A small, landlocked republic in Equatorial Africa whose capital is Kigali, Rwanda lies on the eastern rim of the Albertine Rift and the watershed between Africa’s two largest river systems, the Nile and the Congo. It is bordered by Uganda in the north, Tanzania in the east, Burundi in the south and Congo in the west. Often called the “land of a thousand hills”, Rwanda is a country of steep mountains and deep valleys with a moist, temperate year-round climate. This colourful country covered in volcanoes and primeval rainforest is home to one of the most endangered species of wildlife on the continent, the mountain gorilla. Spending time in the company of these magnificent creatures is a privilege and undoubted pleasure that for many represents one the most touching wildlife experiences on the African continent.
A country rich in history, culture and wildlife Rwanda’s main parks are Parc National des Volcans home to the mountain gorillas and the golden monkeys and Akigera National Park, a savanna park with elephants, hippos and a variety of antelopes. Lake Kivu provides scenic water views to this mainly mountaneous country and resembles a beautiful inland sea enclosed by steep terraced hillsides. Nyungwe Forest, one of the largest montane forests in Central Africa(which has just been awarded national park status), is renowned for its large troops of colobus monkeys and a rich variety of orchids and plants. Being dense in vegetation this country is host to a large variety of birdlife. Rwanda has a rich culture with its second city, Butare hosting one of the finest cultural museums in Africa. French, English and Kinyarwanda are the most widely spoken languages within a population of about 10 million people.
Rwanda is unfortunately remembered for the genocide, which dominated the world’s headlines in 1994. The world still remembers these atrocities but despite its troubled past, Rwanda today is embracing a bright new future, using their past to build a great nation and opening its borders to international travelers at the same time ensuring their safety.