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GORILLAS www.rwandair.com


Be Part of the Experience...

RwandAir’s new CRJ900 Next Gen Regional aircraft


iKaZEWELCoME I HAVE the pleasure of unveiling Remarkable Rwanda, a new tourism guide that is focused on championing the growth and development of the tourism sector in Rwanda. The sector has been on an upward trajectory and I am happy to note that tourism is now Rwanda’s largest foreign exchange earner. However, more needs to be done to enhance the tourism sector in Rwanda through continuous product diversification and enhanced service delivery within the sector.

proDuCT DiVErsiFiCaTioN rica rwigamba, Head of Tourism and Conservation, Rwanda Development Board.

The Rwanda development Board has played a critical role towards advancing the sector over the last few years and has been working with various organizations, tourism stakeholders and communities on developing new tourism products across the country. Key amongst these has been the Canopy walkway at nyungwe national Park. This presents visitors with a bird’s eye view of the forest canopy and brings then face-to-face with the abundant bird-life and primates living on the upper reaches of the forest canopy. we are also happy to announce the development of the Thousand Hills nile Trail. The trail offers an exciting hiking experience that can extend several days along and beyond the shores of the Lake Kivu. The trail can also be experienced from the saddle of a bicycle or from the comfort of a 4X4 vehicle.

BirDWaTCHEr’s paraDisE aside from the famous mountain gorillas that Rwanda is well-known for, we welcome you to experience Rwanda as a rising birdwatcher’s paradise. with about 25 endemic bird species found within the nyungwe Forest, Rwanda is one of the best birding sites in the whole of africa. whether you are visiting Rwanda for the first-time or coming as a repeat visitor, we welcome you to sample the very best of Rwandan culture and coffee. Come and experience Rwanda like never before.

COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION ENHANCES TOURISM AND CONSERVATION THE RWANDA DEVELOPMENT BOARD’S department of Tourism and Conservation has committed itself to working closely with local communities that live close to the three main national parks in Rwanda. This is in an effort to enhance community participation towards the development of tourism in Rwanda by helping the communities come up with income-generating activities that will help them benefit from tourism-related activities within their area. To achieve this, the RDB has committed five per cent of its revenues generated from the national parks towards advancing these programmes which end up benefiting the communities living around the national parks. The funds go towards building of community schools and health centres as well as starting local co-operatives that encourage handicrafts that can be sold to the tourists as well as agro-based cooperatives that help the local farmers. The RDB has also set up a fund that is meant to compensate the local communities when attacked by the wild game from the nearby national parks or when their crops are destroyed in the farms by the wild game. INTEGRATED APPROACH The RDB has taken an integrated approach towards developing tourism and enhancing environmental and wildlife conservation by actively engaging with and integrating the local communities into their activities. Local communities have also benefited from tourism since the RDB has been actively recruiting game warders from the neighbouring communities and has introduced a highly successful training programme for ex-poachers, especially at the Volcanoes National Park. In Nyungwe National Park, the RDB has introduced a birding programme that allows the local school children learn more about the birdlife in the locale with a view to developing them into qualified birding guides for the future.






Published by: Piublisher: Sales: Layout: Tel: Email:

Denis Gathanju Steve Tumusime Eric Okiro Peter Kazibwe +250 787 176098 publishing@alliance-communications.net

On behalf of: Rwanda Development Board (RDB) Department of Tourism & Conservation www.rdb.rw DISCLAIMER: The contents and opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the editor, the publisher or any other organization associated with this publication. While every caution has been taken in the preparation and production of this magazine, the publisher will not accept any liability whatsoever for any inaccuracies and/or omissions.




Publisher’s word




Kigali City


Jambo Tours & Travel


nyungwe national Park

32. Canopy walk 34. Volcanoes national Park 36. 3B Hotels Group 39. akagera national Park 41. Primate Safaris


Lake Kivu Serena


Bourbon Coffee


Mountain Gorillas

62 Cultural Tourism www.rwandatourism.com


RWANDA TRAVEL TIPS Most foreign nationals will require an entry visa to Rwanda. Visa applications can be made at the nearest Rwanda High Commissions and Embassies abroad. Nationals of countries with no embassy can also get a visa upon arrival by prior arranging with their hosts, who may organize a facilitate de’ entrée for them. Flame tree is part of the 3B Hotels Group. Situated in the quiet surburb of N yarutarama in Kigali city, the hotel is a residents only property. We have 16 tastefully fitted, selfcontained executive villas. Enjoy a sumptuous meal in either of our two restaurants or enjoy a cold drink on one of our bars or by the pool deck. We also offer free WIFI services +250 788 305708 info@3bhotels.com www.3bhotels.com

3B Hotels Group comprises: Flame Tree Hotel - Kigali Mountain Gorilla View Lodge - Ruhengeri Akagera Safari Camp Opening in 2013 Kivu Safari Lodge Opening in 2013

In line with the bilateral understandings, the nationals of the following nations can visit Rwanda with no visa for a period of up to 90 days; Canada, USA, Germany, Tanzania, Congo (DRC), Uganda, Mauritius, South Africa, Kenya, Britain, Sweden, Hong Kong and Burundi. For more information, visit the Rwanda Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration website https://www.migration.gov.rw

COMMUNICATIONS Rwanda has an excellent cell phone network covering almost the entire country. International phone calls can be made easily. Appropriate SIM cards for the network are readily available everywhere, even in remote towns, and cell phones can be purchased or rented from major shops in Kigali. Most towns of any size will have several Internet cafes and computer centres.

LANGUAGE In addition to the indigenous language of Kinyarwanda, French and English are official languages. French is widely spoken throughout the country. In the capital and other tourist centre many people speak English.

GETTING AROUND Rwanda has possibly the best roads in East Africa. Most visitors who have booked through a tour company will be provided with good private vehicles, usually 4-wheel drive. All of the major centres are connected with local and luxury bus services. Air charter services are available anywhere in the country.

HEALTH AND SAFETY It is recommended you get an anti-malarial shot before arriving in Rwanda. Travellers should also have a yellow fever shot before arrival. Carry the yellow fever certificate for proof of vaccination. It is also recommended that you have a travel and health insurance cover before coming to Rwanda.

puBLisHEr’s ForEWorD

CoME DisCoVEr rWaNDa. a NEW LoVE aWaiTs WHEN I told a close friend of mine that I was moving to Rwanda to work on a new publication, she was somewhat startled by the move. She said she knew nothing about the country and the only mental images she had of Rwanda were the horrific images of the 1994 Genocide. But she is not alone and she could be forgiven since she lives in Europe and has never set foot in africa. Closer home, the ignorance is even more pronounced. while many people know Rwanda for its troubled past, not that many know of the giant strides this nation has taken over the last few decades in a grand march towards socio-economic prosperity. Today, the nation boasts a robust economy that is ever expanding and buoyed by the adoption of technology; its young population is driven by an unquenchable thirst for adopting new ideas and integrating them into the national economy to advance the nation; while the Government of Rwanda (GoR), has on the other hand played a critical role in helping attract foreign direct investments into the country by fighting corruption, ensuring the safety of all Rwandans and foreign citizens and providing an enabling investment climate in the country. I am happy to present Remarkable Rwanda, a new annual publication that is meant to showcase the very best of Rwanda as an emerging business and leisure destination in the region. This publication is meant to also highlight the exciting tourism developments happening in this East african nation. I believe that Rwanda offers a unique tourism experience that is unrivalled in the region. Of course the gorilla tracking adventures are some of its best products on offer and they have put Rwanda on the international high-end tourism map. However, the country’s natural beauty is yet another important selling point. Blessed with large natural forest lands and mind-sketching rural landscapes and over 20 lakes, Rwanda boasts a natural beauty untold. This has made the country of the best birdwatching destinations in africa. with more than 700 bird species

recorded in the country, Rwanda also plays host to some of the rarest birds to spot in africa. within the pages of this guide, we will showcase some of the best destinations to visit in Rwanda as well as give travellers tips on what to see or do while in Rwanda. we will also celebrate Rwanda’s rich cultural heritage. I came to Rwanda with an open mind, heart and spirit and in the process, I found a new love. I invite you to visit Rwanda and discover your love. This is a remarkable country. welcome to Remarkable Rwanda. Denis Gathanju. Managing Director Alliance Communications Centre. www.rwandatourism.com


Rwanda: TourisT Map


rWaNDair’s EXpaNsioN sTraTEGY Airline plans to capitalize on new airport at Bugesera to become middle-level carrier within 20 years BOLSTERED by a growing national economy and the unprecedented growth and development of the national tourism industry, Rwanda’s national carrier RwandAir has been one of the many local companies that have been playing a critical role towards the advancement of tourism in Rwanda. Today, tourism is Rwanda’s largest foreign exchange earner and the national carrier has been quick to ride on this wave. Buoyed by the impressive numbers in both leisure and business arrivals into Kigali, RwandAir is now riding on this and has rolled out an ambitious expansion programme that is set not only to take Rwanda’s tourism industry to new heights, but also position the airline in a favorable position to take advantage of the consistent growth and development of air travel in the region and all across Africa. Remarkable Rwanda’s Associate Publisher Denis Gathanju spoke to John Mirenge, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of RwandAir. Excerpts: Denis Gathanju (DG): RwandAir has been one of the beneficiaries of a booming tourism industry in Rwanda. What strategies has the airline put in place to continue benefiting from this wave? John Mirenge (JM): There is not a doubt that tourism in Rwanda is on a growth path. At RwandAir, we want to raise the profile of this destination supported by a strong national 12


John Mirenge - CEO RwandAir

carrier. That is one of the main reasons as to why RwandAir worked in conjunction with Serena Hotels and the Rwandan High Commission in South Africa to showcase Rwanda as a favourable business and leisure destination. We believe that through such forums, we drive the message better that Rwanda is open for business and all stakeholders get to benefit. DG: RwandAir is still a young airline and is competing within the region with established airlines such as Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airlines. What are RwandAir’s growth strategies?

JM: The airline has embarked on its first phase of a fleet modernization programme that has seen us take delivery of two Bombardier CRJ900 Next Gen regional jets. The acquisition of these jets will help us rollout out our route expansion programme, especially within the African region while at the same time help us increase frequencies to key routes such as Nairobi, Johannesburg and Dubai. This should usher the airline into its next phase of fleet and route development that will see the replacement of the existing Boeing 737-500 aircraft with the ultra-modern Boeing 737-800 Next Gen jets. This should happen within the 2013-2014 financial year. The 737-800 Next Gen jets will give us more reach and will help us open new routes within Africa and the Middle East. The last phase of our expansion programme will be the acquisition of wide-bodied aircraft especially the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner. This will usher RwandAir into a new league and will help us consolidate our growth in Africa and help us open new routes, especially in Far East Asia such as China and Hong Kong and Europe. All in all, our growth and expansion strategy as an airline is to make gradual growth and

attain a mid-level carrier status in Africa within the next 15 to 20 years. Within that period, we expect the airline to be operating a modern fleet of about 20 aircraft and flying to between 45 to 60 destinations across Africa, the Middle East, Far East Asia and Europe. The airline will also have been listed on the stock exchanges in East Africa. The fleet and route development notwithstanding, at RwandAir, passenger safety remains our top priority. We have continued to invest heavily in new technology and training of our staff on safety measures to ensure that every flight is as safe as possible. We have a team of highly trained technicians who maintain our aircrafts and are training our staff on aircraft maintenance so that they can rise to certification level. We have also recruited highly trained pilots and first captains and are in the process of training our own captains and first officers. DG: With such an ambitious growth strategy, I would be a worried man if I was the CEO of RwandAir considering the size of the Kigali International Airport (KIA) and the existing aviation infrastructure at the airport. JM: That is very true since the airport infrastructure has come under increased pressure over the last few years due to the rapid expansion of the Rwandan economy, the growth of RwandAir and the entry of new carriers especially from the Middle Eastern region. However, the airport is set to undergo an expansion programme that is set to expand both the arrivals and departures termini at the airport to handle increased capacity. The apron will is also set to be extended to accommodate more aircrafts. Aside from this, Rwanda is set to construct a new airport at Bugesera just south of Kigali City. The Greenfield Airport will have a higher capacity and will fall perfectly in line to making RwandAir a dominant African carrier and turn Kigali into an aviation hub in the region.




KiGaLi is opEN For BusiNEss


KIGALI is Rwanda’s commercial and administrative centre. Once a run-down capital that witnessed the horrors of the 1994 Genocide, the city has risen from the ashes and is amongst the fastest growing cities on the African continent. Over the past few years, the city has been sent back to the drawing board with a view to enhancing service provision to its growing population and new businesses. This has included the drawing up of new strategic



plans that are meant to attract more business into the city and into the country while at the same time enhancing the profile of the country. Kigali has, consequently, been undergoing a gradual transformation that will be spearheaded by some large-scale mega projects that include a new US$ 300 million convention centre, a newly designed central business district and a sparkling new US$ 700 million international airport at Bugesera.

CONFERENCE TOURISM Key amongst the city’s strategic plan is to enhance its position as a centre for business. This has included tapping into the lucrative conference tourism business. With many regional and international companies and organizations setting up shop in the country, Kigali is seeking to attract more conference delegations. According to experts, the city has the potential of raking in more than US$ 40 million a year from conference tourism alone. This would be an added boost the nation’s growing stature as a preferable business and tourism destination within the region. Currently, the city has limited conference facilities which are currently provided by a host of city hotels. The Kigali Serena Hotel operates one of the most modern conference facilities in the city.


However, Kigali is set to announce its arrival on the regional and international MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) industry once the completion of the much-hyped Kigali Convention Centre is completed. The convention centre will be a first of its kind not only in Kigali and Rwanda, but also in the wider East and Central Africa region. The convention centre complex is currently under construction on a 13.6 hectare plot in the Kimihurura area of Kigali. The complex will comprise of a 2,600 seater convention centre,



arguably the largest such facility within the East and Central Africa region. The complex will also boast a medium-sized conference hall and at least 10 meeting rooms. Also in the complex blueprint is a five-star 292-bed hotel that will be operated by the internationally renowned hospitality brand Radisson Blu. The complex will also include at least 24,000 square metres of office space, a museum and a shopping mall.


area, will be redeveloped to form the regional financial, business and entertainment districts of the entire East and Central Africa region. The Muhima Sector will, according to the master plan, be transformed into a regional financial centre. The 50 hectare development will host local and regional financial institutions that will include banks and insurance companies. It will also have mixed developments that will include office blocks, residential homes and apartments and hotels. The sector is expected to function on a 24-hour cycle. To complete the total transformation of the new CBD will be the redevelopment of a new business and commercial core that will extend from the Centreville Roundabout down to the wetlands. This area is expected to be Kigali’s key shopping precinct. The plans capitalize on the area’s current status as the known hot spot for upscale and traditional retail. The proposed plans are to create complementary shopping centres, hotels and fast food and beverage outlets set within a network of attractive public spaces and pedestrian friendly atmosphere. Currently, a new road network has already been developed in that area.

In so as to enhance service delivery to its residents and businesses, the city of Kigali has undertaken to modernize the city through a well-thought out master plan that is set to boost the city’s image as a growing business hub within the region as well as help attract more local, regional and international investments into the city. The recently launched Kigali City Master Plan is meant to provide a clear framework for the future expansion of the city. The master plan was first initiated as a vision by the country’s leader President Paul Kagame and was completed by a team of architects from the US-based OZ Architecture Company in 2007. The plan was later ratified and adopted by the Rwandan parliament in 2008. Under the master plan, the current distrcits of Muhima, Nyarugenge and Kimicanga, which currently form Kigali’s CBD

The Kimicanga Sector will be developed as Kigali’s new entertainment district. The district will feature a world class performing arts centre and entertainment complex. It will also be surrounded by relaxing outdoor spaces dotted with cafés, restaurants, art galleries, an amphitheatre, contemporary art displays, pubs and boutiques, making it a unique and attractive destination for locals as well as visitors. The Nyarugenge Sector will be transformed into Kigali’s cultural and heritage village. The existing market is characterized by an exciting multicultural wholesale and retail atmosphere that attracts people from all over Rwanda and the region. The Nyarugenge market represents Kigali’s early historic grain. Under the master plan, this atmosphere will be protected and enhanced. It has been identified as a Heritage District.




With Kigali increasingly becoming a regional business and hospitality hub and the continued growth of the national carrier RwandAir, the country’s principle airport at Kanombe, the Kigali International Airport has over the past few years come under increased strain thanks to the continued growth of aircraft, passenger and cargo movement.

within the Bugesera region about 40 kilometres south of Kigali.

This has seen the Government of Rwanda come up with plans of putting up a new airport since the site of the existing airport cannot allow for further expansion of the facility.

The airport is designed to handle up to three million passengers annually and handle about 15,500 tonnes of cargo annually. It will be built in two phases. It will comprise a single paved 4.2 kilometre runway, a terminal building and an air traffic control tower. Phase I is expected to cost an estimated US$ 450 million. Phase II of the development will include the addition of a second runway. It is anticipated that Phase I will be complete by 2016.

The Bugesera International Airport is the new greenfield airport that the Government of Rwanda has embarked on building with a view to transforming Kigali into a regional aviation hub. The US$ 700 million project is set to be constructed



Once constructed, the airport will become Rwanda’s largest aviation gateway. When completed, it will complement the Kigali International Airport which is now operating at maximum capacity.


AWAKEN YOUR INNER SENSES WITH A MAISHA TREATMENT Our stunning new ‘Maisha’ Mind Body and Spirit Spa facility has been styled along a Moorish theme and offers an ultra-modern gym, aerobics studio, landscaped outdoor pool area, and separate spa areas for men and women.


An orchid in Nyungwe Forest

We are big on: Birding Tours Primate Tours Cultural Tours MICE Jambo Tours and Travel Agency, Avenue de la paix, P.O Box 6508, Kigali, Rwanda. Tel: +250 786 831900/ +250 788 307648 Email: info@jambotoursrwanda.com Website: www.jambotoursrwanda.com

sLiCEs oF rWaNDa DANCING POTS’ - AN INTRODUCTION TO BATWA LIFE AND CULTURE GET to know the lives of Rwanda’s first inhabitants, the Batwa. This very small minority of roughly 25,000 traditionally lived in forests and led lives as hunters and gatherers. Not much has changed in their perceptions of life but their environment has changed dramatically. With enormous population pressure, most forests had to make way for human settlements, and the few remaining patches of forest are completely closed for any human activity. Some Batwa now make a living with their traditional skills as potters and performing artists, but many others merely survive as beggars. In a one-day excursion from Gisenyi, experience the Batwa’s hospitality by learning about their pottery skills as well as witnessing their amazing dance and music with traditional herbal medicines from their gardens.


start anew in one of the driest parts of the country; we incorporated home stays and offer educational experiences with visitors and communities. Get to know a vibrant community that makes the best out of the adverse circumstances, has started a range of micro-enterprise projects that can be visited, and has a variety of fascinating stories to tell. You may even wish to combine your educational visit with some practical work with the villagers of conservation by planting trees.



When they were thrown out of Tanzania in 2007, the Rwandan government offered some of the Rwandan returnees hospitable land south of Akagera National Park. We are working with the villagers of Humure in Ndego to offer unique insights into the lives of refugees whose only choice is to

The day trip to the Rwandan Millennium Village in Mayange is a unique excursion that introduces the country’s development challenges and the successful interventions of the world’s most famous development initiative, the UN Millennium Villages Project. The community members present their


The coffee cooperative, Ingoboka, has a total of over 2,000 members, all of whom own small coffee farms on the shores of the lake and its surroundings. From the island, the journey will continue to the nearby washing station where you can enjoy an introduction to the washing process that involves over 20 sophisticated steps. In the end, you can roast your own coffee on an open fire and have a personal coffee tasting experience.

experiences with the interventions, focusing, among others, on agriculture, education, health care, infrastructure and micro-enterprise development. On a rotating basis, over 200 members of the newly founded Rwanda Nziza Tourism Cooperative are directly involved. Additionally, several funds for education, health and community development ensure that the entire community benefits.

FROM CROP TO CUP’ - THE KIVU COFFEE EXPERIENCE Our Kivu Coffee Experience introduces the coffee growth process ‘from crop to cup’. You will start in Gisenyi with a boat trip to Nyamirundi Island to visit the plantation of a local coffee cooperative. The volcanic soils of the island give the coffee a full bodied, yet non-acidic flavour, and some of the best coffee in the world is grown in this area.

THIS IS AFRICA - A CHARMING INTRODUCTION TO MULTICULTURAL NYAMIRAMBO Nyamirambo is a bustling multi-cultural commercial suburb of Kigali that offers visitors a typical African flair. Comparable with South Africa’s ‘Township Tours’, our unique ‘This Is Africa’ experience brings you right into the heart of the colours, noises and smells of Africa. We are working with the young and charming women of the Nyamirambo Women’s Centre (NWC) to take your hand and guide you through their home area. Among others, you will experience the Muslim quarter with its Arab influences, the market, the West African tailors, the hair salons, the recording studio with its local rap music, the butcher, the health centre and the primary school. Your hosts will also invite you to one of their homes where you will learn how to cook a Rwandan meal, and share lunch over intriguing conversations. www.rwandatourism.com


COME EXPLORE WITH PRIMATE Primate Safaris, just as the name suggests, evokes dreams of mysterious jungles filled with rare flora and fauna and the world of free-living primates. The reality will not disappoint the traveller bored with mass tourism, seeking an exclusive, highly enlightening and enjoyable ecotourism experience. We select only the finest hotels and lodges in the cities and out in the bush. Each is carefully chosen to reflect not only our own high standards but also the spirit of the itinerary in which it is used.

Quality guides & transportation, with guaranteed window seats

Primate Safaris Ltd 98, Avenue de la Paix Kigali - Rwanda Office line: +250 252 503428/9 Cellphone: +250 788300495 / 784300079 Email: info@primatesafaris.info, primatesafaris@rwanda1.com Website: www.primatesafaris.info

A sunset over the Muhabura Volcano

JaMBo Tours & TraVEL

AFTER SEEING THE GORILLAS, WE WILL SHOW YOU THE BIRDS AND THE CULTURE RWANDA is known the world-over for its unique flora and fauna. The country’s wildlife is epitomized by the enormous mountain gorillas which have, over the years, become the star attraction for Rwanda. Jambo Tours and Travel guarantees you a chance to come face to face with these giant primates, but aside from that, we are on hand to unveil a different face of Rwanda to the outside world. At Jambo Tours and Travel, we believe that the once-in-a-lifetime experience for first-time or repeat visitors to Rwanda should not start and end with gorilla tracking. We have therefore developed a host of travel-related products that are meant to cater to the needs of the unique traveller who wants to see more. BIRD WATCHING IN RWANDA Rwanda boasts some of the most unique birds on the continent and we have developed a specially designed programme that is tailormade for the ardent bird watcher. We have some of the best bird guides in Rwanda who are deeply knowledgeable on the bird species found in Rwanda and will help you identify the different bird species in the area. Apart from this, we pride ourselves in helping showcase the very best of Rwanda’s rich cultural diversity. We will take you to community village centres which we work with and support as part of our corporate social responsibility with a view to experiencing the very best of Rwandan folklore songs, dances and traditions. These trips are highly recommended for both individual as well as family groups.



BUSINESS TRAVELLERS Aside from catering to the needs of leisure tourists, Jambo Tours and Travel boasts a highly trained and professional team that caters to the needs of business travellers coming to Rwanda for business. Whether it is the all-important board meeting, or prepping up for a business meeting in Kigali or anywhere else in the country or helping conference delegates get accommodation and catering services, you can count on us to provide you with a first-class, friendly service that is meant to take away all the hustles so that you can concentrate on the business at hand. Kigali is gradually transforming into an important MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibition) destination. We have a proud history of providing customized services to delegates and exhibitors alike. We look forward to serving you.



NYuNGWE NaTioNaL parK NYUNGWE National Park is situated in the majestic hills of south-western Rwanda. It is the country’s largest national park. The park was created in 2005 with the sole objective of protecting one of the largest and still intact montane forests in africa as well as to protect a natural resource that is widely recognized as being of global as well as national significance. nyungwe boasts a rich diversity of flora and fauna. The forest has at least 200 tree species and hundreds of flowering plant varieties that include wild begonia and more than 100 species of orchid.

priMaTE TErriTorY The forest is regarded as a primate territory due to the high number of resident primates. nyungwe has at least 13 recorded primate species. The most conspicuous of these include the angola Colobus which is a delightfully acrobatic arboreal monkey. The angola Colobus monkeys move in troops of several hundred. There is also an estimated 500-strong chimpanzee population within the nyungwe national Park, africa’s largest concentration of chimpanzees. Other notable primates found within the forest include the L’Hoest’s monkey, silver monkey, vervet monkey, olive baboon, greycheeked mangabey and red-tailed monkey.

riCH BirDLiFE The natural landscapes of the nyungwe Forest natiional Park also inhabit a respectable population of birdlife. with more than 310 recorded bird species within the forest, nyungwe is by all means, a 28


NYuNGWE is priMaTE TErriTorY

ForEsT is aLso riCH iN BirDLiFE BoasTiNG 25 ENDEMiC BirD spECiEs birdwatcher’s paradise and is today one of the most important birding sites in Rwanda. Twenty-five of the 310 bird species found within the forest are endemic. Some of the birds that can be found within the forest include the spectacular Rwenzori turaco, the secretive red-chested ale as well as several iridescent sunbirds. Equally remarkable birds to be seen include the incessantly honking giant hornbills and the stunning great blue turaco which is an eccentric blue, red and green bird.

aFriCa’s LarGEsT proTECTED MouNTaiN raiNForEsT Lying at an elevation of between 1,600 metres and 3,000 metres, the forest enjoys a cool environment. The forest measures more than 1,000 square kilometres, making it africa’s largest protected mountain rainforest. The forest is served by an intricate network of well-maintained forest trails that lead to a number of waterfalls and mind-sketching viewpoints within the forest. The hiking and walking trails also lead to the magnificent canopy walk, which is the only one of its kind in East and Central africa and the third one in africa. The trails also lead to primate tracking routes within the forest before opening up to the southern-most source of the might nile River, the world’s longest river.



NYuNGWE ForEsT FaCTs AN ANCIENT FOREST: nyungwe forest has existed for hundreds of thousands of years, and is one of africa’s oldest forests. Why is Nyungwe so Diverse? according to scientists, nyungwe Forest was one of the few places in africa that remained green during the last Ice age. The scientists think that animal species sought refuge in nyungwe and have been living there ever since. What’s special about Nyungwe?: It is home to a variety of plants, animals, and habitats found nowhere else. africa’s Great rift Valley: This forest is in the albertine Rift, a series of mountain ranges that start in the Rwenzori Mountains in western Uganda and stretch southwards into democratic Republic of Congo (dRC) and continue further south into the Lendu Plateau in north-eastern dRC. The forest range harbours more endemic birds, mammals, and amphibians than any other region in africa. The forest range (from Uganda, to Rwanda and eastern dRC) is said to host more than 1,000 species of birds which account for more than half of all africa’s bird population. nyungwe Forest is the largest protected area within the albertine Rift, and contains 25 endemic bird species, more than any other site in East africa. Viewpoints: nyungwe Forest sits at an elevated point and it is possible to see Lake Kivu from one of the viewpoints. Lake Kivu makes up one of the Great Lakes of africa and is the fifteenth largest in the world. The Lake which is equally shared between the democratic Republic of Congo (dRC) and Rwanda is famous for 30


its abundance of dissolved methane gas which when fully exploited could generate enough electricity to power Rwanda for next 400 years! Highest point: The highest point in nyungwe is the Mount Bigugu which rises to 2950 metres above sea level.

WHaT To Do Hiking trails: nyungwe offers 13 hiking trails, some with tongue-twisting like Igishigishigi which is an easy 1.7 km trail that begins near the Uwinka Reception Centre. Igishigishigi means tree fern in the local Kinyarwanda dialect. The trails range from easy to difficult with varying distances from 1.7 kilometres to 10.6 kilometres. World Class Bird Watching: nyungwe Forest is a unique habitat that is home to at least 278 bird species, 25 of which are endemic to the albertine Rift Valley. This makes the forest one of the best birding destinations in Rwanda and indeed in africa. Some of the birds that can be seen here include the Great Blue Turaco, the Crowned Hornbill and the Blue-Headed Sunbird. primate Tracking: There are thirteen primate species that are resident within nyungwe Forest. These include the conspicuous owl-faced guenons, chimpanzees and angolan black and white Colobus monkeys. orchid ogling:nyungwe is home to 154 species of orchids, eight of which are endemic to Rwanda. The forest hosts almost two-thirds of Rwanda’s orchid flora. The orchid flora within the forest is said to be one of the world’s greatest concentrations of orchids. Canopy walk: The canopy walk at nyungwe Forest is one of the highlights and mustvisit sites. Launched in October 2010, the canopy walk brings visitors face-to-face with some of the primates and bird species at 50 metres above the ground.



CaNopY EXPERIENCE THE THRILL OF THE CANOPY WALK The canopy walk at the nyungwe national Park is perhaps, one of the biggest highlights of anyone’s visit to the park. Towering above the ground and standing side-by-side with the tree canopy in the expansive forest, the new canopy walk gives forest visitors a bird’s eye view of the forest and brings them face to face with the primates and birdlife that nest on the upper towers of the forest. Suspended 50 metres above the forest floor and stretching 150 metres across the forest canopy, the walkway is held together by strong aluminium poles, wires and ropes. The walkway is accessed through the Igishigishigi Trail and is about an hours’ walk from the Uwinka Visitor Centre (UVC). The UVC is a modern interpretation centre from where visitors to the nyungwe Forest can get to experience the forest before stepping into it. However, the canopy walk is not for the fainthearted since the narrow stretch of steel ropes straddling across the forest canopy several feet above the ground tend to sway from one side to the other and thereby making walking across the steel bridge a heart-stopping moment. Many have, admittedly, expressed concern for their safety, but the canopy walk is very safe as it was designed to hold up to four tonnes.



WHErE To sTaY Gisakura Guest House. Offers basic accommodation and is very close to nyungwe Forest. Golden Monkey Hotel is located about 20 kilometres from the nyungwe Forest entrance. It is also equidistant from the national Museum in nyamagabe district. The 50-room hotel offers decent accommodation. www.goldenmonkeyhotel.com nyungwe Top Hill View Hotel is a middle-range hotel that offers comfortable accommodation at a reasonable price. www.nyungwehotel.com nyungwe Forest Lodge is a wonderful place to stay. The high-end lodge situated in the middle of a tea estate is not for the budget-conscious traveller. www.nyungweforestlodge.com www.rwandatourism.com


VoLCaNoEs NaTioNaL parK

WELCoME To GoriLLa LaND The Volcanoes National park also known as the parc National des Volcans in French is located in north-western rwanda. it is amongst one of the most widely visited parks in rwanda due to it’s star attraction – the world-famous mountain gorillas. The lush forest cover of the Volcanoes national Park forms a dramatic natural setting for what is arguably the most poignant and memorable wildlife experiences in the world - gorilla tracking. The exhilarating climb to the gorilla’s natural habitat of shady bamboo forest offers fantastic views in all directions, before the trackers are immersed in the mysterious intimacy of the rainforest that comes alive with the chirps of colourful birds and the chattering of the rare golden monkey from the forest canopy. BUT for many who make the trip northwest from Kigali, their greatest desire is to see the mountain gorillas. However, nothing in the world would prepare most visitors for the breath-taking moment when they walk through the forest thicket and suddenly come face-toface with a giant, fully-grown silverback gorilla whose size is three times that of a fully grown man. It is no doubt a heart-stopping moment, yet the gorillas, in spite of their massive size seem to be remarkably peaceful and tolerant of their human visitors and will go ahead their business uninterrupted.



The Volcanoes national Park is managed and protected by the Rwandan Office for Tourism and national Parks (ORTPn). access to the park is through the lively town of Musanze (also known as Ruhengeri) situated at the base of the park. Musanze has long been the base point for gorilla visits. From the town centre, visitors can catch a glimpse of the stunning backdrops of the six volcanoes in the area that include Karisimbi, Bisoke, Mikeno, Sabyinyo, Mgahinga and Muhabura.

WHErE To sTaY There are plenty of available accommodation options in Musanze and further up the mountains close to the park entrance. Mountain Gorilla View Lodge • info@3bhotel.com • www.3bhotel.com Virunga Lodge • salesrw@volcanoessaferis.com • www.volcanoessafaris.com sabyinyo silverback Lodge • receptionrwanda@governorscamp.com reservations@governorscamp.com • www.governorscamp.com Virunga Hotel • info@virungahotel.com • www.virungahotel.com La palme Hotel • palmeaccomodation@yahoo.fr • www.lapalmehotel.com ishema Hotel • info@ishemahotel.com • www.ishemahotel.com The town of Musanze is a 90-minute drive from Rwanda’s capital city, Kigali. The meandering drive along a smooth tarmac road takes one through rural Rwanda and provides excellent landscapes filled with rolling hills and valleys. The town can be accessed either by a private car or the numerous public taxi mini buses that ply the route from Kigali’s nyabugogo terminus.

Kinigi Guest House • +25.078.853.36.06 Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge • info@lebambougorillalodge.com • www.lebambougorillalodge.com



3B HoTELs Group


THE oF HospiTaLiTY iN rWaNDa The 3B Hotels Group is a growing hospitality provider in Rwanda. The group has over the years been known for its consistently high service standards and high quality of its properties. The hotel group currently has a portfolio of two properties; a city property and a lodge. Two other properties are to be added to the group starting with a new camp in akagera national Park and a lodge in Kibuye on the shores of the Lake Kivu.

FLaME TrEE ViLLaGE: This is the group’s city property. This boutique hotel is situated in the leafy nyarutarama suburb of Kigali, and just 4 kilometres from the airport.

The Flame Tree Village is a luxurious set of selfcontained luxury villas that offer a homely, quiet ambience that is unmatched in Kigali. Each villa has a spacious living room, study area, dining area and kitchen on the upper floor while a carpeted staircase leads to a spacious bedroom on the lower floor. There is also a separate shower area and corner bath tub on the lower floor to enhance comfort. a wireless internet connection at the Flame Tree Village also makes it a good place for the corporate executive to call home for a few days. To enhance the comfort of the guests, the Flame Tree Village caters to residents only. There is also a swimming pool and a fully equipped beauty and massage parlour. activities: Kigali city tours, visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center in Gisozi.

MouNTaiN GoriLLa ViEW LoDGE: dwarfed by the giant Sabyinyo Volcano and offering panoramic views of the nearby Volcanoes national Park right in the heart of the mountain gorilla territory, the Mountain Gorilla 36


View Lodge is the best place to start the once-in-a-lifetime-experience for gorilla trackers. The lodge comprises 30 individual cottages that are designed in contemporary african furniture and fittings with original artworks made from recycled timber. as a sign of our dedicated service and high quality standards, the Mountain Gorilla View Lodge was awarded a four-star rating for the year 2012 by the respected travel website Tripadvisor. activities: Gorilla tracking, Golden monkey tracking and local village/cultural excursions. Visits to the dian Fossey Tomb Trail can also be arranged.

aKaGEra saFari CaMp Set to open in early 2013, the akagera Safari Camp joins the 3B Hotel Group as its first tented camp in the expansive akagera national Park. The camp will be located five minutes’ drive from the park entrance and ten minutes’ drive to the Kirara Plains where most wild game can be viewed. activities: Game watching, bird watching, boat rides in the Kagera River. Morning and evening game drives can be arranged from the camp. night game drives will also be provided.

KiVu saFari LoDGE The Kivu Safari Lodge will open its doors in 2013 and will join the growing family of 3B Hotels. The lodge will offer high quality services and accommodation for visitors to the Lake Kivu area. The lodge will be located between Rubavu (Gisenyi) and nyungwe. activities: Bird watching, hiking, water sports. Visits to the Bisesero Genocide Memorial site as well as excursions to watch the chimpanzees at Gisovu can also be arranged. Visits to the local tea and coffee estates can also be arranged where visitors can get to sample freshly brewed tea and coffee from the plantations.



aKaGEra NaTioNaL parK

aKaGEra is BiG GaME CouNTrY The akagera national Park covers an area of about 1,200 square kilometres in the eastern part of Rwanda close to the Tanzanian border. The park was founded in 1934 to protect animals and vegetation within three ecosystems that include the savannah, mountain and the swampy areas. The park is named after the mighty Kagera River that flows along the eastern boundary of the park. The river feeds Lake Ihema which is also the largest lake within the park. akagera national Park comprises of a complex system of lakes filled with papyrus swamps that make up more than a third of the park. This makes the park central africa’s largest protected wetland. Wild game above all else, akagera is big game country where herds of elephant and buffalo roam free against a backdrop of open savannah woodland and drink from the numerous lakes found within the park. Lucky visitors will be able to spot the elusive leopard resting on a tree or see a spotted hyena. with such a wide selection of animals of prey, there are as a wider selection of other animals such as giraffes and zebras that bring to life the vast savannah grasslands. The park has more than a dozen types of antelope that inhabit the park. Visitors to the park will be treated to the beauty of the chestnut-coated impala and will come faceto-face with the secretive bushbuck. another highlight of the park’s wild game includes the statuesque Cape eland - the world’s largest antelope. The lake waters of the park are also teeming with massive hippopotami and giant nile crocodiles. The RdB is currently erecting an electric fence around the park and plans to add to the wild game menu in the park that will include lions amongst others.

Birdlife The skies above the park are filled with a wide selection of bird species. Here, you will see the gracious fish eagle assert its status as the avian monarch of the waterways. The park’s lakes are lined with some of africa’s largest concentration of aquatic birds while the connecting marshlands provide a natural abode for the endangered papyrus gonolek and the shoebill stork which is one of the most-sought african birds.



priMaTE saFaris

Your oNCE-iN-a-LiFETiME EXpEriENCE CoMMENCEs aT priMaTE saFaris Primate Safaris was incorporated in 2000 and specializes in tours within Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and the Great Lakes region. We are a preferred and professional inbound tour operator providing tailor-made itineraries in the ‘land of a thousand hills’ that has abundance of natural beauty and breathtaking scenery – and beyond. As part of its commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility, Primate Safaris has invested in tools for Muganda (Rwanda’s Clean-up Day - which takes place every last Saturday of the month) when we join the community in enhancing our pride in being the cleanest country in Africa. We also support children’s homes and create awareness among our clients on the plight of the children in the orphanage homes. Enjoyable eco-tourism experience Primate Safaris, just as the name suggests, evokes dreams of mysterious jungles filled with rare flora and fauna and the world of free-living primates. The reality will not disappoint the traveler bored with mass tourism, seeking an exclusive, highly enlightening and enjoyable eco-tourism experience. At Primate Safaris we are determined to provide only the best quality products to our clients and strive to achieve that goal. We select only the finest hotels and lodges in the cities and out in the bush. Each is thoroughly chosen to reflect not only our own high standards but also the spirit of the itinerary in which it is used. Our strong team is headed by professionally trained personnel who have the expertise and resources to plan safaris for you in a short span of time. We have well-maintained and comfortable fleet of vehicles run by well-experienced driver guides. We provide quality transportations with guaranteed window seats.

our services We provide the following travel services: • Gorilla, Golden Monkey, Chimps and Columbus monkey (The Primates) treks • Special interest tours (incentive tours, adventure tours, eco-tours, bird watching tours, honeymoon tours, school tours et al) • Visa facilitation arrangement • Hotel reservations • Conference packages (MICE) We take pride in the reputation we have built over the past years in quality and reliability guided by ethical business practices. While designing a tour, we combine our in-depth knowledge of the product with your requirements to guarantee the very best in all aspects for a memorable holiday. www.rwandatourism.com


LaKE KiVu sErENa

DAZZLING LAKE SIDE RESORT Lake Kivu Serena is serenely sited on the sandy shores of Lake Kivu, the sixth largest lake in africa, and surrounded by extensive tropical gardens. The tastefully open-plan Lake Kivu Serena Hotel offers the ideal week-end escape that will truly spice up your life within several hours drive from the Rwandan capital - Kigali, and the glorious Volcanoes national Park (home to the world-famous mountain gorillas). The hotel overlooks its own private beach. OUR ROOMS AND SUITES all our rooms are presented in typically Pan-african style with balconies and extensive views of the lake. Facilities include: • • • • • • •

24-hour room service telephone in-room satellite TV private safe tea and coffee-making facilities hair driers porter/concierge

while most of our rooms are designated ‘non-smoking’, smoking rooms can be arranged with prior notice.



CHILDREN FACILITIES The hotel has a supervised kid’s zone at its garden where we have different kid’s games like: jumping castle, trampoline, face painting, pool table, a library for children’s books and children’s swimming pool. Our inhouse children’s handler will be delighted to share some fun with the children.



DINING AT THE LAKE KIVU SERENA HOTEL The Kiyaga Restaurant – The main restaurant, open for breakfast, lunch and diner Ziwani Café - located below the pool overlooking the white beach of the lake. Popular for beach BBQs, roast meat, ice-cream over the weekends, sundowner chillouts.



ROOM SERVICE we offer a 24-hour room service Lake View Restaurant The Snack Bar, african dinner on Fridays, Mongolian dinner on Saturday, Sunday Curry Lunch Buffet, Sunday Buffet Breakfast. Traditional dancers on Friday and a Live Band on Saturdays and Sundays afternoon SPORT FACILITIES The hotel has a Fitness Center, Outdoor Swimming Pool, water Sport Centre with Boat and Jetski for rental, windsurf, Catamarans and Canoes are free for in-house guests, Two clay tennis courts. BIKING - ON SPECIAL REQUEST CONFERENCES, MEETINGS AND EVENTS AT THE LAKE KIVU SERENA HOTEL The Lake Kivu Serena Hotel offers an air-conditioned ballroom, two spacious and interconnecting conference and event arenas plus a private air-conditioned boardroom. It also offers; a selection of indoor and outdoor reception areas, an interactive business centre, wi-Fi connectivity, conference back-up and planning support, private entrance and function lobby and extensive private parking. among the conference services offered are: • Pa system, table microphones, cordless microphones, TV/Video/dVd, LCd projector/screen, podium, white boards/flip charts and markers • wiFi connectivity • delegate pads, pens/pencils and mineral water supply • Modern, modular events furniture, which can be tailored to your specifications • Business support services • Registration staff and conference organization support.




CAN YOU SMELL THE COFFEE? BOURBON COFFEE is undoubtedly Rwanda’s flagship coffee outlet. Regarded as Africa’s answer to Starbucks, Bourbon has over the recent past ventured into unchartered territory and blazed the trail in the process. Bourbon Coffee is a growing brand in Rwanda and has over the last few years been on an expansion mode both within Rwanda and across the borders.

of coffee beans are sourced, each providing a uniquely distinctive taste and aroma.

The coffee brand has in the recent years been exported to Washington DC, New York and Boston, Massachusetts in the United States where a huge Rwandan and African population is present.

Coffee is sourced from five different locations across Rwanda. These include the Virunga Mountain Region, the Lake Kivu region, the Kizi Rift Valley region, the Lake Muhazi region and the Akagera region.

coFFee cHains The coffee chain intends on growing its outlets in Rwanda and elsewhere in Africa. Last year, Bourbon Coffee opened a shop in London, England and is looking at exporting its concept to Istanbul, Turkey and expanding into other regions of the world such as Beijing, China and New Delhi, India. Ultimately, the plan is to have a global presence that prides itself in offering authentic Rwandan coffee. Bourbon only serves purely Rwandan coffee in all its outlets across the world. Bourbon champions itself as the only coffee shop that offers coffee takers an authentic crop to cup experience. The outlet sources its coffee directly from farmers in rural Rwanda with a view to not only cutting out middlemen so as to benefit the farmers directly, but so as to guarantee only the best quality coffee.

coFFee FLavouRs But what makes Bourbon coffee really special? Rwanda, in spite of its relatively small geographical size boasts five coffee growing regions from which an equal variety 46


With Bourbon serving purely Rwandan coffee, this explains why.

The coffee beans from these regions have individual tastes and smells due to a wide range of factors such as the varying soil types and the rainfall patterns in the respective areas. Virunga coffee beans, for instance, have a unique sweet taste blended with a berry aroma while the Kizi Rift Valley beans possess a smooth and clean taste with a floral overtone while the Lake Muhazi region coffee beans have a spicy taste with cocoa aroma. The beans from the Lake Kivu region come with a chocolaty taste and a lovely jasmine floral scent while those from the Akagera region boast an extreme berry flavour.



a N H O e t R e e S L U V I K e K La rom the fast-pased city life?

f k ce and utmost tranquillit a a e e p r f y? x u a b ment o r u l y . e . . r u p f o d o rl d e o e m w N w a vu Serena Hotel. i e K e n k d a L e a Ne over clusive c e ex s i D t th ...a

y a w a t Ge

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LOOK nO FURTHER THan suNrisE ECo Tours Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar Tours. Safaris/Game drives, Gorilla tracking, Bird-watching / Flying safaris Tailor made safaris, Lakes& Beach Holidays, white water rafting Call for your free brochure now on (+250)78312250 Reservations: (250)788312250- UK/+447850479727, info@sunriseecotours.com www.sunriseecotours.com

asoferwa@ymail.com www.asoferwa.com kinigi2020@yahoo.fr


Hotel Des Mille Collines enjoys a significant historical legacy in Rwanda as one of the most elegant 4 star hotels in the city. Nestled in picturesque surroundings while still in the heart of the city, the hotel has an enviable reputation as a place to conduct business with conference facilities, a fitness centre, 24 hour room service or merely take the opportunity to relax the evenings away in our scenic gardens next to the iconic poolside. Ideally located 15 minutes from the airport, with112 executively furnished rooms with air conditioning, and an in-room security safe, all serve to make your stay comfortable and effortless.

B.P.1322 Avenue de l’ArmÊe | Kigali - Rwanda Tel: +250 252 576530 | Fax: +250 252 577059 E-mail: info@millecollines.net | Web: www.millecollines.net

Breathtaking Scenary...

THousaND HiLLs TraiL

a HiKiNG TraiL LiKE No oTHEr THE Thousand Hills nile Trail in the western part of Rwanda is a new, yet equally exciting 227 kilometrelong trail that takes hikers through some of Rwanda’s most scenic landscapes. The hike is designed to take hikers to the very heart of the continental watershed, from where two of africa’s most important rivers, the nile and the Congo are fed. The trails leads from the laid-back border town of Gisenyi (also known as Rubavu) that lies on the shores of the Lake Kivu and meanders its way southwards to Rusizi. EXTRAORDINARY SIGHTS Hikers will be treated to extraordinary sights of virgin wilderness teeming with both resident and non-residents birds, wild game, small insects and rare plant species along the way. The hike from Rubavu (Gisenyi) to Rusizi takes about 10 days to complete on foot. For those keen on exploring the route on bikes, it takes about five days and three days for those exploring the hiking trail from the comfort of a 4X4 jeep. along the trail are about eight base camps from where hikers can get much deserved overnight stays and hot meals. aside from spotting a rare bird there or catching a magnificent view of the Lake Kivu from the surrounding hills, hikers can engage with the local rural community along the four main sub-trails and can get to visit the coffee and tea farms situated in the villages that dot the hiking trail. This is a welcome opportunity to see how some of the world’s best tea and coffee are produced in the farms and thereby supporting the local economy. www.rwandatourism.com


MouNTaiN GoriLLas

conseRvinG THe MounTain GoRiLLas By anna Behm Masozera WHEN you come to experience mountain gorillas in Rwanda (or in Uganda or the democratic Republic of Congo), you are typically focused on the experience itself- the raw awe of being able to see and experience mountain gorillas in their own habitat and on their terms, with no barriers between you and them. But if you keep your eyes open, you’ll get a glimpse into what is happening behind-thescenes to protect and conserve the criticallyendangered mountain gorilla.


On your walk from the parking to the forest edge, take in the beauty of the landscape and also take in the needs of the growing human population. In some sectors (that’s an administrative unit in Rwanda) touching Volcanoes national Park, there are 1,000 people per square kilometer. That’s equivalent to over 2,500 people per square mile! now, if you average it out throughout the 12 sectors that touch the park it comes to an average of 600 people per square kilometer. However you look at it, that’s an intense amount of people. and you’ll witness that they are largely dependent on the resources at hand – children carrying firewood and collecting water, and women and men digging in the fields.

bamboo for building and even finding a place for beehives outside of the park instead of inside the park. Too many people inside the park can degrade the habitat, and you can see that there isn’t that much remaining habitat for the mountain gorilla.

One of the every-day jobs of conservationists working to protect mountain gorillas is finding a way to engage people in conservation. It’s not an easy job. It means finding alternatives to the resources that they enter the park to collect – water for example, firewood,

That leads me to the next aspect of your triphauling yourself up and over the buffalo wall. This wall was built, and is still maintained and improved, to reduce the instances of wild animals leaving the park and raiding people’s crops. This is called human-wildlife conflict in


Conservation organizations like IGCP are not development organizations as such, but we work where the development of people is linked with maintaining the integrity of the park, the gorillas’ habitat.

the conservation world, and we don’t want it to happen, and in addition to the buffalo wall, we train and support groups of people not employed by the park to monitor and act (safely and appropriately) when wildlife do exit the park and enter community lands. So, you’re now in the park and the high altitude forest that the gorillas call home. You’re on your way to meet with the park staff with the job title of ‘tracker.’ They are the ones that guide your group from where you entered the park to where the gorillas are. what you didn’t see is that while you were climbing in the park, they were already with the mountain gorillas and observing and collecting data on the location of the group and the presence and health of every known individual. This is part of what is called ranger-based monitoring. This ranger-based monitoring is data collected by rangers who are doing their day-to-day functions in the park. But the accumulation of days, months, and years of data allow park staff to have the information at hand that they need to make management decisions. If a mountain gorilla is observed to have a potentially life-threatening illness or injury, there are a team of specially-trained veterinarians, notably the Gorilla doctors, that come and assess the situation and decide whether or not to intervene with treatment. If they do decide to intervene, they treat their patient right in the forest, which is not an easy task, when you have all the other mountain gorillas to manage as well! Unfortunately, they intervene far too often on mountain gorillas that have been caught in rope or wire snares by poachers who are looking for duikers or antelopes for wild meat. It’s usually the younger gorillas who end up in snares, and the injuries and infections from a lingering snare can be fatal. another piece that you will not see is the antipoaching patrols by park rangers. One of the biggest direct threats to mountain gorillas remains the snares I just told you about. Park rangers do lots of patrols to try to find and destroy the snares before the gorillas stumble upon them. There are many tactics used by parks, and even many different types of patrols – routine patrols, coordinated

transboundary patrols, shock patrols, and ‘under-tent’ or overnight patrols. You also, hopefully, won’t see any unhabituated mountain gorillas. But they are out there. These are groups of mountain gorillas that have not been habituated to the presence of humans. They don’t benefit from direct, daily monitoring by trackers and veterinary treatment as needed. But they are important for the long-term survival of the species and are just as worthy of protection. These anti-poaching patrols are their best bet for survival. and then there’s the permit fees you’ve paid for your gorilla visit, which I assume at this point you are realizing was worth what you paid. while a large portion of it goes to fund the park management operations, a portion of it (the percentage and mechanism is different in each country), goes back to community conservation and development projects in those frontline communities. This is called revenue or benefits sharing which works to change attitudes and get people on the side of conservation and on the side of mountain gorillas. and don’t forget the rules of mountain gorilla visits – that’s where YOU become the conservationist! Follow your guide’s instructions to the T. dOn’T push for a longer visit than the one hour maximum (even though it’s tempting), dOn’T push to get closer than the 7 meter limit (that’s 21 feet), and dOn’T visit mountain gorillas if you’re ill. But dO enjoy yourself, ask lots of questions and ultimately stay involved.

Anna Behm Masozera is the Communications Officer for the International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP), a coalition of the African Wildlife Foundation, Fauna & Flora International, and the World Wide Fund for Nature. More information at www.igcp.org.



a cRasH couRse on MounTain GoRiLLas

• Scientific name: Gorilla beringei beringei Mountain Gorilla View Lodge is part of the 3B Hotels Group. It is situated in Ruhengeri.

• Found in: democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda

T he lodge boasts 30 spacious chalets within a well-landscaped compound at the base of the Sabinyo Volcano.

• Two populations:

T he lodge has a spacious restaurant and a relaxing bar. Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee in the comfy lounge that offers visitors a homely experience.

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge has been awarded a four star rating for 2012 by TripAdvisor

+250 788 305708 info@3bhotels.com www.3bhotels.com

• Status: Critically endangered


Virunga Massif, which includes Mikeno Sector of the Virunga national Park in dRC, Volcanoes national Park in Rwanda, and Mgahinga Gorilla national Park in Uganda This population is estimated at 480 individuals as per the last complete census in 2010.


Bwindi Impenetrable national Park This population is estimated at 302 individuals as per the last complete census in 2006. Results from the 2011 complete census will be released by december 2012.


Total world population estimated at around 780 mountain gorillas.


all of these mountain gorillas are wild, ranging in their own habitat.


Each individual mountain gorilla makes a fresh nest of vegetation each night, with infants less than three or four years sleeping with their mothers.


Mountain gorillas live in family groups, led by a dominant silverback. Some silverbacks will roam without a group and are referred to as lone silverbacks.

• Life span: 35-40 years • There are no zoos which have captive mountain gorillas. • There are four subspecies of gorillas found in africa (and gorillas are only found in africa): o

western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla)


Cross river gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli)


Eastern lowland gorilla or Grauer’s Gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri)


Mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei).


a biRD sPecTacLe WHILE the mountain gorillas remain the major attraction for most travellers to Rwanda, the country enjoys an abundance of other unique animal species that is unrivalled in the region – birdlife. nyungwe Forest is home to some of the country’s largest bird populations that number at least 310 bird species, 25 of which are endemic to the albertine Rift Valley. This makes the forest one of the best bird watching destinations in africa. Rich bird life is not only concentrated in nyungwe Forest as the akagera national Park, a savanna-dominated area in the northeast of the country that lies in the Victoria Basin, is also a prime bird-watching area. The park holds an interesting selection of species associated with a diversity of ecosystems that include wetlands, woodlands, grasslands, riparian forest and bush country. This habitat diversity makes akagera possess one of the longest bird species lists for any conservation area in africa since the park is endowed with over 525 recorded bird species. akagera is the place to visit for those keen on spotting the localised Red-faced Barbet Lybius rubrifacies. The park is also a known home for one of africa’s rarest francolins - the ring-necked Francolin Francolinus streptophorus. To further enhance bird watching in Rwanda and in line with product development and diversification, the Rwanda development Board (RdB) in collaboration with the Rwanda Birding association (RBa) and the Rwanda Tour and Travel agencies (RTTa) recently launched three new developed birding routes at Bugesera. The three routes are located within the wetlands of Bugesera, nyabihu, and Rugezi.

BIRD WATCHING – AN INTIMATE WAY TO KNOW RWANDA REMaRKaBLE Rwanda spoke to Kamugisha Kirenga, a well-known birding guide in Rwanda who is also the President of the Rwanda Bird Guides Club, a constituent member of the Rwanda Safari Guides association. WHY ARE BIRD TOURS IMPORTANT? Bird watching is a niche tourism product that will benefit Rwanda as an even more unique destination away from the gorillas. Bird tours will consequently help diversify Rwanda’s tourism product offering and thereby present an intimate way for visitors to get to know Rwanda better. WHY IS BIRD WATCHING SUCH A NICHE PRODUCT? Birding is such a niche product in the sense that bird enthusiasts tend to stay longer at a destination than the average tourist and will, therefore, end up spending more at a destination. This makes bird watching a high end product that greatly benefits the economy. normally birding averages between seven and ten days. That means that the bird watcher will spend at least seven bed nights at various locations and will spend even more on food, accommodation, drinks and entertainment. RWANDA HAS SOME OF THE BEST BIRDING SITES IN AFRICA, YET THE PRODUCT HAS NOT BEEN FULLY DEVELOPED IN RWANDA. WHY IS THAT? That has been occasioned by the lack of properly trained bird guides in Rwanda. we need knowledgeable bird guides in Rwanda who are properly trained. AS THE PRESIDENT OF THE RWANDA BIRD CLUB, WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ADDRESS THIS? we have partnered with various organizations such as the Rwanda development Board and USaId to facilitate training programmes for some of the bird guides in Rwanda. However, we need to constantly train them so that they can inject a level of professionalism and knowledge that will benefit the bird enthusiast. www.rwandatourism.com



KiGaLi’s prEMiEr Four sTar HoTEL oVErViEW


Hotel des Mille Collines is of the leading four star hotels in Rwanda, with a fine setting and personalized service. The hotel is situated within a large exotic garden in Kigali.

with a weekly entertainment program and daily Happy Hours, the Hotel des Mille Collines has been known as Kigali’s sitting room. Live music is played by the Pool Bar daily between 6.00pm and 9.00pm. The music includes themes such as Jazz, afro Fusion, Pop, Soul, R&B and of course the popular international music experience played on Thursdays and has since been christened the “Hottest Happy Hours in Town”.

The hotel offers 112 exclusive rooms and executive suites with balconies. all the rooms have been refurbished and with each boasting a direct telephone line, flat-screen television set, (direct VSaT) wireless internet connection, air-conditioning and a mini-bar.



CoNFErENCE & BaNQuETiNG Hotel des Mille Collines has four fully equipped meeting and conference rooms. we have recently upgraded our conferencing and banqueting facilities to better cater to all your meeting needs. The meeting rooms have the capacity to accommodate small groups and up to 250 people. we offer various conference packages with coffee breaks and meals or can be customized to your individual needs. Our conferencing and banqueting team works closely with the food and beverage team to ensure diverse meals are offered to the conference delegates.

LEisurE we pride ourselves in having unique food concepts that include the best brochettes in East africa and our Sunday Brunch that includes fresh salads, assorted pastas and BBQ served by the pool. Both our Panorama Restaurant and the Pool Restaurant serve delightful dishes prepared by our executive chef and his culinary team.

For your relaxation and leisure, the Hotel des Mille Collines has a large swimming pool, a fully-equipped fitness centre and a floodlit tennis court. Our neighbours and partners on the ground floor of the hotel offer a wide range of services to our guests that include tours and travel and air ticketing.




true colours

Taste purity

Cool environment

Comfort & Class



...are just the few things you’ll experience only at Banana Boutique Hotel A unique blend of African and Contemporary design, the Banana boutique Hotel is an 8-suite hotel situated in the heart of Kigali only 15 km from Kigali International Airport and a walkaway from the City centre. Tucked away in Kigali’s quietest place, Banana is an oasis of luxury and enchantment where you experience the true beauty and majesty of Rwanda.

Kiyovu, Rue du parc #4, P.O.Box 5539, Tel. 250 252 500154 Cell. +250788826777, +250738826777, +250788408072 E: info@bananaboutiquehotel.net / fbananaguesthouse@yahoo.com W: www.bananaboutiquehotel.net

Set in Kigali’s pl EASY ACCESS easant Kiyouvu TO THE CITY CENTRE What we of fe r 1. Accommod ation services 2. Restaurant and Bar 3. Our facilitie s are equippe d with TV Sate 4. We of fer Ai llite and WI-FI rpor t transfer internet. by re 5. We of fer to urists excursion quest. s by request. Our contacts are: IRIS GUEST HO USE P.O BOX: 228 KIGALI TEL: +250 25 2 501172 / 5011 81 E-mail: irisgues t1@gmail.com / iris1@rwanda Physical Adre ss: AVENUE 1.com KAMUZINZI ,N not new yet. 0 8 ( this is ch anging)


LAKE SIDE RETREAT THE hotel is perched on a hill and offers fantastic views of the Lake Kivu. From its vantage position, one can catch magnificent views of sunrises and sunsets over the calm waters of the Lake Kivu. The hotel offers a quiet and relaxing atmosphere. Relax in the hotel’s self-contained, comfortable rooms that also have digital television for entertainment. The hotel also has a restaurant where delightful meals are served and a well-stocked bar. Boat trips can be arranged from the hotel.











CONTACT US AVENUE DE LA PAIX, OPPOSITE MOUNT KENYA UNIVERSITY, B.P. 2111, KIGALI, RWANDA. TEL: +250 25271355, FAX: +250 252571355, MOBILE: +250 782800909, EMAIL: rohit.nayyar@europcar.rw, europcarkigali@yahoo.com, marketing@europcar.rw, sales@europcar.rw, Website: www.europcar.com

We are the biggest travel agency network in the world. Your Gateway to Africa We offer the following services: • Airticketing • Car hire • Visa services • Hotel packages worldwide • Travel insurance • Forex services • Cargo and airfreight

Contact Us: Avenue Du Commerce, Opposite Bank de Kigali, B.P. 2111, Kigali, Rwanda. Tel: +250 252 577 497/ +250 252 572 643 / +250 252 573079 Fax: +250 252 572 231 Mobile: +250 788 300 918/ +250 788 528 347 E-mail: mukesh.sahu@satgurutravel.com, mukeshsatguru@yahoo.com Website: www.satgurutravel.com

TraVELLiNG To EasT aFriCa? LooK No FurTHEr THaN suNrisE ECo Tours Akagera Safari camp is a new tented camp that is set to join the 3B Hotels Group in early 2013. T he camp will offer unmatched luxury accommodation that will include 25 luxury tents. We look forward to welcoming you.

+250 788 305708 info@3bhotels.com www.3bhotels.com

SUNRISE Eco-Tours specializes in group tours and private tours for couples and families within the East african region covering Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. This tour company has carved a niche for itself by providing guests with a wide range of offerings that include various activities such as Gorilla Tracking and Mountain Treks to wildlife adventures in the Serengeti national Park in Tanzania to white water rafting on the River nile in Uganda to wedding and honeymoon packages in the white sandy beaches of Zanzibar to incredible game drives in the jungles of Kenya’s Maasai Mara. Sunrise Eco-Tours delivers a premium service. we are fully committed to the success of your holiday from the point you contact us until you touch down on your return flight home. Passionate about working hand in hand with our customers to create the perfect holiday, our travel experts have personal experience of East africa. GIVING BACK as part of our mission to give back to the communities where we work or take our guests, Sunrise Eco Tours helps by funding local and national projects. The company donates five per cent of all profits made from safaris to the Rwanda association for Rescape of Genocide. This is in addition to donating ten per cent of the price of each Gorilla Tracking permit that is booked through the company to community conservation efforts in Volcanoes and Bwindi national Parks in Rwanda and Uganda respectively. www.rwandatourism.com


CuLTuraL TourisM

eXPeRience RWanDan cuLTuRe MUSIC and dance have been an integral part of humanity. In africa, music and dance have imbued from one generation to another and with it, passed on the traditions and culture of foregone generations. Rwanda, like many other african communities, invoked traditional folklore music and dance as a form of communication. Song and dance in the Rwandan community was used to invoke celebration, harvest season or victory of various communities returning to their villages after battling hostile forces. Rwanda has four distinct dance routines that include:



Accommodation Restaurant and bar Car hire Digital TV Laundry services Internet in all rooms Conference hall Massage (reflexology) Visa card accepted

address Musanze District Northern province Tel: +250 788346391, +250 788301462 Email. info@virungahotel.com Website: www.virungahotel.com www.rwandatourism.com

INGANJI DANCE TROUPE Cultural tours in and around Rwanda can be organized by various tour operators in the country. The tours can be wide and varied and go beyond the traditional dance performances and can include traditional Rwandan cuisine and homestays in the villages.

INTORE - THE WARRIORS DANCE. Young men developed and espoused the qualities of a warrior known as Intore in Kinyarwanda. Like the physically fit warriors of yesteryears, the dance routine parades agility, strength and composure. The traditional regalia for Intore dance is the conspicuous mane on the head that depicts the fighting spirit of the african lion. UMUSHAGIRIRO/UMUSHAYAYO- THE DANCE OF WOMEN. This dance was performed by women and it symbolizes and celebrates the elegant movement of various animals that grace the country including elephants and gazelles to the traditionally most revered bovine, the cow. The dance is comparable to ballet and is meant to display the grace and elegance as well as the beauty of Rwandan women by emulating cattle’s movement.

In Kigali, the Inganji dance Troupe is one of the best known. They perform at wedding ceremonies across Rwanda as well as for tour groups visiting Rwanda and at national functions. aside from just entertaining guests, the group’s other goal is to preserve, educate, entertain and share with all Rwanda’s rich cultural heritage through music and dance. Their dance routines are reminiscent of life at the royal courts just as their forefathers performed. Inganji in Kinyarwanda means victory. Location: Nyamirambo Stadium, Kigali, Rwanda Contacts: +250788443687 +250788830478 +250783153364 Email: grantnorbert@gmail.com http://www.facebook.com/inganji.troupe https://twitter.com/TroupeInganji

UKURAMBAGIZA – THE COURTSHIP DANCE The courtship dance was performed by both male and female dancers. The elaborate dance was crafted to depict love and romance between the male and female dancers. due to this, it earned its well-deserved nickname as the “dance of fiancés”. THE ROYAL DRUMMERS drums, like in any traditional african society, played a critical role as a communication as well as an entertainment tool. In Rwandan society, the Royal drummers played the drums known as ingoma in Kinyarwanda. The drums were played by 13 male drummers. Thirteen signified the traditional symbol of Royal power. The drums played to announce the presence of the king and were also used as a medium of communication from the king to his subjects and allies. For their role, royal drummers enjoyed high status within the king’s court.

CULTURAL CENTRES For those keen on knowing more about Rwandan culture, there are a number of cultural centres across Rwanda from which one can get a first-hand glimpse into Rwandan culture. These include the Historical arts Museum in Rukali, nyanza, the Kitabi Cultural Village near nyugwe national Park, the Iby’ Iwacu Cultural Village in Musanze and the national Museum of Rwanda in Huye. while at the cultural centres, visitors can also get to sample a variety of traditional handicrafts produced in rural Rwanda that range from baskets to traditional woodcarvings and paintings. www.rwandatourism.com




Lake kivu beckons Kivu Safari Lodge is set to join the 3B Hotels Group in 2013. T he Lodge will offer unmatched first class accommodation services. T he lodge will have 25 tastfully furnished chalets. We look forward to welcoming you soon. +250 788 305708 info@3bhotels.com www.3bhotels.com

LAKE KIVU is an extraordinarily gorgeous inland sea enclosed by steep, green terraced hills and is shared by Rwanda and the democratic Republic of the Congo. It is one of the african great lakes located within the albertine Rift, which is the western branch of the East african Rift. The fresh water lake empties through the River Rusizi that flows southwards into the Lake Tanganyika, the world’s second deepest lake and the world’s third largest freshwater lake. The lake curves out of the dramatic mountains of the rift valley and the volcanic Virunga Mountains to the north while its irregular shores form picturesque inlets and peninsulas and a myriad of forest-fringed waterfalls. The Lake Kivu sits on the rift valley where volcanic activity is very active and this causes the ground to tear apart and therefore making the lake deep. It is today classified as the world’s 18th deepest lake. The lake is surrounded by majestic mountains and has numerous islands that include the Idjwi Island which is the world’s 10th largest inland island. Lake Kivu presents numerous water sports options as well as the unforgettable sunset boating trips on the lake waters. along its shores, Rwanda has three resort towns that include Gisenyi (also known as Rubavu), Kibuye and Cyangugu. The resort towns are connected by a wild roller-coaster road that weaves through luxuriant plantain fields and artefact patches of foggy rain forest offering mind-sketching views over the blue waters of the Lake Kivu.

WHAT TO DO Bird watching Bird life in Lake Kivu is fantastic as flotillas of pelicans can be seen soaring across the open waters while majestic crowned cranes can be seen preening their golden crests in the surrounding swamps. Water sports Other water sports activities such as kayaking, wind surfing and jet-ski can be enjoyed in the lake. The equipment can be hired from the Lake Kivu Serena in Gisenyi. Kayaks can also be hired in Moriah Hills in Kibuye. Explore the beautiful islands Lake Kivu has an intricate network of islands of various sizes. an excursion to some of these islands is possible. Here, one can visit the napoleon Island near Kibuye which is home to thousands of bats. One can also explore the amahoro Island near Kibuye or visit the people of Bugarama and nkomo Islands Boat rides Boat excursions in the lake are possible thanks to a speed boat Christened “Munezero” from Rwanda development Board. One can also hire the local pirogues for boat trips on the lake or can be used for public transportation to the islands. Nyiragongo Volcano – the world largest lava lake For those with hearts of steel with an unquenchable thirst for adventure and adrenaline pump, cross over the border into the city of Goma in the eastern democratic Republic of the Congo (dRC) and face the nyiragongo Volcano – the world’s most active volcano. Hikers make the five-hour trek and come face-to-face with the world’s largest lava lake at the top of the volcano.




WE GUARANTEE YOUR SECURITY INTERSEC is Rwanda’s leading security solutions provider. The company prides itself in not only being the first security provider in Rwanda, but has continued to enjoy a long history of quality service delivery and consistency. From its humble beginnings in March 1995 when Intersec was first set up with only 20 guards and about five clients, the company has over the last decade and a half grown tremendously and today has more than 4,000 trained guards and serving a wide range of clientele that include corporates, individuals, foreign missions, government installations and organizations. as the leading security solutions provider, Intersec has not been sitting on its laurels as the company has been innovative in introducing new products and services that are in line to its client needs. Key amongst this has been the newly introduced cash in transit (CIT) service that



is mainly targeted at commercial banks and other financial institutions or corporations that handle bulk cash. In order to remain the top security provider in Rwanda, Intersec has been benchmarking itself against reputable security service providers within africa and has consistently placed an emphasis on constantly training its staff on security measures as well as customer care. The company plans to expand its operations within the wider East african Community (EaC). The company’s current service offerings include VIP protection (both armed and unarmed), cash in transit services, security management or consultants at events, guard receptionists and provision of hi-tech security systems such as metal detectors, alarm systems both for private homes, offices, business premises, cars and closed circuit television (CCTV).

Located in the breathe-taking Musanze, Ishema Hotel is a full service facility offering a wide range of ammenities including accommodation, delightful dinners and an impressive conference hall. Only two hours from the capital Kagali, Ishema Hotel is a perfect option to escape to, for those wishing to track gorillas or simply relax in the serenity and beauty that the land of athousand hills offers. Ishema, meaning “Pride” goes to great heights to ensure that our guests are treated to a quality service and achieve a value for money experience. SERVICES PROVIDED: Accommodation, Conference Facilitation, Restaurant & Coffee Shop, Swiming Pool & Gym Telephone: +250 252 546 857, +250 (0) 788 558 501, E-mail: ishemahotel@hotmail.com, www.ishemahotel.com

Located in the breathe-taking Musanze, Ishema Hotel is a full service facility offering a wide range of ammenities including accommodation, delightful dinners and an impressive conference hall. Only two hours from the capital Kagali, Ishema Hotel is a perfect option to escape to, for those wishing to track gorillas or simply relax in the serenity and beauty that the land of athousand hills offers. Ishema, meaning “Pride” goes to great heights to ensure that our guests are treated to a quality service and achieve a value for money experience. SERVICES PROVIDED: Accommodation, Conference Facilitation, Restaurant & Coffee Shop, Swiming Pool & Gym Telephone: +250 252 546 857, +250 (0) 788 558 501, E-mail: ishemahotel@hotmail.com, www.ishemahotel.com





d in the northern ISHEMA HOTEL, locate sanze (also known Rwandan town of Mu tel is a full service as Ruhengeri). The ho ge of high quality facility offering a wide ran htful dining, and accommodations, delig facility. impressive conference in Musanze town, The hotel is situated from Kigali, the about two hours’ drive n 20 minutes from capital city and less tha l park, home to the the Volcanoes nationa n gorillas. Many world-famous mountai gorillas trekking people going for the s homely hotel. spend their nights at thi anda word that Ishema, is a Kinyarw nce, and the hotel means pride in excelle staff go to great and its well-trained ost comfor t for lengths to ensure utm ovision of quality the guests through pr services. t only for tourists Ishema Hotel caters no mountain gorillas, coming to see the persons interested but also for business s opportunities in exploring busines as for individuals, in Musanze as well en on getting a groups and families ke hustle and bustle weekend away from the of ever yday life. s restaurant that we have a spaciou coffee shop and a serves quality meals, a d gym. large swimming pool an a quiet and serene The hotel is located in our guests total environment that gives mind. comfor t and peace of welcoming you to we look for ward to ide in excellence Ishema Hotel, where pr is guaranteed.



WHERE IDEAS ARE INCUBATED ... AND HATCHED Alliance Communications is a one-stop Corporate Communications solutions provider. We provide corporates with all-round communications solutions that include PRINT, ONLINE and BROADCAST. Remera, Airport Road publishing@alliance-communications.net +250 787 186098/ +250 788 307270

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Remarkable Rwanda  

A tourism Destination Guide for Rwanda. Published on behalf of the Rwanda Development Board's (RDB) Deaprtment of Tourism & Conservation

Remarkable Rwanda  

A tourism Destination Guide for Rwanda. Published on behalf of the Rwanda Development Board's (RDB) Deaprtment of Tourism & Conservation