'Land of a Thousand Hills' ( Pays de Mille Collines), as it is popularly known, Rwanda is a small, lush country in central Africa. Rwanda's misty hills are dotted with tea plantations, rugged mountains, and towering volcanoes. Despite being landlocked, Rwanda has several 'beaches' along Lake Kivu to the west, one of Africa's largest bodies of water.
Sadly, this beautiful country is best known for the horrific genocide of 1994, when nearly one million Rwandans were slaughtered in the space of about three months. This massacre was the result of long-standing ethnic tension between the minority Tutsis and the Hutus. Rwanda has recovered wonderfully from its tragic past, and is now a peaceful, unspoilt holiday destination that is rich in culture and wildlife, boasting fine food and one of the friendliest welcomes in Africa. Luckily the world is catching on to the advantages of this African gem and tourism is on the rise. The rapidly growing city of Kigali, situated at Rwanda's geographical heart, is not only the capital but also the country's most important business centre and the main point of entry. While it is not a tourist hot spot, it contains some first-rate sites and is worth a quick exploration for travellers arriving from overseas.
However, the real appeal of the country is outside the city, in the magnificent national parks. The most popular activity for tourists in Rwanda is gorilla trekking. Meeting these gentle giants in their natural habitat is widely acknowledged to be one of the most profound wildlife experiences in the world.
A picturesque country with an incredible people and interesting history, Rwanda is one of the most fascinating travel destinations in Africa.
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