About Rwanda

About Rwanda

According to Extrareference, Rwanda is a small African republic located in the eastern part of the continent. Most of the country’s territory is covered with hills, as a result of which it began to be called the “Land of a Thousand Hills”. In 1962, Rwanda was proclaimed an independent republic, before that the country was under the tutelage of the UN, and the country was administered by the Belgian government. Rwanda is one of the most densely populated countries in Africa, with a population density of 421 people/km2. The country became infamous throughout the world for the 1994 genocide, when 500,000 – 1,030,000 people were killed within 100 days (there are no exact data), 10% of those killed were representatives of the Hutu ethnic group, the rest were Tutsi. In total, during the civil war since 1990, 2 million people fled the country. Rwanda, along with other African countries, is a poor country. The main industry is agriculture. Despite the fact that the land here is rich in fertile soils, only 50% of them are cultivated. More than 60% of the republic’s residents are below the poverty line and are completely dependent on humanitarian aid supplies. Only 20% of the country’s population lives in cities, the main of which are: Kigali (the capital and the only major city), Gizenyi, Huye (Butare), Musanze, Kibungu, Gitarama and Kibuye. Over the past decade, the government of Rwanda has pursued a policy aimed at developing the tourism industry. As a result of this work, the tourism infrastructure of the republic (road communication, hotel business, etc.) is progressively developing, new natural parks are being opened, the visa regime has been canceled for many countries, cycling tourism (bike safaris) is developing, and a forest protection program is running. The tourism industry provides thousands of Rwandans with stable, well-paid jobs, thereby increasing the standard of living of the population. In 2011, Rwanda was recognized as the most attractive destination for tourism in all of East Africa (data from the World Economic Forum). Combined tours to Rwanda and Uganda are especially popular among tourists.

Geography of Rwanda

In the south, the state borders with Burundi, in the east – with Tanzania, with the Congo (DRC) – in the west, and with Uganda – in the north. The area of the country is 26.4 thousand km2. On the border with the DRC is a large lake Kivu, of tectonic origin. In the western part of the country there is a mountain range (2500-3000 m.), which crosses its entire area from south to north. Here is the Karisimbi volcano with a height of 4507 m. and the Virunga mountains, the peaks of which reach 4000 m. The landscape of the rest of the country is a hilly surface, descending and forming depressions in the eastern part. The entire territory of Rwanda is riddled with mountain rivers, the largest of them is the Kagera, and a large number of small lakes where crocodiles live. Vegetation is represented mainly by secondary savannahs, the surface of the hills is covered with tropical forests. The rich animal world is preserved only in the reserves. It is noteworthy that poisonous snakes and mosquitoes that are dangerous to humans are not found in Rwanda.

Capital

Kigali

Area

The area of Rwanda is 26,338 km. sq., occupies the 144th place in the world by area.

Population

10 746 thousand people

Currency

State currency – Rwandan franc (RWF)

Language

Official language – Rwanda, French and English

Weather in Rwanda

The climate of the area is mild, subequatorial. The average annual temperature in the center of the country is 24-25 degrees, in the mountain tropics – 10-15 degrees. The average annual temperature in Kigali (1550 m above sea level) is 17-21 degrees. The periods from mid-October to December and from March to mid-May are two wet seasons, during which the annual rainfall falls. Dry weather lasts from mid-May to mid-October. The tourist season is open all year round, but the peak is in July-August.

Currency exchange in Rwanda

Currency can be exchanged at exchange offices (bureau de change) or at the National Bank of Rwanda. As of 12/11/2012: 1 USD = 630.66 RWF, 1 EUR = 816.2 RWF. Bank cards are accepted for payment in several expensive hotels and restaurants in Kigali. International cards are not serviced at ATMs, you can get cash from the card only at the branches of the Bank of Kigali (Banque du Kigali).

Electricity

230/240 V., European sockets.

Religion

93.6% of Rwandans are adherents of Christianity (of which 56.5% are Catholics, 11.1% are Adventists and 26% are Protestants). Muslims make up 4.6% of the population, atheists – 1.7%, 0.1% – admirers of local cults.

Security

The country is relatively safe for tourists. However, in the local society, revealing clothes, vulgar behavior, excessive emotionality and talk on racial topics are negatively perceived.

Health

Travelers to Rwanda are required to be vaccinated against yellow fever. It is also recommended to be vaccinated against viral meningitis and hepatitis A. Do not forget that African countries are in first place in the world in terms of the number of HIV-infected citizens.

About Rwanda