10 August, 2007

Rwanda from Darkness to Light

Rwanda is a land of great diversity and beauty. Popularly known as ‘the land of a thousand hills’, Rwanda has six volcanoes, twenty-three lakes and numerous rivers, some forming the source of the great River Nile.

The landscapes in this green country are truly breathtaking. Many a visitor to Rwanda has remarked that the physical beauty of the country is without equal on the African continent. Spectacular volcanoes and dense tropical forests dominate the north of the country, while gentle hills and valleys, calm lakes and turbulent rivers in both savannah and dense tropical vegetation dominate the rest of the country.

Rwanda boasts a wide variety of wildlife. The Parc National des Volcans, in northern Rwanda is home to the world’s largest number of endangered mountain gorillas. Numbering in the hundreds, the gorillas live in a protected area, free from poachers. The gorillas can be viewed in their natural mountain habitats at a fairly close range. Official Website

Rwanda, just south of the Equator in central Africa, is a mountainous land. This tiny, landlocked country—the continent's most densely populated—gained independence from Belgium in 1962. Conflict and civil war between ethnic Hutus and Tutsis have marked the country's history. In 1994 the genocide of some 800,000 Tutsis by Hutus occurred before Tutsi forces could gain control of Rwanda. Hutu militias fled Rwanda and continued to attack Tutsis from Zaire until Rwandan forces invaded Zaire in 1997—where they remained until 2002, when the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) agreed to help disarm Hutu gunmen. National Geographic

More On Rwanda: Africa Guide, Infoplease, Lonelyplanet, pbs.org , BBC , AllAfrica , Rwanda Tourist Board , Human Rights Watch, Rwanda Survivors, Worldtravelguide, Picasa
Map: CNN
Image: Virtualtourist

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