Rwanda, the tiny East-African country tucked amidst its large neighbors, is a tourist attraction with an unorthodox touch. A country with tumultuous political past, today it has shed the painful memories to rise up as a most coveted tourist destination. Let’s have a sneak peak into Rwanda points of interest before we plan a trip to Rwanda.
Is Rwanda worth a trip?
Yes, indeed. Rwanda has every reason to be included in your travel list, just by reason of its abundant natural beauty. Unlike the common perception about African countries, present day Rwanda symbolizes peace and hope. With crime and violence being almost entirely wiped out, there is no reason to be skeptical about trip to Rwanda. The stable political scenario has helped Rwanda tourism find its foothold.
Let us explore Rwanda points of interest and understand what makes it is a desirable destination.
Kigali, the capital
Spread across several hills and valleys, Kigali is the pride of Rwanda. The city is the bustling center of commercial and tourist activities. Inema Art Center in Kigali is must go place for all art lovers. The center was founded by two artist brothers with no professional training. As this place exhibits some adorable art works of local people, pay a visit to find how talent can be found in most unexpected places. Kigali is also the place for enjoying pulsating nightlife. Without any doubt, tourists have placed this city on the highest ranking of Rwanda places of interest.
A national park for Volcanoes?
There are not many places where you will find a national park named after volcanoes. The Volcano National Park, major among Rwanda points of interest, lies on the border of Rwanda, Congo and Uganda. The park is home to the endangered species of mountain gorillas. There are several activities for tourists, all of which are different experiences.
Gorilla trekking organised in the area is not to be missed at any cost. For trekking, a gorilla permit is to be obtained in advance. Go in groups of not more than eight people and keep a lookout for the enormous creature.
Golden monkey, another resident of the forests, can also be spotted in trekking activities. A guide accompanying trekkers helps them find the animals in their natural habitat. Spotting a golden monkey is considered easier than spotting a gorilla as gorillas shy away from humans.
A visit to the tomb of Dan Fossey requires an arduous trek. Dan Fossey was a primatologist who spent years here, studying the life of gorillas.
Nyungwe forest national park
Nyungwe forest, one of the most famous among Rwanda places of interest, is the typical African jungle in all its magnificence. This tropical rain-forest is noted for its bio-diversity. The interesting fact is that it is sheltered inside tea plantations. Winding roads in the plantations lead you to the forest area. Like in Volcano Park, here also there are activities aimed at attracting tourists.
Love to see chimpanzees live in action? Chimpanzee trekking, like the one with gorillas, is a favorite pastime for travelers. One more addition to your animal spotting expedition.
Canopy walk is another specialty of this jungle. With tall trees standing sky-high, it is a thrilling adventure to walk at 50 meters above the ground. But if you have the fear of heights, better to let this one go by.
Bird watching is an entirely unforgettable experience as the forest has over 300 species of birds, some of which are rare to spot.
Lake Kivu, all beauty
Lake Kivu, the highest flowing river of Africa, this is the ideal location for some lazy moments. The place offers boat rides to nearby islands, which are all unique in some way. Go to the bat island and you find hundreds of bats flying above your head. Some island have fishing nets, if you are game for catching some live fish. Gisenyi is a large town located on the edge of Lake Kivu. With fading ancient mansions, this town has a ghostly yet marvelous look. Rwanda tourism prospering by the day, Gisenyi has also progressed with some decent hotels to offer for tourists.
Genocide memorial center in Kigali
Though not a tourist attraction in the strict sense of the term, Genocide Memorial in Kigali does find lots of visitors. The museum tells tales of the massive massacre of 1994. An audio guide is available to help visitors understand the significance of each item showcased. Sensitive portrayal of the horrific event that shook the world is sure to bring out some tears from even the bravest eyes. The children’s room displaying photos of children killed in the event is definitely not for the faint hearten. This is a must visit place among Rwanda points of interest.
Nyamata and Ntarama churches
These churches in Kigali are not famous as places of worship. They preserve remnants of the genocide. The bizarre but heartrending sight of bones and skeletons will force you to throw a glance up to the heavens. Even the clothes of victims are preserved with the faded bloodstains. Not an appealing sight, but worth a visit nevertheless.
How to reach Rwanda?
Being a recent entrant on tourist circuit, connectivity is not superb. It is easily accessible from neighboring nations of Kenya and Uganda. It has an international airport in Kigali, which is well connected to African nations. Regular flights operate to Johannesburg, Addis Ababa and Brussels. Inside Rwanda, travel is relatively cheaper and safer. Bicycle taxis are available for short distances which are rather easy on pocket. Connectivity is not a major issue, if you have made up your mind to make the spectacular voyage to watch Rwanda points of interest.
Where to stay in Rwanda?
As a tourist, you need not worry about lack of decent hotels in Rwanda. From luxurious boutique hotels to dirt cheap motels, everything is just a shot away. There are even serviced apartments which come at reasonable rates. Search and you will find the one that best suits you.
Ready for Rwanda reveries?
So have you decided to take the plunge to explore the country with loads of history and natural beauty? Be sure to capture the chimpanzees and gorillas in your camera.
Author: E Jey
Just a passionate traveler who loves scribbling his expeditions @ www.jauntmonkey.com, www.outonroads.com, and www.blogthatall.com