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ENJOY RWANDA is an online travel guide for promoting Rwanda as a beautiful holiday destination in Africa! Here you will find all kind of information about the country, destinations, facts and figures, hotels, etc., etc.
The Republic of Rwanda ; Kinyarwanda pronunciation Rɡwanda, known as the Land of a Thousand Hills, is a landlocked country located in the Great Lakes region of eastern-central Africa.
Although close to the equator, the country has a cool temperate climate due to its high elevation. The terrain consists mostly of grassy uplands and gently rolling hills. Abundant wildlife, including rare mountain gorillas, have resulted in tourism becoming one of the biggest sectors of the country's economy.
Rwanda has received considerable international attention due to its 1994 genocide, in which an estimated 800,000 people were killed. Since then the country has made a recovery and is now considered as a model for developing countries. In 2009 a CNN report labeled Rwanda as Africa's biggest success story, having achieved stability, economic growth (average income has tripled in the past ten years) and international integration. In 2007 Fortune magazine published an article titled "Why CEOs Love Rwanda." The capital, Kigali, is the first city in Africa to be awarded the Habitat Scroll of Honor Award in the recognition of its "cleanliness, security and urban conservation model." In 2008, Rwanda became the first country to elect a national legislature in which a majority of members were women. Rwanda joined the Commonwealth of Nations on 29 November 2009 as its fifty-fourth member, making the country one of only two in the Commonwealth without a British colonial past.
At 26,338 square kilometres (10,169 sq mi), Rwanda is the world's 148th-largest country. It is comparable in size to Belgium and the U.S. State of Maryland, and a little larger than Wales.
The country is located in Central and East Africa, a few degrees south of the Equator and is landlocked. The country neighbours the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west; Uganda to the north; Tanzania to the east; and Burundi to the south. The capital, Kigali, is located in the centre of the country.
Central and western Rwanda is dominated by mountains, with the Albertine branch of the Great Rift Valley running from north to south along the country's western border. The highest peaks are found in the Virunga chain of volcanoes in the north-west, including Mount Karisimbi, Rwanda's highest point at 4,507 metres (14,787 ft). This western section of the country, which lies within the Albertine Rift montane forests ecoregion, has an average elevation ranging between 1,500 metres (4,921 ft) and 2,500 metres (8,202 ft). The eastern slopes are more moderate, with rolling hills extending across central uplands at gradually reducing altitudes, to the plains and swamps of the eastern border region. Rwanda is also noted for its lakes. Lake Kivu is the largest, occupying the floor of the Rift Valley along most of the length of Rwanda's western border and is one of the twenty deepest lakes in the world with a maximum depth of 480 metres (1,575 ft). Other notable lakes include Burera, Ruhondo, Muhazi, Rweru and Ihema, the last being the largest of a string of lakes in the eastern plains of Akagera National Park.
The watershed between the major drainage basins of the Congo and the Nile runs from north to south through Rwanda, with around 80% of the country's area draining into the Nile and 20% into the Congo, via the Ruzizi River and Lake Tanganyika. The country's longest river is the Nyabarongo, which rises in the south-west, flows north, east and south-east before merging with the Ruvubu to form the Kagera, which flows due north along the eastern border with Tanzania. The Nyabarongo-Kagera eventually drains into Lake Victoria, and its source in Nyungwe Forest is a contender for the overall source of the Nile.
Rwanda has a temperate tropical highland climate, with lower temperatures than is typical for equatorial countries due to the high altitude. In Rubona, in the centre of the country, daily temperatures typically range between 14 °C (57 °F) and 25 °C (77 °F) and there is little variation through the year. There is, however, some variation across the country with the mountainous west being generally cooler than the lower lying east. There are two rainy seasons in the year, from February to June and from September to December. These are separated by two dry seasons: the major one from June to September, during which there is often no rain at all, and a shorter and less reliable one from December to February. Rainfall also varies geographically, with twice as much average annual precipitation in the west as in the east;
Tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors and is now the country's leading foreign exchange earner, generating US$214 million in 2008, up by 54% on the previous year. Despite the genocide, the country is increasingly perceived internationally as a safe destination, and one million people are estimated to have visited the country in 2008, up from 826,374 in 2007. The country's most popular tourist activity is the tracking of mountain gorillas, which takes place in the Volcanoes National Park. Other attractions include Nyungwe Forest, home to chimpanzees, Ruwenzori colobus and other primates, the resorts of Lake Kivu, and Akagera, a small savanna reserve in the east of the country.