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A map of RwandaA map of Rwanda Rwanda lies in the Great Lakes region of East Africa. It shares Lake Kivu, on its western border, with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Volcanic mountains, part of the Virunga chain, rise in northern Rwanda. Their lower slopes are covered by forests. Further east, the land levels out to a rolling, hilly plateau covered by savanna. Lying just south of the Equator, Rwanda has a warm, tropical climate, but its high elevation means that it is cooler than other equatorial countries. It has two seasons: rainy and dry. The mountainous west is cooler and often wetter than the rest of the country. Decades of fighting between Rwanda’s Hutu and Tutsi peoples have left it one of the poorest and least-developed countries in the world.

A map of RwandaA map of Rwanda
Welcome to Rwanda
A boy pumps water at a UN Millennium VillageA boy pumps water at a UN Millennium Village


Rwanda is one of Africa’s smallest countries, but over 11 million people live there, making it one of the most densely populated. Most people live in the countryside and work as farmers. There are two main ethnic groups in Rwanda: the Hutu, who make up nearly 85% of the population, and the Tutsi. For centuries, relations between the Hutu and Tutsi have been simmering. In 1994, 800,000 Tutsi (and some Hutu) were killed in a brutal genocide (the mass murder of an entire people). Today Rwanda is a mostly peaceful country but tensions still remain between its people.

Plastic bags are banned in Rwanda.

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