Rwanda lies in East-Central Africa, its land is typically hilly, though there are also swamps and extensive mountainous areas. The country can be divided into six topographical regions. From west to east, these are narrow Great Rift Valley, which slopes sharply to Lake Kivu. The volcanic Virunga Mountains whose highest peak, the snowcapped mount Karisimbi towers over the high northwestern lava plains.
The steep north-south rise of the Zaire- Nile, The central plateaus east of the mountains which are covered by rolling hills and the savannas and swamps of the eastern and southeastern boarder areas which cover a tenth of the nation’s land area. All these physical features are great tourism products in Rwanda including the vast Akagera National Park. When someone meets all these, it becomes a trip once in lifetime experience
Rwanda’s roads are well-maintained by East African standards and getting around is easy thanks to a network of reliable and scheduled private buses and minibuses. In Kigali, taxis and moto-taxis (motorcycles) abound. The latter is the cheaper option. Many visitors choose to hire a vehicle and driver for their time in Rwanda, (contacting tour companies e.g Naturenest safaris) especially if they plan on doing a significant amount of traveling. With this, no worries for any traveller wishing to visit Rwanda
Rwanda’s high altitude in average 5600 feet in the central plateau uplands, account for its pleasant tropical highland climate. On a daily basis, temperatures typically range as much as 25 C. the sun shines nearly all year round. The mean daily temperature is close to 24 C. There are two wet seasons and two try seasons, the October- November wet season is known as the short rains.
The main rainy season lasts from mid Match to the end of May sees beautiful clear skies alternative with heavy rainstorms. During the dry seasons which last from December to mid- Match and from June to the end of August, frequent light cloud cover yields a pleasant temperature. Kigali, the capital and largest city is located on Rwanda’s central plateau; its average temperature is 190C with 40 inches of rainfall annually. This climate frequent tourism to go year round meaning that any time you visit Rwanda, attractions are available.
With lush grasslands, rolling hills, and mist-shrouded mountains, its scenic beauty is something to write home about. At the same time, remote national parks provide a sanctuary for rare primates, including the endangered mountain gorilla.
Despite of the above mentioned attractions, Rwanda is also rich in wildlife. In other wards, many animal species are native to Rwanda. These include lions, elephants, buffaloes, zebras, mountain gorillas, hippos, warthogs, rhinos and many varieties of gazelle, snakes and fish to mention but a few
For most travelers, the primary reason to visit Rwanda is to search for its majestic mountain gorillas. After all, there are just over 1,000 of these primates with whom we share more than 98 percent of our genetic code left in the wild, and Rwanda is one of only three countries in the world where they can be seen.
Rwanda has plenty of other wildlife, including the chimpanzees and golden monkeys of Nyungwe Forest National Park and the Big Five of Akagera National Park.
Go gorilla trekking
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is conducted in only Volcanoes National Park, northwestern part of the country. Volcanoes National Park is 160 square kilometers and its establishment in 1925 makes it not only one of the oldest parks in Africa but also one of the 4 national parks in the world where mountain gorillas stay.
Gorilla families in Volcanoes National Park offer visitors with uncommon experiences. Trekking anyone of habituated gorilla families in Volcanoes National Park gets you up close to a group mountain gorillas while in the wild. Only one habituated family is assigned to 8 visitors to trek each day. You will walk through the montane cloud forest in search of troops that have been habituated to allow close encounters with humans. Be aware that trekking permits are limited and must be clearly booked in advance each costing $1500 per person.
Visit the genocide memorials
Kigali and its surrounds are also full of historic landmarks for those that wish to learn more about the 1994, Rwanda genocide and pay respect to those who died, visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial. Smaller monuments also exist at Nyamata Church and Ntarama Church, where hundreds of men, women, and children sought refuge only to be killed during the months of slaughter.
Explore the culture of Rwanda
Visit the art galleries including Inema Arts Center and Niyo Art Gallery. For an insight into local life, pay a visit to Kimironko Market or join one of the walking tours offered by the Nyamirambo Women’s Centre.