CENTRAL / EASTERN AFRICA
Land of Thousand Hills
Rwanda is a landlocked mountainous country best known for its mountain gorillas. It is also the most densely populated country in Africa and is heavily cultivated with even the steepest hills tightly terraced from bottom to top. During colonial times, Rwanda was called “Little Switzerland” for its stunning beauty with mountains reaching 15,000 feet into the sky.
The Rwandan Genocide was the 1994 mass murder of an estimated 800,000 people. Over about 100 days from the assassination of Juvénal Habyarimana on April 6 through mid-July, over 500,000 people were killed, estimates of even upto 1,000,000 or as much as 20% of the country’s total population have been calculated. It was the culmination of longstanding ethnic competition and tensions between the minority Tutsi, and the majority Hutu peoples, who had come to power in the rebellion of 1959–1962 and overthrown the Tutsi monarchy. Today, a genocide museum in Kigali, is a common visiting point, for guests taking the 2-3 hour journey from Kigali to Volcanoes National Park.
Volcanoes National Park (French: Parc National des Volcans) in northwestern Rwanda, borders Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. The national park is known as a haven for the mountain gorilla. It is home to five of the eight volcanoes of the Virunga Mountains (Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo), which are covered in rainforest and bamboo.
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