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About Rwanda Tourism

Rwanda Tourism Attractions
Rwanda is a small sovereign state landlocked in the Great Lakes region of central and east Africa bordered on the north by Uganda, on the east by Tanzania, on the south by Burundi, and on the west by Lake Kivu and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaïre). Rwanda is 26,338 sq km (10,169 sq mi). The capital is Kigali
"The land of a Thousand Hills", Rwanda is a green undulating landscape of hills, gardens and tea plantations. It offers tourists a one of a kind journey - home to one third of the world remaining Mountain Gorillas, one third of Africa's bird species, several species of primates, volcanoes, game reserve, resorts and islands on the expansive Lake Kivu, graceful dancers, artistic crafts and friendly people.

Rwanda officially the Republic of Rwanda (Kinyarwanda: Repubulika y'u Rwanda; French: République du Rwanda), is a sovereign state in central and east Africa. Located a few degrees south of the Equator, Rwanda is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Rwanda is in the African Great Lakes region and is highly elevated; its geography dominated by mountains in the west and savanna to the east, with numerous lakes throughout the country. The climate of the country is temperate to subtropical, with two rainy seasons and two dry seasons each year.


The population is young and predominantly rural, with a density among the highest in Africa. Rwandans are composed of three ethnic groups: the Hutu, Tutsi and Twa. The Twa are a forest-dwelling pygmy people descended from Rwanda's earliest inhabitants. Scholars disagree on the origins of and differences between the Hutu and Tutsi; some believe differences are derived from former social castes, while others view them as being ethnicities or tribes. Christianity is the largest religion in the country; the principal language is Kinyarwanda, spoken by most Rwandans, with French and English serving as official languages. Rwanda has a presidential system of government. The president is Paul Kagame of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), who took office in 2000. Rwanda today has low corruption compared with neighbouring countries, although human rights organisations report suppression of opposition groups, intimidation and restrictions on freedom of speech. The country has been governed by a strict administrative hierarchy since precolonial times; there are five provinces delineated by borders drawn in 2006. Rwanda has the world's highest proportion of females in government positions in proportion to the population.


Hunter gatherers settled the territory in the stone and iron ages, followed later by Bantu peoples. The population coalesced first into clans and then into kingdoms. The Kingdom of Rwanda dominated from the mid-eighteenth century, with the Tutsi kings conquering others militarily, centralising power, and later enacting anti-Hutu policies. Germany colonised Rwanda in 1884 as part of German East Africa, followed by Belgium, which invaded in 1916 during World War I. Both European nations ruled through the kings and perpetuated a pro-Tutsi policy. The Hutu population revolted in 1959. They massacred numerous Tutsi and ultimately established an independent, Hutu-dominated state in 1962. The Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front launched a civil war in 1990. Social tensions erupted in the 1994 genocide, in which Hutu extremists killed an estimated 500,000 to 1 million Tutsi and moderate Hutu. The RPF ended the genocide with a military victory.


Rwanda's economy suffered heavily during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, but has since strengthened. The economy is based mostly on subsistence agriculture. Coffee and tea are the major cash crops for export. Tourism is a fast-growing sector and is now the country's leading foreign exchange earner. Rwanda is one of only two countries in which mountain gorillas can be visited safely, and visitors are prepared to pay high prices for gorilla tracking permits. Music and dance are an integral part of Rwandan culture, particularly drums and the highly choreographed intore dance. Traditional arts and crafts are produced throughout the country, including imigongo, a unique cow dung art.

Overview People and Culture

Rwanda has a rich culture evidenced in the diversity of fine crafts and strong traditions. These include music and dance and a variety of arts and crafts.

A window on Rwanda's history is provided by numerous Memorial sites and Museums preserved around the country. A number of Community Based Tourism experiences offer travellers the opportunity to experience cultural life. 

Rwanda has many fascinating museums and memorials that are worth visiting on your trip.
One of the most known historical events is the tragic Rwandan Genocide which took place for 100 days in April. The Kigali Genocide Memorial center in Kigali commemorates the genocide, and explores other genocides around the world. The genocide memorial is a place for everyone to reflect on the past and the future.
The memorial opened in April 2004, ten years after the genocide. The Aegis Trust, a UK based organizing dedicated to preventing genocides, created the concept for the memorial and today they manage it.
Entry is free of charge.  A useful audio guide is available for 9000RWF and a tour takes about one hour.  The memorial is open every day from 8am to 5pm, but the last entry is at 4pm.
Many other cities and town have their own genocide memorials and you can ask for directions at any tourism information stand.

 

 

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