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Rwanda Travel

Rwanda, a tiny landlocked nation in central Africa, is fondly referred to as "The land of a thousand hills" for its rolling hills that dominate the horizon. Situated just south of the equator, its landscape is hilly grassland dotted with small farms and busy villages. The northern area of the country is a fertile ground volcanoes and mountain forests which are home to the famed Silverback Gorilla.

This tiny country has suffered through horrible years of turmoil and genocide but found peace in the mid 1990's. Since then, it has experienced a rebirth and come a very long way in a very short time. To the astonishment of many travelers, it is a safe place to visit, and surprisingly easy to get around.

Kigali, the capital and largest city, is the best place to begin your journey through Rwanda. The city is the site of numerous museums and memorials that are dedicated to the awful Genocide. The Kigali Genocide Memorial Center is the most popular site for its elaborate facilities and resources for survivors. There are 3 major hotels in the city, most notably The Mille Collines, which was a genocide refugee center, and featured in the movie "Hotel Rwanda".

Rwandan National Parks are a major draw to this land. The Akagera National Park and Nyungwe National Park are home to gorgeous primates, rare African birds, and over 120 species of butterflies. Mountain climbers and volcano enthusiasts excitedly seek out the Virunga Volcanoes. Parc National des Volcans is the most recognizable park in Rwanda. This is where Diane Fossey, famed 'Gorillas In The Mist' author, conducted her research and developed a deep relationship with the majestic indigenous gorillas.

Rwandan cuisine is delightful and should not be missed. The natives are proud of their culinary heritage and love to prepare food for visitors. Be sure to sample wonderfully spiced goat kebabs known as brochettes, and friend plantains known as frites-banane. The food incorporates many locally grown fruits and vegetables including bananas, beans, cassava, and potatoes.

Getting around is easy with excellent access to popular taxi-velos, which are bike taxis, and hired cars. You will also see white buses known as Matatu used extensively by traveling natives and are usually cram packed full of people and animals. It is a truly Rwandan experience.

Kinyarwanda is the official language in Rwanda, although many natives actively speak French and English. Even though it is nested up to the equator, its altitude provides for much cooler temperatures than other neighboring countries. Since peace has settled on the country, Rwandans are extremely welcoming to visitors and more than happy to share the hidden treasures of their culture.

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