At this year’s annual World Travel Awards, Rwanda was named Africa’s Leading Destination. The gala ceremony was held in the East African’s capital, Kigali, with “the land of a thousand hills” beating out favourites like Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa.
And it’s no surprise that this first-time contender took the coveted title – here are five reasons to see it for yourself:
See gorillas in their natural habitat
The gorillas of Rwanda will leave you in awe. Gorilla tracking while hiking with expert guides gives wildlife lovers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see some of the 880 gorillas left in the world in their natural habitat.
Walk through the tea plantations
Endless plains of tea leaves grow on the mountain sides of Rwanda. From the art of harvesting to sampling homegrown brews, travellers can explore the world of the country’s biggest export in areas such as Nyungwe National Park, Gisovu and Gisakura.
The Musanze caves
A 90-minute drive from Kigali will take you to the 2km stretch of the Musanze caves which draw travellers and locals from far and wide. Learn about the history of the caves, spot the resident bats and take in the beautiful scenery surrounding the caves.
A wealth of cultural heritage
From the Ethnographic Museum, formerly the National Museum of Rwanda, to the royal palace of the feudal monarchy, the region of Butare in the southern province offers much to explore around the country’s historical and cultural heritage.
Unmatched natural beauty
Rwanda is referred to as the “land of a thousand hills” for good reason. With lush green rolling hills, wildlife and a tropical highland climate, it’s a must-see destination to truly appreciate nature’s wonders.