Has anyone been to Rwanda ? - TravelPUNK Backpacker College Student Budget Travel Message Boards!



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Old 12-24-2005, 05:19 PM   #1
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My sister is attending a conference in Kigali, Rwanda, in April 2006. While there, she's planning on visiting more of the city and the country. Any tips and recommandations ? Must sees, annoyances, etc ?

Thanks !
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Old 02-21-2006, 09:53 PM   #2
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I always wonder about this place. I get chills just hearing "Rwanda" because of what we've heard and seen in the media.

If anyone out there knows more about Rwanda first hand, please share your experiences !
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Old 02-21-2006, 11:31 PM   #3
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Well, there isn't much info here, but the Wikitravel entry for Rwanda claims its safe...
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Old 03-03-2006, 12:48 PM   #4
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Omid, thank you for the link ! My sister also found out infos that I'll share here with the tpunks. She's to shy to write in english, so I'm the translator. Most tips and infos come from people who did travel there in the recent past, the rest from canadian's governement website.

First of a link : Rwanda Tourist Office.

Now let's work :

» Kigali is the capital and Butare, the «intellectual capital». The country is safe, except around the frontiers with Burundi and Zaire (Congo). Located in the montains, altitude of about 1500-2000 meters. It's beautiful, fascinating and all green, with stigmates from the past everywhere.

» Very few tourists (!).

» Of course, do not talk about the genogide, nor ask wether people are Tutsi or Hutu.

» There is a tourist office in Kigali, where you can get day trip organised.

» Good guide books : from Jaguar editions. The Lonely Planet's Eastern Africa guide offers a few pages on the subject.

» We can dress how we want. People are nice, quiet, very poor. Bring small gifts for children (pencils, notebooks, toys, etc.) they have nothing. Leave tip in restaurants.

» Rwanda is among the rare countries of the world where you can see wild gorillas. In parks, you'll find monkeys, hippopotamus, elephants, giraffes, buffalos and crocodiles.

» To travel in the country in rather expensive. And you need a driver (but we heard from somebody else, it was possible and better to use local transport). The roads a in good condition.

» In Kigali, there is no danger to walk around. Boutiques and everything in the city's downtown. Men don't harass women. The city ambiance lies somewhere between concrete and banana trees. Both urban and rural. Cows and police officers. Noisy bars and vegetable gardens. Drunkers' cry and amphibians'.

» What to to do in Kigali : visit the genocide's memorial and the house of the ex-colonial governor ; walk in the «quartier de Deux Milles» (two miles quarter), the quarter of the artists with restaurants and small shops, local arts&crafts.

» Trecking expeditions in the lac Kivu area, where it is possible to see gorillas. This lake is located in the heart of Central Africa, near the Great Lakes. But because it is near Zaire (Congo), it is advised to not stay overnight. Safaris cost around... $500 !

» In the Akagera Park, there is a fauna reserve and nearby the Park of the Volcanos (7-volcano range that are over 4500 meters high !) This park is probably the easiest and lowest budget. Ecological hotels in the area, with a superb view and beautiful rooms.

And they all loved the country !

When my sister will have come back, we'll post her own review. Can't wait, I'm very excited for her !
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