Facts about Rwanda – The “LAND OF A 1000 HILLS” – A HOME to the remaining MOUNTAIN GORILLAS
Rwanda – The Land of A Thousand Hills and It’s Information.
Rwanda the Mountainous country, is a small and land locked country in East Africa. Rwanda is bordered by Uganda to the north, Tanzania to the east, Burundi to the south, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. It has five volcanoes and 23 lakes as well as several rivers. Rwanda a Tourism Country has It’s National Parks, that is to say, Akagera National Park, De Virunga Volcanoes National Park is known as The Home of the Mountain Gorillas, Nyungwe Forest National Park for Chimpanzees, Boat Cruises and Transportation on Lake Kivu Share with Congo and Rwanda.
- Land Area: – 26,340 sq km
- Current Government President: – Paul Kagame
- Official Languages:- Kinyarwanda, French, Kiswahili & English
- Population of Rwanda: – Approximately 9 million
- Capital City: – Kigali
- Elevation: – 1000 – 4500 meters above sea level
- Average temperature: – 24 – 27 degrees.
- Natural resources: – Tin, gold and natural gas
- Vegetation: – Equatorial Rain Forests, Savannah Lands
- Local Currency: – Rwanda Franc
The Location & Size of Rwanda
Rwanda is located in East Africa, covering a total land area of 26,338 sq km. A large part of the country has an elevation of between 1,500 and 2,500 meters. The country is divided by great peaks of up to 3000m (9842ft), which runs across the country from north to south. The Rising steeps generate from Lake Kivu to the Virunga volcanoes as they are a result of the Riftvalley actions and further eastwards. and the plain Savanah lands in the East where the Akagera National Park is situated commonly Known for game drives.
The climate of Rwanda is not uniform throughout the country. It is dry in the East and some parts of West and North. The Volcanoes are sometimes capped in snow and at times Chilly. The areas around Lake Kivu are generally Sunny and pleasant all year around.
Rwanda experiences a tropical climate this varies with respect to altitude. The Hot months in Rwanda are November, January and March, as the temperature rises up to 300 Celsius. The Rainy months are April, May, September and December and May being the Wet month.
Kigali, the Capital City of Rwanda – A Pleasant Capital full of Surprises
Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, is located on a number of hills. and found in the centre of the country with a pleasant connection of good roads to all the bordering countries. Due to Kigali being the Capital, The population of Kigali if increasing as estimated from 25,000 to 600,000.
Rwanda as a Tourism Country, it is a good base for safaris and Touring due to different alternatives and areas of interest. Kigali as one of Africa’s safest cities, it has a pleasant atmosphere as well as several good hotels and restaurants that are well and worth visiting. So one Visiting Kigali, it’s recommended to have a Kigali City Tour so as to visit Horrific Historical Genocide Museum, A number well Executive-Cheap-Pleasant and Well maintained Drink-Up Bars and Also the Night-Clubs inclusive.
Health – Health tips when travelling to Rwanda and Africa.
Rwanda is doing very well in terms of health as professional doctors and dentists are readily spread and made available throughout various regions of the country, the major hospitals are located in the main towns. However, for any serious or critical condition, Kigali is the best place to seek for help. Otherwise, bring any special medication you may need, and carry medical insurance. As most chemists in the major towns are open from 08h30 to 12h30 and 14h00 to 17h00 Monday to Friday and 08h00 to 13h00 on Saturdays. There are no emergency chemists open after hours or Sundays.
However, Rwanda does not present any major health hazards. All towns normally have a well-stocked pharmacy although the individual traveller should come along with personal medication along. And it is wise to consult the doctor 6 – 8 weeks prior to departure for updated advice on health care and precautions when travelling to any remote area.
The Yellow fever vaccination is required and checked upon arrival for all visitors. However, the Vaccination is not valid until 10 days after vaccination. so it is important to have this done earlier in good time so as to control this dangerous virus spread by mosquitoes.
Money, Credit Cards and Media of Exchange – make the financial aspect smooth at your visit.
Rwanda, especially the great city of Kigali is well serviced with a few international banks, such as Stanbic, and a few modern local ones such as the Bank of Rwanda and the Bank de Kigali. The unit of currency in Rwanda is the “Rwandan Franc” (RWF) and there are several denominations up to RwFr 5000.
In circulation concurrently there are the British Pounds Sterling, US Dollars, German Marks (rare), Swiss Franks (rare), French Francs, Euro, Japanese Yen (rare), SA Rand notes; and several Foreign Exchange bureaus in Kigali offering similar rates.
Banks are generally not open on weekend days say, Saturdays and Sundays. So for fast and efficient money transfers, there are several Western Union offices in Kigali and most other towns. However, Few Establishments accept Credit Cards so be careful to check this before running up a Bill like at Hotels and Restaurants.
Major Hotels, Restaurants and Lodges accept Credit Cards but expect an extra charge added on top of the bill. And cheques are not recommended and not widely accepted.
Rwanda’s Top Attractions – Things to do in Rwanda
You can explore Rwanda’s top attraction in terms of wildlife diversity when you take a tour to Rwanda’s 3 National parks of Parc Volcanoes, Nyungwe National park and Akagera National park. The largest tract of forest with the greatest diversity of large mammals is found in the three National Parks, which are designated conservation areas.
Rwanda brings to record 670 bird species in Rwanda, with variation between the east and the west. Nyungwe Forest, in the west, has 280 recorded species, of which 26 are endemic to the Albertine Rift; endemic species include the Ruwenzori Turaco and Handsome Francolin. Eastern Rwanda, by contrast, features savanna birds such as the Black-headed Gonolek and those associated with swamps and lakes, including storks and Pied Kingfishers.
In Rwanda, Kinyarwanda, French, and English are the official languages. However, since the 1994 genocide, the complications of relations with the current French government, the return of numerous Tutsi refugees who went to Uganda (Anglophone), and also the intervention of the United States, English has been used by more of the population and administration
Travel and Communication
In Rwanda, the mobile communication network is widely spread to almost all regions of the country. Telecom giants include MTN-Rwanda among other players
International call facilities, as well as fax facilities, exist at the main Post Office and in many Secretarial bureaus
Safety Travel Tips
Everyone is cautioned to have full responsibility and take restrictive measures regarding property protection while on the safari. Do not walk around at night unescorted before seeking advice. If possible, never leave your vehicle unattended and never change money on the streets. This is less of a problem in the rural areas. Carry minimum amounts of cash and keep it hidden or in a money belt, if possible. Secure your belongings such as passport or airline tickets and other valuables and documents; use safe deposit boxes where available
When to Visit Rwanda
In Rwanda, you can visit any time of the year, even if during rainy seasons or Wet Seasons or Dry Seasons. So far when it’s raining, the diverse lands are always green with a clear sky. As well as in the Wet seasons as its the best time to for tracking the chimpanzees in Nyungwe forest National Park. So in dry seasons, the supreme activity of the canopy walk is so much exciting as you have beautiful spots of the thick forests and the water falls.
Required Equipment while Safari Visiting and Travelling to Rwanda
Useful advice on recommended equipment when trekking and travelling through the land of 1000 hills! Personal trekking equipment
The following is a suggested list of items to bring along, specifically if your safari includes trekking the gorillas and/or the chimpanzees. It is highly recommended that visitors prepare themselves and attain a reasonable level of physical fitness prior to doing a trek, as the terrain is mountainous and at times fairly steep. During periods of rainfall, the terrain can be muddy and slippery.
- Good, waterproof hiking footwear
- Good grip soles important.
- Change of shoes, suggestively comfortable sports shoes or similar
- Comfortable socks & T-shirts
- Raincoat or rain poncho, preferably also covering the head.
- Long trousers/jeans of good quality to protect against stinging nettles
- Long sleeved summer jacket for nettle protection and a sweater for chilly evenings
- “Day back pack” to carry a change of T-shirt, socks, sweets, camera, raincoat, snacks etc Camera with plenty of light sensitive film, for digital cameras extra memory card! Hat and high-level sunscreen
- Water container – 2 litres capacity suggested
- Sweets, chocolates etc
- Walking stick (can also be arranged locally)
- Rehydration mixture, paracetamol and any personal medication
Like in other countries, in Rwanda tipping is not compulsory but a way of service appreciation and for a job well done.
Rwanda – TIME
Rwanda is GMT +2hrs