About Rwanda | What to Know About Rwanda? | Acacia Safaris
History And Economy
Rwanda is home to powerful pre-colonial kingdoms and cattle-owning dynasties. This small Central African country escaped the ravages of the slave trade. It was later colonized first by the Germans and then by the Belgians. Although independence was achieved in 1962, Rwanda’s postcolonial history has had its ups and downs. The 1994 genocide hit rock bottom, but the country has since grown stronger and outpaced its weight in regional affairs.
Agriculture accounts for 40% of GDP, 90% of the workforce, and dominates the economy. But it is mainly subsistence agriculture with a small surplus. Income crops such as tea and coffee generate foreign income, such as mining for rare minerals, but tourism is the main source of foreign currency.
About Rwanda People and Culture
Rwanda has long been known as a green and fertile country. It is one of the most populous countries in Africa with over 11 million people crammed into a smaller area than Belgium. The first inhabitants were the Tua Pygmies. The Tua pygmies were hunter-gatherers hunted by migrant Hutu peasants, who now make up more than 80% of the population. Then came the Tutsi cattle herders, who ruled the traditional power structure until independence.
Note that due to its history, modern Rwanda tends to ignore such ethnic designations. Among the younger population (over 40% under 15), the majority of Rwandans are closely associated with Catholics and Protestants. The country’s official languages are Kinyarwanda, French, and English, and Rwanda is widely regarded as a friendly, and easy-to-navigate country. Music (especially drums) and dance dominate the cultural scene, with a strong oral tradition that ranges from poetry to folklore.
Landscape and Wildlife
Landlocked Rwanda, known as the “Land of a Thousand Hills”, is located in the heart of Africa. Nestled in the Albertina Rift Valley, a land of volcanoes, densely forested mountains, lakes, and rivers. The country sits in the heart of one of the most biodiverse environments in the world. However, much of Rwanda’s mountains and pastures have been converted to terrace farming.
And the country’s vast fauna is confined to its three reserves. The most famous of these reserves is Volcanoes National Park. Which is home to half of the continent’s remaining mountain gorillas and Rwanda’s famous gorilla migration industry. Nyungwe Forest is a sanctuary for other monkeys, including chimpanzees, and the largely unknown Akagera National Park in the flat, warmer east of Rwanda is the country’s only savanna reserve. Birds are very numerous across the country, with around 670 species recorded.
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