Rwanda, land of a thousand hills, is a tiny landlocked country in Central Africa.

 Bordered by Tanzania, Uganda, DRC, and Burundi,

Rwanda is experiencing a tourism rebound after falling off the map post-

genocide 1994.

The country is split by the Rift Valley and dominated by a mountain range that

traverses the country from north to south.

The West coast of the country overlooks

the beautiful shores of Lake Kivu.

Summary of Rwanda Facts

Capital City Kigali, 340.000 inhabitants.
Total Area 26,338 sq km's.
Population 7.4 million people (2005)
Languages: English and French (official), Kinyarwanda.
Religions: Christians of various groups 65%, 25% are following traditional

religions and

Moslems are about 10%. Government: Republic.
National Day: 1 st July
Industry: Coffee and Tea factories, Cotton and Textile, Tobacco,

plastics, soaps.
Agriculture: Coffee, Tea, pyrethrum.
Climate: Tropical

History

Originally the domain of hunter-gatherers, Rwanda emerged into a centralized

state with

a feudal monarchy in the fifteenth century. It became a German colony in 1890

and was mandated to the Belgians after the First World War. The Belgians found

convenient to rule Rwanda indirectly through Tutsi chiefs and their princes.

In 1962, under Prime Minister Gregoire Kayibanda, Rwanda gained independence

and this brought the Hutu majority to power. Ten years later Major General

Juvenal Habyarimana came to power. His death in a plane crash in April 1994

unleashed the genocide in which about one million Rwandans are thought to have

been killed and nearly twice as many fled into exile. In recent years, as peace

and stability have returned under President Paul Kagame, many Rwandans have

come back. Local elections were held for the first time in 35 years in 2001 and

again in 2003, an encouraging sign of the steady return of stability to the country

Climate

A combination of tropical location and high altitude ensures that most of Rwanda

has

a temperate year-round climate. Temperature is rarely above 30 degrees Celsius

during the day or below 15 degrees Celsius at night throughout the year.

The exceptions are the colder upper slopes of the Virunga Mountains and the hotter

low - lying Tanzania border area in Akagera National Park. Throughout the country,

seasonal variations in temperature are relatively insignificant.

Most parts of the country

receive in excess of 1,000mm of precipitation annually. The dry season is mostly

between June to September and the rainy season between March to May.

Landscape and Territory

Rwanda hosts large tropical forests, home to the Mountains Gorillas in the

Parc National des Volcans in the Virunga volcanoes and to large troops of

Columbus monkeys in Nyungwe Forest,

one of the largest montane forests in Central

Africa, also renowned for the rich variety of orchids.

Akagera National Park is a savannah

park with elephants, hippos and crocodiles.

Lake Kivu is a beautiful inland sea enclosed

by steep terraced hillsides. There are a large variety of birds.

Rwanda has a rich culture with its second city,

Butare, having the site of the cultural museum and the main university

of the country.

Other towns are Gisenyi, along the Congolese border,

offering beautiful beaches on

Lake Kivu; further South is Kibuye,

one of the most beautiful places in Rwanda with

gorgeous views on Lake Kivu