There are so many African countries adorned with natural beauty, diverse cultures and rich wildlife and are on every traveller’s list. One such country is Rwanda. Rwanda is an East African country with a thriving economy. The country has made a tremendous comeback from the aftermath of the 1994 genocide to be an economic and tourist powerhouse in Africa. Below are some of the ten reasons why you should visit the country:
1. The mountain gorillas and chimps
A concentrated population of mountain gorillas is very much still evident in Rwanda and these provide a captivating sight when one visits the country. Rwanda is one of the three countries where you can still find the mountain gorillas. Most of them are found are in the Volcanic mountains and tourists trudge through the mountains to have a glimpse of them. It’s not only the mountain gorillas Rwanda has to offer when it comes to primates, as there is also a considerable population of the chimpanzees, which provide a spectacular tourist experience.
2. Volcanic mountains
Rwanda’s landscape is breath-taking and awe-inspiring. The Virunga mountain range is a chain of volcanoes that stretches along the north of Rwanda, the south-west of Uganda and a stretch of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Activities on the Rwandan side include many different climbs and hikes to suit all abilities, with the ultimate being a trip up Mount Muhabura. You can also swim in crater lakes and you can end up in Uganda.
3. The treetop walks
If you want to do justice to your adrenaline-rush, Nyungwe Forest is just the appropriate place to fulfill such an experience. You can do a canopy treetop walk some sixty metres from the ground, that will bring a face-to-face experience with blue monkeys, black-and-white colobus monkeys and red-tailed monkeys. chimpanzees leap from branch to branch, and more than 300 bird species caw and call in the upper leaves.
4. Awesome safaris
It’s not only the primates that Rwanda’s safari proffers to enthusiastic tourists. Rwanda is home to zebras, giraffes, elephants, lions, hippos and crocodiles along with hundreds of bird species. Akagera National Park is sanctuary to a sizeable population of the Big Five (lion, buffalo, elephant, leopard and rhino). While Akagera is a smaller park than many in East Africa, the strides it is making in restoring some populations of animals that encountered their demise in the 1994 disaster are of unparalleled magnitude.
5. It is the most gender equal country in the world
Women have done a lot in claiming their space clamped on by patriarchy globally, but some countries are still lagging in this area. Well, Rwanda is nonetheless a good precedent for gender equality. It is well ahead of Finland and Sweden, countries considered bulwarks of gender equality. In Rwanda, record 64 per cent of its MPs are women, the highest percentage of any country.
6. It has moved on from its darkest moment in history
The ravage that came with the 1994 genocide was unspeakable. The atrocities were utterly unimaginable, and left a gloomy legacy. The bloodletting was terrifyingly horrendous; close to a million Tutsi people were massacred ruthlessly by the majority Hutus government. This was one of the consequences of the Rwandan Civil War (1990-1993) – and, in turn, caused the displacement of two million more (largely Hutu) people. With undeterred zeal, national healing has gradually taken place. There is a Genocide memorial centre in Kigali, a museum created to remember the insane killing of the Tutsi people. It is located close to the airport, and provides a chance to educate tourists on what really happened during that mad moment and what is to be done in the future to prevent it.
7. A very safe country
Rwanda is now known for its peace and stability, features that still prove to be problematic in some of the African countries like DRC. Crime levels are considerably low, drinking water is very safe, and many other amenities are so world class that tourists get the assurance they need of safety when visiting Rwanda. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has a few words of warning on parts of the borders with the DRC and Burundi, but otherwise reassures would-be visitors that “Rwanda is generally safe and crime levels are relatively low.”
8. Kigali is just an amazing place
Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, has proven beyond any reasonable doubt to be the dominant most preferred destination of choice. Kigali has something for everyone and is one of the cleanest and safest cities in Africa. There is plenty to do here to occupy your time, from exploring museums and arts collectives, to eating tasty cuisine at international restaurants and mingling with the locals at cozy bars.
9. Palaces were former royalty lived
Our African culture is intertwined with the glories of the past before the advent of colonialism and our traditions are still something we hold on to dearly. If you visit Rwanda, you get the chance of going to the actual palaces that former Mwamis (kings) of Rwanda lived in. Head south to Nyanza,you will see the palace grounds and dwellings of these ancient kings. At Nyanza, even the cows are royal and have horns which reach six feet across.
10. The delicious food
The list gets completed by the delicacies that Rwanda has to offer. From brochettes to ugali to mandazi, Rwanda has an incredible array of foods that will make your mouth salivate. While the country incorporates cooking styles from other east African countries, it also manages to create fantastic combinations that are uniquely Rwandan.