Rwanda captivated me from the second I touched down in Kigali. “It’s just like the Singapore of Africa,” the native good friend I went to dinner that evening with instructed me after I requested him how he loved dwelling there. “Or at the least that’s what we’re aiming for.”
After all, Rwanda is greater than its capital metropolis, as pleasant as that metropolis could also be. It’s solely whenever you enterprise towards the horizon that you just get a way for why the nation is named the “land of a thousand hills,” to say nothing of the moments of magnificence and pleasure that await atop their crests.
What Makes Rwanda so Distinctive?
Superficially, a part of the explanation Rwanda is price visiting is that it’s not likely just like the international locations round it. Whereas locations like Uganda, the DRC and even elements of Tanzania and Kenya are stricken by violence, terrorism and endemic petty crime, Rwanda is protected, to not point out proudly corruption-free. Rwanda is an African nation the place vacationers might be comfortable because the discover, as an alternative of regularly watching their backs.
Underlying that is the truth that Rwandans themselves are fairly completely different from different Africans, though in on a regular basis I’ve spent there I’ve by no means fairly pinpointed the explanation why. Maybe it’s due to the horrible tragedy they lived via 30 years in the past, or another cause that’s not as apparent. However the truth that Rwanda appears to date forward of a lot of its neighbors doesn’t appear merely a matter of presidency diktats.
The place to Go in Rwanda
Whether or not or not you imagine that Kigali has lived as much as its goal of being the “African Singapore” could be very a lot as much as your individual notion. Nonetheless, Rwanda’s capital is price a go to, if just for a solemn go to to the Kigali Genocide Memorial, which teaches a lesson I hope humanity will lastly study.
Volcanoes Nationwide Park
Not surprisingly, trekking with gorillas in Volcanoes Nationwide Park is a giant a part of makes Rwanda price visiting, even when it prices a number of instances as a lot as comparable treks in Uganda and the DRC. I additionally actually love the vibe of Musanze, the closest metropolis to the park, and the agricultural areas round it.
One of many “Nice Lakes of Africa,” Lake Kivu straddles the border between Rwanda and the DRC. It’s an superior place to beat the warmth (whether or not you really swim in it or just chill out on the shore) and is the closest factor landlocked Rwanda has to a seaside.
yungwe Nationwide Park
To the bare eye, the rainforests of Nyungwe Nationwide Park may appear botanically just like the thick vegetation protecting Volcanoes Nationwide Park. They’re not, the truth is—on the fauna aspect, there are chimpanzees as an alternative of gorillas—however that is nonetheless one of many locations that the majority makes Rwanda price visiting.
Akagera Nationwide Park
You most likely don’t consider Rwanda as a safari vacation spot, notably not should you’ve ever traveled in Kenya or Tanzania. Nonetheless, whether or not you need to see the “Huge 5” in Rwanda as an alternative of those different international locations or along with them, Akagera Nationwide Park is the place to do it.
How A lot Time to Spend in Rwanda?
Rwanda is small than most of its neighbors, however larger than it seems on the map. To go to all of the locations I’ve talked about inside this submit, you’re going to wish a minimal of two weeks. This offers you two full days in Kigali, plus three days every at Lake Kivu and at Volcanoes, Nyungwe and Akagera Nationwide Parks. Clearly, you possibly can play with these proportions in accordance with your preferences.
Which isn’t to say that Rwanda is price visiting provided that you possibly can “go in all places.” Many vacationers, not eager to take care of costly, sophisticated transportation within the nation’s western reaches, merely break up every week or so between Kigali and Volcanoes Nationwide Park. This can be a notably enticing possibility should you plan to do a Tanzania safari earlier than or after your journey to Rwanda.
Why must you go to Rwanda?
Most vacationers go to Rwanda for particular experiences, reminiscent of gorilla trekking in Volcanoes Nationwide Park. Nonetheless, if this doesn’t inspire you to come back to Rwanda, then maybe the nation’s popularity as being one of many most secure and most stress-free African international locations will encourage you to e-book a flight to Kigali.
Is English broadly spoken in Rwanda?
As a basic rule, you possibly can count on most individuals you encounter in Rwanda to talk some English. Nonetheless, if you’ll be able to use fundamental Kinyarwanda (Rwandan language) phrases, you’ll undoubtedly get pleasure from goodwill and an excellent hotter welcome from locals.
Are Rwandans pleasant?
Rwandans are among the friendliest individuals in Africa, which is saying one thing when you think about that Africans are usually among the many most pleasant individuals on this planet. Usually instances, I discovered myself so shortly accepted into teams of Rwandans that their kindness actually overwhelmed me!