Rwanda Budget Travel

Rwanda Quick Facts

The hilly country of Rwanda is known as the 'Land of a Thousand Hills'. This landlocked East African country covers some 26 338 km², making it the fourth smallest country on the African continent.

Rwanda borders on Uganda to the north, Tanzania to the east, Burundi to the south and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to the west. The population of Rwanda is at about 12,111,435 with around 33% of its people living in urban areas, such as Kigali, Butare, Gitarama and Ruhengeri. Kigali is the capital city, located in the middle of the country. It is also the largest city in Rwanda, home to some 745,261 people.

The country is most commonly associated with the horrific genocide that took place here in 1994, but today Rwanda is one of the most stable and safe countries in Africa. It is becoming increasingly famous for its mountain gorilla trekking and is arguably the best place in Africa to see these endangered primates in the wild.

Volcanoes National Park - Mountain Gorilla Trekking

Established in 1925, this is one of the oldest national parks in Africa. Volcanoes National Park covers an area of about 160km², bordering on the DRC and Uganda. Volcanoes Park encompasses the rainforests and bamboo forests in the Rwandan section of the Virunga Mountains, which includes five of the eight volcanoes in these mountains.

The park is home to a significant population of endangered mountain gorillas. There are currently about 880 mountain gorillas remaining in the world. Volcanoes is one of the three Virunga Massif parks (with Virunga National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park) protecting the gorillas, along with Bwindi National Park in Uganda.

Volcanoes National Park is also famous for its endangered golden monkeys, which can be visited on trekking tours. The national park is inhabited by an array of other animals and birds, including forest elephants, buffaloes, spotted hyenas, giant forest hogs, bush pigs and bushbuck.

Nyungwe Forest National Park

Located in the southwestern region of Rwanda, this national park protects the biggest Afro-montane forest in Central and East Africa. The Nyungwe Forest is also one of the oldest rainforests in Africa, predating the Ice Age.

The national park hosts an incredible diversity of flora and fauna, including numerous endangered and endemic species. Nyungwe is home to an impressive 13 species of primates and over 300 species of birds, including the highest number of species endemic to the Albertine Rift region. It is an excellent place to track chimpanzees with a sizeable habituated population of these social primates.

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