Members of the diplomatic community in Rwanda have praised the breathtaking tourist attractions in the country’s southwestern regions, especially the Nyungwe National Park which they toured on Friday.
“Nyungwe Forest. Just wow!” the British High Commissioner to Rwanda, Jo Lomas, tweeted after the trip.
Rwanda’s Foreign Minister Dr Richard Sezibera and State Minister for East African Community affairs Amb. Olivier Nduhungirehe accompanied the diplomats on the tour.
The diplomats trek in Nyungwe National Park on Friday.
This is the fourth Diplomatic Up-Country Excursion for Heads of Diplomatic and Consular Missions as well as regional and international organisations accredited to Rwanda, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.
Amb. Jenny Ohlsson, the Swedish envoy to Rwanda, described the experience as “fun”.
“Fun & peaceful day in the Nyungwe forest in Rwanda as about 20 ambassadors from Kigali hiked the trails together with @RwandaMFA & learnt about eco-tourism, community support etc. I won’t feel my legs tomorrow after finally reaching that waterfall - but totally worth it!” she posted on her Twitter account.
The diplomats listen to a guide during their tour of Nyungwe National Park.
In Nyungwe, the diplomats experienced the famous Canopy Walk and visited the Kamiranzovu Trail and waterfalls. Some of the envoys posted photographs of themselves and their colleagues inside the thick vegetation of the tropical rainforest, teeming with wildlife including hundreds of rare bird species, primates, among others.
“Foreign Minister @rsezibera is leading Ambassadors on a tour of some of the beauties of #Rwanda. First stop the amazing Nyungwe Forest,” Amb. Lomas tweeted early Friday.
After a fun walk in @NyungwePark along a trail, members of the Diplomatic Corps discover the magnificent #Kamiranzovu waterfalls, reads part of a tweet from the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs and Cooperation, which it accompanied with a photo of some of the envoys with the waterfalls in the background.
Photos of the envoys having fun on the canopy and other sites inside the park circulated on different platforms.
The visit comes against the backdrop of misplaced travel advisories by a few countries that urged their citizens to exercise caution visiting southwestern Rwanda, as a result of isolated incursions on the area near Burundi border several months ago.
A group calling itself Forces de Libération Nationale (FNL), an armed outfit linked to Paul Rusesabagina and the incarcerated Callixte Nsabimana claimed responsibility for the attacks, in which some residents lost their lives, sustained injuries or had their properties looted by the militia.
Rwanda Defence Force later pursued the attackers and flushed them out of the forest.
Nsabimana has since been arrested and was yesterday paraded before the media. He is expected to appear in court any time soon, with the prosecution having received his case file from Rwanda Investigation Bureau on Friday.
He faces several charges, including formation of an irregular armed group, complicity to commit terrorist acts, conspiracy and incitement to commit terrorist acts, taking persons hostage, murder, and looting.
The diplomats’ tour of Nyungwe National Park is part of a three-day Diplomatic Up-Country Excursion, which will also see the envoys visit other destinations in Western and Northern provinces with a focus on wildlife health, environmental sustainability, tourism, community education, according to the ministry.
The ministry said the tour was an “opportunity to explore the diverse splendours of Rwanda, through educational and physical approaches to extend and enrich their knowledge and experience (about the country).”
“It will be an occasion for Heads of Mission to get firsthand information on the progress achieved by local entities, and a way of building and developing cooperation between provinces and countries, regional and international organisations accredited to Rwanda,” it added.