Name: Republic of Rwanda
Population: 11 million
Language: Kinyarwanda, French, English
Currency: Rwandan Franc (RWF)
Time Zone: UTC +2
Despite its brutal and quite recent history, Rwanda has lifted itself up from the ground and has undergone an almost miraculous transformation since the occurrences of 1994 and now boasts unity, stability and a slowly growing bright future.
With bamboo forests, awe-strucking volcanoes and mountains, gorillas roaming about its jungles, rich culture and dances and more, Rwanda is well-prepared to show how it has recovered in the past decade and is ready to show you what it has got to offer with arms wide open!
Rwanda boasts a temperate tropical highland climate. Temperatures vary very little throughout the year. Due to its high elevation, Rwanda’s temperatures are significantly lower than its neighbours, with daily temperatures ranging from 12°C to 27°C.
Rwandan culture is varied despite the size of the country. Throughout the area, you will find significant differences amongst people. However, we can safely state that music and dance is an integral part of the country’s heritage and acts as they key element of festivities, gatherings and ceremonies in Rwanda. A traditional dance is intore, a choreographed routine consisting of ballet performed by women, the “dance of heroes”, performed by men and most importantly: drums.
Another important aspect of Rwandan culture are its traditional arts and crafts, which are meant to serve a purpose rather than being merely a decoration. Woven baskets are a perfect example of this and you can easily find one to take back home!
Rwandan cuisine is made up of bananas, pulses, sweet potatoes, and cassava. Meat in Rwanda is not too common and most locals do not eat meat too often, with it being consumed once or twice a month only. The lack of meat in their diet dates back to centuries ago, particularly referenced to the Twa and Hutus people’s diet was high in vegetables and lacked animal protein.
Ugali is a national dish and is a paste made from corn and water that creates a consistency similar to porridge. Matoke is another staple dish, made from baked plantains. Isombe, another very recognized dish is Isombe, made from mashed cassava leaves and served with dried fish.
By Mototaxi and Bicycle Taxi
These are one of the most common ways of transportation in Rwanda and is also rather inexpensive. Make sure to always discuss the price before the ride with the driver, who will most likely speak English and/or French.
Taxis are not too common in Rwanda and can be rather pricey. The way to get a taxi in Rwanda is by calling one on the street or waiting at assigned taxi stops.
For longer distances, you can travel by Matatu, white minibuses. Keep in mind these are often crammed with people… and chickens.
For more information on Rwanda check out the Rwanda Tourism Board website here.