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About Rwanda

Rwanda is well known as the “Land of a thousand Hills”. It’s such a great country that beckoned to great explorers, scientists and conservationists, who did not destroy its beauty and instead left it for future generation discovery. Rwanda’s tourism industry increased rapidly after the 1994 Genocide incident.

Rwanda Safari AdventureRwanda is found in East Africa and is the smallest of all the East African countries. Just like Uganda, Rwanda is also a land locked country and has no Sea Port. Rwanda’s best tourist attraction include the Volcanic Virunga Range, the Great Rift valley Lakes, the general Grassland, the tropical Rain forest,  the country’s culture and the history of the Genocide Memorial sites. The major tourist National Parks include: Volcanoes National Park for Gorilla tracking, Akagera National Park for wildlife, Nyungwe National Park for primates and Chimpanzee tracking and also the only mainland biggest fresh water body of Lake Kivu with 2 major towns of Gisenyi and Kibuye on the shoreline.

Kigali is the Country’s capital city and is the major administrative, Commercial, Transport center with the International Airport, Communication and educational center. The city has attractions like the Genocide Memorial sites and craft shops. Other interesting towns in Rwanda are Butare also known as Huye which has tourist attractions like the national museum which houses one of the finest ethnographic collections of art pieces. Cultural sites like the Nyabisindu (formerly known as Nyanza) which has the Old King’s Palace (Mwami)

Size:

Rwanda has a total size area of 26,338 square kilometers and is positioned 1270km west of the Indian Ocean and 2000km east of the Atlantic Ocean

Topography


Geographically, Rwanda is located on the eastern rim of the Albertine Rift which is a western arm of the Great Rift Valley. Much of the land in the country is mountainous and the highest peak is Karisimbi at 4,507m high in the Virunga Mountains. The largest water body is Lake Kivu, but there are other numerous lakes around the country such as Burera, Ruhondo, Muhazi and Mugesera. The country all in all in characterized by 5 volcanoes, 23 lakes and many rivers and forests.

Population


The country has a population of about 10 million. The indigenous Communities like the Batwa are hunter-gatherer, they are also known as Pygmies and have lived in Rwanda and other neighboring countries of the Great Lakes Region. Before their eviction in the 1990s, the Batwa people lived in the forested region that currently comprises the national parks of Mgahinga, Bwindi, and Echuya.

Money Unit


The Country’s unit of currency is the Rwandan franc (RFr). Other preferred unit of currencies is the US dollars, British Pounds, EUROS and the East African shillings including Uganda shillings, Kenya shillings and Tanzania shillings

How to Get there


All international flights arrive at Kigali International Airport which is 10 Km from Kigali city. Airlines operating in Rwanda include: SN Brussels, Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Air Burundi and Rwandair Express.

Travel Information on Passport and Visas


A valid passport with visa is mandatory/necessary to enter Rwanda. However, nationals of the following countries should not require the Visa to Rwanda and this is in view  of the bilateral agreements, nationals of the following countries may visit Rwanda without 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 from the Immigration website or bought upon arrival.

When to visit Rwanda


The country can be visited throughout the year. The dry season starts from May to October and this is the best season for tracking mountain gorillas. Peak season for gorilla tracking is July and August, traveling outside this time means it is easier to arrange a permit.

Language


The country’s local language is Kinyarwanda. However French which is widely spread and spoken throughout the country and English are recognized as official languages.

Public Holidays


Apart from Good Friday and Easter Monday which fall on variable dates, other public holidays in Rwanda include:

  • 1 January (New Year's Day);
  • 1 February (National Heroes Day);
  • 7 April (Genocide Memorial Day);
  • 1 May (Labour Day);
  • 1 July (Independance Day);
  • 4 July (National Liberation Day);
  • 15 August (Assumption Day);
  • 1 October (Patriotism Day);
  • 25 December (Christmas Day), and
  • 26 December(Boxing Day)