Rwanda is a small country in East Africa, sharing borders with Uganda to the North, Burundi to the South, Tanzania to the East, and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the West. Rwanda is in a period of recovery, healing, and growth as we have just passed the 25 year anniversary of the tragedies that occurred there due to the political turbulence sown by European colonialism. Today Rwanda welcomes visitors to explore its vibrant capital city, Kigali, and experience its many natural wonders.
Kigali stretches across lush hills surrounded by towering mountains. Kigali is the country’s financial, commercial and cultural hub, served by an international airport and featuring a wide range of accommodation options, restaurants, an atmospheric market, and numerous craft shops. With its interesting architecture, busy streets, meandering boulevards, and green hillsides, Kigali is said to be one of the most attractive cities in Africa and is definitely worth a visit. It is also home to the Kigali Genocide Center which memorializes the tragic events that plagued Rwanda in 1994.
Musanze, also referred to as Ruhengeri, is the gateway to Volcanoes National Park and the hub of Rwanda’s gorilla trekking experiences. Surrounded by lush landscape, the town is encircled by such attractions as the towering Mount Karisimbi, one of five impressive volcanoes in the park; the bat filled Musanze Caves; and the beautiful twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo set against a spectacular backdrop of rolling hills.
For many travelers, the highlight of a visit to Rwanda is the truly special experience of trekking with endangered mountain gorillas in the Virunga Mountains of Volcanoes National Park. Highly regulated treks through the reserve allow visitors to spend an hour at a time with these incredible primates in their natural habitat. While the gorillas are without a doubt the main draw, visitors can also look forward to exploring a network of scenic hiking trails, visiting the tomb of the world-famous Dian Fossey and the Karisoke Research Centre, and enjoying a beautiful day hike to the crater lake on Mount Bisoke.
Other major tourist attractions include expansive Lake Kivu, ancient Nyungwe Forest with its rich population of primate species, and the game-rich savannah lands of Akagera National Park.