A visit to this museum is worthwhile to get to know the history and culture of Rwanda better. It would be a great begin of your holiday. In the museum a guide will show you around and inform you on various topics, mainly about the pre-colonial period. You’ll learn about the geological features of the country, its langue, people, culture, crafts and tools, and practices and belief systems. You’ll find a great historical overview here.
Kigali became Rwanda’s capital after gaining independence in 1962. This is a beautiful green city located between a number of hills. It’s an interesting city to stay a night in. You can visit banana plantations and see how stones are baked or how traditional baskets are woven. But if you want to know more about Rwanda’s recent history, a visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial is a must. In 1994, after years of tensions between the ethnic Hutu and Tutsi groups, a civil war erupted. This three month genocidal period cost nearly a million people their lives. This memorial site was erected for the victims. It explains how it could have taken place. Before visiting, be prepared that some witness reports, footage and material on display might be shocking. It is a very emotional, but historically important location.
Butare is the former capital of Rwanda and known as the cultural center of the country. Some of the country’s most important and precious museums are located here, including the National Museum of Rwanda. It was built in the early 90s and there is a lot of information about the cultural history of Rwanda here, which will help you understand the country better. You can also find some beautiful botanical gardens here that are kept up for scientific and educational purposes. Local shops sell traditional crafts and reflect Rwandan culture. Among others you’ll find traditional ceramics, beautiful woven baskets, beads, wood carvings, and figurines here.
The Akagera National Park is known for its striking and varied landscapes and nature. It has typical iconic African savannahs, forested hills and swamps and waters rich in bird species. During a safari trip here you can spot hippos, Nile crocodiles, elephants, impalas and also the roan antelope. If you are very lucky, you could even see the rare imposing shoebill among the vegetation on the shores of one of the lakes. The variety in nature makes it a special place to spot wildlife. There are lodges in the park to stay at. These are conveniently located and make for a great base to start in the morning for a trip in the park.
Gisenya is situated on the shore of Lake Kivu in the northwest of Rwanda. It’s located near the border of Congo. This is a beautiful serene place to visit with incredible views of the Virunga Mountains as a backdrop and lots of nature walk and biking opportunities along the shore. There are a number of beaches lined with palm trees here on the lake and the town is known for its water sports as well. This is a comfortable place to rest after an active holiday. Take a day or two to relax.