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   New tourism slogan: "Rwanda - No genocides since 1994"

05 Dec 2012 02:28 PM   |   3135 clicks   |   Travel + Leisure
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The Stealth Hippopotamus    [TotalFark]  
So, they're due

05 Dec 2012 01:30 PM
gopher321    [TotalFark]  
mojoimage.comView Full Size




Does NOT approve.

05 Dec 2012 01:49 PM
Walker    [TotalFark]  
After all, Rwanda offers cool gorillas that live in the Virunga mountains....

Yeah, that's what Dian Fossey said, then poachers split her head in two with a machete. So I think I'll stay away from there for a while...or forever. Look for gorillas, find poachers, get a splitting headache.

05 Dec 2012 02:18 PM
Millennium     
After all, Rwanda offers cool gorillas that live in the Virunga mountains...

AutoCorrect got to you again, TFA. That's guerillas.

05 Dec 2012 02:30 PM
Arkanaut    [TotalFark]  
Rwanda is actually one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa now, and surprisingly stable given its history (and not just for an African nation).

05 Dec 2012 02:32 PM
Maud Dib     
Heh...article reminded me of all these billboards on IH35 here in Austin..

quefregados.files.wordpress.comView Full Size


Yeah, I believe ya.

05 Dec 2012 02:32 PM
swahnhennessy     
If Rwanda keeps screwing around in the Central African Republic they aren't going to be enjoying their tourist boom much longer.

05 Dec 2012 02:33 PM
Egoy3k     

Arkanaut: Rwanda is actually one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa now, and surprisingly stable given its history (and not just for an African nation).


This.

It's actually a pretty nice place.

05 Dec 2012 02:33 PM
Arkanaut    [TotalFark]  

swahnhennessy: If Rwanda keeps screwing around in the Central African Republic they aren't going to be enjoying their tourist boom much longer.


Are you talking about the Democratic Republic of Congo?

/The other one with the initials

05 Dec 2012 02:34 PM
illannoyin     

Millennium: After all, Rwanda offers cool gorillas that live in the Virunga mountains...

AutoCorrect got to you again, TFA. That's guerillas.


I can only imagine what the mountain's name correct to.

/Vagina

05 Dec 2012 02:36 PM
Nothing To See Here     
♫ ♪♪ ♫ Help me Rwande,
Help Help Me Rwanda . ♫ ♪♪ ♫

05 Dec 2012 02:37 PM
cgraves67     

swahnhennessy: If Rwanda keeps screwing around in the Central African Republic they aren't going to be enjoying their tourist boom much longer.


Here in my CAR
I feel safest of all
I can lock all my doors

05 Dec 2012 02:38 PM
swahnhennessy     

Arkanaut: Are you talking about the Democratic Republic of Congo?

/The other one with the initials


Damn it. Yes. Those are always interchangeable in my head.

05 Dec 2012 02:40 PM
God-is-a-Taco     

swahnhennessy: If Rwanda keeps screwing around in the Central African Republic they aren't going to be enjoying their tourist boom much longer.


If I remember right, some of the very same mercs and other farks that were in Rwanda are in the DRC doing the same thing now.
Some group went there, and the opposing ones followed.

05 Dec 2012 02:43 PM
kwyjibo87     

Millennium: After all, Rwanda offers cool gorillas that live in the Virunga mountains...

AutoCorrect got to you again, TFA. That's guerillas.


www.mattfind.comView Full Size

05 Dec 2012 02:43 PM
Arkanaut    [TotalFark]  

swahnhennessy: Arkanaut: Are you talking about the Democratic Republic of Congo?

/The other one with the initials

Damn it. Yes. Those are always interchangeable in my head.


What do you think, the DRC is going to invade? They don't have their shiat together enough. Why else do you think a country the size of Rwanda can even mess with them in the first place?

//The Democratic Republic of Congo is neither democratic, nor a republic, or of Congo. Discuss.
//The Rwandans, btw, deny any involvement in DRC.

05 Dec 2012 02:44 PM
FLMountainMan     
Or never, if you ask Susan Rice.

05 Dec 2012 02:46 PM
Egalitarian     

Egoy3k: Arkanaut: Rwanda is actually one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa now, and surprisingly stable given its history (and not just for an African nation).

This.

It's actually a pretty nice place.


huh. isn't there still rampant hatred between Hutus and Tutsis? Also, aren't there rebel armies running amok in Congo that could cross back over to Rwanda?

05 Dec 2012 02:51 PM
swahnhennessy     

Arkanaut: What do you think, the DRC is going to invade


More on the lines of the US dropping them. That support has gone a long way in their recovery.

At any rate, I'm rooting for them. That whole region has been so messed up, even by African standards, that it'd be good to see real stability. To the point where a casual observer can begin to remember the differences in countries and not mix them up as "some place steeped in poverty where horrible things are happening".

05 Dec 2012 02:52 PM
Bartleby the Scrivener     

Egoy3k: Arkanaut: Rwanda is actually one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa now, and surprisingly stable given its history (and not just for an African nation).

This.

It's actually a pretty nice place.


They have a hotel there. I think Don Cheadle stayed in it.

05 Dec 2012 02:58 PM
BigNumber12     

Arkanaut: Rwanda is actually one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa now


25.media.tumblr.comView Full Size

05 Dec 2012 03:05 PM
spawn73     

Arkanaut: Rwanda is actually one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa now, and surprisingly stable given its history (and not just for an African nation).


That's because they killed all the people who were keeping them down.

05 Dec 2012 03:14 PM
Arkanaut    [TotalFark]  

FLMountainMan: Or never, if you ask Susan Rice.


Are you talking about the Susan Rice who visits Rwanda every year and has connections all over the country, or is there another Susan Rice out there?

05 Dec 2012 03:21 PM
Somaticasual     
Rwanda: Don't be a pussy, this seems legit..
Rwanda: We have at least one hotel..
Rwanda: It used to be a fish, before the sex change surgery..

05 Dec 2012 03:35 PM
Nothing To See Here     

spawn73: Arkanaut: Rwanda is actually one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa now, and surprisingly stable given its history (and not just for an African nation).

That's because they killed all the people who were keeping them down.



That's all it takes? Interesting. Preppers be prepping.

05 Dec 2012 03:37 PM
cgraves67     

spawn73: Arkanaut: Rwanda is actually one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa now, and surprisingly stable given its history (and not just for an African nation).

That's because they killed all the people who were keeping them down.


So before the genocide the Hutus were all "I bet the Tutsis did this!?"

05 Dec 2012 03:44 PM
anthonix     
Reminds me of:

www.5starhawaiiresorts.comView Full Size


We're not just for leppers anymore!

05 Dec 2012 03:50 PM
leonel     
Would not recommend staying in the Hôtel des Mille Collines

05 Dec 2012 03:54 PM
Bacontastesgood     
Granted, in 2011, tourism brought 900,000 visitors and $250 million to Rwanda

Wow, that's like, more than a Costco. Maybe double. One store.

It's also 2% of their current GDP. Tourism is not going to be the economic engine of that country for a long time.

05 Dec 2012 03:55 PM
Arkanaut    [TotalFark]  

spawn73: Arkanaut: Rwanda is actually one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa now, and surprisingly stable given its history (and not just for an African nation).

That's because they killed all the people who were keeping them down.


Friend of Anders?

05 Dec 2012 04:01 PM
dantheman195     
I heard they also have a hotel there

05 Dec 2012 04:03 PM
Gyrfalcon    [TotalFark]  
Thanks, no, I'll stay away from any place that's within striking distance of the LRA.

05 Dec 2012 04:10 PM
DECMATH     
"Why can't our government departments [support] dancing, shopping and other recreation programs," one tourism official said, "to make visitors spend more?"

Who does this "tourism official" work for, and why is he not [named] in the article?

05 Dec 2012 04:31 PM
the801     
i'd prefer a Holiday in Cambodia.

05 Dec 2012 05:22 PM
BigNumber12     

the801: i'd prefer a Holiday in Cambodia.



My sister got to visit the Killing FIelds about a year ago. Not many places on earth where you can walk around and find human bones, teeth, etc. scattered around. Chilling pictures.

05 Dec 2012 05:38 PM
Mega Steve     

the801: i'd prefer a Holiday in Cambodia.


Don't forget to pack a wife

05 Dec 2012 05:52 PM
joeomi     

leonel: Would not recommend staying in the Hôtel des Mille Collines


I worked in Rwanda for a month last summer and that hotel is now very nice. It would easily count as a luxury hotel in the US. In honesty, downtown Kigali is a great place to stay. The countryside is extremely beautiful and the people were very friendly. They have made so much progress since the genocide that aside from the museums and classes I attended you would never imagine what happend. On that note, the museums and burial areas really brought the scale of true genocide to reality. I'd go back in a heartbeat, no question.

/csb

05 Dec 2012 06:13 PM
Ignorant McNugget     
Why not? The Beatles hung out in Germany 18 years after WWII ended.

05 Dec 2012 10:50 PM
36 Views of Mill Mountain     
My wife and I visited Rwanda just this summer. My friends Neal and Emily are deployed there right now -- she's in the US Foreign Service and works at the embassy. They offered to let us visit and stay with them, and that was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

It was a great experience.

First of all, the government is certainly not democratic, and probably best described as autocratic, but they're trying to make progress, particularly in fighting corruption.

Egalitarian: huh. isn't there still rampant hatred between Hutus and Tutsis? Also, aren't there rebel armies running amok in Congo that could cross back over to Rwanda?


From what I understand after talking with Emily, the government no longer classifies people as Hutu or Tutsi, and there was a serious effort at national reconciliation after the genocide. Apparently, while there are still some tensions, you couldn't accurately describe it as "rampant hatred."

There are rebel armies in the DRC, but nothing that threatens Rwanda as a whole. At times the State Department has advised against travel near Lake Kivu, but most of the country seems to be pretty safe.

We visited two of the three major national parks. Akagera National Park is fairly big, considering the size of the country. We took a boat tour of one of the lakes on day one, stayed overnight at Akagera Game Lodge, and on day two took a driving tour from the south to the north end of the park. We saw elephants, giraffes, hippos, cape buffalo, baboons, monkeys, a few kinds of antelopes, and all sorts of birds. It was pretty spectacular, and I got lots of great wildlife pictures.

Volcanoes National Park is where you can go on the mountain gorilla tours if you have $750 per person to spend. That was a bit steep for our tastes, so we settled for the $50 golden monkey tour. It was a lot of fun, but not an all-day experience like Akagera. Poachers are still a problem, but Emily said that's somewhat coming under control. As you can tell from these prices, Rwanda has figured out how to monetize their wildlife. They know the gorillas bring in a lot of tourist dollars, so they do put some effort into protecting them and fighting off poachers.

Since I don't have much other international travel experience, I can't make many comparisons, but we felt safe the whole time we were there. Of course, you can't drink the water and have to be careful about what you eat, but we managed not to get sick during the week we were there. Rwanda is very hilly and relatively high-altitude, so mosquitoes and malaria aren't as much of an issue as some other African countries, but we still took anti-malarials.

The country is very densely populated -- about 11 million people in an area the size of Maryland. Since most people are farmers, even when you leave the cities & drive to the wildlife parks, you see people EVERYWHERE. Just about all of the arable land is being farmed, even steep hillsides. Lots of banana trees, plantains, cassava, and so on. We saw signs of malnutrition here and there in the countryside, but not starvation. There are a lot of needy people, but it's not a Sally Struthers commercial.

The business climate in Rwanda is apparently better than a lot of Africa -- perhaps the anti-corruption efforts are working out. We brought back some great Rwandan tea and some handcrafts that we probably paid way too much for. There weren't price tags on anything at the craft market we visited, so we haggled the prices at each stall. We learned afterwards that the vendors love seeing cars with diplomatic plates pull into the parking lot... That's okay, we still didn't spend a ridiculous amount, and I'm glad they're getting their economy in order, even if it means overcharging the occasional mzungu.

Rwandan food wasn't anything particularly distinctive in most respects. We ended up eating at more "other" ethnic restaurants (Chinese, Indian, Italian) than anything particularly native. We did try some local cuisine. The goat kabobs were reasonably tasty, and there were some really good little bananas and other fruits. And then there's ugali... Think of a dumpling of some sort, but make it without any salt, butter, or other fat. Now make it even blander. Ugali is an almost perfect absence of flavor. I didn't think it was possible for food to be that tasteless until I tried it.

Yes, overall, our visit was very enjoyable. But the genocide still hangs over the country, and we felt we had to visit one of the memorials...

We went to Ntarama Genocide Memorial. There are a few memorials like this scattered around the country. Keep in mind that these aren't sterile, abstract monuments, but what was left after Really Bad Things happened. The one in Ntarama, for example, was a church that had served as sanctuary during previous ethnic strife. During the genocide, however, the Hutu attackers no longer considered churches sanctuaries, so they blew holes in the walls with grenades and slaughtered everyone there -- about 5,000 men, women, and children. I won't tell you all of the details; they're absolutely awful.

To create the memorial, they essentially built a metal roof over the church and other buildings to keep them protected from the elements since there are gaping holes in the walls. You walk into the church and immediately see shelves of bones, some of which show obvious signs of violence. There are also stacks of dirty, bloodstained clothing and several coffins. On the altar is a quilt embroidered with Kinyarwandan words that translate as:

If you knew me, if you knew yourself, then you would not kill me.

There's also a memorial garden and a bench where you can sit and contemplate what you just saw. We didn't make use of that -- my wife was already in tears and I was close myself. We didn't stay much longer, but that experience has really stayed with me. There's not much that keeps me awake at night, but sometimes, thinking about what happened at Ntarama...

We're so lucky here in America -- our political opponents don't want to kill us. Yet we still compare each other to mass murderers like the Nazis, or communists, or the Taliban. Fark that. After seeing a place where that kind of killing actually happened, I no longer have any tolerance for such nonsense. My political opponents here in America aren't evil; they just disagree with me. I can accept that while still vigorously debating the issues we face.

So if you get a chance to visit Rwanda, by all means, go! Yeah, there's some depressing stuff, but overall the country seems to be doing very well.

06 Dec 2012 12:34 AM
Lorax     

36 Views of Mill Mountain: My wife and I visited Rwanda just this summer....


Thank you for posting that, I'm sure it took a while to type, but it was appreciated. Occasionally, it is nice to get something nice, informative and straightforward here on Fark. Always a bit of a surprise.

06 Dec 2012 02:28 AM
SharkaPult     

36 Views of Mill Mountain: My wife and I visited Rwanda just this summer. ...Snip...


Another person saying "Thank you" for typing that. It was like watching a good movie. Made you smile, made you sad, made you think.

06 Dec 2012 09:22 AM
36 Views of Mill Mountain     

Lorax: 36 Views of Mill Mountain: My wife and I visited Rwanda just this summer....

Thank you for posting that, I'm sure it took a while to type, but it was appreciated. Occasionally, it is nice to get something nice, informative and straightforward here on Fark. Always a bit of a surprise.


You're welcome -- I knew I was going on a bit long, but I wanted to convey that there's a lot other than the genocide to say about Rwanda. I'm glad a couple of you enjoyed hearing my vacation story.

06 Dec 2012 03:34 PM
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