Welcome, fellow wanderers and adventure seekers, to the land of a thousand hills and a million smiles! In January, when putting together our hotspot list for 2023, Rwanda had to be added to our list, and in this blog, we show you why.
This small yet vibrant East African nation has been steadily emerging as a must-visit destination for travellers looking for a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and remarkable resilience. In this in-depth travel blog, we will explore Rwanda's hidden treasures, share insider tips, and help you plan an unforgettable journey to this gem of a country.
DISCOVERING RWANDA'S NATURAL BEAUTY
Volcanoes National Park: A Gorilla Encounter
Rwanda is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, and one of the most awe-inspiring experiences you can have here is trekking to see the magnificent mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park. These gentle giants share 98% of our DNA and observing them in their natural habitat is a life-changing experience. Remember to book your permits well in advance, as they are limited and highly sought after.
Lake Kivu: A Serene Retreat
If you're looking for tranquillity, Lake Kivu is a haven for relaxation. The lake's clear waters, bordered by lush green hills, offer the perfect backdrop for kayaking, swimming, or simply sipping on Rwandan coffee at lakeside cafes. The town of Gisenyi is a great base for exploring the area and taking in stunning sunsets.
EMBRACING RWANDAN CULTURE
Kigali Genocide Memorial: Honoring the Past
Rwanda's history is marked by both resilience and remembrance. The Kigali Genocide Memorial provides a poignant insight into the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. It's a sombre but essential visit to pay your respects and gain a deeper understanding of Rwanda's journey towards reconciliation and healing.
Local Markets: A Taste of Tradition
Rwanda's bustling markets, like Kimironko Market in Kigali, are a vibrant hub of activity. You can find everything from colourful fabrics to artisan crafts and delicious street food. Bargain, chat with the locals, and don't forget to try some delicious samosas or Brochettes.
TASTING THE CULINARY DELIGHTS
Rwandan cuisine is a delightful blend of flavours influenced by African, Asian, and European culinary traditions. The cuisine is characterised using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Dishes are simple with only a few ingredients. Geography also has an influence on dishes, with dishes varying depending on the region. Don't miss these culinary highlights:
Ugali: The Staple
Ugali, a thick maize porridge, is a staple in Rwandan cuisine. It's usually served with a variety of stews and grilled meats. Give it a try, and you'll understand why it's so beloved among locals.
Brochettes: Grilled Perfection
Brochettes, or skewered meats, are a common street food. Whether you're a fan of beef, goat, or chicken, these marinated and grilled delicacies are a must-try. Pair them with some spicy sauce for an extra kick.
TIPS AND TRICKS FOR YOUR RWANDAN ADVENTURE
4.1. Visa Requirements
Most traveller’s to Rwanda need a visa. You can apply for an eVisa online, but it's advisable to check the latest entry requirements on the Rwandan government's official website before your trip.
Rwanda is a multilingual country with Kinyarwanda, Swahili, French, and English being the official languages spoken. Learning a few basic Kinyarwanda phrases can go a long way in connecting with locals.
Always have comprehensive travel insurance before embarking on your Rwandan adventure. It's essential for peace of mind in case of unexpected situations.
Consult your doctor about necessary vaccinations and health precautions before traveling to Rwanda. Malaria is prevalent in some areas, so take proper preventive measures
EXPERIENCING RWANDAN HOSPITALITY
Rwandans are known for their warmth and hospitality. Engage with the locals, ask questions, and you'll be met with genuine smiles and a willingness to share their culture. Participate in community-based tourism initiatives to gain deeper insights into Rwandan life.
As you can see, Rwanda is much more than just a travel hotspot in 2023; it's a country that offers a profound journey of discovery. From the awe-inspiring gorillas of Volcanoes National Park to the serene beauty of Lake Kivu and the rich cultural experiences in Kigali
Rwanda has something for every type of traveller. Just remember to pack your sense of adventure, curiosity, and an open heart as you embark on this remarkable African journey. Rwanda's beauty, resilience, and the warmth of its people will leave an indelible mark on your soul, making your visit an experience of a lifetime. So, why wait?
Start planning your Rwandan adventure today!