Don't Miss Places In Rwanda
Rwanda, officially known as the Republic of Rwanda, is an independent state of Southeast Africa. The largest religion in the country is Christianity. Rwanda is also called as ‘The Land of Thousand Hills’. The residents of Rwanda, known as Rwandans, usually speak Kinyarwanda language. However, the official languages are French and English. Kigali is the capital and largest city of Rwanda. Rwanda is a member of the African Union, United Nations, East African Community, Francophonie and the Commonwealth of Nations. In terms of area, Rwanda is 149th largest country in the world. Rwanda Radio is the main source of news throughout this country as most of the people have access to Radio and Television usage is limited mostly to the people living in urban areas.
Music and dance are a non-separable part of Rwanda’s festivals and other social ceremonies. The Traditional Dance of Rwanda attracts the attention of tourists. Traditional art and craft items are not just the piece of decoration but most of these are functional items. It is also famous for its mountain gorillas, game reserves, volcanoes and bird species etc.
Here is the list of some places you will not miss at any cost on your trip to Rwanda.
Volcanoes National Park
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Volcanoes National Park is located in Ruhengeri and it is home to the mountain gorillas. This well organized park provides habitat to two endangered species namely Mountain Gorillas and Golden Monkeys. Both these species are not found anywhere else commonly. Tourists love watching Gorillas because this most intelligent animal on earth can share and express emotions in the same way as Human Beings. The gorillas are very active, playful, huge in size but harmless. The guides will help you in hiking the mountains over here.
It is advised to wear comfortable shoes and take lots of water with you while hiking. This place is absolutely photogenic. You will enjoy a number of activities of Mountain Gorillas with other family members. It is an awesome feeling to look at gorillas from so close. It is not like watching gorillas in the zoo because it will be a whole new experience for you to enjoy the sight of these creatures in the natural habitat provided by Rwanda. The whole area is very beautiful. This whole experience will be absolutely incredible and memorable for you and you will definitely recommend visiting here to other friends also.
Inema Art Centre
Inema Art Centre is located in Kigali which is the capital of Rwanda. As the name indicates it is an art museum and was founded by two brothers named as Emmanuel and Innocent, hence named after them by joining the initials of both names. Both brothers are exceptional in creativity in a unique way.Inema provides space for 10 artists-in-residence to explore the talent in their creative minds.
The artists here produce paintings, sculptures and many different kinds of contemporary African Art which is set on Public Display at Inema Art Centre’s Gallery. This welcoming place is full of creativity. The art is vibrant and impressive and the artists are really friendly and will offer you some great piece of work at affordable prices. It will be a fascinating experience for you to watch young women making bags and jewelry. All the artists are so kind and will help you in every possible way.
These artists teach orphan children to make paintings. In the evening, street children practice drumming, dancing and singing making this place even more adorable. Visitors love this place so much that most of them spend a full day just watching the art of some great artists and talking to them. Don’t forget to visit this colorful and unique gallery while visiting Kigali.
Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre
Kigali Memorial Centre which is also known as Gisozi Genocide Memorial Centre is a memorial for the victims of Genocide of 1994. This Centre is built on a site where about 250,000 people are buried. It is the place where people go to remember their loved ones who lost their lives in Genocide. The valuable Genocide Museum is educational and provides tribute to people whose lives were taken here. It is advised to read a bit about the Genocide before visiting this place as it will provide you the information about the killing of several people.
This place is worth watching and it will take time to understand the tragedy. The whole place will leave you speechless. It is not actually an upsetting place but you will find it interesting and will start appreciating your own life after leaving this place. This place is really touching as it shows what human beings were capable of doing to their fellow beings. It contains the detailed collection of facts that lead to the Genocide and is very informative. However, it is advised not to visit this place if you are a way too emotional and this place is not suitable for kids also.
Akagera National Park
It is located in the Eastern Rwanda. The visit to this park will take 4 or 5 hours easily because it has an amazing variety of wildlife to offer. This unique park offers a calm environment to tourists as it is not very crowded. This huge park offers beautiful views of hills, lakes, birds and animals. The lake view is really spectacular.
This is the best camping site in Rwanda. You will find a lot of animals like Giraffe, Zebra, Hippo, Buffalo, Monkeys and many more. This park gives you the opportunity to see these animals in their natural habitat. It is advisable to keep the windows of your vehicle close if you see some flies in some areas of the park. The guides are awesome, helpful, informative and very friendly.
You will be amazed to see all these animals from so close. You will not be able to stop yourself from clicking the pictures. This place is ideal for people who love wild life. This beautiful and well maintained park will give you a memorable experience for lifetime.
Nyamata Church and Ntarama Church are unique and emotional sites to see. Nyamata is bigger Church than Ntarama. The Genocide memorial at this place gives you the feeling of sadness. The Altar cloth bears some blood stains. Two mass graves behind the church hold the remains of victims of this tragedy. You will be guided here by the survivors or the relatives of survivors. This intense place offers to see the clothes, skulls and bones of the people who died in the tragedy. This place will show you the real happening of the past.
Emotional people will find this place disturbing and it will be difficult to hear the details of the tragedy. The whole experience will leave you speechless. The local people often come to this place to remember and pay tribute to the victims. You will even find bullet holes in the roof and number of other elements to show the damage caused in those 5 years. The visit is free and they accept donations for the preservation of this place. It is really a touching site because it offers a simple and beautiful church with a horror story.
National Museum is located in Butare. This modern museum reflects the old traditions and history of Africa. This interesting place will give you the chance to visit the different Houses of the Kings and gather knowledge about their way of living. There will be a number of guides to accompany you. There are 6 galleries in this museum. You will be amazed to see the beautiful baskets used for the storage of milk and food. There are many pictures from 1910’s and so on that show different dressing and hunting styles of the people of Rwanda. You can learn a lot about the everyday life of the people of Rwanda. The information is written in three languages in this museum.
Parking space is huge and the shop at the front sells handicrafts at a reasonable price. The king’s hut and sacred horned cows kept in a stable behind the hut attract the attention of a number of people. Photography is not allowed inside the palace but you can take pictures in the hut. You will find some dancers presenting the traditional dancing. You will find some rare objects with description which are not found anywhere else. So, all in all you will be delighted after getting in touch with the great history and rich culture of this country.
Ivuka Arts Centre
Ivuka Art Centre is located in the capital city of this country. The view of young kids practicing the traditional dance in the court yard with artists working on their masterpieces in the back will make you speechless. The variety of art is very good here. It is advisable to take some cash with you because you will not be able to stop yourself from buying and taking home some creation of these great artists. The manager of this place, Charles, is very kind and welcoming. The place is not less than an art itself.
Staff of this place helps low income people and young artists to enhance their creativity. Ivuka Arts Centre is doing a very good job in the promotion of creative art in Africa. For the lovers of art, this place will be like a hidden treasure as you will be able to talk to people regarding their work. The jewelry section is most beautiful. You will be stunned to see the awesome paintings made by local artists. Your visit to Kigali will be incomplete without visiting this vibrant and colorful art Gallery.
Muslim Quarter is the oldest Quarter located in the city Kigali. It is the favorite place of people belonging to the Muslim community. There are a number of small mosques in this area. Most of the Muslim people own shops here and sell all kinds of goods including clothes, jewelry and groceries. This place will offer you some unique opportunities.
You will be welcomed by local woman tailors who will offer and then make a special shirt/skirt/blouse for you as per your wish. You will even get a chance to meet the local women and prepare a meal with them. This whole place is very clean and photogenic. Meeting the local people will show you the picture of real life of the people living in this area.
This place will offer you a unique opportunity to experience life in the rural area of Rwanda. It is fun to eat the local meals and weaving your own Rwanda Craft. You can meet local people here who will be more than willing to teach you traditional dancing, cooking and juice making etc. This place will give you such type of enjoyment which you will find nowhere else in this world.
Working in fields, cutting grass to feed the cows, playing with baby goats, fetching water, making meals, talking to old women will become the most memorable moments of your whole trip because it is not just watching it is experiencing their life. A day or two spent between these people will make you more close to their culture. All the people are really kind hearted and will welcome you with a smile on their faces. So, Azizi life will give you a truly incredible and life changing experience.
As the name indicates LibrarieIkirezi is a library located in Kigali. This bookshop contains a huge collection of books about Rwanda and Africa. Not only books, but latest editions of many magazines, cards, road maps etc. are also available in this library. The manager is very attentive ad will help you in finding the book of your choice. It contains books in English, Dutch, Kinya, Rwanda and French.
It also has a kid’s section which contains some good toddler books. There are two coffee shops at a walking distance. The library provides a calm environment ideal for reading. Many book lovers spend a number of hours here on their trip to Rwanda to get as much as possible knowledge about Rwanda.