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Rwanda

Rwanda, known as «the Land of a Thousand Hills,» is a lush undulating scenery of hills, gardens, and tea plantations. Due to Rwanda’s location in the Congo Basin and Eastern Africa’s Great Rift Valley, the nation benefits from the natural resources of both ecosystems, creating a land of stunning beauty and unparalleled biodiversity.

It provides visitors with a once-in-a-lifetime experience. One-third of the world’s Mountain Gorillas are found in this region, making it one of the most incredible animals encounters in the world. More than a third of Africa’s bird species may be found here as well as several monkeys and volcanoes. There are resorts and islands in Lake Kivu, elegant dancers who perform traditional dance, and artists who create beautiful crafts.

Rwanda is a secure, easy-to-travel country with short distances to many different points of interest. From Kigali, the country’s capital, you can reach all of the country’s top sights in 1 to 5 hours by car. Volcanoes, rainforests, savannahs, islands, lakes, and the lovely city of Kigali may all be reached in a short holiday. Also easily accessible are the neighboring nations of Uganda and Tanzania as well as Burundi.

When in Rwanda, the most typical greeting is a handshake. There is little chance that tourists would notice trash on the streets; therefore, leaving it there is entirely out of bounds. Likewise, the Rwandan government strongly opposes beggars and asks tourists not to provide financial assistance to those who beg. As a result, programs have been developed to address this problem. Because it’s considered impolite to smoke or eat in public, most people avoid doing so.

Rwanda’s three official languages are French, English, and Kinyarwanda. Most tourist regions speak English, whereas business people tend to talk to Kiswahili.

Rwanda’s Roman Catholic population is little over half the total population. Other religions represented include Roman Catholicism, Judaism, and Islam, with some people still adhering to traditional indigenous beliefs.

Rwandan food is essential yet distinctive, with sweet potatoes, beans, maize, peas, millet, and fruit making up the bulk of the traditional Rwandan diet. Many Rwandans only eat meat on rare occasions. Fish, especially tilapia, is a staple of the diets of those who live near lakes. In metropolitan areas like Kigali, you may find restaurants serving Indian, Chinese, Italian, and other African-style cuisines.

Among the most popular meals are:

  • Ugali: A maize-and-water paste that, when combined, creates a porridge. Ugali is a favorite meal across eastern Africa, not only in Rwanda.
  • Ibihaza: A pumpkin and bean stew cooked in a crockpot.
  • Isombe: Mash dried fish with cassava leaves to make Isombe (a West African dish).
  • Matolie: Is made with plantains that have been roasted or steamed.

 

RWANDA HIGHLIGHTS

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Time and Weather

During the afternoon, temperatures in Rwanda range from 25 to 30 degrees Celsius, making it a pleasant place to visit. Nyungwe and the Virungas have lower evening temperatures than the rest of the country.

There are two distinct seasons in Rwanda when it rains: the «lengthy rains» and the «short rains.» From mid-March to mid-May, there are «long rains,» and from mid-October to mid-December, there are «short rains.»

There are two distinct dry seasons: the «long dry,» which lasts from mid-May to mid-October, and the «short dry,» which lasts from mid-December to mid-March.

The best time to visit

The best time to visit Rwanda is between June and September, when its undeniable feature, the mountain gorilla, can be found in its natural habitat.

Chimpanzee tracking is best done during the wet seasons of March to May and November. There’s also less noise.

Because Rwanda is close south of the Equator, the country has minimal seasonal variation in temperature. Daytime temperatures range from the mid-to late-teens, depending on where you are in the nation. At higher elevations, the evenings may be chilly.

Wildlife

Rwanda, despite its tiny size, has a lot to offer travelers. The government places a high value on conservation and eco-tourism, and the wildlife of Rwanda attracts a large number of visitors each year. Protected areas have regular patrols to deter poachers and capture them when they’re caught. For the protection of animals, stringent regulations and harsh penalties are in place as well. Wildlife census counts are carried out regularly to keep track of the different species present throughout the nation. As the government works to satisfy the requirements of both local communities and protected areas by including local people in decision-making, community-based programs are critical to conservation efforts.

Rwanda is home to three national parks, each having its own set of flora and fauna. The Nyungwe Forest National Park, in Rwanda’s southern portion, is a 1,000-square-kilometer rainforest. In addition to the world’s biggest arboreal colony of black/white colobus monkeys is home to thirteen endangered primate species. The African civet, leopards, and golden cats, as well as side-stripped jackals, may all be found in the park—East and Central Africa’s most significant and oldest Afro-Montane forest, dating to the last Ice Age.

The Akagera National Park, located near Tanzania’s border, is home to many exotic African wildlife species. The savannah grasslands are home to various animals, including giraffes, zebras, antelopes, elephants, and buffalo. Akagera has many marshes and lakes, making hippopotami and crocodile pods familiar sights at the water’s edge. Akagera’s lakeshores are home to some of the continent’s densest populations of waterbirds, many of which are endangered.

The only remaining population of mountain gorillas may be found in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, one of the country’s three national parks. It was Africa’s first national park, created in 1925 to preserve mountain gorillas. Currently, the park is home to eight distinct gorilla families, and visitors may do gorilla treks during any time of year. As one of the world’s most protected places, the park has witnessed a surge in the gorilla population.

There are still dangers, though, like poaching and the destruction of natural habitats. However, even though gorillas are seldom hunted, traps placed for other animals frequently hurt or kill gorillas. Gorilla limbs are often traded on the black market. While Volcanoes National Park is most renowned for its gorillas, visitors will also find golden monkeys, cape buffalo, the black-fronted duiker, and a plethora of bird species there as well.

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