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Rwanda, formerly Ruanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a country in Central Africa and one of the smallest countries on the African mainland, and its capital city is Kigali. Located a few degrees south of the Equator, Rwanda is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Best Places to Visit in Rwanda

Lets explore the best places to visit in Rwanda:

1. Kigali

Since the dark days of the Rwandan genocide, the city of Kigali really has done a U-turn.

Where once marauding gangs and death patrols roamed, today there are bustling markets and spice-scented street stalls.

The ramshackle barrios now ooze the energy of day-to-day bustle, while the appearance of shimmering steel skyscrapers on the horizon is just another sign of the flow of foreign investment in these parts.

There are a couple of things you simply need to see: the moving Genocide Memorial and the grand presidential palace.

Apart from that, it’s just a case of taking in the newfound national confidence, shopping Rwandan handicrafts in the bazaars, and sinking cold ones in the raucous nightclubs.

2. Huye

Huye was once known as Butare, and most locals still call it that today.

But whatever its moniker may change to, there’s no altering this one’s prestigious history.

Huye is the home of the National University and the National Institute of Scientific Research, along with countless other revered learning centers.

That makes it something like Rwanda’s answer to English Oxford, or Massachusetts’ Cambridge.

It also makes it a place rich with cultural attractions.

Visitors can hear tales of the old Tutsi monarchs at the National Museum of Rwanda; they can eat alongside erudite students, and they can delve into the stalls and handicraft emporiums of Huye Market.

3. Volcanos National Park

While most African hinterlands away from the Great Rift Valley are forced to compete with the likes of Kruger and Maasai Mara, Ngorongoro and the Serengeti, when it comes to the wild, mist-topped backcountry of Rwanda’s Volcanos National Park, all bets are off! Yep, this truly breathtaking conservation area – contiguous with Virunga across the border – is topped by the once-smoking calderas of mighty mounts like Karisimbi and serrated Sabyinyo.

All around these craggy volcanic peaks, visitors discover lush montane forests and thick groves of African redwoods.

And within those there’s another treasure: the uber-rare mountain gorilla!

4. Kibuye

Kibuye juts its way into the blue-brown waters of Lake Kivu in a series of curved headlands and steep-sided bays.

Surely one of the most handsome towns in all of Rwanda, it’s surrounded by high hills that come dressed in wisps of mist by morning and offering sweeping views of the lake waters and the islands by afternoon.

Between the streets, there are some earthy little eco lodges on the shores, along with one interesting Catholic church, and a memorial to the Rwandan genocide.

There’s also a smattering of empty beaches around the center, and oodles of boats available for tours away from the banks.

5. Akagera National Park

Akagera National Park is the same savannah and riparian swamp mosaic you’d expect to find in the super-famous game parks of the East African Rift.

That’s because its 1,200 square kilometers of land abut right up to the border with Tanzania, giving rise to roaming herds of giraffes, antelopes, jackals and more.

Safaris are slowly becoming popular, with outfitters now organizing game drives and game walks from the smattering of lodges that exist.

And the environments are beautiful too, with the meanders of the Kagera River giving way to shimmering Lake Shakani, oodles of papyrus swamps and protected birding areas aplenty.

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