Facts about Rwanda
Rwanda is a very beautiful country located in East Africa, included in the most preferred and tourism destinations people must visit on the continent,. Most people who have never been to Rwanda get biased after reading about the country because what first comes is the Rwandese genocide and yet it happened over 20 years ago (in 1993). With that, some travelers are usually discouraged to visit Rwanda not knowing how much adventure and pleasure they are missing. Let’s unveil some of the truths about Rwanda you did not know maybe one day you will choose to visit this amazing country for lifetime tourist experiences
Unlike most African states, Rwanda existed as an established kingdom long before Africa was colonized and its borders were not created artificially by the Europeans. Tucked away in the heart of the continent, Rwandans believed their kingdom was the centre of the world and for many centuries, non-residents were not allowed.
Finding a highly organized country, with a monarchy and ruling system, the Germans left the existing power structure in place when awarded the country. But in 1911–12, they joined with the Tutsi monarchy to subjugate a group of independent Hutu farmers in the north who’d always lived separately. Currently, Rwanda is the fast-growing country in Africa it being with the cleanest and fast growing city in Africa hence attracting the tension of most people across the world for a visit to it’s fast growing city” Kigali” and trekking it’s endangered primates “Silver Back Gorillas”.
Rwanda is today known for incredible mountain gorilla safaris and yes; they are truly amazing, however, Rwanda has more primates and wildlife to offer rather than only mountain gorillas. They include the chimpanzees in Nyungwe forest national park and the golden monkeys in volcanoes national park.
Similar to mountain gorillas, chimpanzees are also very close relatives of human beings with 98% DNA similar to humans. In Rwanda, these primates can be tracked in Nyungwe forest national park located in southwestern Rwanda where they live also in groups of their close relatives. The chimpanzee diet is comprised of plant leaves, shoots, and wild fruits and they usually move from one place to another in search of food and new resting places. Chimpanzee tracking in Rwanda is also very adventurous and rewarding and the best advantage of it is that there is no time limit of chimpanzee encounter while in the wild. A tourist can be with them for long, unlike the mountain gorillas whose encounter is just limited to one hour.
The golden monkeys are other impressive primates that inhabit the jungles of volcanoes national park in Rwanda. Covered with a black fur with golden like fur, golden monkeys are also endangered primate species. They also live in groups of about 30 and feed on plant leaves, bamboo shoots, wild fruits, and small insects. Tracking these primates in volcanoes national park is very enjoyable and also offers great wildlife experiences.
There are savanna wild animals in Akagera national park located in eastern Rwanda. This is the only place where one can enjoy game drives viewing a number of animals like giraffes, elephants, zebras, lions and many others in the wild. Having wildlife safaris in Akagera national park offers even more unique experiences while in Rwanda.
Much as Rwanda was terribly hit by the Rwandese genocide in 1993, the country is now very safe for tourists. Rwanda since the end of the genocide has not had cases of insecurity. The Rwandese genocide was very disastrous and many innocent people lost their lives but Rwanda has greatly recovered from its deadly past. Today, there are a number of genocide memorial sites with the history of the genocide and some of the remainings of the people who were killed. a visit to one of the genocide memorial sites can make you realize how the Rwandan government has successfully fought insecurity in the country.
Kigali has over the years been a modal city in terms of cleanness and organization. The most crucial step the government of Rwanda took was the banning of plastic bags from the country and also discouraged littering of rubbish anyhow. This was boosted by the Omuganda day (last Saturday of every month) where all Rwandan citizens irrespective of their class are supposed to engage in general cleaning.
Rwanda is famously known as “the land of a thousand hills” is a landlocked republic in Equatorial Africa, situated on the eastern rim of the Albertine Rift, a western arm of the Great Rift Valley, on the watershed between Africa’s two largest river systems: the Nile and the Congo. Much of the country’s 26,338 km2 is impressively mountainous, the highest peak being Karisimbi (4,507m) in the volcanic Virunga chain protected by the Volcanoes National Park. The largest body of water is Lake Kivu, but there are numerous lakes around the country, notably Burera, Ruhondo, Muhazi, and Mugesera, some of which have erratic shapes following the contours of the steep mountains that enclose them.
Climate & Weather
A combination of tropical location and high altitude ensures that most of Rwanda have a temperate year-round climate. Temperatures rarely stray above 30 degrees Celsius by day or below 15 degrees Celsius at night throughout the year. The exceptions are the chilly upper slopes of the Virunga Mountains, and the hot low-lying Tanzania border area protected in Akagera National Park. Throughout the country, seasonal variations in temperature are relatively insignificant. Most parts of the country receive in excess of 1,000mm of precipitation annually, with the driest months being July to September and the wettest February to May
Passport and Visas
A valid passport with a visa is mandatory. In view of the bilateral agreements, nationals of the following countries may visit Rwanda without a visa for a period up to 90 days: USA, UK, Germany, Canada, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sweden, Mauritius, South Africa, and Hong Kong. Visas can be applied for online or bought upon arrival.
When to Visit Rwanda
Rwanda can be visited throughout the year. Gorilla trekking and other forest walks are less demanding during the drier months. The European winter is the best time for birds, as Palearctic migrants supplement resident species.