elephants, buffaloes, Rhinos, lions and leopards plus several wildlife species; Volcanoes National Park the best destination for mountain gorilla trekking, Nyungwe Forest National Park for chimpanzee tracking and Gishwati Mukura national park is its newly established park and to be opened in 2019. There are also five (5) volcanoes that are part of the eight Virunga Mountains most of which are ideal for hiking adventures. Safari activities for you to engage in Rwanda include biking, canopy walk,chimpanzee trekking, birding, game drives, gorilla trekking, boat tours and others. Other incredible places that are worth visiting include Lake Kivu, the twin Lakes a mention but a few. In addition, Rwanda also features a rare art and culture most of which is displayed in national museum, historical and archaeological sites,
How to get to Rwanda
Visitors on African safari can get to Rwanda by road and air. By air, RwandAir is the country’s national flag carrier and operates in Africa and across border areas. Other airlines include KLM, Brussels, Kenya Airways, Ethiopia airlines, Turkish Airlines, South African airways a mention but a few.
In conclusion, Rwanda is more than just gorilla destination. Visit this magical country have the best of wildlife experiences, hiking adventures and cultural encounters that will reward you with lifetime experiences.