Rwanda is a landlocked country located in east-central Africa. The country is covered most by steep hills and deep valleys with its highest point being Karisimbi ((14,187 ft; 4,324 m) in the Virunga mountains. Although well known for the horrible history of the genocide, Rwanda is a nice country, with magnificent people, amazing lakes, mountains, a great climate, good roads, a nice standard of living with cheap things ranging from food to accommodation and lots of things. Rwanda is a small country and almost all its attractions of nice places are next to each other. Tourists are fond of the following places in Rwanda.
1. The Gorillas in the Virunga Mountains
The gorillas in these mountains are shared with countries like the Uganda and Democratic republic of Congo. These three countries share the few remaining gorillas in the world. People frequent Parc National Des Volcans to track these humble giants that have endured civil and world wars. People come from all over the world to spend one hour with these great apes. Looking through the eyes of these humble giants (Gorilla), gives you a feeling that triggers a question in your mind that goes “Why, why, why, not protect” they are really exhilarating. Gorilla are herbivores that live in groups and like humans they is always a dominant male which is the silverback and it is the head of the family. To track Gorillas in Rwanda you need at least 2 days and tracking gorillas in Rwanda is not as strenuous as it is in Uganda. A gorilla permit that allows you to track Gorillas in Rwanda Costs USD 750 and it is usually restricted to a particular date.
2. Genocide memorial
Rwanda has tow genocide memorials – one is Ntarama church that is about 5 km down a right-hand fork that branches off the Nyamata road roughly 20 km outside Kigali. This church has been left empty just as it was after removing the bodies with scraps of personal items like clothes on the floor. Next to this church is a building where other people seeking safety where massacred. The other church is just is at Nyamata 30 km from Kigali which was a site of horrible massacre. The bodies where also removed although blood stains remain on the walls. A courtyard was dug outside the underground chamber and that’s where the skulls of many victims are being displayed. While visiting this memorial you will be told to sign a visitor’s book from which you might spot lots of people’s names that are familiar.
3. Kabgayi Church museum
3 km from Gitarama along Butare road lays the massive cathedral of Kabgayi. This is the oldest in the country dating back in 1925. This was the first settlement area of the Catholic Bishop. With a huge size and peaceful interior the church is worth a visit and there is a small museum besides it.
4. Akagera National Park
Named after the Akagera River running along its eastern boundary, Akagera NP is warm and low-lying with undulating plains supporting a cover of dense broad leafed trees with acacia woodlands and grasslands.
The park harbours over 20 mammal species. The eastern side is wet and it is known to harbour almost the largest number of hippos is Africa. Other animals to view on the lakes on the eastern side are crocodiles, Lions, leopards and black rhinos which are present in small numbers. You can go for boat trips on Lake Ihema to view some of these animals. For birders this is another paradise on earth, the birdlife is extraordinary: not only the rarities that will have passionate birdwatchers in ecstasy but also Africa’s most inspiring concentration of big waterbirds. A visit in this park is truly rewarding
5. Nyungwe forest
It is a montane forest that is remarkably rich in biodiversity with 75 mammal species, 120 butterflies, 275 birds and over 100 varieties of orchids. The forest is well known for its primates and chimpanzee tracking can be arranged at a short notice and at small fee. Other primates in this forest include several other monkeys L’Hoest monkeys. The roads to the forest are good and with excellent rent houses and campsite to provide the necessary services to you while in the forest. A nature walk through this forest can be truelly rewarding.
6. Musanze cave
Musanze is believed to have been constructed by a local king and that it has been used a refugee on several histories whereas during the 1994 Massacre it was used as a killing site and recently the place is still littered with human remains. Musanze the now Bat colony is located in Ruhengeri 2 Km from the Gisenyi road. It has an entrance a large as a cathedral. The entrance is littered with marked black volcanic rubble and at the opposite end there lies a natural bridge formed from the lava flow from one of the Virunga Mountains.
7. Hotel des Milles colline;
A hotel in Kigali that is attracting people’s attention of recent due to the “Hotel Rwanda” movie and its contribution to Rwanda. The Hotel is known to have housed and protected over 1,268 people under the management of Paul Rusesabagina. Paul took over management of this hotel afew days after the start of the genocide and this was as after the European managers had been flown out. Paul and his wife used to bribe the Hutu Interahamwe Militia with money and alcohol to keep them from killing the refugees.
8. Rusumo Falls
The falls is located at the Eastern part of Rwanda at the boarder with Tanzania. Its is an amazing and spectacular falls that is a part of the distant headwaters of the river Nile. It’s not worth missing while crossing the border of Rwanda with Tanzania.
9. National Museum,
This is located in Butare city in Huye and it is known to be the most tourists’ attraction in Butare. The museum is known to have probably the finest ethnographic collection in the whole of East Africa. It has spacious rooms that allow the exhibitions to be appreciated and enjoyed. Exhibitions provide information not only on pre-colonial history but also on the process of development of the country (Rwanda) to her modernity today. AT the museum you can organise for the Ntore dancers to entertain you in the traditional dances of Rwanda.
10. Lake Kivu
Located in the Albertine rift and apart of the Great Rift Valley, Kivu is a large fresh water deposit that marks the western border with DR Congo. This lake is a tourist’s centre with fresh waters safe to swim. It has nice beaches with splendid landscapes and the sunset is usually astounding. You can spend a weekend on one of the beaches.