A beautiful and fascinating country, often called “the heart of Africa” for its central location, and “the land of a thousand hills” for its landscape and breathtaking scenery. In recent years, Rwanda has made huge strides ahead in conservation, working with local communities to develop a sustainable eco-tourism, and specifically to increase the rare mountain gorilla numbers.
One of Africa’s most diverse regions, Rwanda, is home to wonderful and rare wildlife across its four national parks, from the chimpanzees in the oldest remaining forest of Nyungwe National Park, to the mountain gorillas and chatty golden monkeys of Volcanoes National Park.
Following its tragic, recent history with the genocide in 1994 that devastated the country and resulted in the destruction of biodiversity and many natural resources, Rwanda has sought to establish a single Rwandan identity. As part of that, great efforts have been made in conservation. Akagera National Park now has all of the Big Five, along with hundreds of bird species and antelope, all sharing the glorious backdrop of savannah grasslands, wetlands and lakes. As Rwanda continues to grows her tourism sustainably and responsibly, tourist lodges and safaris tend to be small and exclusive.
Given the landlocked nature of Rwanda, the shores of Lake Kivu, with beautiful watery reflections of the surrounding hills, and the bordering pretty towns such as Karongi are perhaps the answer to a beach retreat. Napoleon Island (by boat) is popular for hiking and well-known for its huge colony of straw-coloured fruit bats.
Despite Rwanda’s small size, this is an interesting country, with the highest percentage of women in parliament in the world, and where every last Saturday of the month is a community work day.