Rwanda: Africa’s Eastern Jewel Below the Equator

Rwanda is located only a few degrees below the Equator in the central and eastern portions of Africa. The country sits in an elevated region of the African Great Lakes region and is dominated by mountains and plenty of lakes. The country is highly populated and for tourists there is much to see and do while visiting this diverse nation. Volcanoes National Park Volcanoes National Park is situated along the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. The park holds five volcanoes – Karismbi, Sabinyo, Bisoke, Gahinga and Muhaura. The park allows for face to face viewings of the famous mountain gorillas of the area too. The park is also home to golden monkeys and some of the best hiking trails in the region.

Downtown Kigali Rwanda

Kigali Memorial Centre During a dark 100 days, an estimated one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus were murdered by the Interahamwe and the army in one of Rwanda's most disturbing and horrific periods in history. In order to honor their memory, a memorial was created devoted to the 250,000 buried here in mass graves. The memorial center is meant to explain what happened during this time and the search for justice for the victims of the genocide. [caption id="attachment_393" align="alignnone" width="1600"]massgraves in Butare Rwanda on January 302012. The Rwandan Genocide was the 1994 mass murder of an estimated 800000 people. massgraves in Butare Rwanda on January 302012. The Rwandan Genocide was the 1994 mass murder of an estimated 800000 people.[/caption] Gorilla Safari One of the most popular reasons for visiting Rwanda is to see the majestic mountain gorillas up close and personal. Taking a gorilla safari is one of the best ways to make this happen and is one of the best experiences a visitor to Rwanda will ever have. While it is possible to travel through the national park without a guide, the experience is made all the more fantastic when trekking in an expedition. The safari usually includes all meals, hotel stay, experienced guides and transportation to the park. Musanze Cave The Musanze Cave is approximately 2 miles outside the town center of Gisenyi, and is also accessible from the road to Kinigi. The cave was created when lava flows joined together and created the Albertine Rift Valley. The cave boasts a significant bat population and roof collapses that provide colored light shafts that put on dazzling displays.  The cave is a great place to visit for nature lovers and those looking for something a little different. The entry price might seem high to some visitors, but it is well worth the effort to visit this incredible natural creation.

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