RWANDA

Rwanda is a flourishing country of fertile and lush mountainous terrain; this small country bears the large title, "Land of a Thousand Hills." Rwanda is home to the "Virungas," great old volcanoes that tower up to almost 2.5 miles, and are nearly covered with rich, green rainforest.

Rwanda is a country which will enchant you with its mysterious intimacy of the rainforest, alive with the calls of many colorful birds and chattering of the rare golden monkey, alongside the grunts and rustling from one of the most important residents, the endangered mountain gorilla. Rwanda will provide you with a truly magical introduction to the wonders of the African bush. Rich swampland, shimmering lakes, rugged grasslands are all entangled with wild acacia woodland.

Abundant wildlife and beautiful landscapes have resulted in tourism becoming one of the biggest sectors in the country's economy.

Rwanda received much international attention due to its 1994 genocide, in which 800,000 people were killed. Since then the country has made a remarkable recovery and is now considered a model for developing countries.

The capital, Kigali, is the first city in Africa to be bestowed with the Habitat Scroll of Honour Award in the recognition of its "cleanliness, security and urban conservation model." Every last Saturday of the month is "clean up day" and all residents of the city have to dedicate the day to cleaning up the city. No one is allowed to avoid this activity, unless they have signed permission from the government.

Geographical Features

Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a small landlocked country in the Great Lakes Region, located a few degrees south of the Equator. It is bordered on the north by Uganda, on the south by Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west and Tanzania in the east.

Rwanda is a tropical country, whose high elevation makes the climate temperate. In the mountains, frost and snow are possible.

Rwanda's countryside is characterized by rolling grasslands and areas of rugged mountains that extend southeast from a chain of volcanoes. Dian Fossey described these mountains as being "in the heart of central Africa, so high up that you shiver more then you sweat."