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Friday 19th July
Rwanda Information - Page 1
The Republic of Rwanda is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It is bordered by Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda and Tanzania.

Kigali is the capital. Other urban areas are Butare, Gisenyi, Gitarama and Ruhengeri.

Rwanda's terrain consists of savannas, hills, and mountains. Rivers are the Kagera, Mwogo, Nyabarongo and the Ruzizi.

The temperature varies according to altitude: much of Rwanda is temperate.

National Parks in Rwanda are Nyungwe National Park in the southeast, Akagera National Park in the northeast and the the Parc des Volcans in the northwest.

The Parc des Volcans is home to mountain gorillas, made famous by "Gorillas in the Mist". Dr Dian Fossey, who died in 1985, spent many years among these endangered primates. The number of mountain gorillas has risen since Dr Fossey started working at the Karisoke Research Center in the 1960s.

Other animals found in Rwanda include antelopes, buffaloes, chimpanzees, elephants, giraffes and zebras.

Butare was the principal city in Rwanda before Kigali became the capital in 1965. In nearby Nyabisindu the nineteenth century Royal Palace has been restored and now serves as a museum.

Kigali, Rwanda's capital and business centre, is a modern city with low-rise buildings.

The population of Rwanda was estimated at 10,186,060 in 2008.

Kinyarwanda, French and English are official languages. Kiswahili (Swahili) is used in commercial centres.

The majority of Rwandans are Christians. There are some Muslims and followers of indigenous religions.

Beans, cassava, plantains and sweet potatoes are staple foods in Rwanda. Porridge is made from sorghum, millet and maize.

Dairy products are part of the diet. Meat, usually beef and chicken, is eaten. Fish is caught in the lakes.

Vegetables and fruits available include aubergines, spinach, soybeans, avocados, bananas, citrus fruits, mangoes, papayas, passion fruit and pineapples.

Beer, made from bananas or sorghum, is brewed locally. Coffee and tea are grown.

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