An English man does not travel to see English men.
— Laurence Sterne, 1713 - 1768
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Rwanda

Background

Rwanda

In 1959, three years before independence from Belgium, the majority ethnic group, the Hutus, overthrew the ruling Tutsi king. Over the next several years, thousands of Tutsis were killed, and some 150,000 driven into exile in neighboring countries. The children of these exiles later formed a rebel group, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), and began a civil war in 1990. The war, along with several political and economic upheavals, exacerbated ethnic tensions, culminating in April 1994 in the genocide of roughly 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus. The Tutsi rebels defeated the Hutu regime and ended the killing in July 1994, but approximately 2 million Hutu refugees - many fearing Tutsi retribution - fled to neighboring Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zaire. Since then, most of the refugees have returned to Rwanda, but several thousand remained in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC; the former Zaire) and formed an extremist insurgency bent on retaking Rwanda, much as the RPF tried in 1990. Rwanda held its first local elections in 1999 and its first post-genocide presidential and legislative elections in 2003. Rwanda in 2009 staged a joint military operation with the Congolese Army in DRC to rout out the Hutu extremist insurgency there and Kigali and Kinshasa restored diplomatic relations. Rwanda also joined the Commonwealth in late 2009.

About

Rwanda is a relatively stable East African country, and easily accessible from Kenya and Uganda. It is relatively easy, safe and simple to travel around. It is landlocked, surrounded by Uganda to the north, Tanzania to the east, Burundi to the south, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west.

Rwanda is not only the land of a thousand hills, but also a country rich in flora and fauna and stunning natural beauty in its scenic rolling and breathtaking green savannah. The country hosts some rare species of animals like the silverback mountain Gorillas as well as unique birds and insects in the tropical forest of Nyungwe.

Read more about Rwanda in our Rwanda travel guide »

Featured journals from

Rwanda

Nonna and Papa Abroad 2.0

by nonnaandpapa

Nonna and Papa in Africa

Feb 2016  »  Canada | Netherlands | Kenya | Rwanda

Featured hotels in

Rwanda

RwandaKigali Serena Hotel 

Boulevard De La Revolution
Kigali 250
Rwanda

Price (US$): $422 - $611 / night

Check rates »

Location. Kigali Serena Hotel is located in central Kigali, close to Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre. Additional area points of interest include Stade Amahoro. Hotel Features. Kigali Serena Hotel's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves a complimentary breakfast. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool and a fitness facility. Spa amenities include massage/treatment… more »

RwandaLeMigo Hotel 

Kimihurura, Behind the supreme court
building
Kigali 2770
Rwanda

Price (US$): $290 - $291 / night

Check rates »

Location. Located in Kigali, LeMigo Hotel is connected to the airport and close to Stade Amahoro and Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre. Hotel Features. Dining options at LeMigo Hotel include 5 restaurants. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves a complimentary English breakfast. Guests can enjoy a complimentary evening social on select days. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool, a children's pool, a health club,… more »

RwandaThe Manor Hotel 

Nyarutarama
Kigali
Rwanda

Price (US$): $200 - $201 / night

Check rates »

Location. Located in Kigali, The Manor Hotel is connected to the airport and close to Stade Amahoro and Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre. Hotel Features. Dining options at The Manor Hotel include a coffee shop/café and a snack bar/deli. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves a complimentary continental breakfast. Recreational amenities include a golf course. Also located on site are an outdoor pool, a children's pool, a… more »

RwandaUmubano Hotel 

Boulevard de l'Umuganda
Kigali BP 874
Rwanda

Price (US$): $200 - $306 / night

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Location. Located in central Kigali, Umubano Hotel is connected to the airport and close to Stade Amahoro and Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre. Hotel Features. Umubano Hotel's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool, a health club, a sauna, and a steam room. Spa amenities include massage/treatment rooms, beauty services, and a hair salon. This 3… more »

RwandaHotel Des Mille Colines 

Avenue De L Armee
Kigali
Rwanda

Price (US$): $254 - $269 / night

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Location. Hotel Des Mille Colines is a business friendly hotel located in central Kigali, close to Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre. Other area points of interest include Stade Amahoro. Hotel Features. In addition to 2 restaurants, Hotel Des Mille Colines offers a coffee shop/café and a grocery/convenience store. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves a complimentary breakfast. Recreational amenities include an outdoor… more »

Browse more hotels in Rwanda »

Rwanda

Full name
Republic of Rwanda
Capital
Kigali
Location

Central Africa, east of Democratic Republic of the Congo

Geographic coordinates

2 00 S, 30 00 E

Area comparative

slightly smaller than Maryland

Border countries

Burundi 290 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 217 km, Tanzania 217 km, Uganda 169 km

Coastline

0 km (landlocked)

Climate

temperate; two rainy seasons (February to April, November to January); mild in mountains with frost and snow possible

Terrain

mostly grassy uplands and hills; relief is mountainous with altitude declining from west to east

Lowest point

Rusizi River 950 m

Highest point

Volcan Karisimbi 4,519 m

Natural resources

gold, cassiterite (tin ore), wolframite (tungsten ore), methane, hydropower, arable land

Population

11,055,976

Ethnic groups

Hutu (Bantu) 84%, Tutsi (Hamitic) 15%, Twa (Pygmy) 1%

Religions

Roman Catholic 56.5%, Protestant 26%, Adventist 11.1%, Muslim 4.6%, indigenous beliefs 0.1%, none 1.7% (2001)

Languages

Kinyarwanda (official) universal Bantu vernacular, French (official), English (official), Kiswahili (Swahili) used in commercial centers

Government type

republic; presidential, multiparty system

Independence

1 July 1962 (from Belgium-administered UN trusteeship)

National holiday

Independence Day, 1 July (1962)

Chief of state

President Paul KAGAME (since 22 April 2000)

Head of government

Prime Minister Bernard MAKUZA (since 8 March 2000)

Internet country code

.rw

Internet users

450,000 (2009)

Airports

9 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Cyangugu, Gisenyi, Kibuye

Other countries in the region