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10 Amazing Facts About Rwanda and Reasons to visit in 2024

Rwanda was featured among the “must see” locations for the year 2018 by various international travel agencies such as CNN Travel

2020 is an exciting year for my beautiful nation, Rwanda, and for travelers around the world. As a proud Rwandan, I am very happy that we are finally starting to get the recognition we deserve by many international tourism agencies around the World.

Unfortunately, 8 out of 10 people I meet in the United States and Europe seem to assume that “Rwanda Today” is still the “1994-Rwanda” they watched in the movie about the Rwandan genocide. They ask me:

How is the country right now? Is your family safe/okay?

The Rwandan strength to bounce back, face adversity and continue to strive despite many challenges is the reason why I am very excited about our future.

1. Kigali: The capital city of RWANDA

Kigali has been voted as the cleanest and one of the most organized cities in Africa. In 2017, The United Nations nominated Kigali as the most beautiful city in Africa.

Public roundabout nearby the Kigali Convention Center

2. Environmental Sustainability ( The first country to ban plastic bags in the World)

The use of plastic bags was banned in 2008. Literally, no plastic bag is allowed to enter Rwanda. Even at the airport, you give up your plastic bags, and they give you biodegradable or reusable paper bag. It is amazing! Check out this British journalist story at the Rwandan Airport ( Credit: The Guardian UK).

Snapshot a british journalist story in the Guardian article

It’s called Umuganda in the local language, which means “ working together”. The last Saturday of the month, each community delegates a place to meet up and do something positive to the community. Usually, activities involve cleaning up, planting out trees, building a house for the poor, infrastructure ( a local school, hospital), or something of that nature. The idea is to work together for the betterment of the community and the Rwandan society at large.

4. Paul Kagame, the best president in Africa, right now.

Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda

5. The most number of women in the parliament in the World.

64% of the members of the Rwandan parliament in both chambers ( senate and deputy) are women. No wonder why the country is doing well. Regulations mandates that at least 30% of all government institutions have to be women. From top-level ministers level to low-level leaders in the communities. You talk about women’s rights, equality and all that? In Rwanda, we don’t just preach equality. We are doers. The population is 50% men, 50% women, so it makes sense to include women in all levels of decision making in the government. Doesn’t it?

64% of Rwandan parliament members are women.

See this photo below? All women flight crew, Captain and her co-pilot of the RwandAir, the national air carrier and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Very rare to see elsewhere, but not in Rwanda.

Captain and her co-pilot, posing for a photo opportunity with the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

6. Tea and Coffee ( Some of the best coffee in the World)

Every year, Rwanda coffee wins some of the best international awards for best quality coffee. Order you some here if you are interested. Let me know if you have had any other coffee that competes with ours.

Rwandan coffee beans

Every year, Rwanda coffee wins some of the best international awards for best quality coffee. Order you some here if you are interested. Let me know if you have had any other coffee that competes with ours.

Kigali Convention Center in Kigali, Rwanda

8. Regardless of your nationality, you do not need a visa to come to RWANDA. Visa upon arrival to the citizens of the world

Starting January 2018, you don’t need to apply for a visa to come to RWANDA. Want to come to Rwanda? No problem. You will get a 90-day visa at all Rwandan borders and airports if you are African; and 30–60 days if you are from other continents. Other countries are closing, tightening up their borders, we are opening them and welcoming the world. I love it.

9. Beautiful Mountain Gorilla and amazing Safaris Experience

Silverback Gorilla at the Virunga National Park in Northern Province

Rwanda has 50% of all the mountain gorillas in the world. They are endangered species, so Rwanda does a great job at preserving these treasures. You will have the best experience touring and visiting the amazing creatures in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.This is my cousin photo last time we were there. Amazing experience!

My cousin, posing nearby ( 1 meter away) a gorilla and her two babies in the back.

Also, if you want to see all sorts of animals ( Hippos, Lions, Zebras, etc) at their natural habitat, Rwanda has all you need. Akagera National Park and Nyungwe National Park are the main ones. Forget about the zoos, come to Rwanda. We will take you where they live.

Rwanda is a very welcoming country. We have a rich culture of dance, music, arts and all that. There is nothing we enjoy more than sharing our culture with others. If you come visit us, we will be happy to share it with you. Below are a few photos of our sisters showcasing our amazing culture through dance and music.

That’s all for now. I hope you learned something new about my country, RWANDA. Obviously, there are many facts about RWANDA, but this is a good introduction. In my next post, I will expand on arts, fashion, sports, economy, and other interesting facts about RWANDA.

If you are a traveler, add Rwanda on your wishlist. You will be amazed! Remember, no prior visa application! At your arrival, it costs $30 and takes between 3 to 5 minutes. CNN Travel and many other travel agencies just named Rwanda number 11 out of 18 best places to travel in 2018, so don’t miss out.

Credit to Rwanda, the Thousand Hills Rwanda facebook pages, for allowing me to use their pictures. For more pictures, check them out!

What do you think?

Written by Mike Bisho

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