Did you know…American zoologist Dian Fossey studied the social organization of the mountain gorillas in Rwanda. This great zoologist is remembered for her book “Gorillas in the Mist”. This book inspired the film of the same name directed by Michael Apted. Dian Fossey once wrote,”I imitated the gorillas’ chestbeats by slapping my hands against my thighs in studious mimicry of their rhythm. The sound was an instant success in gaining the gorillas’ attention…I thought I was very clever but did not realize that I was conveying the wrong information. Chestbeating is the gorillas’ signal for excitement or alarm, certainly the wrong message for me to have sent as appeasement”. It was Dian Fossey who awakened the Rwandan consciousness to their rich ecology.
The Volcanoes National Park, one of the natural wonders on Earth, is home to mountain gorilla, a symbol of Rwanda. This park is the first national park in Africa (1925). It is about the size of Saint Louis (Missouri,USA).The year 2009 has been declared “the Year International of the Gorilla” by the United Nations.
Did you know… When “Gorillas in the Mist”, a film on gorillas in Rwanda (Africa), was released in 1988, several American tourists visited Rwanda.
The Nyungwe Forest National Park, an area the size of Houston (Texas), is one of the best refuges for bird watching in Africa. This Rwandan park, set up in December 2008, is the home to 300 species of birds. It attracts many birds every year because of its abundant water and food sources. This tropical forest is also home to civets, serval cats, leopards, silver monkeys and other animals…
The Kagera National Park -it is about the size of Rhode Island (USA)- is a microcosm of Africa. There are many lakes, waterfalls, forests, and numerous species of wild animals (elephants, buffalos, lions, topis, gazelles, impalas, baboons, giraffes, leopards, zebras, crocodiles and hippos). The natural sanctuary was founded in 1934…
Rwanda is a tiny country but it has one of the most beautiful scenery on the African continent. Certainly its natural beauty impressed Dian Fossey. In the 1960s and 1970s Rwanda was known as the “Switzerland of Africa”…
Did you know…One of the smallest nations on Earth, Rwanda is the size of Vermont, containing 10,200 square miles (26,338 square kilometers). This African nation is completely landlocked, sharing its borders with Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (ex Zaire). This French-Speaking nation is located in the heart of Africa…
Did you know…The Republic of Rwanda gained full independence in 1962…
Rwanda & the United States
Did you know…The United States maintains close diplomatic relations with Rwanda. President George W. Bush went to Kigali in 2008. He became the second American president to visit Rwanda. In 1998 President Bill Clinton put Rwanda on the map when he arrived in Kigali…
Did you know…Between 1973 and 1990, Rwanda was one of the most peaceful places on the African mainland. During that time, unlike several African republics (e.g. Uganda, Somalia, Chad, Ethiopia), Rwanda did not have civil wars, famines and coups d’etat.
Rwanda was visited by John Paul II in 1990…
Did you know…In 2005 the movie Hotel Rwanda, based on the life of Paul Rusesabagina, was nominated for three Academy Awards -Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Original Screenplay. The film “Gorillas in the Mist”, based on Dian Foossey’s 1983 book, won an Oscar Award in 1989…
Did you know…During the Rwandan War (1994-1995) Paul Rusesabagina saved numerous lives in his hotel. Today his name is famous in Africa.
Mathias Ntawulikura is the most outstanding athlete in the nation. Mathias finished eight in the 10,000 meters at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Atlanta (USA).
In the early 1990s, Agathe Uwilingiyamana, a former Minister of Education, became Prime Minister of Rwanda. She was one of the few ladies to be elected Head of Government in Africa.
Did you know…Rwanda has a population of 10 million people.
Sports and Recreation
Did you know…The Rwandan Olympic Committee sent 10 athletes to the Olympic Games in 1992. The athletes competed in two sports: track & field (7) and cycling (3). Rwanda is an Olympic nation since 1984… Soccer and athletics are the most popular sports in this tiny republic.