Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Rwanda - Reasons to travel

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Even though your main focus when travelling to Rwanda will be to do the gorilla tracking, Rwanda has so much more to offer and it is definitely advisable to explore Rwanda while there…here are a few reasons why we love this magical country:

  • The heart of Africa

Situated 1270 km west of the Indian Ocean and 2000 km east of the Atlantic Ocean, and around 160 km from the equator, Rwanda is pretty much in the middle of Africa. Rwanda’s neighbour, the DRC, is known as the ‘Dark Heart of Africa’. Its been said that if the DRC is a super-sized muffin, then Rwanda is half a raisin J. This tiny country is therefore Africa’s tiny (but warm and beautiful) heart.

  • Friendly people

From the moment you arrive, you will be greeted with warm smiles and welcoming words and when you drive through the villages you will always see children waving and beaming with excitement.

  • Kigali is one of the cleanest cities in Africa

Interesting fact is that Rwanda banned plastic bags and as a result, there’s almost no litter on the streets. There’s also compulsory community service once a month for all Rwandans, where people clean up their communities.

  • 1994 genocide

Through watching the news, we all knew that 1 million people (mainly Tutsis and moderate Hutus) were killed in a 100 days, but when you visit the Kigali’s Genocide Memorial, which documents the genocide through videos, text and photos you will be able to get a better idea of just how horrific the genocide really was. There are 250 000 mass graves at the memorial, and apparently more remains of bodies are found throughout the country. Visiting the memorial during a Kigali city tour should be a ‘must’ on your list, but be prepared that you will be overwhelmed with emotions of sadness, especially when you see the photos of bodies of children and woman and videos of attackers testifying to the murders after the genocide. Rwandans haven’t forgotten the genocide but they’ve somehow found a way to move on from it and not let it hold them back. The country is one of Africa’s best economic and political success stories, now peaceful and stable, with a well-respected president, and a zero-tolerance approach to corruption.



  •  Gorilla conservation and tourists

There are some conservationists that feel gorillas should not be exposed to tourists on a daily basis, but the fact is that tourists bring money into the country and by going on a gorilla trek the money paid (even though expensive) goes towards conservation and the preservation of this highly endangered species. (Approximately 800 gorillas left on this beautiful planet). We advise and request to be mindful when planning on doing a gorilla trek and don’t do it if you sick or have the flu, as it is said that humans can transfer it to the gorillas and if one catches it from you, the whole gorilla group can get sick and possibly die….just not a risk worth taking, so stay in good health.

  • The actual Gorilla trek

We do suggest that you should have some level of fitness when deciding and booking this adventure, but the truth is that doing the gorilla trek is not that difficult or strenuous. You can choose whether you would like to hike for a shorter distance and reach the Gorillas within an hour, or whether you want to take the road less travelled…that is up to you. There is no extreme jungle crawling and as long as you wear comfortable and good hiking cloths you should be just fine. 

  • Golden monkeys

Either before or after you visit the gorillas, we suggest you include another memorable and unique experience….tracking the golden monkeys. This specific monkey is a rare species that is only found in the stunning Volcanoes National Park. You will walk through a thick bamboo forest in search of this striking golden monkey. They jump around from tree to tree and you would need to keep up and have your camera ready at all times for when the photo opportunity presents itself. The permits are only US$150 pp and need to be bought in advance.

  • Beautiful lakes

We wont mention them all as there are so many, not to even begin to mention all the smaller and shallow lakes between Mugasera and Rweru…but to give you a taste…starting with the biggest and in my opinion the most impressive, Lake Kivu,then Lake Muhazi (also called Mohasi) a long narrow lake running roughly east-west and extending north and south into a number of tributary valley, about twenty kilometres east of Kigali, then Lake Ihema in the Akagera National Park, Lake Bulera in the north of the country high in the mountains, Lake Mugesera about thirty kilometres south-east of Kigali, Lake Cyohoha Sud, exactly south of Kigali and on the Burundi border and Lake Rweru in the south-east, you will be amazed by the beautiful landscapes and even if you cant visit them all, we would suggest to include a visit to Lake Kivu in your Itinerary.



  • Land of a Thousand Hills

Rwanda is known as the ‘Land of a Thousand Hills’ but for the clients that tried to count them, we have received confirmation that during the three-hour drive from Kigali to Lake Kivu, you would count way over a 1000 hills.

  • Coffee has never tasted better

Coffee and tea are Rwanda’s biggest exports – and you would want to stock up as you will be hooked, especially if you a coffee lover and for the people enjoying a good cuppa tea, you will experience an explosion of flavours when drinking Rwanda tea.

You ready to go??

These are only a few points why we think you should visit Rwanda…If you need more information or ready to start booking, contact us and lets put together the perfect tailor-make package just for you.

Tel: +27 (0)21461-5094


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