Rwanda the land of a thousand hills, is a landlocked republic in Equatorial Africa, situated on the eastern rim of the Albertine Rift, a western arm of the Great Rift Valley, on the watershed between Africa's two largest river systems: the Nile and the Congo. Primarily a subsistence agriculture economy, Rwanda nonetheless produces for export some of the finest tea and coffee in the world. Other industries include sugar, fishing and flowers for export. Rwanda is perhaps best known as the home of the rare mountain gorilla, but they are that and so much more. Trekking through the park in far northwest Rwanda, one will find a tapestry of sensory delights. The visitor in the rain forest can hear the calls of birds and monkeys, and through the forest see the peaks of the ancient volcanoes. In addition to the rain forest, the park offers evergreen and bamboo forest, grassland, swamp and heath. The story of the mountain gorillas is one of heart-rending carnage. In the 1960s there were said to be 5,000 mountain gorillas in Central Africa, but by the 1990s there were no more than 650 left, thus rendering the ape one of the most endangered species on earth. The gorilla was for a long time one of the world's most misrepresented animals. The American naturalist Diane Fossey (Author of Gorillas in the Mist) dispelled the myths and revealed that gorillas are in fact shy and gentle creatures, intelligent, sociable and given to aggression only as a means of defence. We owe Diane Fossey a great debt for bringing the gorillas to public attention and inspiring the governments to introduce laws for their protection. She also contributed largely to set out the basic rules for gorilla viewing. Today the International Gorilla Conservation Program covers DRC, Uganda and Rwanda. The entire world population is found in only two conservation areas. The volcanic Virunga Mountains, which straddle the common borders of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda, and in South Western Uganda's Impenetrable Forest. Gorilla numbers have recently increased to 850.
Rwanda’s most popular attractions include:
. Inhabited since the 11th-century, what is now Kigali has been the home of Twas, Tutsis and Hutus. The city sits on a series of verdant ridges and lush valleys, and has a Muslim Quarter and a bustling market. Rwanda's capital is the site of battles that left over a million, mostly Tutsi and moderate Hutus, dead. Kigali Memorial Centre is a permanent memorial to 1994's Genocide, built on a mass grave where 250,000 are buried. Kigali your perfect welcome to this now safe, friendly country.
(PNV) is part of the Virunga Conservation Area and covers more than 125 km². PNV is home of five Virunga volcanoes: Sabyinyo (3.674 m), Gahinga (3.474 m), Bisoke (3711 m), Muhabura (4.127 m), and the Karisimbi, the highest volcano with an altitude of 4.507 m. All five volcanoes are extinct. This is where you will go trekking for that privileged rare sighting of the Endangered Mountain Gorilla.
Lake Kivu is the largest of numerous freshwater lakes that shimmer in the valleys of Rwanda. Steep terraced hills lead down to the picturesque lake shore, and three resort towns, Gisenyi, Kibuye and Cyangugu, are an ideal stopping point to relax, swim, or take a boat excursion past the small lakeside villages that offer a rewarding glimpse of rural life. Set amid the dramatic mountains of the rift valley and the volcanic Virungas to the north, the irregular shores of Lake Kivu form numerous inlets and peninsulas and myriad forest-fringed waterfalls. The lake is a 2650 square kilometre freshwater expanse and the largest of all the lakes that fill the valleys of Rwanda.
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Please note this Itinerary can be tailor-made to suit your needs and be combined with any of the neighbouring country Itineraries