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ABOUT RWANDA

Known affectionately as the "Land of a Thousand Hills," Rwanda has a mountainous landscape that includes the volcanic Virunga range in the northwest, home to what is estimated to be a third of the world's remaining 750 mountain gorillas.

About seven million people squeeze within Rwanda's borders, making it one of the most densely populated countries in Africa. Forests, once extensive, are now concentrated in the western mountains and the Lake Kivu area, and include habitat for golden monkeys, hippos, giraffes, zebras, leopards, crocodiles, and nearly 600 species of birds.

The most biologically diverse habitats lie within three protected areas: Volcanoes National Park, Akagera National Park, and Nyungwe National Park. Nyungwe includes the largest mountain rainforest in Africa and covers around 400 square miles of rugged terrain, ranging in elevation from 5,200–9,680 feet, including tall, closed-canopy forests, bamboo thickets, and open, flower-filled marshes.

Rwanda is known for the genocide of 1994, but it has recovered from those years of turmoil that characterized the nation in the period 1950-1994. Today, under the leadership of President Paul Kagame, Rwanda is peaceful, prosperous and inviting.

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