Rwanda is a small landlocked country in the eastern part of Africa rich blessed with many hills that is the reason why it is called the land of a thousand hills. Others may call it a land of a thousand smiles basing on the hospitality of the people of Rwanda. The Rwandan people are divided into three small ethnic groups that are the Hutu, the Tutsi and the twa people who stay in the further out of town parts. Rwanda is a French-speaking country mainly because it was colonized by the French. The national language, however, is Kinyarwanda. Rwanda is bordered by Tanzania in the east, Uganda in the north, Burundi in the south and the Democratic republic of Congo in the East putting it in the Great lakes region. The hilly terrain of this country mostly on the west side has contributed to the cold weather of the region throughout the year. Temperatures in Rwanda are estimated at about 12 degrees Celsius to 27 degrees Celsius throughout the year. The country experiences a tropical highland climate mainly because of its elevation above sea level.
The capital city of Rwanda is Kigali and this is the main town and where most administrative offices and businesses are for example the government ministries, state house and the President’s office are all found in Kigali. The President of Rwanda is H.E Paul Kagame. Kigali is also the largest city in Rwanda and was named the capital city in 1962 after the country’s independence. The current mayor of Kigali is Prudence Rubingisa. This city is on the level of a province and has an executive committee that governs the daily runnings of the city. This city was founded in 1907 by a german explorer known as Richard Kandt. This small city has an estimate of about 1,132,686 people living here and an estimate of the urban population being around 859,332. The development rate of this city very fast and steady since the current president took power in 2000 preceding Pasteur Bizimungu after he resigned from the office.
Rwanda is also the home of the mountain gorillas, a few of the last remaining ones found in the famous Volcanoes National park. Volcanoes national park covers 160 square kilometers and within it is the home of the endangered mountain gorillas along with five of the eight Virunga volcanoes that is Mount Karisimbi, mount Bisoke, Mount Gahinga, mount sabyinyo, and mount Muhabura. Volcanoes park of Rwanda is also home to the golden monkeys that are also found in the neighboring Mgahinga gorilla national park of Uganda. This park was the first gazette in the year of 1925 mainly to protect the mountain gorillas from the poachers but over the years has grown as a main tourist destination in the country.
The tourism sector of Rwanda is at a high rise seeing as the 3 national parks of the country are doing well. Another of the parks of Rwanda is the Akagera national park that is famous for its big 5 game. It is a large protected area in the northeastern part of the country. This park was established in 1934 and had a few hiccups especially during the time of the Rwanda genocide but has quickly sprung back on its feet since the early 2000s. When visiting Rwanda, Akagera is one park you should not miss out as its beauty is undeniable and is just a 2-hour drive from the Kigali international airport. This is also the largest protected wetland area in Eastern Africa as the swamp in Akagera makes up a third of this 1,122 square kilometer park. This is also an important bird area where there are a great number of bird species that you may encounter on a game drive or a boat trip of Lake Ihema.
The third national park in Rwanda is the Nyungwe forest national park that is found in the southern part of the country. Nyungwe forest is one of Africa’s oldest and biggest rain forest. Within the boundaries of this forest is the great common chimpanzee and several other primates like the black and white colobus monkeys, Angola colubus monkeys one of the endemic species of the area and a large number of different bird species estimated to be around 275 birds in Nyungwe forest. This forest has a lot to offer in terms of tourism like chimpanzee trekking, bird watching, monkey treks also get to go on a 200-meter long canopy bridge (Canopy Walkway Tour) hang up 50 meters high from the ground and see the view of this thick forest from above.
These parks are managed by the Rwanda Development Board along with the government ministries in charge of tourism, wildlife, and natural resources. Each of these parks in Rwanda has a major attraction and all have different ecosystems. Book your tour with Explore Rwanda tours to any of these parks and let us give you a deeper insight into Rwanda as a tourism destination.