Bio

Capital: Kigali

Area: 26,338 km²

President: Paul Kagame

Population: 11.92 million

General Information

Welcome to Rwanda We are a landlocked East African country with a green, mountainous landscape. Our renowned Volcanoes National Park is home to mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. The park encompasses 4,507m-tall Mt. Karisimbi and 4 other forested volcanoes. In the southwest is Nyungwe National Park, with ancient montane rainforest that's a habitat for chimpanzeesand other primates.

Kigali, the nation's capital, has a vibrant restaurant and nightlife scene. The Kigali Genocide Memorial documents the 1994 mass killings in Rwanda, associated with the civil war that ended the same year. In the northeast, bordering Tanzania, is sprawling Akagera National Park and its savannah – uncommon in Rwanda – which shelters wildlife including zebras, giraffes, hippos and elephants. Deep, crystal-clear Lake Kivu sits on the country’s western border with Democratic Republic of the Congo. On the lake's northern shore is Gisenyi and its beach resorts.

Spanning on a 160 sqkm area in the northern part of Ruanda, Volcanoes national park is part of the great Virunga volcano conservation region spanning to cover Virunga national park Congo and Mgahinga national park Uganda. It was initially a small area around Karisimbi, Mikeno and Visoke volcanoes which was gazetted to protect the Mountain gorillas which were facing the threat of extinction as a result of poaching.

In 1929, the Volcanoes National Park was extended into Rwanda and the then Belgian Congo and was named Albert national park managed and run by the Belgian Colonial Authorities. During early 1960s, the park was divided as Rwanda and Congo gained their independence and by the end of that decade, the park was almost half of its original size.

In 1967, the American zoologist Dian Fossey who had been doing research on mountain Gorillas in the forests of Congo fled from insecurity and established her research base at a place between Visoke and Karisimbi volcanoes that was yet to be known as Karisoke research center. She spearheaded the conservation campaign of the mountain gorillas and mobilized resources to fight against poaching in this area, a fight she put up until her murder in 1985. She was buried at the research center next to the grave of her favorite gorilla called Digit.