Rwanda is not only the land of a thousand hills, but also a country rich in flora and fauna and stunning natural beauty in its scenic rolling and breathtaking green savannah. The country hosts some rare species of animals like the silverback mountain gorillas as well as unique birds and insects in the tropical forest of Nyungwe.
|Currency||Rwandan franc (RWF)|
|Population||11.7 million (2013)|
|Electricity||230±0 volt / 50±0 hertz (Europlug, SEV 1011)|
|Emergencies||112 (police, fire department), 912 (emergency medical services)|
|edit on Wikidata|
capital of Rwanda
Town in the Republic of Rwanda
(Cities were renamed a few years ago when the administrative structure of Rwanda was re-vamped. The former names refer to old provincial capitals. Expect people to use either name listed to refer to these cities.)
It's been two decades since the civil war and genocide of 1994 that devastated this tiny country, and it's come a long way. Shake off your memories of war and expect a warm and friendly welcome to a beautiful country.
Hunter gatherers settled the territory in the stone and iron ages, followed later by Bantu peoples. The population coalesced first into clans and then into kingdoms. The Kingdom of Rwanda dominated from the mid-eighteenth century, with the Tutsi kings conquering others militarily, centralising power, and later enacting anti-Hutu policies. Germany colonised Rwanda in 1884 as part of German East Africa, followed by Belgium, which annexed it in 1916 during World War I. Both European nations ruled through the kings and perpetuated a pro-Tutsi policy. The Hutu population revolted in 1959. They massacred numerous Tutsi and ultimately established an independent, Hutu-dominated state in 1962. The Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front launched a civil war in 1990. Social tensions erupted in the 1994 genocide, in which Hutu extremists killed an estimated 500,000 to 1 million Tutsi and moderate Hutu. The RPF ended the genocide with a military victory.
The population is young and predominantly rural, with a density among the highest in Africa. Rwandans are composed of three ethnic groups: the Hutu, Tutsi and Twa.
Although Rwanda is located only two degrees south of the equator, Rwanda's high elevation makes the climate temperate. The average daily temperature near Lake Kivu, at an altitude of 1,463 m (4,800 ft) is 22.8°C (73°F). During the two rainy seasons (Feb–May and Sep–Dec), heavy downpours occur almost daily, alternating with sunny weather. Annual rainfall averages 800 mm (31.5 in) but is generally heavier in the western and northwestern mountains than in the eastern savannahs.
- 1 January - New Year's Day
- 1 February - Heroes Day
- Good Friday - variable
- 7 April - Genocide Memorial Day
- 1 July - Independence Day
- 4 July - Liberation Day
- 15 August - Assumption
- Eid al Fitr and Eid al-Adha (Islamic holidays that vary with the lunar calendar)
- 25 December - Christmas
- 26 December - Boxing Day