1. It is a landlocked country located in East Africa and is the 9th smallest country on the continent.
2. Its capital and largest city is Kigali.
3. It is highly elevated, giving it the nickname “Land of a Thousand Hills”.
4. Major ethnic groups: Hutu (85%), Tutsi (14%), Twa (1%)
5. Major languages: Kinyarwanda, Swahili, French, English
6. Major religions: Christianity (74%), Traditional and other religions (25%), Islam (1%)
7. It was colonized by Germany and Belgium and gained independence in July 1962.
8. Every last Saturday of the month, from 8 to 11 am, the entire country participates in Umuganda – mandatory community projects which involve street cleaning, grass cutting, and public clean up. This has led Rwanda to be called the cleanest country in Africa.
9. Plastic bags are banned and visitors are not allowed to bring them into the country.
10. 64% of its parliament members are female, the largest number in the world.
11. In 1994, nearly 1 million Tutsis and Hutus were killed in the Rwandan Genocide, which started over ethnic tensions. The history is detailed at the Kigali Genocide Museum and memorial site.
12. It has the world’s largest population of endangered mountain gorillas and is one of only 3 countries where they can be seen in the wild.
13. Tourism is rapidly increasing and centers around nature, wildlife, history, culture and adventure activities. Popular activities include gorilla trekking and hiking at Volcanoes National Park, the canopy walk at Nyungwe National Park, safari at Akagera Natinoal Park, Lake Kivu and the resort towns of Gisenyi, Kibuye and Cyangugu, the Ethnographic Museum, and coffee and tea plantation tours.
14. Things to see and do in Kigali include: Nyamirambo (the Muslim quarter), Mount Kigali, a Milk Bar, Inema Arts Center, Ivuka Art Gallery, King’s Palace Museum, Rwanda Art Museum, Kimironko Market, Amahoro Stadium, Hotel de Mille Collines (the real life Hotel Rwanda), and the 1000 Hills Distillery.