|King's traditional palace, Butare|
Photo: Shayera Dark
The East African country of Rwanda truly lives up to its ‘Land of a thousand hills’ nickname. Enveloping Kigali, the nation’s capital, and beyond, are verdant, terraced hills standing, in juxtaposition with clear, blue skies, as proof of nature’s ethereal beauty. The general rule that nature invariably yields to human settlement and urban development doesn’t seem to hold true in Rwanda. On the hills and between them, concrete and nature co-exist like commensals with no apparent sign of a struggle.
One striking characteristic of Kigali is its spotless streets and roads. Public bins are present on street corners, and thanks to the 2008 ban on non-biodegradable plastic bags, gutters flow unobstructed. What’s more, the mandatory sanitation exercise, Umuganda, on the last Saturday of every month, has no doubt helped Kigali claim its spot as Africa’s cleanest city.
Another distinguishing feature of the city is the absence of mammoth traffic jams common in large cities across Africa, making touring the city in a taxi or on one of the ubiquitous motorbikes a breeze.
As a relatively small country, Rwanda’s areas of interest are in close proximity to each other. So if you have less than 24 hours on your hands, why not take advantage and visit these places. Read more here.