The country is highly elevated and is based in the region of African Great Lakes. Its geography is heavily dominated by savanna in its eastern parts and mountains in the west. There are various lakes spread all over the country. Climatic conditions in Rwanda vary from subtropical to temperate, featuring two dry seasons and two rainy seasons every year. Rwandan people are predominantly rural and young. The population density is among the highest in all of Africa.
Situated over a land spanning 26,338 km², Rwanda is considered the 149th-largest country of the world, and 4th-smallest of all the countries situated on the African mainland, only after Swaziland, Djibouti and Gambia. The size of the country can be compared to the other countries like Albania, Haiti and Burundi. The lowest point of the country is situated at the Rusizi River, located 950 metres above the sea level. Majority of the country is situated at a high altitude. Rwanda is landlocked and its exact geographical position is few degrees south of equator. Capital Kigali of Rwanda is right at its center.
The watershed separating the Nile drainage basins and major Congo runs from the north to south of Rwanda, and approximately 20% of Rwanda’s area drains into Congo, and remaining 80% into Nile via Lake Tanganyika and Rusizi River. Nyabarongo is the longest river of the country, rising in its south-west region and flowing towards south-eastern, eastern and northern areas before merging into the Ruvubu for formation of the Kagera. Kagera River then continues its flow towards north alongside the eastern border shared between Rwanda and Tanzania.
The eventual draining of the Nyabarongo-Kagera happens in the Lake Victoria. Its probable source in the Nyungwe forest is believed to be a strong contender for the still-undetermined overall source of the Nile.
As mentioned earlier, there are various lakes spread over the entire Rwandan landscape, with the largest one of them being the Lake Kivu. It occupies the Albertine Rift’s floor throughout its length of the Rwanda’s western border. The maximum depth of Lake Kivu is around 480 metres and it’s recognised as among the 20 deepest lakes all over the world! Other large lakes situated in the country include Rweru, Ihema, Ruhondo, Burerae and Muhazi, with Ihema being the biggest of all the lakes situated in the Akagera National Park’s eastern plains.
The western and central regions of Rwanda are dominated mostly by mountains. These mountains are an integral part of the Albertine Rift Mountains on the sides of the East African Rift’s Albertine branch. The East African Rift runs on the Rwanda’s western border, from north to south. The Virunga volcano chain of the northwest features some of the highest peaks of Rwanda, including the likes of Mount Karisimbi that has the highest point in Rwanda located 4507 metres above the sea level. Rwanda’s western region is a part of the Albertine Rift montane forests with an elevation level of 1500 – 2500 metres. The central region of the country comprises mainly of rolling hills, whereas the eastern border area is all about swamps, plains and savanna.