Rwanda’s captivating character echoes across its myriad of upwards slopes and downward hills. Rwanda, also known as the land of thousand of hills country gifts its visitors with beautiful biodiversity, friendly wildlife, unique culture, welcoming locals and stunning scenes.
Enclosed by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Congo, Rwanda is a country with a tragic history that is commemorated with memorials scattered throughout the country evoking reflection of the past and present. The country’s resistance highlights its people’s will to resist, grow and bloom to new beauty.
There are numerous government agencies and organizations dedicated to protecting this primate paradise. Rwandans also possess a lineage of knowledge on their environments and long-term sustainable projects to help their country prosper.
Rwanda is home to some of Africa’s most captivating creatures with up to 13 varieties of primates inhabiting the Nyungwe National Park and magnificent gorillas in the north.
Volcanoes National Park
This endless green landscape commemorates the dormant volcanoes of Virunga and invites visitors to a portrait of 200 different types of birds, the rarely sighted red-gold monkey and of course the endangered mountain gorillas with intriguing expressions.
The Virunga Mountains are known for their unique gorilla mountain treks. This once-in-a-lifetime experience will take you on an eco journey that considers the gorilla’s sensibilities and follow strict protocols. Visitors will be immersed into the density of the mountain and follow the guide with a mindful consideration of all sounds, including the crunching leaves beneath their feet and the calls of the forest. If lucky you can commune with a Gorilla from far. These experiences are rare and require preparation and it is vital to do your research and book early as the Rwandan Development Board limits numbers per day.
Visitors can also enjoy a 3-hour hike to the little Lake Ngezi, sunk in a volcanic depression by the Mount of Bisoke. For those who want more of a challenge, a 3700m incline up Mount Bisoke will bring adventurers to a crater lake a fusion of water and height. Mount Karisimbi at 4,507 m is a longer adventure that will immerse explorers into the tropical world of primates and rainbow birds.
The Congo Nile Trail is also a unique experience that can be completed on water or by foot and allows tourists to traverse plantations, rainforests and hidden beaches.
Nyungwe National Park
To the South West of Rwanda, the Nwungwe has countless trails for novices, explorers and free-flowers. Discover waterfalls, marvel at the forest’s tallest trees and listen to bird’s musicals calls.
The Igishigishigi Trail suspends visitors on the Canopy Walkway which is not for the fainthearted but provides a breathless experience above a ravine. The Uwinka Trail is more difficult but will immerse you in the tropics from dawn to dusk. The Irebero Trail is a journey of heights offering risk-takers views of Lake Kivu, one of the greatest lakes in East Africa.
Is smaller than the above locations but not to be missed by any account, part of the Nwungwe national park. This park is known for its tropical air, medicinal herbs, wood and timber properties and tea plantations. Visitors can engage in cultural experiences or simply hike across the wild fauna and flora.
Rwanda’s capital contrasts the natural disorder of beauty found in the national parks with pristine shopping malls, authentic coffee shops and a gleaming buzz of corporate offices.
However, the city commemorates its artistic heritage through the Inema Arts Center which puts into the spotlight artists that consider Rwandan arts, heritage and modern expression and the Rwanda Art Museum which showcases the universality of art.
The Kimironko Market is an everyday market that shows beauty and culture permeates every aspect of life.
Nyamirambo’s heart is the Women’s Centre (NWC) is also an organisation that should not be missed, empowering women through the production of ethically- conscious cultural items that fund free education and vocational training.
The Kigali Genocide Memorial is also worth a visit for understanding the complex and defiant character of Rwanda and honouring the victims of the Rwandan genocide.
Cultural Heritage Corridor is a neverending journey south from Kigali offering a taste of the history and heritage of Rwanda:
The Ethnographic Museum in Huye to the north of Kigali invokes an in-depth look at Rwanda’s culture through seven curated display rooms that focus on architecture, textiles, and hunting weapons.
The Heavens of Kamonyi, Ijuru rya Kamonyi, to the West of Kigali is the royal seat of 13 Rwandan Kings. Places on the top of a hill, a strategy of vantage it is the perfect open-air museum to learn about the history and effects of each Rwandan King.
70 Km from Kamonyi lies Nyanza, where you’ll find the immersive King’s Palace Museum and the National art gallery.
Rwanda’s traditional cuisine is typically African with Meat, with a love for goats due to availability is usually served on skewers, and fish found in lakes like sardines or small tilapia.
Carbs include Ugali, a maize flour porridge that pairs with endless dishes. For vegetarians, Plantain like Matoke is enjoyed hot and fried, and Ibihaza is a nutritious meal of boiled pumpkin with beans, sweet potatoes, and garlic stews topped with groundnuts and chillies.