Rwanda

WELCOME TO RWANDA

Rwanda is a small East African country that draws visitors from all over the world, primarily to see its critically endangered mountain gorillas. The country’s history is marred by political strife and civil war, and in 1994, Rwanda was the setting for one of the world’s most horrific genocides. Nevertheless, Rwanda has evolved into one of the African continent’s safest and most stable countries. Its infrastructure is good, its capital Kigali is booming, and its mountainous landscapes are some of the world’s most spectacular.

Location:

Rwanda is part of Central Africa. It shares its borders with four countries, including Uganda to the north, Tanzania to the east, Burundi to the south and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west.

Geography:

Rwanda has a total area of just 10,169 square miles/ 26,338 square kilometers – making it slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Maryland.

Capital City:

The capital of Rwanda is Kigali.

Population:

Rwanda is one of Africa’s most densely populated countries, with July 2016 estimates placing its population at 12,988,423. The majority of Rwandans are Hutus, an ethnic group that accounts for 84% of the population.

Languages:

Rwanda has three official languages: Kinyarwanda, French and English. Of these, Kinyarwanda is by far the most widely spoken, serving as a common tongue for 93% of the population.

Religion:

Christianity is the predominant religion in Rwanda, with Roman Catholicism being the most widely practiced denomination.

Together, Catholics and Protestants account for almost 89% of the population.

Currency:

Rwanda’s currency is the Rwandan franc. For current exchange rates, use this accurate conversion website.

Climate:

Despite its equatorial location, Rwanda’s high elevation means that the country enjoys a surprisingly cool climate.

Although averages vary depending on where you’re going, there is very little difference between seasons in terms of temperature. Rwanda has two rainy seasons – a long one that lasts from early March to late May, and a shorter one that lasts from October to November. The driest time of year lasts from June to September.

When to Go:

It is possible to track Rwanda’s famous gorillas all year round, but the optimum time to do so is during the dry season (June to September), when the going is easier and the weather is more pleasant. The roads are easier to navigate at this time, and mosquitoes are less abundant. The dry season is also best for game-viewing in Rwanda’s national parks, as the lack of rain encourages animals to congregate at the waterholes. If you want to track chimpanzees, however, the rainy season offers the best chance for success.

Key Attractions:

Kigali Genocide Memorial

Volcanoes National Park

Nyungwe Forest National Park

Murambi Genocide Memorial

King’s Palace Museum – Rukari

Akagera National Park

Landmark in Gisenyi (Rubavu) Rubona Peninsula

Village in Musanze (Ruhengeri) Nkotsi Village

Cultural Centre in Volcanoes National Park, Gorilla Guardians Village

Ntarama Church

National Arts Gallery – Rwesero

Beach in Gisenyi (Rubavu)

Cave In Musanze (Ruhengeri) Musanze Caves

Inema Arts Center

Factory in Gisenyi (Rubavu) Pfunda Tea Estate

Waterfall in Eastern Rwanda Rusumo Falls

Museum Of Natural History

Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International – Karisoke Research Centre

Nyanza Genocide Memorial

Bisesero Genocide Memorial

Presidential Palace Museum

Market in Gisenyi (Rubavu)

Church in Huye (Butare)