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Rwanda, land of a thousand hills, is a tiny landlocked enclave in Central Africa. Sharing borders with Tanzania, Uganda, DRC and Burundi, Rwanda is experiencing a tourism rebound after falling off the map post-genocide 1994. The country is split by the Rift Valley, and dominated by a mountain range that traverses the country from north to south. The West coast of the country overlooks the beautiful shores of Lake Kivu. French and Kinyarwandais are spoken throughout the country though English is now commonplace with the massive influx of returnees from Uganda.
The capital, Kigali, isn't much to look at but offers a comfortable place to get your feet wet and take care of any adminstrative details before heading off into the hills. If you're headed to see the Gorillas you'll need to drop by the regional parks office to register. Kigali is also a great place to take care of onward visas or banking details.
With a very efficient network of minibuses that actually leave on time, getting around Rwanda is very easy. From Kigali minibuses leave hourly to destinations throughout the country. Gisenyi, along the DRC border, offers great views of the active volcano in Goma and was once a top destination for tourists. Further south, Kibuye is one of the most beautiful places in Rwanda with gorgeous views on Lake Kivu. Kibuye was home to some of the worst attrocities of the Genocide - a visit to the church where thousands were killled is a humbling and chilling experience. Not far from the Burundian border, Butare is home to the country's only university and subsequently bustles with friendly multi-lingual students.
After enduring such attrocities just 10 years ago Rwanda still offers evidence of what happened during those 100 days. That being said, Rwanda is brimming with optimism. Any trip to this beautiful spot is a lesson in humility - catch it before the masses do!