Rwanda is a small, land locked country surrounded by Uganda in the north, Tanzania in the East, Burundi in the south and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to the west and North West. It lies on the East African plateau, with the divide between the water systems of the Nile and DRC rivers passing in a north-south direction through the western part of the country.
The land drops sharply to Lake Kivu – west of the divide in the Great African Rift Valley; to the east, the land falls gradually across the central plateau – its grassy highlands are the core areas of settlement of Rwanda’s population – to the swamps and lakes on the country’s eastern border.
In the northwest, on the border with DRC, are the volcanic Virunga Mountains; the highest peak, Mount Karisimbi (14,870 ft) is snowcapped. Lake Kivu, 4,700 feet above sea level, drains into Lake Tanganyika, through the sharply descending Ruzizi River. The Kagera River, which forms much of Rwanda’s eastern border, flows into Africa’s largest water mass – Lake Victoria.
Size: 26,338 km².
Time: +2 GMT.
Climate: Most parts of Rwanda receive in excess of 1000 mm of rainfall. Temperatures range from f 25-30°C during the day and 15° at night throughout the year. Two rain seasons are experienced in Rwanda and include the short rains between September and December and the long rains between February to June. The dry months are January, July, and August to mid-September.
Currency: The Rwanda Franc (both coin and paper) is the unit of currency used. Money exchange is done in bureau de change, banks and some hotels.
Banking: Banks are open from 8 am -5 pm on weekdays (with a lunch break between 12 noon and 2 pm) while on Saturday they open from 8 am -12 noon.
Languages: French, English and Kinya-rwanda are the official languages though Kiswahili just as in the other East African Countries is also used.
Electricity: 230/240 volts at 50Hz.
1 January – New Year
28 January – Democracy Day
Good Friday / Easter Monday
7 April – Genocide Memorial Day
1 May – Labour Day
1 July – Independence Day
4 July – National Liberation Day
1 August – Harvest Festival
15 August – Assumption Day
8 September – Culture Day
25 September – Republic Day
1 October – Heroes Day
1 November – All Saints Day
25 December – Christmas Day
26 December – Boxing Day