Rwanda bordered by well-known Tanzania and Uganda is a small country in East Africa with big potential and much to offer budget and luxury travellers alike. With opportunities to see wildlife and culture as well as hike and relax, read on to some reasons to visit Rwanda.
REASONS WHY YOU SHOUD VISIT RWANDA!
- THE UNDENIABLE BEAUTY
Rwanda is mountainous, diverse, and just all around gorgeous. Jungles, savannas, volcanoes, lakes, and forests are just a few hours apart, and this little country packs in the beauty. Rwanda is called the ‘Land of a Thousand Hills’ for a reason, and in between activities, don’t forget to take in all the breathtaking views and sunsets.
2. SEE WILDLIFE IN THEIR NATURAL HABITAT
Rwanda is a conservation and wildlife success story, and options for wildlife encounters and national park visits are plentiful. The Virunga Mountains, a range that spans Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, are home to over half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas. Tourists and travelers visiting the country can visit gorilla families in the wild and aid their conservation. Other than gorillas, Nyungwe National Park is home to chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, and more than 300 different bird species. Since lions and rhinos were reintroduced to Rwanda in 2015 and 2017 respectively, Akagera National Park once again has Africa’s ‘Big Five.’
3. PARTAKE IN PLEANTIFUL SHOPPING
Handmade baskets, colorful fabric (called gitenge), and rich coffee beans are available all over the country. In recent years, creative jewelry options, fashion designers, and unique fashion shows have put Kigali on the map as an undeniable shopping capital.
4. INDULGE IN BOTH RWANDAN AND INTERNATIONAL CUISINES
Don’t leave Rwanda without eating brochettes (grilled meat or fish on a stick), enjoying potatoes and plantains, or hitting a classic Rwandan lunch-buffet counter. Additionally, the past few years have seen a massive uptake in the Kigali restaurant scene, and the city now offers high-quality sushi, excellent bibimbap, cheesy pizzas, and homemade ice cream.
5. ALL THE ACTIVITIES
For such a small country, there is so much to do. In addition to all the wildlife encounters, kayak or canoe through northwest Rwanda, explore art galleries in Kigali, hike around volcanoes, and more.
6. THE FANTASTIC WEATHER
Rwanda’s weather is forever moderate. Not too hot and not too cold, Rwanda easily has some of the best weather compared with its surrounding East African neighbours. Rainy season comes twice a year (from approximately October to November and February to May), and though getting around can become more difficult, it’s an easy trade-off for the lush green views and all the flowers.
SOME TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN RWANDA ARE:
- Kigali Genocide Memorial:
In the span of 100 days, an estimated one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus were systematically butchered by the Interahamwe army. This memorial honours the estimated 250,000 people buried here in mass graves and also has an excellent exhibition that tries to explain how it was that the world watched as the 1994 genocide unfolded. This is an intensely powerful and moving memorial for which you should dedicate at least half a day.
2. Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park, which runs along the border with the DRC and Uganda, is home to the Rwandan section of the Virungas. Comprising five volcanoes, the Virungas are utterly spellbinding and few would argue that this is not one of the most exciting national parks in Africa. We probably needn’t remind you, but of all the extraordinary sights and attractions around the Virungas, the one that really draws people here are the famous mountain gorillas.
3.The Palm Beach Resort, Gisenyi
Pamper your senses with the bewitching beauty of the beach lush gardens and endless views of the lake and surrounding hills. The resort is an ideal getaway far from the maddening crowd. If romance is what you seek, the sunrise champagne breakfasts, sunset tequila cruises and shoreline dinners will be just what you are looking for. The swaying palms, rolling hills, private beachfront and blend of colours in the beautiful garden all combine to offer you a slice of paradise.
4. Nkotsi Village
Nkotsi village (also known as Muko) is a small village 7km southwest of Musanze. It’s home to the Red Rocks camping and hostel, which, through the Hands of Hope organisation and Amahoro Tours, organises a lively and interesting package of cultural activities open to all. These range from basket-weaving demonstrations (free) to learning how to brew (and yeah okay, drink) banana beer. Other activities include village walks, bee keeping, drumming lessons and learning about traditional medicine.
5. Rubona Peninsula
Roughly 6km south of town (about RFr1000 by moto-taxi), along a lovely lakeshore road, the Rubona Peninsula is Lake Kivu at its finest. Hills rise steeply from the lake foreshore and are a patchwork of garden plots and small homesteads. The shore itself is often rocky, although there are enough sandy spots and places suitable for swimming. It’s a very popular weekend destination, with a smattering of beach resorts.
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