15 Photos Of Rwanda That Will Make Your Jaw Drop

Rwanda is one of the smallest countries in Africa. It has a dark past stemming from the genocide 20 years ago that killed nearly one million people. However, with foreign aid, strong leadership, and a national resolve for unity and progress, Rwanda is now one of the most forward-looking countries in not only East Africa, but the continent in general. The country is clean, safe, and modern by African standards, and President Kagame’s “Vision 2020” aims to transform the country into the first middle-income African nation. For now, check out these 15 photos and start dreaming about how you’ll make it here by the end of the year.

Rachel Strohm/Flickr

Rachel Strohm/Flickr

1) Nyungwe National Forest

Nyungwe National Forest in Rwanda’s Southwest is one of three national parks. A real rainforest, you can track chimps, golden monkeys, do a canopy walk, or hike to waterfalls.

oledole/Flickr

oledole/Flickr

2) Neighborhood in Kigali

While skyscrapers and construction projects boom downtown, most of the city sprawls out through Kigali’s hills and valleys in this bustling city of one million people.

CIAT/Flickr

CIAT/Flickr

3) Corn Field in Eastern Province

A woman pauses from checking her maize (corn) field in Eastern Rwanda to pose for the camera.

TKnoxB/Flickr

TKnoxB/Flickr

4) Morning Fog

A man walks down a deserted road through a morning fog. Because most of Rwanda is covered in mountains and hills, fog is common in higher elevations.

CIAT/Flickr

CIAT/Flickr

5) Rural Road In Southern Rwanda

A rural road in Southern Rwanda winds its way through villages and valleys.

configmanager/Flickr

configmanager/Flickr

6) Genocide Memorial

A close up and stark reminder of Rwanda’s past. Besides the national memorial site in Kigali, there are dozens of mass graves, churches, and memorials scattered throughout the country.

Surian Soosay/Flickr

Surian Soosay/Flickr

7) Genocide Art Mural

Rwanda’s burgeoning art scene focuses on many things. Here, the artist paid tribute to the genocide.

Carine06/Flickr

Carine06/Flickr

8) Silverback Gorilla In Volcanoes National Park

Rwanda is one of the last refuges for the critically endangered mountain gorilla, one of the main draws for tourists.

RDF Rwanda (2)

9) Rwandan Defense Forces Prepare to Deploy To Central African Republic

With one of the best trained armies in Africa, troops here are deploying to CAR to help still the unrest there.

CIAT/Flickr

CIAT/Flickr

10) Rural Girl

No matter where you go, you will encounter smiles. Rwandans may be more reserved than other Africans, but they delight in foreigners visiting their country and will go out of their way to greet you.

Antonis Kyrou/Flickr

Antonis Kyrou/Flickr

11) Sunset On Lake Muhazi

Lake Muhazi in Eastern Rwanda is a source of water, fish, and recreation for the thousands who live on or near its shores.

Dave Proffer/Flickr

Dave Proffer/Flickr

12) National Museum In Butare

A gift from Belgium 25 years ago, the National Museum in the college town of Butare has exhibits on Rwanda’s people as well as many historical artifacts and photos.

John Cooke/Flickr

John Cooke/Flickr

13) Giraffes In Akagera National Park

Another one of Rwanda’s three national parks, Akagera has almost all the animals you would expect to see on a safari–elephants, rhinos, giraffes, buffalo, zebras, leopards, and more.

Rwandan Government/Flickr

Rwandan Government/Flickr

14) Lake Kivu

Split between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lake Kivu is a paradise for visitors. It’s also the backyard for thousands who live along its banks.

Derek Keats/Flickr

Derek Keats/Flickr

15) Volcano in Northwestern Rwanda

One of several dormant volcanoes frame a group of women walking just outside the national park.


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