Preparing for Travel to Rwanda • We Blog The World

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Rwanda captivated me from the second I touched down in Kigali. “It’s like the Singapore of Africa,” the native good friend I went to dinner that evening with advised me after I requested him how he loved dwelling there. “Or at least that’s what we’re aiming for.”

Of course, Rwanda is greater than its capital metropolis, as pleasant as that metropolis could also be. It’s solely if 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 Unique?

Superficially, a part of the explanation Rwanda is price visiting is that it’s not likely just like the international locations round it. While locations like Uganda, the DRC and even components of Tanzania and Kenya are affected 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 will be comfy because the discover, as an alternative of continually watching their backs.

Underlying that is the truth that Rwandans themselves are fairly totally different from different Africans, though in on a regular basis I’ve spent there I’ve by no means fairly pinpointed the explanation why. Perhaps it’s due to the horrible tragedy they lived via 30 years in the past, or another purpose that’s not as apparent. But the truth that Rwanda appears to date forward of lots of its neighbors doesn’t appear merely a matter of presidency diktats.

Where to Go in Rwanda

Kigali

Whether or not you consider that Kigali has lived as much as its intention of being the “African Singapore” could be very a lot as much as your individual notion. Still, 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 National Park

Not surprisingly, trekking with gorillas in Volcanoes National 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.

Lake Kivu

One of the “Great 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 loosen up on the shore) and is the closest factor landlocked Rwanda has to a seaside.

yungwe National Park

To the bare eye, the rainforests of Nyungwe National Park might sound botanically much like the thick vegetation overlaying Volcanoes National Park. They’re not, in actual fact—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 National Park

You in all probability don’t consider Rwanda as a safari vacation spot, significantly not when you’ve ever traveled in Kenya or Tanzania. However, whether or not you wish to see the “Big 5” in Rwanda as an alternative of those different international locations or along with them, Akagera National Park is the place to do it.

How Much Time to Spend in Rwanda?

Rwanda is small than most of its neighbors, however larger than it appears to be like on the map. To go to all of the locations I’ve talked about inside this publish, you’re going to want a minimal of two weeks. This will provide you with two full days in Kigali, plus three days every at Lake Kivu and at Volcanoes, Nyungwe and Akagera National Parks. Obviously, you may play with these proportions in line with your preferences.

Which is to not say that Rwanda is price visiting provided that you may “go everywhere.” Many vacationers, not desirous to cope with costly, difficult transportation within the nation’s western reaches, merely break up per week or so between Kigali and Volcanoes National Park. This is a very engaging choice when 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, similar to gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park. However, if this doesn’t encourage you to return 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 may anticipate most individuals you encounter in Rwanda to talk some English. However, if you’ll be able to use primary Kinyarwanda (Rwandan language) phrases, you’ll positively 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 the planet. Often instances, I discovered myself so shortly 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 similar to “CNNGo” and “Shanghaiist” alongside the way in which. His weblog, Leave Your Daily Hell, gives a mixture of journey recommendation, vacation spot guides and private essays overlaying the extra esoteric features of life as a traveler.

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