7 Reasons Why Travel to Rwanda
While considering a visit to any African country this year – Rwanda should be the first country to click your mind as it is regarded as one of Africa’s most beautiful, most peaceful, cleanest and one of the most stable and smallest countries in all of Africa. Rwanda is known for its Volcanoes, Montane Forests, Pristine Lakes, clean towns and cities, its culture and history which alone is a very good reason to visit Rwanda. Rwanda is a home of misty rolling hills, terraced mountain sides but read on as to why you should visit Rwanda – the Land of a Thousand Hills.
1. Serene Beauty
Explore Rwanda’s hills and mountains that attract people to come and see. Rwanda’s thousands Hills are a place where God comes to rest – a gentle nudge toward “Rwanda” by the creator himself who find rest, peace, renewal in the Hills of Rwanda. Every visitor is deeply touched by the seeming endless hills that dot the Rwandan countryside in the heart of Africa. Sounds like a good enough reason for you to come and visit Rwanda – the land of a thousand Hills.
2. See the Mountain Gorillas
Have ever watched a movie entitled “Gorillas in the Mist” by Dian Fossey? Then come to Rwanda to practically see gorillas in the mist in Volcanoes national park. Wake up in the morning and look toward the volcanoes where you will be heading to track the endangered mountain gorillas and what greets you is the pleasant mist over the mountains and valleys of Rwanda shrouding the Virunga Volcanoes – home of the Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda.
3. Wild Chimpanzees
With a visit to Rwanda, you will be able to reveal the hidden treasures of Nyungwe Forest National Park–a vast track of Montane Forest that spills even over into Burundi. Nyungwe is a home to 13 different primates – almost 25% of Africa’s primates including chimpanzees, hundreds of birds some only found only in this Forest. Nyungwe is also a home to East and Central Africa’s only Canopy Forest Walk. 50 meters above the ground – you can observe the primates, birds and butterflies as they move through and among the treetops of the Park.
4. Explore the Volcanoes National Park
Spend some time in Rwanda exploring Volcanoes National Park – not only for mountain gorilla trekking and Golden Monkey tracking in the Bamboo Forests but also volcano climbing and hiking in day-hikes or overnight hikes. Visit Lakes in the foothills of the volcanoes, hike up to the former research station of Dian Fossey – see the remnants of her former home and the graveyard of her beloved Gorillas and her own final resting place. The Virunga Volcanoes – more than home to the Mountain Gorillas but also a place for hike and climbs, for birding, for golden monkey tracking.
6. Immerse in Unique Culture
Don’t leave without exploring the Rwanda’s unique Culture and rich Heritage–living treasure to be experienced and admired by visitors to the Land of a thousand hills. Enjoy Intore dance in cultural performances or learn arts and crafts from Villages. Whether it is a village stay or village visit – Rwanda’s culture is all around you for you to experience and take with you in thoughts, pictures and lasting memories.
7. Visit Genocide Memorial Sites
Discover the Trail of Tears and Sorrows through visiting Rwanda’s Sacred Places including the Genocide Memorials found in various parts of Rwanda. The Genocide of 1994 in Rwanda left close to one million people cruelly murdered– It was a tribal war by the Hutu against the Tutsi People. The memorials not only are a place of mourning and remembrance but places of triumph over evil that being so visible all over the new Rwanda where people are no longer Tutsi, Hutu or Twa but Rwandans. “Never Again.”
9. Relax at the Lake Kivu
In a landlocked nation, Lake Kivu gives you another reason to visit the Land of a Thousand Hills. Come, relax and chill out after volcano climbs, gorilla and chimpanzee treks across Rwanda in a place of scenic loveliness and enjoyable beaches where you can be instead of just do while on safari in Rwanda. Spend a few days along Lake Kivu’s sandy beaches, enjoying its tropical islands, maybe some fishing, boating, nature walks but mostly relaxing under the tropical sun along Lake Kivu.Read More
Wildebeest Migration Begins at Masai Mara
The great wildebeest migration has begun at Masai Mara in Kenya, marking the start of one of the largest wildlife migrations in the world.
An estimated 1.5 million wildebeests, zebras and gazelles will cross the crocodile-infested Mara River over the coming weeks, and tourists are already rushing to the Masai Mara game reserve to witness this annual spectacle.
The great wildebeest migration sees close to 2 million ungulates (hoofed animals) moving from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania into the Masai Mara Game Reserve in search of pasture and water and then back to Serengeti by the promise of foliage.
Read more on the migration here.Read More
Rwanda to Maintain Nyungwe Forest Conservation Effort
The land of primates and wild adventures, Nyungwe forest tops as one of the prime reasons for Rwanda’s tourism development in the past years. Looking at the most done Rwanda tours every year, the country receives 80% tourists for gorilla & chimpanzee tracking holidays to Nyungwe and volcanoes national park. The forest isn’t just a home to several primate species but the world’s most beautiful mountain rain forest and the oldest in Africa.
Nature and wildlife experiences in the park each day continues to draw thousands of guests to Rwanda to engage in different park activities: the canopy walk, hiking & biking in the terrain, tracking chimpanzees, viewing adorable birds and also chilling close the park water falls. The same natural beauty attracted the current President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society Dr Cristián Samper to visit Rwanda and advised the country to remain committed to conservation especially the Nyungwe Forest ecosystem converting over 1000 square kilometers.This was said during his brief meeting with a selection of travel journalists in Rwanda accompanied by some of the trustees of WCS while on his visit.
He also added that more conservation effort for Nyungwe Forest will keep and maintain the park treasures for ages because losing it would be a huge loss to the country. The forest is of a great importance to Rwanda as it provides more than 40 per cent of the water used all around the country and it’s also a home to lots of biodiversity hence discouraging agriculture for tourism development as quoted saying. “You cannot do agriculture, you can’t have tourism or development if you destroy Nyungwe,”
Dr Samper lauded the Rwandan government for ensuring peace in the country, which he said was vital in ensuring conservation of tourism facilities. Due to this, unlike other countries, Rwanda suffers less from poaching and smuggling of ivory. “The Rwanda Development Board does a very good job at managing the parks here,” he added. However, Rwanda should have good infrastructure and build a strong capacity to manage the parks and other attractions in order to have a Rwanda growing tourism sector.
But Samper tackled poaching in three ways since it’s a general tourism threat which can’t phase out completely in a country’s. He said “We have to stop the killings of animals through better law enforcement in the parks, stop the trafficking of ivory and other illegal wildlife activities and also stop the demand for these products”. In his closure observations, he pointed out the need for countries to be aware of the carrying capacity of their tourism facilities. He wondered, “At what point do you say this is enough or else we are going to lose the tourism product?”
Above all he acknowledged the great effort Rwanda has put in the tourism industry to become a reality model to other countries in the region. In his conclusion, he stated that the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) will continue to support and stand in conservation partnership which started back then since 1959 but became more serious in the last 25 years that have seen Wildlife Conservation Society support Nyungwe forest.
To take you back, the Wildlife conservation society manages the wold’s largest collection of urban parks in USA and also monitors a global conservation program in over 60 nations in the world. The organization also partners with NGOs, foundations, governments, botanical gardens, and zoos and aquariums in the United States and across the world to address a range of conservation issues the reason for its presence in Rwanda.
Travelers to Africa for sustainable travel, Nyungwe Forest is open year round for amazing Africa primate safaris that create unique wildlife experience as one explores through the forest in green mountain lushes and the cooling mist in the landscape which is found only here in Rwanda. Sounds and views give travelers company as they become more curious of whom to meet next in the forest. Chimpanzee trekking is the most famous park activity done in either Cyandungu or Uwinka but interesting this fast moving animals move in groups and can be easily seen when fig trees fruits ripen especially during march- May when Rwanda experiences some rain showers.Read More
East Africa Tourist Visa Launched
One Tourist VISA for Kenya, Rwanda, & Uganda has been launched. We are honored to inform all the international community, and all the future tourists’ /travelers/ visitors to East African region for Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda, that with effect from 01/01/2014, they will need to have just One/Single Tourist Visa, which will enable travelers to visit all the 3 countries.
The decision or resolution to issue one/single Tourist Visa, for these 3 east African countries, reflects the political, and economic desire of the 3 countries to promote these East African countries as one or single tourist destination region. so, tourists on Gorilla Safaris in Uganda or Rwanda will be able to cheaply experience wildlife in Kenya as well as the coastline beaches.
It has been announced that clients/tourists who require the Tourist Visas, will apply for the Visas at any one of the 3 countries Embassies abroad, or, they may make Online Visa application prior to their visit to these three East African Countries.
This single tourist Visa for Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda, will cost US$ 100 only.
You are warmly welcome to our East African tourist destination countries, of Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda where Europe meets Africa. To get more information about our East African Wildlife safaris, Gorillas safaris, great Wild beast migrations cultural and Birding safaris – and the new one Visa application procedures, please, contact usRead More
Kenya Airways to Grow Fleet with Two More B777-300ER
Kenya Airways has yesterday late afternoon confirmed that they have signed a long term lease agreement with leading aircraft leasing company GECAS for the delivery of two more very long haul B777-300ER, at a press conference held at the InterContinental Hotel in Nairobi.
Kenya Airways has confirmed signing a long term lease agreement with GECAS for the delivery of two more very long haul B777-300ER aircraft.
These two aircraft will boost the airlines capacity and allow for the planned expansion of destinations into key markets, and will be delivered between October 2013 and May 2014. Dr. Titus Naikuni, CEO of Kenya Airways was reported to have said: With the increased passenger and cargo capacity that the Boeing B777-300ER offers, we are pleased with this development as it will see Kenya Airways significantly increase tonnage and passenger capacity while enhancing our premium service offering to Europe and the Far East. This also speaks to Kenya Airways efforts of flying a more efficient and environmentally friendly fleet.
The 12 year lease will further cement a long standing relationship between KQ and GECAS, which already has 3 B767-300ERs placed with The Pride of Africa. Both aircraft will be configured in Kenya Airways two class layout, with state of the art flat bed seats in Business and enhanced seating comfort in Economy, carrying about 400 passengers overall.
This latest development will allow KQ to keep pace with neighbours Ethiopian Airlines which is equally vying for continental aviation supremacy. Notably will the two rival alliances, global leader Star Alliance ET is an applicant member due to join soon and SkyTeam to which Kenya Airways belongs, be able to offer their passengers an unrivalled reach into Africa via the main hubs in Nairobi and Addis Ababa, giving them the widest possible coverage across the continent and way ahead of third rival OneWorld, which has been struggling to connect Africa in the absence of a key partner on the continent. As always, you read it first here so watch this space for more news from the aviation scene in Eastern Africa and the Indian Ocean region.Read More
Safaricom Leads in Call Costs Increases in Kenya
The low call costs that Kenyans have enjoyed since August last year are coming to an end in the next three months as Airtel and Telkom Kenya follow in Safaricom’s footsteps with higher calling tariffs.
Friday, Safaricom announced the new rates as earlier promised, reversing the call cost trend for the first time in the 11- year history of mobile telephony in Kenya.
The telecoms market leader increased the cost of calls originating and terminating within its own network by 30 per cent and those ending in rival networks by 25 per cent.
Calls within Safaricom network are now being billed at the rate of Sh 4 per minute up from Sh 3 per minute last month while call that originate from the Safaricom network and end with rival are now being charged at the rate of Sh 5 per minute.
The cost of data services and text messages remained unchanged. Calls to the United States, Canada and India are now being charged at the rate of Sh 10 a minute while calls to other East African countries will now cost Sh 18 up from Sh 15.
The new charges have left Safaricom as the most expensive operator in the local voice segment. Rival Airtel charges Sh 3 across all networks while Telkom Kenya’s Orange charges Sh 1 per minute for on-net calls and Sh 4 for off-net.
“This is the first time in Safaricom’s 11-year history that we have had to effect a price increase on retail voice tariffs,” said Mr Bob Collymore, the Safaricom chief executive, as he announced the new tariffs.
Mr Collymore said Safaricom’s operation costs had continued to escalate month-on-month “to unsustainable levels in the context of the operating environment.”
The new tariffs have left those making international calls with the heaviest burden. Safaricom more than tripled the cost of calling to key destinations such US, Canada and India.
The three countries combined make more than 60 per cent of all international calls that Kenyans make every month.
Airtel recently made call cost increments in a number of markets and is looking forward to doing the same in Kenya.
Telkom Kenya, which owns the Orange brand, welcomed Safaricom’s move and promised to make similar increments to cut losses it has suffered in the wake of a vicious price war that cut calling rates by more than half last year.
“It is a good step that Orange is studying and hopes to follow,” Mr Mickael Ghossein, the CEO of Telkom Kenya, said.
“This will be done in one to three weeks time,” added Mr Ghossein without disclosing the exact margins of the planned tariff increments.
Mobile phone operators say the increase in voice call tariffs are meant to cover the steep rise in operational costs.
Mr Collymore blamed expensive energy and weak shilling—which has lost more than 20 per cent of its value since January, for the steep rise in the cost of imported network materials and ultimately operational costs.
Some analysts however said the price increments also offer telecoms operators a window to boost sales and profits that have been grossly affected by the recent price wars.
Safaricom reported Sh13.1 billion in net profits in March, a 13.2 per cent drop from Sh15.1 billion the previous year. Safaricom subscribers are now paying one shilling more than they did for calls lasting one minute.
Analysts said the tariff increments could lift Safaricom’s second half earnings even as they warned that its impact on the operator’s full year results could be diluted by the less robust performance in the half year ended September.
“Going forward it will boost Safaricom’s earnings, but it’s a pointer that first half performance was not impressive,” said Mr Erick Musau, an analyst at Standard Investment Bank, adding that the news could fresh impetus to the mobile operators stock at the NSE.
Its share dropped to Sh 2.95 on Friday from Thursday’s close of Sh 3, and has shed more than 25 per cent in the past three months on its bleak earnings outlook and bearish Nairobi bourse.
Kenya’s call rates came down by more than 50 per cent in August last year after Safaricom’s rival, Airtel, halved its call rates to Sh 3 with the drop in Mobile Termination Rates — the fee that telecoms operators charge each other for calls terminated on their rivals network to Sh 2.21 from Sh 4.42.
That move saw Safaricom’s market share drop to 69.9 per cent from 75.9 per cent last year as rivals Airtel and Orange increased their stake to 15.2 per cent from 13.5 per cent and to 8.5 per cent from 4.0 per cent, respectively.
Safaricom and Telkom’s Kenya Orange followed suit with similar cuts, but loudly protested that the low tariffs were risking future investments in the industry and sought the President’s intervention.
“We are watching industry developments very keenly will announce if we deem it necessary to review our tariffs,” said a press notice from Airtel Kenya Friday.Read More
Tanzania: Nation Donates Maize to Somalia
Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete on 9 August said his country was donating 300MT of maize to drought-affected Somalis.
“We are deeply concerned with reports of severe famine in the Horn of Africa, where Somalia is hardest hit,” Kikwete said in a statement issued after he met Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, President of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government. Ahmed was in Tanzania for a two-day state visit. Kikwete said he would support Somalia in solving political, security, social and economic challenges facing the country.
Kikwete said: “We wish we could have given you more because we understand the magnitude of the problem and your needs. At present that is what we can manage since the harvesting season has just started. We are going to look at the possibility of giving more food support in the future.”
He said he would lead the campaign to mobilize relief supplies to Somalia from international organizations, other governments and the private sector in his country. “We will ask various friendly countries, organizations and local firms engaged in bottling water to deliver relief supplies to Somalia,” Kikwete said.Read More