National Parks, Museums and Volcanoes – Rwanda Has It All

Anna Luebke - Dec 31, 2012
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Rwanda, a landlocked nation in Eastern-Central Africa, is popularly referred to as the land of thousand hills. It is a beautiful safari destination blessed with great variety of beauty. It is its unique tourist attributes that make it an ultimate lifetime destination for many tourists. Discover the top landmark sites.

Nyanza Royal Palace

The impressive Nyanza Royal Palace is a dome shaped construction made totally with traditional material. This palace of the traditional Rwandan monarchy is situated some 35 km north of Butare town in the country's Southern Province, and sits atop a hill with some very commanding views. The old Royal palace is modeled along the 1950s Italianate bungalows; splashed in pale green with an interior sparse with grand fire-places. Its most distinct rooms are the inside bathroom and the sleeping quarters that have some of the most splendid regalia found in this continent.

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Akagera National Park

This fascinating attraction located in the eastern section of the country happens to be the only Rwandan savannah park. It boasts of over 500 different bird species and varieties of wild animals. Its other major attractions include Lake Mungesera and Rusumo falls. This is one great site for game viewing where you will have the chance to see the African Big Five such as the lion, elephant, leopard, rhino and buffalo. Other animals you will have a chance of viewing include zebras, various species of antelopes, and giraffes. Hippos and crocodiles can also always be sighted as they track their prey that come to drink water along the banks of River Akagera.

Lake Kivu

This African Great Lake lies on the border between Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. It is special in that it is among the only three "exploding" lakes in the world. It is also a favorite getaway spot for several holiday activities like water sports (canoeing, windsurfing and kayaking) and beach vacations due to its spectacular shoreline.

Rwesero Arts Museum

Located some 2 km from Nyanza town, this museum attracts several tourists to this region. Rwesero Arts Museum was supposed to be a palace for King Mutara III, who unfortunately died before even occupying it. It has lots of contemporary artwork, a symbol of the authenticity of Rwandan creativity, and also has links with the Sports Museum, Cultural Centre, Olympic Academy, plus the stadiums of diverse sports.

Genocide Memorial Centers

Rwanda underwent one of the worst genocides in the world in 1994. After this disaster, several memorial centers were established to preserve the memories for future generations and honor those who lost their lives. Most of these people were devoured by wild animals, and many of them were buried in mass graves dug by friends and relatives before they themselves were hacked to death. Some of these centers include Murambi Technical School Genocide Memorial Centre, Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, Nyamata Genocide Memorial and Gisozi Genocide Memorial Centre.

Volcanoes National Park

This is one of the few sanctuaries in the world where you can find mountain gorillas. Located in the North-Western Rwanda, this park which was first established in 1929 was intended to protect the mountain gorillas from poachers. It is here that you will also find five among the eight volcanoes of Virunga Mountains that are always characteristically covered with thick bamboo forest, namely Gahinga, Muhabura, Bisoke, Sabyinyo and Kisirimbi. Being the habitat for almost a third of the remaining world's mountain gorilla population, it is indeed the best destination for Gorillas Safaris.

Nyungwe Forest National Park

This is, without doubt, the largest block of mountain forest in this part of the continent. Nyungwe National Park is located to the south of Lake Kivu, just at the border with Burundi, in South Western Rwanda. It is home to a variety of primates such as colobus monkeys, chimpanzees and grey-cheeked mangabeys, among others. It is a great site for tracking beautiful golden monkeys and chimpanzees, though you have to be prepared for long, tiring walks in the thick forest.

As aforementioned, Rwanda provides a number of beautiful and scenic sites which make it many travelers' top destination in Africa. So, just plan a trip to this hilly country for that opportunity to sample its variety of physical features, flora and fauna.

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