Rwanda, the Republic lies in the Great Lake region of East Africa. The country borders mountains to the west and savanna to the east. Rwanda enjoys lush greenery and fascinating wildlife. This are not the only reason why you should visit Rwanda, there are more. This article helps you understand why you should visit Rwanda.
Rwanda, just like any other country has a past. The historical heritage, climate, landscape and people make the country. Rwanda’s colonization story goes back to the Germans in 1884. This was before the Belgian regime during the First World War.
Things moved from bad to terrible for the locals during the Rwandan genocide. This was in 1994 and is well documented in the movie, Hotel Rwanda. They have now recovered to a large extent and most part of Rwanda is safe for travel.
The economy depends on subsistence agriculture and tourism. Rwanda has a climate that looks like that of Germany rather than other African countries. Its capital and largest city, Kigali, is at the heart of the country.
You will not be the first person to think that Africa is not safe to travel. It is yet, wrong to assume it as Rwanda is a case in point. Rwanda is more than safe to travel to. The people here are friendly and eager to help. Still not convinced? Here are the top reasons why you should visit Rwanda.
10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Rwanda
1. Mountain Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda
On of the most visited destination in Rwanda is the Volcanoes National Park. The park is one of mountain gorillas last standing strongholds. Volcanoes National Park is in the North East of Rwanda. The park draws its name from the five volcanoes nestled within. The volcanoes are covered in bamboo moors and rain forests.
The best and major reason you should visit Rwanda is trekking mountain gorillas. It is an activity not worthy of missing and one that must be in your bucket list.
Volcanoes National park has a diversified ecosystem. The park boasts meadows, marshes, lakes, swamps, grassland, rain forests, and lower montane forests. This park is also rich in fauna. You will find Golden Monkeys, Buffalo, Spotted Hyenas, Bushbuck among others roaming here.
2. Capital City, Kigali
This is the largest city in Rwanda, Kigali is also the capital. the city is on a hilly location with an average elevation of 1,600m above sea level. Its highest point, Mount Kigali, stands at 1,850m tall.
Kigali enjoys a cool subtropical climate with temperatures. This range between 15⁰C and 27⁰C (59F to 81F). The came into existence in 1907 under German colonial rule. It was only designated the capital following Rwanda’s independence in 1962.
Kigali was also the centre stage of the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. It has gone through more than two decades after the civil war. It has become known for its peacefulness and the laid-back attitude of the locals. With its clean streets and its paved roads, it brings to mind a typical European town.
3. The Virunga Mountains
This is a chain of volcanic mountains. The Virunga Mountains are on the northern border of Rwanda. Covered with lush lower montane forests, they’re home of mountain gorillas. The mountain range includes eight volcanoes, most of which are dormant or extinct. With a range of scenic trek routes, it’s also one of the world’s greatest trekking hotspots. Mount Visoke is one of the most breath-taking sights. It has a splendid crater lake at 3,711m above sea level.
4. Rwanda’ Colonial Capital Huye or Butare
This was once the capital of colonial Rwanda. Butare lies in its southern region. it has colonial architecture, churches, clean streets, museums, bistros, cafes and terraced restaurants. Butare is a lively city that stands out in the lush Rwandan scenery. The town is now called Huye, but the locals still prefer to call it by its name for the olden days, Butare. Some of its major attractions include the Ethnographic Museum and Ginkoro Genocidal Museum. Huye Market and the National University of Rwanda is also worth a visit.
5. Rwanda Water Bodies
Rwanda enjoys a location in the Great Lakes region of Africa. It is thus a natural paradise endowed with pristine lakes and charming lake beaches. The country border with Congo is sprinkled with lakes. Five of these lakes are volcanic and one is the largest freshwater lake in the country. The latter, Lake Kivu has terraced hills. It is lined with some of Africa’s most beautiful resort towns.
To the north is the Lake Burera and Lake Ruhondo. these are two lesser known areas that are also stunning. At the borders are mountains that make a fantastic hangout for those who enjoy trekking. You can also enjoy hand gliding, water skiing and various other thrilling sports activities. The surrounding forests are also perfect for Rwanda gorilla trekking safari.
6. Dark History – Dark Tour
This is perhaps not the first attractions that come to mind for those visiting Rwanda. The Genocide Memorials are, nonetheless quite popular with tourists. The country has made great strides since the genocide of 1994.
It’s important that visitors know about the horrific incident that took place in Rwanda. The Kigali Genocide Memorial is a museum developed to preserve the memory of this moment. The museum is in Gisozi and is the memorial centre. It rests on the burial site of more than a quarter of the estimated 1 million genocide victims. It lies surrounded by gardens and it showcases a wall bearing the names of the victims.
Towards the south of Kigali, there is the regions known as Nyamata and Ntrama. Here are several churches which the sites of the horrendous massacres were. These was of countless people seeking refuge here. A school in the area was also the site of a ruthless massacre. It houses a museum containing the preserved bodies of the victims. You will also get a detailed history of the outbreak of the genocide.
The climate conditions in Rwanda is unlike other African countries. Despite its proximity to the equator, the weather is pleasant throughout the year. This is as a result of its altitude. The temperatures are at an average of 22 degrees celcius with 2 rainy seasons. Rwanda is an all year-round destination that should not miss in your bucket list. Then why should you visit Rwanda, but who would not want to go to a place with great weather?
Rwanda has a role call of neighbors. This includes some of Africa’s best-loved safari destination Tanzania, to the east. There are also the trio of countries which perhaps fit the description “off the beaten track”. they include Burundi to the south, Uganda to the north, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Rwanda could be regarded as one of the more unreachable areas of a continent that is not known for ease of travel. But, the fourth smallest country on the African mainland, has direct flights to the UK. The will soon be connecting direct to the United States of America. RwandAir connects London Gatwick to the national capital Kigali. This is a nine-hour air bridge that operates three times a week.
One major reason why you should visit Rwanda is because it is safe, period. Travellers in sub-Saharan Africa should always take the standard precautions. This is true when it comes to matters like drinking water. Your personal security and other such fragments of common sense are also here. Rwanda is a country you can explore with reasonable confidence. So, how safe is travel to Rwanda? It is safe.
10. Big Five are Here Too
Rwanda is rarely considered a classic safari destination. For those seeking things that roar and growl in the night you can go to Akagera National Park. This is home to the Big Five that includes lion, rhino, elephant, buffalo and leopard.
The park spreads out on the east flank of the country. It is shaped by the border with Tanzania and the River Kagera. It is a verdant enclave of savannah and wetland. The park suffered during Rwanda’s turbulent Nineties. this is when poaching and subsistence hunting robbed it of most of its inhabitants.
Akagera has regathered itself since 2009. It got under the wing of rescue and rehabilitation group African Parks. 7 South African lions were introduced in 2015. Also, 20 black rhinos came in as recently. These are still faltering baby steps, but Akagera is walking a road to recovery.
So Why Should You Travel to Rwanda?
Still looking for more reasons why you should travel to Rwanda? I thought I have just exhausted the list.
There are more inspirational stories from Rwanda. You just need to look around and you will find them. Waste no time, just let us know if you got any doubt. We are sure of not only giving you reasons why you should travel to Rwanda. We will also give you great holiday and safari packages to Rwanda.