Rwanda the land of a thousand hills , a largely undiscovered Eden, she promises unrivalled biodiversity , dramatic mountains and volcanoes, some of the oldest and most precious rainforests on earth, a glittering skein of lakes, rivers and waterfalls and three stunning national parks. As to wildlife, Rwanda boasts 13 species of primate which is 25% of Africa’s total and remarkable 670 bird species many of which are globally endangered.
Land of a thousand hills
Set against a backdrop of towering volcanoes and amidst-wreathed mountains, Rwanda is a land of verdantly rolling hills, plunging ravines and rich cultivation. Studded with lakes, waterfalls and ancient forests, she boosts 200 species of trees and 300 species of orchid with many rarely documented. The biggest part of Rwanda is hilly and has been cultivated on with great produce of Tea plantations and other crops among which are the famous Irish or English potatoes which are mostly enjoyed here.
When it comes to wildlife, Rwanda wins again, offering 13 species of primates including the world’s famous mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, and the rare Golden monkeys. Rwanda safaris feature her wildlife cast which also includes a wide range of antelopes, zebras, buffaloes, giraffes, hippos, golden cats, lions, spotted hyena and the giant forest hog. The best thing about wildlife in Rwanda is that you find almost all animals in one park, all sharing space apart from the gorillas and chimpanzees.
A Brilliance of birds
Rwanda is another ornithologist’s paradise, the country boasts 670 species of birds, which in a country the size of Belgium, is unprecedented. Highlights of Rwanda birding tours include the fabulous shoebill stork, and the elusive, Great Blue Turaco. Birding tours in Rwanda can be done in the Nyungwe forest National Park and the Volcanoes National Park.
Gorillas in the mist
The volcanoes shot to the world fame with the 1988 film, Gorillas in the Mist, which documented the 20 years of pioneering gorilla research undertake by the American primatologist Dianna Fossey who was murdered by the poachers in 1985. Before she was murdered, she had taken on construction of the research Centre in Karisoke which has been renovated and runs today. Thanks to her.
Gorilla tracking in Rwanda
One of the a thousand remaining gorillas on earth some two hundred are found in Volcanoes National park in Rwanda. And so heavily protected are these shy gigantic creatures in their territories. Only thirty tourists are allowed in the volcanoes forest to track gorillas every day. Rwanda also enjoys annual gorilla baby naming ceremony which is locally termed as Kwita- Izina. Many visitors crowd Rwanda every year to enjoy this amazing festival.
The oldest forest on Earth
The Nyungwe forest is one of the oldest forests on earth dating back to before the last Ice Age. Ranked as Africa’s most important area for forestry conservation, it is one of the largest remaining blocks of montane forests in Africa. The most famous of the 13 primate species, Nyungwe is the place to see the chimpanzee. Visitors can also expect to see elephants, giant forest hogs, otters, duikers, and civets and some other bird species. This unique biosphere also offers 50kms of excellent walking trails that wind though forest s, waterfalls and panoramic viewing points.
Kigali city that Never sleeps
Rwanda’s capital city Kigali ranges over several hills. Serene and compact it offers a world class range of hotels, restaurants and bars. This is one of the best places to experience the spectacular Intore Royal ballet. Also in the city is the world’s most famous genocide memorial Centre, which fully documents the tragedy of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. The city enjoys beautiful set up with clean streets, and a vibrant nightlife. This is place you find nature with beauty, just beautiful people.
Butare cultural Heartbeat
The second big city in Rwanda, Butare is considered to be the intellectual and cultural pulse of Rwanda. It features the National museum which is considered by many to offer East Africa’s finest ethnographic collection. Close by is also Rwanda’s top tourism destination, the Royal palace of Nyanza.
The Intore Dancers
Traditionally the sons of the king’s noblemen, the Intore, (finest) dancers were originally based at his court in Nyanza where they performed for his pleasure. At that time their dances depicted war but today, clad in leopard skin and colobus monkey capes with bells around their ankles, they perform a series of rhythmic pieces, the most famous of which is the Crane Dance. This is the best cultural piece to make your trip to Rwanda.
Lovely Lake Kivu
Lake kivu, the largest of many Rwanda’s fresh water bodies is 6th largest and 15th deepest lake in the world. It is ringed by wooded hills and fringed by white sandy beaches and sultry hot springs it offers lakeside resorts, watersports and island tours while the towns of Gisenyi, Kibuye and Cyangugu excel in leisure, dining and accommodation options. Walking, boating, fishing and rural village tours are also offered on many of Rwanda’s other 22 lakes.
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