The Republic of Rwanda ; Kinyarwanda pronunciation Rgwanda, known as the Land of a Thousand Hills, is a landlocked country located in the Great Lakes region of eastern-central Africa. Rwanda is geographically, a very small African country, comprising of about 26,000 square kilometers in size. Yet, it is a richly endowed country with an amazing variety and diversity of natural beauty, wildlife species, and diverse topographic sceneries that are both panoramic and a beauty to the beholder.
Although close to the equator, the country has a cool temperate climate due to its high elevation. The terrain consists mostly of grassy uplands and gently rolling hills. It is the home of the rare mountain gorillas, huge troops of chimpanzees, the rare but cute Golden Monkeys, 13 different species of Monkeys, savannah wildlife species, over 400 bird species, numerous lakes and rivers, unaccountable number of hills, and the majestic dormant volcanic mountains, some of them towering over 4,500 meters above sea level.
Rwanda has received considerable international attention due to its 1994 genocide, in which an estimated 800,000 people were killed. Since then the country has made a recovery and is now considered as a model for developing countries. In 2009 a CNN report labeled Rwanda as Africa's biggest success story, having achieved stability, economic growth (average income has tripled in the past ten years) and international integration.
The capital, Kigali, is the first city in Africa to be awarded the Habitat Scroll of Honor Award in the recognition of its "cleanliness, security and urban conservation model." In 2008, Rwanda became the first country to elect a national legislature in which a majority of members were women.