Facts about Rwanda
Facts about Rwanda : Rwanda is a small landlocked country located in the eastern part of Africa bordering Tanzania in the eastern side, Uganda in the North, the Democratic republic of Congo in the west and Burundi to the south. Rwanda is sited on an area of 26,338 kilometers and about 12.6 million people living in the country. Rwanda is commonly known for the 1994 genocide that claimed many lives of the Rwandan people but the country has since then grown to a very successful economy.
The 1994 Rwanda genocide was surely a hit to the economy and turning point of the country and led it to the current political rule, social status and economic growth which has earned the country more to her name than the 1994 Rwanda genocide. Rwanda has proven to be among the most developed countries since 2000 and this is evitable on your Rwanda safari or visit to Rwanda.
There are few fascinating facts that Rwanda as a country has and a few of them are discussed in the article below.
Plastic bag free
Did you know Rwanda banned plastic bag use and importation in 2008? This was a first for an African country and this has still made the country stand out for their eco sensitive lifestyle. This ban was ruled and has been strictly implemented that you will not see any plastic bag on your Rwanda safari. Rwandan officials also go a step ahead to even check luggage and ask guests who have carried their gifts or property in a plastic bag at the airport to leave the plastic behind and exchange for a cloth bag. This has kept Rwanda among the cleanest countries in Africa and Kigali once being recognized as the cleanest African country.
A woman driven parliament
The Rwandan parliament is a women driven one as they have the biggest percentage at a 60:40 ratio to the men in the parliament. This percentage of women in power has been recorded as the highest percentage in all the parliaments in the world. This shows a positive conception of women in Rwanda as they are given the chance to be empowered.
Monthly community works
Rwanda as a country and its people have a special Saturday which is every last Saturday of the month to do community work as one. All shops, businesses and events are closed or put on hold from 8 am to 11 am and all the Rwandan people come together from different homes to do some town service. This Saturday is called “Umuganda” which refers to being one and this is mandatory for every citizen.
Streets are cleaned, grown grasses are cut, school buildings and other public facilities are built and this has kept the togetherness and highly contributed to the cleanliness of the country as everyone has been made aware of the importance of a clean nation.
Topping up on the “Umuganda” day, Rwanda has a day every month that it dedicates to being a car free day. This is done in an aim to encourage the Rwandan people to exercise or bike to get to their preferred destination and in a way keep fit. The gases also releases from car engines is also a major cause of global warming so one day a month is a great idea for the environment to breathe. The President of this country also participates in these days!
A home to the mountain gorillas
Rwanda attracts big numbers of international tourists yearly and a big percentage of these tourists are looking for the mountain gorilla experience. Rwanda’s Volcanoes national park is located in the Virunga massif which is one of the only two places that are a home to the mountain gorillas in the world. The mountain gorillas are an endangered species and these have a close relation with the humans as they share up to 99% of the DNA.
The Virunga massif has about 60% of the total gorilla population and a percentage of these stay in Volcanoes national park that offers a mountain gorilla permit at 1,500 USD per person and there are about 80 mountain gorilla permits available per day so be sure to book yours in advance.
Previously a part of Germany
Before Rwanda became independent, this was a part of Germany along with Tanzania and thereafter joined the Belgian Empire after the World War 1.
The official languages spoken in Rwanda though are quite a number and these are French, English and Kinyarwanda. Some parts of the country, Kiswahili is spoken so be sure to have a guide who can translate in case you do not know any of these.
Another fun fact is that Rwanda is a beautiful but small country with a big number of hills spread out all over the country and Rwanda is raised 1,000 meters above sea level and this at most points of the country.
One of the worst genocide in the world
Rwanda has also recorded on of the most horrific genocides where the two ethnic groups of the country fought and killed each other. The genocide was between the Hutu and the Tutsi and thousands of lives were killed by the machete, stones, clubs which are very gruesome ways of killing and both the military and the civilian were involved in this battle.
The numbers of the Rwandan people have however re-grown since the genocide and the country gaining stability and has even claimed its seat on the list as Africa’s most densely populated country. This is majorly because of the ratio of population of people living in the country to the land area. It is estimated to have 274.6 people living per square a kilometer thus Facts about Rwanda.