RWANDA

Rwanda    " Land of the thousand hills "                  
Rwanda, warmly known as ‘the land of a thousand hills’’ is situated in East – central Africa. It lies 121 Km South (75 miles) of the equator in the Tropic of Capricorn, 1416 kilometers (880Miles) west of the Indian Ocean and 1250Km (777Miles) east of the Atlantic Ocean – literally the heart of Africa.

Virunga and Dian Fossey 
The high altitude forests of the Virunga volcanic mountains, in northern Rwanda are home to the world’s largest number of endangered mountain gorillas. Numbering in the hundreds, the gorillas live in protected areas, free from poachers. The gorillas can be viewed in their natural mountain habitats at a fairly close range.The Volcanoes National Park is better known under the name " Virunga ", and  Dian Fossey´s great love for the Mountain Gorilla.



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General Information                            

Anyone visiting ‘the land of a thousand hills’ is in for a multitude of surprises.
First is the personal safety, peace, security and stability enjoyed by both citizens and visitors of the country.
Second there is the beauty of this nation.The landscapes in this green country are truly breathtaking. Many visitors to Rwanda have remarked that the physical beauty of the country is without an equal on the African continent. Rwanda has five volcanoes, twenty-three lakes and numerous rivers, some forming the source of River Nile. Spectacular volcanoes and dense tropical forests dominate the north of the country, while gentle hills and valleys, calm lakes and turbulent rivers in both savannah and dense tropical vegetation dominate the rest of the country.

Climate
Average temperatures range from 16-22 °C.The country has a temperate climate, with two rainy seasons (February to April, November to January).

The People
Nothing describes Rwanda’s culture better than the affectionate hospitality of its people, the thrill of its intore culture dancers and singers as well as the usual determined ethic for work and industry. Little wonder some have referred to Rwanda as a land of a million smiles. The country has a population of 9.1million people. Over 85 % of the Rwandans live in rural areas. Rwanda is one of the few countries in Africa, with a sole common language and culture. Many people who have had a chance to visit Rwanda have been amused if not intrigued by the actuality that Rwandans are harmoniously living together after the Genocide that threatened to ruin the social fabric and destroy the centuries of long interactions among them.

Official name: Republic of Rwanda

Capital: Kigali

Parliament: National Assembly  ( 53 Seats)

National day: 1 July  ( Independence Day , 1962 )

National Anthem:  Rwanda Nziza   ( Our Rwanda )

Motto: Ubumwe, Umurimo, Gukunda Igihugu ( Unity, Work, Patriotism )

Administrative areas: 12 Provinces 

Language: Kinyarwanda ( Official Language ); French ( Official Language ); English and Kiswahili

Currency: 1 Rwanda Franc ( RWF ) = 100 Centimes

Denominations:
Notes; 100, 500, 1,000 and 5,000 RWF
Coins; 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 Centimes.

Population:  8,500,000

Ethnic groups: 80 % Hutu; 19 % Tutsi; 1 % Twa ( Pigmy )

Religion: 51 % Roman Catholic; 29 % Protestants; 9 % Traditional;  8 % Muslims

Rivers:Nyabarongo, Kagitumba, Mukungwa, Mwogo and seasonal rivers.

Lakes:Kivu, Muhazi, Ihema, Rwanye, Mugesera, Ruhondo, Burera and Cyohoha.

Airports:  9 ( 4 paved runways )

Roads: 12,000 km ( 1,000 km paved roads )  

The flag of the Republic of Rwanda was adopted October 25, 2001. The flag has four colors:: blue, green and two forms of yellow. The blue band represents happiness and peace, the yellow band symbolizes economic development, and the green band symbolizes the hope of prosperity. The sun represents enlightenment.

The Coat of Arms of the Republic of Rwanda was redesigned in 2001 to match the color scheme of the new national flag. The text reads “ The Republic of Rwanda – Unity, Work, Patriotism in Kinyarwanda. The central tribal devices are surmounted on a cog wheel and encircled by a square knot.

More Country Information from Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

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