Perhaps most well-known because of the unfortunate events which took place during the 1994 genocide, Rwanda is in fact a multifaceted country which has pulled itself up by the boot straps and has a great deal to offer. It is successfully on the road to recovery and trying to move on from the past so it seems unfair that the country is characterized by the actions of only a few.
There are a host of sights and activities on offer for travelers to the region. Lovers of the outdoors will be pleased with the plethora of nature-based excursions on offer. From hiking and trekking to rock climbing, there is so much of the natural environment to enjoy. There are also a few tamer activities such as attending the National Ballet of Rwanda for those travelers who are less inclined to take part in adventurous feats.
Understandably, much of Rwanda’s sites are dedicated to the recent past. Memorials and museums not only commemorate the events and pay respect to those who were killed but also help to educate the world in an effort to make sure something like this never happens again. Many of the other sites are located in the country’s several national park areas.
Considering everything Rwanda has endured, it is this remarkable how warm and welcoming the people are. Travelers should expect to have long conversations with local traders and even to be invited to more than one home for a meal. Accommodation options are varied, catering to all needs and budgets. Travelers have a choice between luxury accommodation and resorts, and budget back packer establishments and low cost guest houses.
Rwanda has a typical temperate climate despite its close proximity to the equator. There are three main seasons – one dry and two rainy: the Rwandan dry season spans the months from June to September, this season boasts the warmest temperatures but it is not an unbearable, as temps rarely rise above 77°F. The country experiences two main rainy seasons, the first rainy season starts in March and ends in June, while the second occurs from October to December. The first rainy season is by far the heavier of the two, with the second seeing light and sporadic showers.
As is evident in the type of sites and activities on offer, Rwanda’s natural environment is simply breathtaking. From mountains and forests to large bodies of water, this country has it all. Similar things can be said about the country’s neighbors, including Uganda, which are also definitely well worth a trip.
Navigating the country is really only achievable by road as there are no train lines and the domestic air services are few and far between. Car rentals are available but there are no international companies on offer. There are, however, a few reputable local rental agencies which do just as good a job. Taxis can be flagged down from the side of the road and rates should be decided upon before the journey begins. The best way to get around the country is by mini bus or share taxi, both of which are quite cheap modes of travel.
- Pay respect at the Genocide Memorial Center
- Learn about the country’s history at the National Museum of Rwanda
- Interact with majestic gorillas on a popular Gorilla Trek
- Climb a volcano at the National Volcano Park
- Enjoy a world-class performance by the National Ballet of Rwanda
- View the Nyungwe Forest from above on a Forest Canopy Walk