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The current flag of Rwanda was officially adopted on October 25, 2001. It was designed an artist and engineer named Alphonse Kirimbenecyo. It is comprised of a double blue stripe with a sun on the right hand side, a yellow stripe and a green one at the bottom. The blue stripe represents happiness and peace. The sun has 24 rays and they symbolise unity, transparency and enlightenment. The yellow stripe represents Rwanda’s mineral wealth and economic development. Finally the green stripe is for the natural resources of the country and overall prosperity.
The previous Rwanda flag made up of vertical stripes and a black ‘R’ in the middle. The colour red and the black are were removed because they represented blood and mourning respectively.
Its design can look like it is being displayed in reverse, but the photos below depict the correct way it is flown.
Updated Oct 9, 2012
You can find Mützig all over Rwanda and it seems very popular. I have no idea why. I found the one bottle of Mützig I drank tasted like pure pig’s swill. Yes, it was cold. Mützig is a pale lager from eastern France. Originally the area was German; hence the Beck’s like bitter taste. This beer has a good reputation in France so I am not sure why it tasted so vile here in Rwanda. Either it’s brewed different or it completely over-rated. I found it left a lingering acidic after-taste. I had to drink a watery Amstel to clear out my palate. It’s brewed here, DRC and Cameroon.
My suggestion? Stick with Primus. It tastes better, has bigger bottles AND is cheaper!
Updated Oct 8, 2012
Driving around Rwanda you will come across one word all the time - Mzungu!!! Shouted by thousands of children who come running out of their huts, along the road, waving at you. Mzungu means translated "White Person" and is not shouted as an insult; but as a friendly gesture welcoming you!
Written Dec 11, 2011
Rwanda was originally a German Colony during the great Euro scramble for Africa in the late 1800’s. Later it became a Belgian colony French and the French language was imposed. In 1994 the Genocide was unleashed and French troops withdrew taking their own nationals with them. The rebuilding of Rwanda was actively supported by The USA and UK and the nation has embraced English as a second language. A taxi driver told me kids now learn English in school. The general view is that English is the language of business and the internet.
It’s not hard to see that Rwanda’s more prosperous neighbours, Uganda and Tanzania speak English. Their much less successful French speaking neighbours are DRC and Burundi. No wonder Rwanda has applied to join the group of Commonwealth countries.
In rural areas and text-book French will still get you around, but English is widely understood. Don’t be surprised if children come up to you in order to practice their English.
Updated Sep 29, 2010
Dirt is good! OK, that’s the slogan the makers of OMO, Unilever, like to use. OMO is the best clothes washing powder on the planet. Especially the version sold here in Rwanda and across Africa. At some point in your travels across Rwanda, probably tracking Gorillas or visiting villages your clothes will get dirty. Possibly filthy. There are not many laundries across Rwanda and in Kigali they love to dry clean everything. Not sure why and it costs you money. For a cheap, superclean of your clothes – you need OMO.
Doing it yourself means by hand and you really do not want to spend endless hours over your bathtub or plastic bucket. You want your mud and grime zapped instantly and wring them out so the everyday hot temperatures can get you back out. To get dirty.
OMO obliterates dirt on contact. It makes whites whiter than when you bought them. I am sure it has some dangerous chemical, but who cares. It makes the job quick and easy.
Available at even the smallest shops. It’s made in nearby Kenya.
Updated Sep 29, 2010
Phone: +254-20-692 2000
Do you have a large plastic container like the one pictured in your room? You better make sure it’s full of water!
To be fair Rwanda is blessed with more than enough rainfall. It is also a growing country where construction is taking place, especially in Kigali. That means from time to time water supplies are cut off. So if you have a container like this – FILL IT! The hotel has given you fair warning. And if there is a lid, put it on so the water doe not evaporate. So if your bath or shower is interrupted you can quickly finish bathing with no problem and get that soap out of your eyes.
Large luxury hotels probably have large storage tanks, so no issue. If you are staying in budget accommodation I would suggest you take some bottled water in with you just in case the water goes off.
** PLEASE NOTE: These photos were taken in 2 different hotels in Kigali
Updated Jan 2, 2010
Hail the King ! King Primus!
Primus is the undisputed heavyweight champion of Rwandan beers. It is a great tasting pale beer originally from DRC (Kinshasa). It has a light refreshing taste and comes in awesome 600 ml (20.3 oz) bottles. You can usually get a Primus of a 330 ml import! The ever-present Primus is a 5% abv lager that is brewed in 4 different countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Burundi and here in Rwanda. Their brewery in Rwanda is located right on the beautiful shores of Lake Kivu. You can even go for a free tour is you ask.
Primus has a very interesting history. The Bralima Brewery was set up on 23 October 1923 as the “Brasserie de Leopoldville” (Kinshasa today). The Belgian colonial authorities were concerned that the local ‘brew’ made too many people sick and a modern brewery was needed to produce a quality adult beverage for the masses. The first beer was produced on 27 December 1926 – Primus was born!
1959 saw the brewing of Primus come to Rwanda. In 1960 DRC obtained independence and Bralima’ shareholders decided to stay. 1973 saw the first mass-modernization of its original brewery. Bralima continued to thrive during the years of economic destruction during the Mobutu years. In 1987 the Heineken Group become the major shareholder of Bralima.
Updated Dec 28, 2009
Pronounced Gachacha, these are the local courts that were set up nationally to deal with the trial of genocide perpertraitors, (and there are thousands) at the village level. Judicial, elders and government representatives make up the tribunal with the defense self represented and judged by the locals. It has been without incident to date but those fearing persecution have sought refuge in neighbouring Burundi and Congo to avoid trial. Foreigners are not allowed to attend for obvious reasons but the billboards are self explanatory
Written Jun 28, 2005
Open water mains are provided every 4 to 5km thruout
rwanda as there is no former sewer or pipeline networks. After school around 4pm everyday in every place the kids go in groups with their yellow plastic containers and line up to purchase for FRw20 (4cents) per vessel WATER. They then proceed to balance one on thier heads and two more carried in hand and someitmes have a baby in tow!!!!!!
The bearers are often no bigger than the containers but the kids of Rwanda (most born after the genocide)
are happy and look forward to this as an outing and social affair..it really is like going to the mall!!
Written Jun 28, 2005
In a country where their are over 300000 orphans some households are headed by elder sibling peers. All are involved in caring and nurturing from an early age and learn from adult example. A common sight is to see infants as old as 2years swaddled with a large colorful cloth on the backs of mothers and older sisters. As in most developing realms young females bear more burdens of society...literally in rwanda
Written Jun 28, 2005
Mountain Gorilla View Lodge Ruhengeri
1 Review and 115 Opinions The hotel has beautiful views of the park, and is close to the start point for the mountain gorilla...
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