Rwanda named 3rd greenest destination in the world, Tanzania's Chumbe island also makes top 20 cut

Costa Rica scooped top position on the list, followed by Ecuador, then Rwanda. The other African entrant was Chumbe Island in Tanzania

RWANDA has been ranked among top 20 world greenest places for 2015, according to World Travel Guide, an international travel guide for adventurous travellers. 

The global tourist guide on Tuesday released a list of 20 destinations in the world that are on the path to environmental enlightenment from self-sufficient villages to pioneering national parks.  

According to the web portal, Rwanda has been ranked 3rd globally. 

Costa Rica scooped top position on the list, followed by Ecuador, Rwanda, Uruguay, Brazil, Italy, Switzerland, Finland, Pitcairn Islands, the Isle of Eigg of Scotland, Bhutan, Sweden, Australia, Copenhagen, Chumbe Island in Tanzania, Britain, Iceland, Canada Azores Islands in Portugal and Portland, Oregon in that order. 

Chumbe Island.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Yamina Karitanyi, head of Tourism and Conservation at Rwanda Development Board, said that the ranking provides confidence to travellers coming to Rwanda especially tourists. 

“In Rwanda we have much more to offer to tourists beyond the national parks, we have beautiful green scenery and we are proud of that. We are committed to showcase Rwanda’s beauty to the world, ” she said. 

According to the Travel Guide, Rwanda has excellent eco-credentials and the country has banned plastic bags – which makes it one of the cleanest nations on the planet. “But that’s just the tip of the eco iceberg. Thanks to its conservation efforts, Rwanda’s endangered mountain gorillas are thriving, and there are also plans to reintroduce lions and rhinos to Akagera National Park later this year,” says the continental guide. 

Pack a litter bag

“If you’re visiting Rwanda on the last Saturday of the month, then you better pack a litter picker. Why? Because your trip will coincide with Umuganda (Community work), a day of national housekeeping when every citizen (including the President) goes out to clean the country”. 

Last year, the Central African nation hosted a total number of about 1.22 million visitors, compared to around 1.122 million in the previous year, an annual increase of 97,000 visitors.   

Visitors from the US were the most at 24,488, followed by India with 13,008 visitors, then the United Kingdom with 12,320, Belgium with 8,733 and Germany with 8,228 visitors. RDB has been trying to diversify its tourism sector by promoting Rwanda as a destination for business travellers, through its Meetings, Incentives Conferences and Events (MICE) initiative. 

In 2014, the tourism industry generated revenue receipts worth $304. 9 million.

Tourist sites in Rwanda include mountain gorillas, canopy walk, national museums, Lake Kivu, bird watching, Congo Nile trail, Akagera and Nyungwe National parks, culture, among others.

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