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Getting ready for Journey to Rwanda • We Weblog The World

Rwanda captivated me from the second I touched down in Kigali. “It’s just like the Singapore of Africa,” the native pal I went to dinner that night time with advised me once I requested him how he loved residing 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 rationale Rwanda is price visiting is that it’s probably not just like the international locations round it. Whereas locations like Uganda, the DRC and even components of Tanzania and Kenya are stricken by violence, terrorism and endemic petty crime, Rwanda is secure, to not point out proudly corruption-free. Rwanda is an African nation the place vacationers could be relaxed because the discover, as a substitute of continually 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 rationale why. Maybe it’s due to the horrible tragedy they lived via 30 years in the past, or another motive that’s not as apparent. However the truth that Rwanda appears thus far forward of lots of its neighbors doesn’t appear merely a matter of presidency diktats.

The place to Go in Rwanda


Whether or not or not you consider 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 an enormous 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.

Lake Kivu

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 truly 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 much like the thick vegetation overlaying Volcanoes Nationwide Park. They’re not, the truth is—on the fauna aspect, there are chimpanzees as a substitute of gorillas—however that is nonetheless one of many locations that almost all 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 “Massive 5” in Rwanda as a substitute 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 greater than it seems on the map. To go to all of the locations I’ve talked about inside this publish, you’re going to wish a minimal of two weeks. This gives you two full days in Kigali, plus three days every at Lake Kivu and at Volcanoes, Nyungwe and Akagera Nationwide Parks. Clearly, you may play with these proportions based on your preferences.

Which isn’t to say that Rwanda is price visiting provided that you may “go in all places.” Many vacationers, not eager to take care of costly, difficult transportation within the nation’s western reaches, merely cut up per week or so between Kigali and Volcanoes Nationwide Park. It is a notably enticing possibility should you plan to do a Tanzania safari earlier than or after your journey to Rwanda.

Why do you have to go to Rwanda?

Most vacationers go to Rwanda for particular experiences, resembling gorilla trekking in Volcanoes Nationwide Park. Nonetheless, if this doesn’t encourage you to come back to Rwanda, then maybe the nation’s repute as being one of many most secure and most stress-free African international locations will encourage you to ebook a flight to Kigali.

Is English extensively spoken in Rwanda?

As a normal rule, you may anticipate most individuals you encounter in Rwanda to talk some English. Nonetheless, if you’ll be able to use primary Kinyarwanda (Rwandan language) phrases, you’ll positively take pleasure in goodwill and an excellent hotter welcome from locals.

Are Rwandans pleasant?

Rwandans are a number of the friendliest folks in Africa, which is saying one thing when you think about that Africans are typically among the many most pleasant folks on the planet. Typically instances, I discovered myself so rapidly accepted into teams of Rwandans that their kindness actually overwhelmed me!

Robert Schrader

Robert Schrader is a journey author and photographer who’s been roaming the world independently since 2005, writing for publications resembling “CNNGo” and “Shanghaiist” alongside the best way. His weblog, Go away Your Day by day Hell, gives a mixture of journey recommendation, vacation spot guides and private essays overlaying the extra esoteric points of life as a traveler.

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