Rwanda is a landlocked country situated in Eastern - Central Africa. Also known as “The Land of a Thousand Hills”, Rwanda has five volcanoes, twenty-three lakes and numerous rivers, some forming the source of the River Nile. The country lies 75 miles south of the equator in the Tropic of Capricorn, 880 miles ’as the crow flies’ west of the Indian Ocean and 1,250 miles east of the Atlantic Ocean - literally in the heart of Africa. Rwanda is bordered by Uganda to the north, Tanzania to the east, Burundi to the south and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west.
Anyone visiting ’The Land of a Thousand Hills’ is in for a multitude of surprises. The loveliness and variety of the landscapes in this ’green country’ is dominated to the north by volcanoes and bordered by Lake Kivu to the west. In Rwanda the great animals of the wild are protected from poachers and roam free in three national parks.
The Volcanoes National park in the Virunga volcanic mountains with its high altitude forests, are world famous for mountain gorillas - timid and passive family oriented giants - which is teeming with wildlife both large and small, while Lake Kivu to the west offers beautiful beaches, jutting peninsulas and an archipelago of islands.
The Nyungwe National park in the south-west is the largest mountain rain forest in Africa and is home of dozens of species of primates including large population of chimpanzees and other threatened monkeys and hundreds of different types of orchids. It has the farthest source of Nil River.
The Akagera National park in the East is an archetypical African savannah landscape of tangled acacia woodland interspersed with open grass and many lakes, where people enjoy watching herds of animals (buffalos, antelopes, zebra, giraffes, etc.) and hundreds species of birds.
Basic Facts about Rwanda:
Land Area: 26,338 Square Kilometers.
Location: Central and Eastern Africa
Geographic coordinates: 1º57 S, 30º03 E
Uganda to the north, Tanzania to the east, Burundi to the south and Democratic Republic of Congo to the west.
Capital City: Kigali
Population: 10.5 million (general census of 15 August 2012)
Rainfall: Rainy seasons:
March - May and October – December (Average of 110-200 mm. per month).
Average Temperature: 22 ºc. Hottest months: August, September.
Ranges from 950 - 4507 m above sea level, with the lowest point being the Rusizi River (950m) and highest point Karisimbi Volcanoe (4507 m)
Main water bodies:
Lake Kivu, Lake Muhazi, Lake Ihema, Lake Bulera, Lake Ruhondo, Lake Mugesera, Nyabarongo River and Akanyaru River, Akagera River.
Ranges from dense equatorial forest in the north-west and south-west of the country to tropical savannah in the east.
Main National Parks/Animal Reserves:
Akagera, Nyungwe Forest and Virunga Volcanoes National Parks.
Time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours behind Tokyo)