Rwanda is one of the smallest countries in Africa and is often referred to as “African Switzerland” designated. The country has become indelible in that awareness dug around the world – as the focus of one of the most horrific genocides in the 20th century
In the meantime, the situation in Rwanda has stabilized, the country is safe and travel in Rwanda is again possible without any particular risks. The main reason for one travel after Rwanda are the last mountain gorillas in Africa that still live in the tropical rainforest on the slopes of the volcanoes. Groups of these gentle giants can be observed up close in Rwanda.
Colorful, shrill and loud – this is how celebrations and celebrations with historical ceremonies in Rwanda are often. This is often impressive and exciting for tourists. For the population, these celebrations are an integral part of their cultural life. People dress according to their role at these festivals with masks, skirts, self-made wigs or spears. All of this is part of the ritual celebrations.
It is not surprising that there are numerous pieces of music, dance and poetry in Rwanda that are passed down from generation to generation. New pieces are constantly being developed from these existing pieces. However, there are other art forms in Rwanda – prose, theater and visual arts are also common in Rwanda. Although they are not overly cultural, they are still well received.
The lichens of different objects or clothing and jewelery is in Rwanda a widespread craft. This is carried out using the most delicate technology and an enormous precision. The Rwandan braiding is amazingly fine. The speed at which these tricks are created is also remarkable.
Area: 26,338 km² (land: 24,668 km², water: 1,670 km²), one of the smallest countries in Africa, slightly smaller than the state of Brandenburg.
Population: 11.4 million people (July 2011, COUNTRYAAH.COM). Hutu 84%, Tutsi 15%, 1% Twa pygmy.
Population density: 432 residents per km², second highest population density in Africa.
Population growth: 2.792% per year (2011, CIA)
Capital: Kigali (745,000 residents, 2005).
Here is a detailed list of the largest cities in Rwanda.
Form of government: Rwanda has been a presidential republic since 1962, the constitution dates from 2003. Rwanda’s parliament is made up of two chambers: the National Assembly with 80 members and the Senate with 26 members. Rwanda has been from Belgium since July 1, 1962 independently.
Administrative division: 4 provinces (in Kinyarwanda – intara): Est, Nord, Ouest and Sud and one city (in Kinyarwanda – umujyi): Kigali.
Head of state: President Dr. hc Paul Kagame, since March 24, 2000
Prime Minister: Pierre Habumuremyi, since October 7, 2011
Highest point: Karisimbi volcano, 4,519 m
Lowest point: Rusizi river, 950 m
Language: The official languages in Rwanda are French, Kinyarwanda and English. Swahili is a widely used business language.
Religion: 56.5% Catholics, 26% Protestants, 11.1% Adventists, 4.6% Muslims, 0.1% followers of natural religions, 1.7% no religion (2001).
Local time: CET + 1 h.
In Rwanda there is no change between summer and winter time.
The time difference to Central Europe is +1 h in winter and 0 h in summer.
Telephone area code: 00250 or +250
Mains voltage: 220 V, 50 Hz
Rwanda is bordered by Uganda in the north, Tanzania in the east, the southern neighbor is geographically similar Burundi, the western neighbor is the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The large African watershed between the White Nile and the Congo stretches through Rwanda at heights of up to 3,000 m.
Here you can find a detailed topographic map of Rwanda.
Much of the western border of Rwanda is formed by Lake Kivu in the Rift Valley in East Africa, while the border regions to Uganda and Congo are formed by the Virunga volcanoes (up to 4,500 m high). The extremely endangered mountain gorillas also live here. The Akagera swamps and several lakes, which form a natural border with Tanzania, extend in the eastern part of the country. The steep Virunga volcanoes rise in the west of Lake Kivu and merge into the hilly central plateau.
Basically, there are three major landscapes in Rwanda: a valley in the southeast, a high plateau in the center and the watershed between the Congo and the Nile.
The central high plateau extends in the middle of Rwanda between the Congo-Nile watershed and the valley in the southeast. Here heights between 1,500 and 2,000 m are reached. The region is very hilly, here the picture of the “land of a thousand hills” was created. The plateau continues to climb to the Congo-Nile watershed. Due to sufficient rainfall, many smaller rivers were able to form on the plateau. Due to the moderate temperatures and fertile volcanic soil, intensive landscape is operated here. However, this also means that the forest has been cleared.
The highest peaks in Rwanda are the Virunga volcanoes in the northwestern part of the country. The Buberuka highlands are connected to the volcanoes. Here there is a damp, cool climate with very heavy rainfall. Due to the volcanic deposits, the soil is very fertile, intensive agriculture prevails here too, and a large part of Rwanda’s potatoes are grown here. However, the soil cannot spew a lot of water, so that a large part of the precipitation quickly seeps away and later reappears in springs.
The watershed between the Congo and the Nile runs in the western part of the country in a north-south direction along Lake Kivu. Here, maximum heights of almost 3,000 m are reached, in the central part, however, only about 1,200 m, while in the south it rises again to 2,700 m. The surface is characterized by gorges and steep peaks. The eastern part is damp due to incline precipitation, the west somewhat drier due to blow winds. The original vegetation is tropical mountain rainforest, which has been greatly reduced by heavy clearing, currently there are only small rainforest areas. While there was still rainforest in Gishwati (north), Mukura (center) and Nyungwe (south) at the end of the 1990s, it was almost completely cut down in Gishwati and Mukura by returning refugees after 1994. The Nyungwe rainforest, however, still exists today. These rainforest remains are the last retreat areas for small monkeys, small antelopes and earlier also Forest elephants. In addition, a large biodiversity of birds, small animals and also plants live here.
There are deep bays and steep slopes on the shores of Lake Kivu. Due to the foehn wind from the western slopes of the Congo-Nile watershed, rainfall here remains lower than on the eastern side of the mountain. The water temperature of Lake Kivu is around 23.5 ° C, the air temperatures are mild. In the north and south there is intensive agriculture due to fertile soils, less fertile areas (e.g. Kibuye in the center) are used for cattle breeding.
The southwestern part of Rwanda (Impara and Imbo) also has very fertile soils, where intensive farming is carried out both in low-lying and hot areas and in the cool mountain regions.
The valley in the south and east of Rwanda in the west of the swamps of the Akagera river is between 1,000 and 1,500 m high. The climate here is dry and hot, the soil is rather porous and covered with laterite crusts. The predominant form of vegetation is bush savannah. Due to the unfavorable climate, relatively sterile soils and the frequent tse-tse fly, neither cattle breeding nor soil construction could develop here.
Population in Rwanda
This map of the population distribution in Rwanda was created by the Worldmapper team. Densely populated areas appear bloated, the area of sparsely populated areas is reduced. The shape of the grid has been preserved; an underlying map with the original geographical extent helps interpret the map. The distorted map should help to present abstract statistical information clearly.