Gorillas in Rwanda at the Volcanoes National Park © Derek Keats
'Land of a Thousand Hills' (Pays de Mille Collines) as it is popularly known, Rwanda is a small, verdant country in central Africa, the beautiful rolling landscape dotted with tea plantations, rugged mountains and towering volcanoes, with the shimmering Lake Kivu in the west.
Rwanda's past, however, does not paint as an attractive picture unfortunately; the legacy of almost 60 years of sporadic fighting has taken its toll on most of the population. The horrific genocide of about 800,000 Rwandans in the space of just over three months, sparked by a long-standing ethnic tension between the minority Tutsis and the Hutus, shocked the international media in 1994. Since then, Rwanda has had to work hard to raise awareness of itself as an unspoilt, scenically stunning destination that is rich in culture and wildlife, boasting fine food and one of the friendliest welcomes in Africa, and is showing rapid signs of development and worldwide interest of a positive nature.
The rapidly growing city of Kigali, situated at Rwanda's geographical heart, is not only the capital but also the country's most important business centre and the main point of entry. While it is not a tourist hot spot, it is the hub where it all happens in Rwanda and worth exploring when arriving in the country.
A beautiful country with an incredible people and history, Rwanda is worth the trip. For those with a love of nature, a rich history and an open space of beauty and learning, this African gem makes for a destination unlike any other.
Our Travel Expert
Miriam is a travel blogger, tourist guide and the owner of Kagera Safaris Ltd, a company committed to offering travellers to East Africa 'Memorable African Expressions'. She is passionate about community development, photography and travel.
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