Rwanda, also called the ‘land of a thousand hills’, is in the Great Lakes region of Africa – and for a good reason too! Its border with the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west is defined by the huge Lake Kivu, a turquoise paradise and one of the few lakes in Africa where it is possible to swim.

The resort towns of Kibuye and Cyangugu Gysenyi benefit from magnificent views of the lake. Then there’s the Volcanoes National Park on the north western border, home to one of the last colonies of mountain gorillas. Once you’ve got your permit and a guide in tow, you can set off on an expedition to meet these amazing creatures.

Two other national parks well worth a visit are Akagera to the east and Nyungwe to the south. The first is an animal and bird shelter, a stretch of savannah where you can also spot antelopes, zebras, hippos, hyenas, buffalo and giraffes in breath-taking settings. Nyungwe Park, which borders Burundi, is a forest reserve home to some incredible plant life, including orchids and thousand year-old trees. River Rukarara, considered to be one of the sources of the Nile, flows through it.

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