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Rwanda Facts

Facts About Rwanda

Country: Rwanda also known as “the land of a thousand Hills

Capital City: Kigali

Government: Republic

Head of State: President

Location: East Africa

Area: 26,338sq km

Population: Approximately10 Million people

Languages: French and English are the official languages where as Kinyarwanda is the local language, Swahili is also understood by many local people.

Currency: Rwandan Francs

Religion: The biggest percentage of the population is Christian while Islam has the least followers, Roman Catholic 56.5%, Protestant 26%, Adventist 11.1% and Muslim 4.6%.

Climate:A combination of tropical location and high altitude ensures that most of Rwanda has a temperate year-round climate. Temperatures rarely stray above 30 degrees Celsius by day or below 15 degrees Celsius at night throughout the year. The exceptions are the chilly upper slopes of the Virunga Mountains, and the hot low-lying Tanzania border area protected in Akagera National Park. Throughout the country, seasonal variations in temperature are relatively insignificant. Most parts of the country receive in excess of 1,000mm of precipitation annually, with the driest months being July to September and the wettest February to May.
Tourist attractions: Kenya’s main tourist attractions include;

  1. Masai Mara National park the most popular wildlife park in Kenya, from July – October you can witness the incredible migration of millions of wildebeest and zebra. The Masai tribesmen also offer cultural tours which really add to the experience.
  2. Mount Kenya has Africa’s second highest peak and like Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, you don’t need special training to reach Point Lenana one of its highest peaks. The area is home to rare species of animals as well as spectacular lakes, mineral springs and forests.
  3. Lamu one of Kenya’s oldest towns settled by the Swahili about 700 years ago and recently discovered by backpackers, Lamu is a great place to unwind and wash off the dirt and grime accumulated from some hard traveling. No matatus or mini-buses here, just donkeys and the sound of the ocean waves.

Access: Flying into Kigali’s international airport is the easiest way to get to Rwanda. Daily buses travel between Kampala (Uganda) and Kigali, they take about 10 hours. You can catch a variety of minibus taxis to the Tanzanian border and travel onto Mwanza (Tanzania). The border to Burundi may be dangerous, but is easy to get to by minibus taxi. To get to the DRC travel via Gisenyi to Goma (DRC) by minibus taxi.

Visas: A valid passport with visa is mandatory. In view of the bilateral agreements, nationals of the following countries may visit Rwanda without visa for a period up to 90 days: USA, UK, Germany, Canada, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sweden, Mauritius, South Africa and Hong Kong. Visas can be applied for online or bought upon arrival.

Cities in Rwanda

Butare

This is a very lovely university town which contains the exceptional National Museum which has a fine display of the history of the country and people. Besides, Butare was the largest and most important city in Rwanda before to 1965, when it lost out to the more centrally located Kigali.

The Roman Catholic Cathedral, built in memory of Princess Astrid of Belgium, is the largest in the country. At Nyanza, nearby, there is the court of the former King.

Kigali

This city is found at Rwanda’s geographical heart, and is among the safest and friendliest of African capitals, blessed with a moderate high altitude climate that belies its tropical location. However, the Centre is a permanent memorial to those who fell victim to the genocide and serves as a place for people to grieve those they lost. Kigali has been the capital of Rwanda since 1965.

An attractive city, it spreads over a number of hills. The main shopping and commercial area is around the Hotel Mille Collins, with the government district on the neighboring Kaciyiru hill. The markets, the handicrafts, the Muslim quarter and a new genocide memorial being built in Gisozi are some of the main places of interest.

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