Although known predominantly for the gorillas, the outstandingly beautiful country of Rwanda has plenty to offer new and returning visitors. These are just a few of the reasons why it has been in the headlines recently, and why you should be putting it at the top of your destination list.
The endangered mountain gorillas of Rwanda are the primary attraction to the country, with only 880 left in the wild. The plight of these intelligent creatures captured the heart of renowned American celebrity Ellen deGeneres thanks to the work of Dian Fossey. As a birthday present, she was gifted the Ellen deGeneres Wildlife Fund by wife Portia de Rossi with the aim of continuing the work Dian Fossey started. Located next to the Volcanoes National Park, the campus will inspire and educate local communities and tourists, engage scientific and conservation trailblazers to share knowledge and provide a training ground for a new wave of African scientists committed to conservation.
It seems Rwanda is popular among the celebrities of the world. UK Premier League football team, Arsenal, are also ATTA’s first tourism partner. Hoping to improve on the 1.3 million visitors in 2017, the deal will highlight Rwanda’s tourism offerings, such as the national parks and wildlife. All of the first team, under-23s and Arsenal Women’s will have the new ‘Visit Rwanda’ logo featured on the left sleeve at every match once the new season starts this August. During this three-year partnership, players from all teams and club coaches will also visit the country to support the development of the game for boys and girls in the country.
Although the honeymoon destination has not been fully confirmed by the royal couple, Prince Harry and Meghan Merkle have a mutual love for Africa and wildlife which might see Rwanda as their post-wedding break choice. The new Duke and Duchess of Sussex have previously visited, but with plans to expand the Volcanoes National Park and open a new luxury lodge, they may have a reason to return sooner rather than later.
Thanks to the reasons listed above, Rwanda is creeping up the hotlist of countries to visit. In anticipation of its improved popularity, the new luxury lodge, Nyungwe House is due to open next spring – the modern architecture a striking contrast to its lush, mountainous setting in Nyungwe Forest. This 22-bedroom building is positioned perfectly to visit the neighbouring gorillas, go biking in the hills or kayak across Lake Kivu.