Rwanda, the land of one thousand hills and ‘hundreds attractions’ is an extraordinary place where serene scenery and placid people greet you at every juncture. Rwanda is safe and secure with an overwhelming renaissance of Rwandese national pride and cultural reconstruction. It is full of sights and delights, waiting to be explored. If Rwanda is on your travel list there is no better time to runaway to Rwanda… visit today you would want to stay!
The country is well known mostly because of its horrible recent history and you might think that Rwanda should therefore be more the scope for No governmental organization than for travelers. Nowadays, nothing is less true. Rwanda has wonderful people, breathtaking beautiful lakes, challenging mountains, stunning scenery, perfect climate, rare species of apes, excellent roads, express buses, good and cheap food and beer, various accommodation options, fast internet, only few tourists outside the gorilla-homes, you will found it all in Rwanda, a safe and yet to be discovered backpackers haven!
Because of its small size, Rwanda attractions are near each other and can be reached quite easily and safely.
1. KIGALI CITY: A NICE PLACE TO EXPERIENCE AN AFRICAN CAPITAL
Kigali is an interesting mix of rural and urban town overflowing on juxtaposed hilly terrain. New construction is everywhere and large mansions stand side by side with mud brick huts and lean roads. It has a peaceful feel and the center is located upon the hilltop expanse. It feels safe and getting around is easy on foot or minibuses…many and new. For a bit more taxis can whiz you anywhere without breaking the bank. Kigali is a nice place to experience an African capital.
2. KGALI GENOCIDE MEMORIALS CENTER IN GISOZI
During the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, over a million people were murdered. Some 250,000 perished on the streets and in the houses, churches and hospitals of Kigali alone. The Kigali Genocide memorial center contains ten mass graves- a site of burial for almost victims, who were killed in the Kigali region. After the genocide, as mass graves were being discovered around the city. It was decided that a single monument/ burial place should be created, where the victims could be laid to rest with dignity, this is now their final resting place. The memorial houses a children’s section, a particularly powerful experience to read about the children- how they lived, and how they died. Amongst other things, it traces how things came to being so bad, how the ideology of genocide emerged, how the tragedy could have been averted, and how the world ignored the signs and warnings repeatedly. Some of the survivors of the genocide have been trained as guides at the center. Open 10am to 5pm daily. Entrance is free but at the door there is a box for donation. The place is really heart breaking!
4. MOUNTAIN GORILLAS TREKKING
A Mountain Gorilla Trekking is the pinnacle of all the wildlife experiences available in Africa and Rwanda is with no doubt the best place for this. People are limited to spend only one hour with the Gorillas and expect to hike for two to four hours to see them. These incredible primates are divided into four groups that have been habituated over the decades; it’s a thing not to miss in Rwanda. Don’t miss spending an hour with these magical creatures. It does require planning in advance, and contacting the National Park or a local tour operator to check what the latest system they have implemented with regards to how you get a permit – but it is all worthwhile. Also, don’t be put off by the price – a high price is needed to ensure that protecting the gorillas is economically sustainable for the local area.
5. MOUNTAINS CLIMBING
The National park office offers guided climbs to the top of 2 volcano among the 5 of the Virunga chain, Visoke (3711m) and Karisimbi (4705m -the tallest).
The climbs to the summits are not technical and can be done by fit hikers. The scenery is great! However, the trek to Karisimbi’s summit is an overnight trek and should be prepared properly.
6. NYUNGWE FOREST NATIONAL PARK
This national park is a preserved part of rain forest which houses 13 species in all, including humankind’s closest living relative the chimpanzee, as well as the handsome L’Hoest’s monkey and hundred-strong troops of the delightfully acrobatic Angola colombus. The most important ornithological site in Rwanda, Nyungwe harbours almost 300 bird species of which two dozen are restricted to a handful of montane forests on the Albertine Rift. Please come with your car or book a tour with a local tour operator otherwise it is very hard to reach the place and get away. You can camp there and pitch a tent but you have to consider bringing all food and water with you as facilities are limited. The entry fee has recently been increased so check up the actual fares.
7. AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK
Akagera is the best national park of Rwanda – very helpful park-ranger help to find you all animals in park – mainly, giraffes, zebras, antelopes, baboons, buffaloes, hippos and crocodiles.
8. RUSUMO FALLS
Rusumo is a Marvelous and spectacular falls of the Akagera River, a part of the most distant headwaters of the river Nile. The falls is located in the Eastern part of Rwanda at the border with Tanzania. If you happen to cross the border with Tanzania at Rusumo don’t forget to see the Rusumo falls.
9. THE BEAUTIFULLY LAKE KIVU
The beautifully Lake Kivu is a large deposit of fresh water that marks the western border with DR Congo and one of the Great Lakes of Africa. The lake is in the Albertine Rift, a part of the Great Rift Valley. Lake Kivu empties into the Ruzizi River, which flows southwards into Lake Tanganyika. Beneath the lake lie vast reserves of approximately 55 billion cubic of dissolved methane gas which have not been exploited. Lake Kivu is a tourist center, safe to swim (but just ask locally to be completely sure). There are nice beaches, gorgeous landscapes and the sunsets are regularly stunning. There are some excellent places to stay on the Lakeside such as Kibuye and -especially-Gisenyi near the DR Congo border.
10. BUTARE CITY IN HUYE
The most popular tourist attraction in Butare is the superb National Museum, which houses perhaps the finest ethnographic collection in East Africa. The rooms are spacious, without the excessive clutter of distracting memorabilia. This makes the well-labeled exhibits easy to appreciate and enjoy. Absorbing displays of traditional artefacts are illuminated by a fascinating selection of turn-of-the-century monochrome photographs, providing insight not only into pre-colonial lifestyles, but also into the subsequent development of Rwanda as a modern African state. Here the Intore dancers can be commissioned to perform, but this is not a good deal for a single traveler. If a group is present the price would definitely be worthwhile as shows are few and far between.