Tourism A Tool To Alleviate Poverty in Rwanda

Rwanda is a developing country located in east Africa. It’s a very small country that in the early 1990’s faced a great tragedy (1993) Rwandan genocide that lead to the destruction of the country’s economy including the major wildlife destinations. Economic activity was also disrupted by the genocide forcing many people to exile especially to the neighboring countries like Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and DRC. The war ended after just three months but it had caused a lot of harm to the people and to the economy. The Rwandan government then had to start a recovery journey to make Rwanda a business center and also among the leading safari destinations in Africa.

In 1999, some of the major national parks were reopened for tourist visitation especially those interested in viewing wildlife while many dark tourism sites re emerged. On return from exile, many Rwandese had been displaced and were unemployed which increased poverty levels in the country. With those entire happenings, the Rwandan government had to identify its major strength so that it could reduce poverty especially among the local people. Of the identified strengths was tourism, which was identified as a means of wiping out poverty in Rwanda.

Rwanda is naturally endowed with a number of attractions especially wildlife with rare wildlife especially in volcanoes national park which is inhabited by the endangered mountain gorillas as well as the golden monkeys. There is also savanna wildlife in Akagera national park featuring wild animals like crocodiles, hippos, baboons, lions, elephants, giraffes, zebras as well as the chimpanzees of Nyungwe forest national park located in southwestern Rwanda.

Over the past wars period, the tourism industry in Rwanda has proved to be the fastest growing sector in Rwanda attracting a lot of investment especially in the hotel sector in the different wildlife destination in the country. The hotel industry has acted as a source of market for the locally grown food crops. Many of the locals have also been employed in the hotel industry as managers, waiters, and waitresses and in many other areas thus enabling them to earn a living and improve the welfare of their families.

Other local Rwandese have been employed in the major national parks of Rwanda as guides and game rangers, anti poaching guards. The local people have been around these major attractions and therefore provide the needed information to tourists who most times end up tipping them for the good service they provide. Around volcanoes national park, some local people are hired as porters which another tourism avenue they use to earn income.

The tourism industry in Rwanda has also attracted a number of tourists who usually visit the local communities and end up directly giving direct income support to those in need like the orphans and widows. This has also given chance to a number of poor people to improve their welfare.

5% percentage from the collections from tourists park entrance fees, gorilla trekking permits and chimpanzee tracking permits are given back to the community in form of revenue sharing and the money is used in improving social services in the communities like building schools, medical centers and other local community development projects.

Many tourists also buy a number of locally made products directly from the local Rwandese. Examples of these are the many handcrafts that are sold in many craft shops around Kigali. There are also many eateries owned the local business men and women where tourists buy local food which also enables the people to earn a living.

With all the above-mentioned benefits that have come along with the development of the tourism industry in Rwanda the land of a thousand hills, poverty levels are expected to reduce at a reasonable rate.

10 Adventurous Things to Do in Rwanda

Are you looking for the best places to visit in Rwanda? Or maybe you are looking for the best things to do on your holiday on Rwanda? Keep reading to discover the top places to visit and things you can do that should not miss on your itinerary in Rwanda. Many travelers today travel to Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills and look for specific tours and trips. Here we feature some of the top things to do in the most exciting places to visit in Rwanda.

The tours and activities highlighted in this country are chosen based on traveler reviews, feedback from thousands of people who visit Rwanda during the year, and information on which safaris in Rwanda, travelers book most often. We think you’ll enjoy reading about the different array of activities available.

Join us for this tour of the Top 10 Things to Do in Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills;

  • Track the rare Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda in Volcanoes national Park. Nearly a third of the world’s most endangered species are living within in the park, a place Dian Fossey called home for over 18 years living within the forests looking for the mountain gorillas and freeing them from poaching, snares etc.
  • Go chimpanzee trekking in remote Nyungwe forest National park, one of the oldest ancient tropical rainforests on the African continent. The park has 13 primates species including chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys etc. The park is as well the only place in East Africa where you can enjoy a canopy walk.
  • Watch the large elephant herds as they gather in Akagera National park, the only savanna national park in Rwanda. Named after the Akagera River, the 1200sq km of Akagera National Park host incredible wildlife.
  • Enjoy game drives in the countryside on your wildlife safari through various parks in Rwanda. Most game drives are conducted in Akagera national park located in eastern Rwanda along the border with Tanzania.
  • Take Canoe rides down the length of the Lake Kivu, one of the best places for leisure holidays in the country
  • Enjoy the various adventure activities, iconic scenery, beautiful rolling hills and safaris.
  • Take a nature walk to Dian Fossey’s grave in Parc Nationale des Volcans
  • Enjoy amazing game viewing plus bird watching in both Akagera and Nyungwe National Parks
  • Explore the wilderness area and take guided forest walking safaris in various national parks; Nyungwe Forest National Park and Volcanoes National Park.
  • Explore Africa’s unique Culture by paying a Visit to pygmy people learn their behavior patterns in Ruhejeri near Volcanoes National Park
  • Hike along some of the volcanic mountains in the country; Karisimbi, Visoke Mountains and Muhabura along the uganda-Rwanda border.
  • Enjoy Golden Monkey tracking in Volcanoes National Park (PNV).
  • Visit the different Genocide memorial sites and learn what exactly sparked off the tragedy that left more than a million people dead. There are several genocide memorial sites which include Kigali, Nyamata Genocide Memorial site, Gisozi Memorial site, Bisesero, Gisenyi and more.

Top 5 Things to See in Rwanda

Rwanda is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Africa. This small country known as the land of a thousand hills, attracts millions of visitors from all over the world who visit the country all year round for gorilla trekking tours into the Volcanoes National Park, chimpanzee watching, wildlife game viewing and cultural tours. There is so much to see, from beautiful beaches at Lake Kivu, to luscious tropical rain forests jungles, that it can be a hard task to decide where to go. Here are the top things to see in Rwanda, Africa!

Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda

Mountain gorillas are one of Rwanda’s most famous attraction. Gorillas are a star attraction that has attracted thousands of visitors to Rwanda. From celebrities to nobels, gorilla trekking is an adventure activity that has been undertaken for the last 30 years, and up to today, it is a rare experience that one should enjoy in Rwanda. On a gorilla trek in Rwanda, Visitors enjoy trekking through the dense tropical rainforest looking for the magnificient jungle giants that stole Dian Fossey’s heart and dedicated all her life to the jungles!

Kigali

No trip to Rwanda is complete without a visit to Kigali, a populous city in Rwanda that is not only the capital but also a place filled with attractions. Kigali boasts of a wealth of attractions, from incredible shopping, sight seeing, and of course the ommissible visit to its genocide memorial sites and cultural sites. You will be spoilt for choice when it comes to this city, so be sure to create an itinerary of the things that you do want to see to avoid missing out.

Lake Kivu

Lake Kivu is the best place to visit on a leisure holiday to Rwanda. Its beaches, that are not frequented by visitors have been kept natural, attractive and unspoilt, readily available for ecotourists to visit them. Lake Kivu is home to some of the most stunning beaches in Rwanda. In order to experience everything Kivu has to offer, you should go on a tour, or hire a four by four vehicle and drive around the island yourself. You can also immerse yourself in nature by camping under the stars.

Nyungwe Forest National Park

This national park is one of the best places to visit in Rwanda, renowned for chimpanzee tracking. It is a unique nature reserve, which home to several primates that include chimpanzees and monkeys. The park is also home to interesting insects, amphibians, birds, and animals.

One of the best ways to experience any of the above attractions is to go on a guided tour through the forest or book a chimpanzee tracking safari in Rwanda. Guided tours will be able to conveniently transport you from one location to another, while experienced guides will be able to escort you around the best attractions each area has to offer.

Top 4 Popular Holidays in East Africa

Holidays in East Africa are some of the most enjoyable and memorable. This part of Africa has lots of things to offer to both local travelers and international visitors. It has a pleasant climate in most regions thus making it a place you can enjoy a holiday at any given time of the year. Some areas in East Africa have more sunny days and are popular spots for holidaymakers especially those from colder regions of the world.

Wildlife Safaris

Trips to safari parks are the most popular kind of safaris in East Africa. These trips take you for the very best game viewing in the beautiful natural national parks in East Africa such as Masai Mara National Park, Serengeti National Park, Amboseli National Park, Ngorongoro Crater Valley, Murchison Falls National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park. Would you like to witness the wildebeest migration in Serengeti and Masai Mara or you are looking to taking a big five safari. Lots of amazing moments are awaiting you within the East African parks.

Gorilla Safaris

Watching the mountain gorillas in the wild is one of the amazing primates safaris that you can take while in East Africa. This heart pounding moment is one of the main highlights of visiting Africa to many adventure seekers. You can go gorilla trekking in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park or Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

Beach Holidays

These are some of the most popular holiday options in East Africa especially for countries like Kenya. With the Mombasa coast dotted with stunning beaches, it is definitely a great place for that deserved beach holiday. The beach offer fun activities to all and it is one of the major features that tourists look for in a holiday destination. Some of the beaches are ideal for specific water sports such as windsurfing while others are most suitable for scuba diving. Others will offer basically every water sport you could be interested in Kenya.

When choosing the best spot for your beach holiday therefore, it is important to consider all the activities that you will be exposed to. The beach holidays will in most cases have beach resorts and modern hotels as your accommodation options. Always make a point of checking what each option has to offer you in terms of services and comfort. You will find everything from luxurious to adventurous thus it is not as hard to make a decision.

Green Holidays

These are also very popular in East Africa. With lots of natural grounds like; the rain forest, the holidays are breathtaking and memorable in every sense. They are spent in areas with majestic mountains, shimmering lakes, plantations and landscapes that are breathtaking. The best activities that you will enjoy on your East African green holiday include nature walks, hiking, cycling, mountain climbing, game drives, tracking, trekking and also picnicking in the most attractive natural grounds.

The green holidays also come with numerous options for your accommodation with the most impressive being eco friendly lodges. The lodges come in different sizes as they also include Family cottages and will therefore easily accommodate families on holiday. They are located in the most beautiful areas making it possible to enjoy those beautiful sunrises and romantic sunsets. Hotels and guest houses also make wonderful accommodation options for your green holiday in East Africa. Always choose an option that will help in meeting all the holiday needs and expectations that you have but be sure you will not be disappointed in East Africa.

Rwanda Launches New Festival ‘NYANZA TWATARAMYE’

Rwanda’s tourism is growing fast thanks to the creative stakeholders in its tourism industry. Renowned mostly for mountain gorillas, Rwanda is not only the best destination for gorilla safaris but also for an amazing cultural encounter with the local African people. If you would like to interact with the locals, learn about the culture of the African people, Rwanda is fast becoming a favorite destination to travelers. After successfully promoting the Kwita Izina, a gorilla naming ceremony held in July, the country is yet to launch another festival on the 26th, December, 2014.

The Nyanza District, home to some of the country’s most impressive historical and cultural sites from the past kingdom, has partnered with the National Institute for Museums and others to launch a culture festival held for the first time this year on Boxing Day, 26th of December. The Rwesero Art Museum has been selected as the venue for the inaugural event which will become part of Rwanda’s annual calendar of festivals.

There are several things that are to be showcased to travelers from traditional songs, poetry, art and crafts, etc. At the centre, tourists will learn about the traditional food preparations, live stock grazing, milking and other daily activities engaged in by the Rwandan people which will form the core of the various activities for the day, aimed to bring closer the country’s rich history to not only tourists but also the present day generation. The festival targets not only foreign tourists but also Rwandans as well as visitors from Eastern Africa. Tourists traversing the country can use this opportunity to stop by and enjoy some of the performances.

Rwanda’s tourism industry and the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has in recent years diversified their offerings, from what once was an almost exclusive gorilla tracking destination to include the country’s two other national parks, Akagera and Nyungwe Forest, the 224 kilometre long Congo Nile Trail from Kamembe to Gisenyi, which runs along some of the country’s most scenic sites along Lake Kivu, bird watching areas, the National Museums and of course the annual naming of gorilla babies, Kwita Izina.

For more information about Destination Rwanda click on www.rwandatourism.com

Top 5 Safari Destinations in Rwanda

Rwanda is one of the upcoming destinations in Africa. Many travelers visit Rwanda for gorilla trekking. Looking to taking a safari in Rwanda? Here are the five best destinations in Rwanda;

1.Volcanoes National park

A gorilla tracking destination, found just two and a half hours north of Kigali city equipped with luxury and budget accommodation facilities for travellers heading for the memorable Gorilla safari Expedition. Rwanda is among the three countries in the world where you can trek to see the majestic mountain Gorillas up close- a truly once a life time Experience.

2. Lake Kivu

Kivu is one of Africa’s Great lakes with deep emerald green waters and shoreline of the magnificent mountains and fishing villages. The lake is dotted with un in habited islands that can be explored by boats and provide the perfect location to relax and enjoy the serene peace of the country side with ambience.

3. Nyungwe National park

This is one of the oldest rainforest found anywhere on the African continent. The lush green forest is a home to over 300 bird species and 13 primate species including Chimpanzee, Colobus monkeys, Grey-cheeked mangabey ,Golden Monkey, Owl-faced monkey , Three species of bush baby, Olive baboon ,Red -tailed monkey, Ruwenzori colobus, Silver monkey , L’Hoest’s monkey, Vervet monkey ,Owl-faced monkey & others. You can enjoy the elevated canopy trails along a 70metre high walk away from exhilarating views of the forest.

4. Akagera National Park

This is Rwanda’s largest National park and a home to diversity of Plants & animals.The lakes papyrus, swamp; savannah plains & rolling highlands make Akagera an incredible scenic reserve. The park is a home to Exclusive shoebill stork & other bird species, elephants, leopards, antelopes, giraffes, lions, Bufalloes among others. That will make your wildlife excursion during game drive more thrilling in Africa hence making Rwanda the great travel country in the entire world.

Explore Uganda, the Land of Adventure

When thinking of an adventure safari to Africa, Uganda, the Pearl of Africa should be number one on your list. The Pearl of Africa combines countless of Adventure safari activities that are simply amazing, fantastic, memorable and life changing. We have come up of the list of Uganda safaris you can opt for and yet there are many others.

Source of the Nile White Water Rafting: Very fantastic experience, imagine Level 5 on any river in the world! Uganda offers rafting up to level 5 rafting on the famous river Nile. There simply is no other place in the world where you raft like you can in Uganda on a river that flows south to north and is one of the longest rivers in the world – there is no other place in Africa you can do that and in Uganda you can raft from mild to wild.

Gorilla Trekking: Uganda is home to nearly half of the mountain gorillas. Therefore a safari to Bwindi Forest one of the best places to go gorilla trekking and Mgahinga National Park is among the best adventures to take in Uganda. Meeting the mountain gorillas in the wild is one of the privileges you will enjoy during an adventure safari through Uganda.

Kayaking: The Perl of Africa doesn’t only offer marvelous white water rafting, but also kayaking in ways that go unrivaled in East Africa and once again on the historic River Nile at Jinja. Once again you can choose kayaking from mild to wild.

River Surfing: You probably did not know such an activity existed – but it does in Uganda on the River Nile with its fabulous rapids that certainly would be a most adventurous challenge even to the more experienced ocean wave surfer.

Jet Boat up the Wild River Nile: Speed through rapids in a 450 horsepower jet boat.

Horseback Riding Safari: Have an amazing experience riding a horse through of the open savannah of Lake Mburo National Park – viewing the wildlife such as zebras, buffaloes, eland antelopes and others.

Sports fishing for Nile Perch: Enyoj a private safari where you will catch fish (up to 300 plus pounds) in the second largest lake in the world – Lake Victoria – or even more spectacular just below one of the most powerful falls in the world – Murchison Falls. (Often fish over 300 pounds are caught here)

Hike in the Jungle: Not only can you go chimpanzee tracking in Kibale Rainforest Jungle but you can also hike through the jungle for several days – a very different activity that can easily be organized and participants find it most thrilling.

Climb the Volcanoes of Uganda: Uganda has four extinct volcanoes to climb – all of them offer you the fabulous Afro-Montane vegetation with its Lobelias and Giant Heather – bamboo forests on the way up and fabulous views in the case of Mgahinga Gorilla Park of Rwanda, Congo and vast portions of Uganda. You can also climb what was the tallest mountain in Africa before it blew its top and was a bit shortened – majestic Mount Elgon.

Climb and Hike the Rwenzori Mountains: The Rwenzori Mountains – the tallest mountain range in Africa – climb to its peaks or hike in the foothills – simply an awesome adventurous experience and found only in Uganda.

How to Travel Uganda on Budget

Travel in Uganda has always been cheap and affordable depending on traveler’s itinerary, tour activities and mission of travel. Many travelers spend less and save much on most Uganda safaris holidays including hanging out, wildlife, culture, mountain climbing and sightseeing. One needs only $10- $200 per day to explore the country and is able to fulfill each travel dreams ending it in memories of joy and happiness. However those who take safaris to famous Uganda attractions and parks can still enjoy on the same budget per day though sometimes budget changes due to expensive tour activities like Gorilla trekking which cost $600 per day’s trek. However, travelers still save by visiting Bwindi forest or Mgahinga National Park in the months of April, May and November when Uganda promotes gorilla tourism hence cutting gorilla permit prices to less than the usual price of $600.

Cost of Transport in Uganda

Uganda has multiple transport means that travelers use to connect to different places both with the city and on safari. Public transport is available for every one found in recognized taxi and bus parks in major city centers and the cost range between $1-$30.Those interested in private transport car hire is available and hiring a self drive vehicle in Uganda goes between $40- $200 dollars depending on vehicle type f your interest. Many tourists to Uganda opt for self drive services or book tailor made Uganda safaris and a particular travel agency takes the responsibility of arranging a full package holiday with transport inclusive. However, if your interest is to connects to different tourist attractions, better to hire a vehicle or connect by bus using any convenient bus company  among which include Bismarkan coaches,Gaaga bus company, Global coaches, Jaguar executive coaches, Kampala coaches, Swift coaches, Uganda post bus, Gaaga coaches, Link buses, Kampala coaches etc.

Cost of Uganda accommodations

Nearly all attractions, cities and local villages have several accommodation facilities that suit every visitor’s budget. Hotels, Apartments, lodges, motels, guesthouses, hostels, safari lodges, camp sites among others  is what you will find in every place you happen t visit in Uganda. All Uganda accommodations are based on bed and breakfast or full board depending on the client’s interest. Accommodation prices are negotiable especially during the low season months. However in general Uganda lodges and accommodations cost $5- 300 for budget and mid-range option while luxury accommodations range between $500- $1000 per night. They provide comfort and desired hospitality to visitors year round. Otherwise, accommodation is available within close proximity to tourist attractions, main roads, city centers and bus terminals.

Tips to Avoid Accidents on Self Drive in Uganda

Since it is a sudden happening, no body deliberately sets out a car rental to have an accident. Car rental companies in Uganda always wish travelers to have safe journeys. This is done to give self- drivers and tour guides the courage and confidence on Ugandan roads. When you are with a car rental in Uganda, below are steps to avoid and minimize accident.

As you leave the car rental station in Uganda, make sure that the tires of the car  have enough air in it and no tire puncture is found within. Start the engine and ensure that all the warming lights are off. Make sure that the car is properly inspected  mechanically to avoid accidents that may be caused due to poor mechanics in  the car

On the road, the most common area where accidents occur you need to be very careful with the rest of the drivers.  Everybody on the road must be respected so as to create harmony among the traffic users. Always assume that the person in the next car may make a mistake at any time. This can include making an unexpected lane change, a sudden stop, or a sudden turn. Using your mirrors and peripheral vision can help you scan the road for these unexpected dangers. In order to do this well, you need to know where all cars are around you. If someone looks like an unsafe driver, it is best just to stay away from them as much as possible. When you drive with your rental car you need to keep an eye on those around you. You can be the best driver on the road, but you can never be sure how good those around you are.

Speeding and Distance

Many people have accidents because they are not following the rules of the road, such as speeding. Speeding alone can increase the risk of an accident and doesn’t help you get anywhere much faster. You also need to keep a safe distance between your rental car and those around you. The faster you are going, the more distance you need to stop.

Distracted Driving

When you are here with your rental car, it is illegal to use any handheld electronic device when driving. Distracted driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving, and is a completely preventable way of avoiding an accident.

Right of Ways

When you enter an intersection with your rental car, you should always look both ways, especially if you are the first person who is entering the intersection after a red light. You never know when someone will try to make it though a yellow or when someone is not paying attention. If you approach an emergency vehicle at the side of the road with their lights flashing, you need to give them the right of way. Pull over if they are approaching, or move to the left if they are parked on the side of the road.

The best of Rwanda’s Tourism

There are several unique tourism activities to do in Rwanda; this country is long past its war torn days and now it’s one of safest countries visited in Africa. You will feel the real true African country with lots of unique attractions which have attracted many safari tours to Rwanda. This country is extremely small and there is one unique thing about this small country, this is gorilla trekking which is done in volcanoes National park and it has raised increased revenues for the country.
There is the Kigali city which is in the heart of Rwanda, this gorgeous city with great weather can get you taste the history here through visiting the genocide memorials and here you will learn about the turbulent past of this country. You will also have a chance to visit the different local markets which are found in the city as well as the art facts and the craft shops which are found within the city. These have also attracted many safaris to Rwanda.

Thinking about Rwanda makes you come close to the mountain gorillas and these can be spotted in volcanoes National park which is found some few kilometers from Kigali city. You will enjoy a very unique experience taking Rwanda Gorilla adventure, take this advantage and experience the largest group of gorillas when you come for a safari . Gorilla trekking can also be carried out in Uganda and the Democratic Republic Congo.

Rwanda has also got three national parks and these include; Akagera National park, Nyungwe National park and Volcanoes National park, there are many animal species which can be spotted in these national parks and some of these include; the chimpanzees, bird species, elephants, lions, leopards, and the monkeys. Lake Kivu also makes a border between Rwanda and Congo and it’s a great region where the tourists are safe to visit and swim, you will also visit the safari cities like Kibuye and Gisenyi near DR Congo border.
The other attractions which are found in Rwanda include; city tours, cultures, bird species and many wild animal species. The Butare is a cultural hub for the country and was once the most important city before 1965. You will also visit the great national museum which will help you explore the great history of Rwanda.