Rwanda is the smallest country located East Africa of recent joined with Burundi, covering a total land area of 26,338 sq km. This beautiful Mountainous country 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. The country is divided by great peaks of up to 3000m (9842ft), which run across the country from north to south. The Virunga volcanoes, rising steeply from Lake Kivu in the west, slope down first to a hilly central plateau and further eastwards to an area of marshy lakes around the upper reaches of the Akagera River, where the Akagera National Park is situated.
Rwanda’s Key Attractions
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. Nyungwe, the largest tract of forest, 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
Rwanda experiences a tropical climate this varies in respect to altitude. The hottest months of the year in Rwanda are November, January and March, temperature rise up to 300 Celsius. The rainy months are April, May, September and December with the wettest month being May. As a result of higher altitude Rwanda experiences more cold weather; the best times are December-March and June-September
Rwanda’s Political Administration
The current government of Rwanda is led by President Paul Kagame, who was elected in the recently in Late 2010 General Elections through democratic proceedings
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
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.
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. Bring any special medication you may need, and carry medical insurance. 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.
Media of Exchange
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). Coins in this currency are in the following denominations: 10, 20, 50, 100; and notes in some of the following denominations: 500, 1000, 5000, 10000 in circulation concurrently with British Pounds Sterling, US Dollars, German Marks (rare), Swiss Franks (rare), French Francs, Euro, Japanese Yen (rare), SA Rand notes.
Getting to Rwanda
Through the international gateways Kanombe, Rwanda’s international airport is about 5km away from Kigali. Several international and regional carriers, including SN Brussels, Kenya Airways, South African Airways and Ethiopian airlines operate regular flights to Kanombe. International Carriers SN Brussels flies four times a week from Brussels direct to Entebbe. British Airways flies three times a week from London, Gatwick. International carriers to Kigali (Kanombe, the main airport) include SN Brussels which flies three times a week. From USA, there are flights to Entebbe and Kigali via London or Brussels, or alternatively clients can fly from New York or Atlanta to Johannesburg with South African Airways and then take a connecting flight.
Operating airlines connecting Kigali from the rest of the world include: – Ethiopian Airways provides connections from Addis Ababa. Kenya Airways flies daily from Nairobi. South African Airways provides connections with Dar-es- Salaam and Johannesburg. Egypt flies weekly from Cairo, only to Entebbe. East African Air provides connections from Nairobi, and Johannesburg. Air Tanzania and Rwanda Air, the National airline operates from Kigali connecting to Johannesburg, Nairobi to the rest of the African countries major cities