Best Things to Do in Rwanda
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Explore the Most Amazing Places to Visit in Rwanda!
A landlocked nation located in the Great Rift Valley, Rwanda is one of the smallest and most densely populated countries in mainland Africa. It has an equatorial subtropical climate and is divided between the fog-covered mountains of the west and the savanna plains of the east. For most visitors, the country's mountain gorillas are the main attraction: Rwanda is one of only two places in the world where they can be seen in the wild without risking their safety, but Rwanda is much more than just their primates in danger of extinction. Discover little-known national parks; cities full of artistic talents; and memorials recounting the tragedy of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
1. Visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial
The population of Rwanda can be roughly divided into three subgroups; the Hutu, the Tutsi, and the Twa. Historically, tensions between Hutus and Tutsis have been high and, in April 1994, Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu, was killed when his plane was shot down by Tutsi rebels. In retaliation, up to a million Tutsis and moderate Hutus were massacred in the following months. The exhibits at the Kigali Genocide Memorial explain the causes, events, and consequences of this terrible period in Rwandan history. Open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm seven days a week, the center is also a mass grave for more than 250,000 victims of the genocide.
2. Hear stories of genocide at Nyamata Church
For a particularly poignant view of the events of the genocide, travel 20 miles south of the capital to the Nyamata Church. Here, as in other churches in Rwanda, 10,000 Tutsis sought refuge from their Hutu attackers but were massacred when the church doors were forcibly opened with grenades. Many other victims of the genocide (approximately 50,000 in total) are now buried in the Nyamata Monument, while the skulls, bones, and bloodstained clothing of those who died there are on display so that the events of the genocide can never be minimized or denied. The church is open every day from 7 a.m. M. At 5 p. M.
3. Dinner at the Real-Life Hotel Rwanda
Those who saw the 2004 film "Hotel Rwanda" will remember the story of Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager who used his position to hide more than 1,200 refugees during the genocide in Rwanda, saving their lives. His hotel was the luxurious Hôtel des Mille Collines in Kigali. While slightly less glamorous today than in its heyday, the hotel remains an exclusive spot for dinner or drinks overlooking the pool, which was once the only source of water for hidden refugees. Before you go, read "Inside the Hotel Rwanda" by Edouard Kayihura, which offers an alternative version of events to that portrayed by Hollywood.
4. Kigali Tour with Nyamirambo Women's Center
In 2007, 18 Rwandan women living in the Nyamirambo neighborhood of Kigali launched the Nyamirambo Women's Center. With the goal of enabling victims of gender-based violence and gender discrimination to learn craft skills and thus earn income, the center now houses an impressive array of accessories, home decor, and children's clothing. You can also take a memorable cultural tour, including a Nyamirambo walking tour, including a short Kinyarwanda class, and a visit to a local salon. Alternatively, join a sisal weaving workshop or join a traditional cooking class. Tours cost 15,000 Rwandan francs (about $ 16), with an additional 3,000 francs (about $ 3) for lunch.
5. Embrace the atmosphere at Kimironko Market
For an introduction to Kigali life at its most colorful and chaotic, head to the Kimironko Market in the neighborhood of the same name. As the busiest market in the capital, it welcomes vendors from all over East Africa. Stalls filled with fruits, vegetables, clothing, and other necessities compete for space with others selling traditional handicrafts and crafts. For a truly unique keepsake, select a brightly patterned kitenge girdle and order a reference piece from one of the most talented seamstresses on the market. Bargains are expected by asking for prices and can be part of the fun. The market is open every day from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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