Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley, where the African Great Lakes region and East Africa converge. One of the smallest countries on the African mainland, its capital city is Kigali. Top Places to Visit In Rwanda On Your Next Vacation
Requirements for Entry: U.S. passports must be valid for six months after the date of entry into Rwanda. Travelers can obtain a Rwandan visa through the following procedures: Obtain a 30-day tourist visa at the port of entry for $50 (single entry) or $70 (multiple entry). Top Places to Visit In Rwanda On Your Next Vacation
Rwanda literacy rate for 2018 was 73.22%, a 2.41% increase from 2014. Top Places to Visit In Rwanda On Your Next Vacation
The centre of the country is predominantly rolling hills, while the eastern border region consists of savanna, plains and swamps. Rwanda has a temperate tropical highland climate, with lower temperatures than are typical for equatorial countries due to its high elevation. Top Places to Visit In Rwanda On Your Next Vacation
Rwanda’s major exports are coffee, tea, tin cassiterite, Wolfframite, and pyrethrum. Coffee makes up between 50% to 80% of the total export. Top Places to Visit In Rwanda On Your Next Vacation
Top Places to Visit In Rwanda On Your Next Vacation
Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park is a national park in northwestern Rwanda. It covers 160 km² of rainforest and encompasses five of the eight volcanoes in the Virunga Mountains, namely Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo. It borders Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. It is home to the mountain gorilla and the golden monkey, and was the base for the primatologist Dian Fossey.
Nyungwe Forest National Park
The Nyungwe Forest is located in southwestern Rwanda, on the border with Burundi, where it is contiguous with the Kibira National Park to the south, and Lake Kivu and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. The Nyungwe rainforest is probably the best preserved montane rainforest in Central Africa. It is located in the watershed between the basin of the river Congo to the west and the basin of the river Nile to the east. From the east side of the Nyungwe forest comes also one of the branches of the Nile sources. Nyungwe Forest National Park was established in 2004 and covers an area of approximately 970 km² of rainforest, bamboo, grassland, swamps, and bogs. The nearest town is Cyangugu, 54 km to the west. Mount Bigugu is located within the park borders. In October 2020, the Rwanda Development Board signed an agreement with African Parks to assume management of Nyungwe National Park for an initial 20 years.
Mount Karisimbi is a stratovolcano in the Virunga Mountains on the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is currently dormant. At 4,507 metres, Karisimbi is the highest of the eight major mountains of the mountain range, which is a part of Albertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift. Karisimbi is flanked by Mikeno to the north, Bisoke to the east and Nyiragongo to the west, on the other side of the Rift Valley. Karisimbi is the 11th highest mountain of Africa. The name Karisimbi comes from the word ‘amasimbi’ in the local language, Kinyarwanda, which means snow. Snow can mostly be found during the dry season in June, July and August on the top of the volcano. Between Karisimbi and Bisoke is the Karisoke Research Center, which was founded by Dian Fossey in order to observe the mountain gorillas living in this area.
Mount Gahinga is a dormant/extinct volcano in the Virunga Mountains on the border between Rwanda and Uganda. Gahinga lies between Muhabura and Sabyinyo, but is the smallest of these three. Mount Gahinga, also known in the local Kinyarwanda/Rufumbira dialect as “a small pile of stones”, has a swampy caldera on its peak. The caldera is believed to be about 180 m wide. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park also got its name from this volcano. Mount Gahinga, whose elevation is 3,473 m, is part of a chain of eight volcanic mountains of the Mufumbiro ranges. The volcano chain spans across Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The vegetation across the mountain can be described as afro-montane with bamboo composing the main vegetation. Like Muhabura and Sabyinyo, the bamboo forests on Mount Gahinga are a habitat of the endangered mountain gorilla. There are several other species of animals and birds that form part of the Mount Gahinga ecosystem. The golden monkeys are notable to these.
Mount Bisoke is a dormant volcano in the Virunga Mountains of the Albertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift. It straddles the border of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but the summit is located in Rwanda. It is located approximately 35 km northeast of the town of Goma and adjacent Lake Kivu.
Kigali Genocide Memorial
The Kigali Genocide Memorial commemorates the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The remains of over 250,000 people are interred there. There is a visitor centre for students and those wishing to understand the events leading up to the genocide of 1994. The Centre is a permanent memorial to those who fell victim to the genocide and serves as a place in which the bereaved could bury their family and friends. The Centre is managed and run by the Aegis Trust on behalf of the National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide
Wetland habitat for water birds & hippos
Lake Ruhondo or Luhondo is a lake of northwestern Rwanda. It is located near Lake Bulera on the outskirts of Musanze.
Lake Burera or Bulera is a lake of northwestern Rwanda, at the border with Uganda. With an area pf 55 km², it is the second largest lake entirely in Rwanda after lake Ihema. Considering all other lakes in the country, it would be the 5th largest after Lake Kivu 2,700 km² between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lake Rweru between Rwanda and Burundi at 133 km² of which only 47 km² are in Rwanda, Lake Ihema and Lake Cohoha 74 km² also shared with Burundi of which only 19 km² are in Rwanda. The lake is located in a densely populated North of the country in Burera District which got its name from this lake. The closet major city is the city of Musanze 25 km West of the lake. Lake Burera borders Uganda’s wetlands on the southern slopes of Mount Muhavura at 1,860 m of altitude. It lies to the North East of its twin Lake Ruhondo in which it empties via a stream called Ntaruka. Burera is almost twice as large as Lake Ruhondo and despite only being 600 meters apart, the two lakes are separated by a dramatic drop in altitude of 100 m. Ntaruka is a 600 m long stream connecting the two lakes and drops of about 100 meters in.
Kandt House Museum
Kandt House Museum of Natural History is a museum in Kigali, Rwanda. It is under the responsibility of the Institute of National Museums of Rwanda. Dedicated to Richard Kandt, in his former home of German resident Richard Kandt on the Nyarugenge Hill in Kigali city, which now was turned into Natural History Museum since 2006. The museum strives to show the evolution of life, description of Flora and Fauna of Rwandan Natural Parks, geological background of Rwanda, German and Rwanda shared history and exhibition of live reptiles with the aim to explain the interrelation between nature and history as result of natural history museum. It is also the best view of three mountains and best view of old kigali city
Gishwati Forest National Park
Gishwati Forest Reserve is a protected reserve in the north-western part of Rwanda, not far from Lake Kivu. The reserve’s forests were largely intact in 1978, and substantial forest cover still remained in 1986. During the Rwandan genocide, wave after wave of refugees arrived in Gishwati Forest and began clearing it, often for subsistence farming. By 2001, only a small circular patch of native forest remained, 1,500 acres of the forest’s original 250,000. In addition to tremendous loss of biodiversity, the region experiences soil erosion and degradation and landslides. Reforestation efforts in the past few years have increased the remnant native forest to about 2,500 acres. Large tea estates occupy the central and northern parts of the reserve.
Karisoke Research Center
The Karisoke Research Center is a research institute in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. It was founded by Dian Fossey on 24 September 1967 to study endangered mountain gorillas. Fossey located the camp in Rwanda’s Virunga volcanic mountain range, between Mount Karisimbi and Mount Bisoke, and named it by combining the names of the two mountains. After Fossey’s murder in December 1985, the camp continued to function under the auspices of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International. In 2012, Karisoke moved its headquarters to a more modern facility in Musanze. At the time Fossey founded Karisoke, she feared that the mountain gorilla might become extinct by the end of the 20th century, as her mentor, Dr. Louis Leakey, had warned. A census published in 1981 found that the population had fallen to 242 individuals, from a 1960 estimate of 400–500. As of 2010, 45 years later, some 480 mountain gorillas are known to inhabit the Virunga mountains, a significant increase. Karisoke survived Fossey’s murder in 1985 as well as years of civil strife and also expanded tremendously over the past few decades.
Ethnographic Museum of Rwanda
The Ethnographic Museum, formerly the National Museum of Rwanda, is the national museum of Rwanda. It is located in Butare. It is owned by Institute of National Museums of Rwanda. It was built with help of the Belgian government and opened in 1989. It is also a good source of information on the cultural history of the country and the region. It is also known as the site of the murder of Queen Dowager Rosalie Gicanda and several others during the Rwandan genocide.
Inema Arts Centre
Art exhibits, workshops & classes
King’s Palace Museum
Kigali City Tower
Kigali City Tower is a mixed use high rise office and retail building located in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. The complex consists of a 20-storey tower, the tallest in the country, a four-story commercial center and a car park block, with space divided between leased office space and retail outlets. Major retailers include supermarket Nakumatt, Bourbon Coffee and a four screen cinema. The building, on the site of a former bus station, was developed by Rwandan businessman Hatari Sekoko and built by Chinese engineers. The building work began in 2006 and the complex opened in 2011.
Rwanda Art Museum
Rwandan history in old presidential home
Nyamyumba Hot Springs
Caplaki Craft Village
Murambi Genocide Memorial Centre
The Murambi Technical School, now known as the Murambi Genocide Memorial Centre, is situated near the town of Murambi in southern Rwanda.
Belgian Peacekeepers Memorial
St Famille Church
Sainte-Famille Church is a Catholic church in Kiyovu, downtown Kigali, in Rwanda. It is located on a hill, close to the commercial district of Rugenge. Sainte-Famille Church was the scene of killings during the genocide in April 1994.
Nyamirambo Women’s Center (NW
Mukura Forest Reserve
The Mukura Forest Reserve is a protected reserve in the northwest part of Rwanda, covering about 1,200 km² Mukura Forest is situated in western Rwanda’s Albertine Rift region, which lies in the Congo-Nile crest. Once part of a swath of mountain forest that extended all the way from Nyungwe to the Volcanoes Park, the Mukura is now an isolated chunk of forest. Mukura was designated a reserve in 1951. It originally covered an area of 30,000 hectares. However, nearly half of the total forest cover and biodiversity has been lost since, leaving the forest with an area of only 16,000 hectares. A host of factors have led to this decline, including a population density of nearly 600 people per km² and a mean local household income of $3/month, the latter causing inhabitants to exploit the forest for financial solvency. The annual temperature of Mukura Forest is 15° C. The forest rises to an average height of 2600 meters above sea level, and receives 1500 mm of rainfall annually. The reserve has about 163 species of birds.
Lake Mugesera is a lake in the Eastern Province, Rwanda. The lake is in the Central Plateau, southeast of Kigali. The lake is part of a complex of lakes and wetlands in a flat valley running in a SSE direction, 35 kilometres wide. The Nyawarungu River meanders southward through the valley, flooding it to create a zone of permanent swamps and lakes. Lake Mugesera lies on the east bank of the river, and is the largest lake in the complex. Although close to the equator, the climate is comparatively temperate due to the elevation. The rainy seasons are from March to May and again from September to December. The lake is fed by a number of rivers and minor streams originating on ridges to the north, east and south, which deliver most water during the rainy seasons. The water is generally around 25 °C. Fish are abundant, and there are many species of waterbirds. Other animals include water turtles, crocodiles, monitors, snakes and otters. In the 15th century the region around the lake was settled by the Hondogo lineage of Tutsi people, pastoralists who had formed an independent state.
Niyo Arts Gallery
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is a national park in southwestern Uganda. It was created in 1991 and covers an area of 33.9 km²
Museum of Environment
Environmental exhibits & rooftop garden
Campaign Against Genocide Museum
Kigali Centenary Park
Butare Catholic Cathedral
Ipfundo Gallery of Art Collection
AUCA Genocide Memorial Site
Bisesero Genocide Memorial
The Bisesero Genocide Memorial, near Karongi-Kibuye – Western Rwanda, which commemorates the Rwandan genocide in 1994. 40,000 people died here.
Nyamata Church Genocide Memorial
Shrine of Our Lady of Kibeho
Volcanoes National Park Headquarters
The Rugezi Marsh is a protected area in Rwanda, covering 6,735 hectares. The wetland is one of headwaters of the Nile, situated in the Northern Province within the Buberuka Highlands. At 2,100 metres, the marsh is a high altitude peat bog. Rugezi developed from an accumulation of organic materials within a quartzite rock-trapping water depression. In its natural state, Rugezi has been playing a significant ecological, hydrological, socio-economical, historic, and recreational role in Rwanda. It is also an Important Bird Area recognized by the BirdLife International in 2001, and is reported to be the habitat of 43 species of birds within and in the surrounding areas of the marsh; the area of IBA is identified as ha8,500 hectares. The specific species of Grauer’s swamp warbler and white-winged swamp warbler living together is reported as “unusual” by BirdLife International.
Pfunda Tea Company
Nyanza Genocide Memorial
Kamiranzovu Hiking Trail
Ntarama Genocide Memorial
Ntarama Genocide Memorial Centre is one of six genocide museums in Rwanda. 5,000 people were killed here in a Catholic church
Regina Pacis Catholic Church
Mount Huye is a mountain located near to the city of Butare in southern Rwanda. It is connected by a ridge to Nyungwe Forest to the west, and is on the outer edges of the Albertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift. The mountain is an important source of mineral water, supplying both the Huye bottled water brand sold throughout Rwanda and the nearby Maraba fair trade coffee plant, whose washing station receives Huye water via a pipeline built using ACDI/VOCA funding in 2002. Mount Huye gives its name to the surrounding Huye District, part of the Southern Province, which was formed in January 2006 following local government reorganisation and includes Butare city.
IMUHIRA ECO TOURISM RWANDA
Hill of Remera
Les Chutes de Ndaba
Abraham Konga Collections
The Mwogo River is a river in western Rwanda that is a tributary of the Nyabarongo River.
Swamp and park and garden
Park and garden
Shyira Anglican Diocese
Bigugu Hiking Trail
Karamba Hiking Trail
Koko River, Rusizi District
The Koko River is a river in the Rusizi District of southwestern Rwanda that is a right-hand tributary of the Ruhwa River, which forms the boundary between the western regions of Rwanda and Burundi. For most of its length it runs through the Nyungwe National Park.
The Mbirurume is a river in western Rwanda that is a tributary of the Nyabarongo River. The Mbirurume rises in forested country in southern Rwanda to the east of the Congo-Nile Divide. It originates in the extreme north of the Nyungwe National Park, in the Nyamagabe District. It flows in a northeast direction, entering Karongi District and passes Mukungu to the west, then runs in a northeast direction along the border between Nyamagabe and Karongi districts. It then turns southeast shortly before meeting the Mwogo River from the left. The combined rivers form the Nyabarongo River, which flows northward along the eastern slopes of the Nile-Congo divide
Mgahinga National Park
Nature reserve with gorillas & monkeys
Ibanda Game Reserve
The Ibanda National Park, previously Ibanda Game Reserve, is a national park in Tanzania. Originally established in 1974, it was designated a national park in 2019. The national park is located in the Kagera region and has an area of 200 square kilometres. The park is rich in wildlife attractions and sunrise and sunset are easily seen. Animals found in this national park include hippos, antelopes, Thomson gazelles, impalas, elands, and baboons. The park can be reached by flight from Dar es Salaam Airport to Bukoba Airport and then by road from Bukoba town to the park. The rainy season is between January to April. Kagera River is the main source of water for this park and nourishes its rich resources. Hunting safaris are the most common activities in this area.
The Akanyaru River is the main tributary of the Nyabarongo River. It rises in the western highlands of Rwanda and Burundi, flows east and then north along the border between those countries before joining the Nyabarongo River. The lower stretches contain important but unprotected wetlands, which are under threat from human activity.
The Ruhwa River is a river in southwestern Rwanda that is a left-hand tributary of the Ruzizi River. It joins the Ruzizi, which forms the boundary between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, about 2 kilometres below the point where the Rubyiro River enters the Ruzizi. The Ruhwa forms the boundary between the western regions of Rwanda and Burundi.