4 MUST-SEE PLACES IN RWANDA
While Rwanda mostly resonates for the 1994 genocide of 1994, the last 2 decades have seen the country transform into one of Africa’s best-kept luxury travel destinations. The “Land of 1000 Hill” doesn’t boast the savanna-game for wildlife safaris since it has only one savanna park unlike its neighbors of Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania but it is outstanding because of the natural beauty created by the landscape, the forests that house primates, the people (culture and history) and all this captivates travelers to destination Rwanda. Here are 4 must-see places in Rwanda that will allure you to get inspired by this land-locked country.
Volcanoes National park
In North-Western Rwanda, on the borders of Uganda, Rwanda, and D.R. Congo, the Volcanoes National park offers shelter to the endangered and gentle apes- The Mountain gorillas. The park is in mountain terrain and the mountains in the park offer some of the best hiking trails in Rwanda. Exploring the trails here introduces to the sights of a dramatic scenery of the Virunga volcanoes (8 of them), craters among others. The park also houses golden monkeys (endemic to the Virunga ranges) and it is here that the famous American Researcher Dian Fossey had her Karisoke Research Centre where did her gorilla research before her death in December 1985. Visitors to the park can visit her grave too.
For those that don’t enter Rwanda from Uganda, D.R. Congo, Tanzania, or Burundi, their Journeys through Rwanda start and end from Kigali, the country’s capital. Kigali sits on a cluster of hills and the neat and organized city is always a surprise to visitors who have experienced the chaos in most of the African countries’ capitals like Kampala in Uganda and Nairobi in Kenya. The city has many attractions, some free others experienced at a cost. The Kigali Genocide Memorial is a famous one, it houses and displays the violent past of Rwanda in detail, the streets of Kigali are vibrant, colorful markets, excellent restaurants, and the modern developments will get you falling in love with the city.
Nyungwe is one of the oldest African forests. It is in the southwestern part of Rwanda, covering 1051sqkm of untouched and lush forest that houses rich biodiversity. The forest is home to 13 primate species that include chimpanzees, 300 bird species, and a variety of plants and other life. The forest trails take you deep to what is hidden by the mist that covers the forest and the suspended canopy walkway offers a bird’s-eye view of the forest canopy.
Rwanda is landlocked, so it doesn’t claim any ocean to have beaches but its biggest lake-Lake Kivu has one. The lake is one of Africa’s greatest lakes where travelers can relax from. Lake Kivu gives Gisenyi town a boast of a beautiful waterfront location. Visitors who want to rest their weary bodies after gorilla tracking in Volcanoes National park or after Chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe forest, the lake is just a few hours’ drives from these parks.
Travelers can enjoy waterfront and beach activities like Kayaking, swimming, riding dug-out canoes to remote islands for an excursion to the villages, or just relax on the sand as the lake breeze goes past you while watching the sun go down.
From the Jungles that cover the slopes of Volcanoes national park to Lake Kivu and its surroundings, and the rubbish-free streets of Kigali, the beauty of this country will remain with you in the future.