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Rwanda Geography

    Location: Central Africa, east of Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Geographic coordinates: 2 00 S, 30 00 E

    Map references: Africa

    Area:
    total: 26,340 sq km
    land: 24,950 sq km
    water: 1,390 sq km

    Area—comparative: slightly smaller than Maryland

    Land boundaries:
    total: 893 km
    border countries: Burundi 290 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 217 km, Tanzania 217 km, Uganda 169 km

    Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

    Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

    Climate: temperate; two rainy seasons (February to April, November to January); mild in mountains with frost and snow possible

    Terrain: mostly grassy uplands and hills; relief is mountainous with altitude declining from west to east

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Rusizi River 950 m
    highest point: Volcan Karisimbi 4,519 m

    Natural resources: gold, cassiterite (tin ore), wolframite (tungsten ore), methane, hydropower

    Land use:
    arable land: 35%
    permanent crops: 13%
    permanent pastures: 18%
    forests and woodland: 22%
    other: 12% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 40 sq km (1993 est.)

    Natural hazards: periodic droughts; the volcanic Birunga mountains are in the northwest along the border with Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Environment—current issues: deforestation results from uncontrolled cutting of trees for fuel; overgrazing; soil exhaustion; soil erosion; widespread poaching

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Nuclear Test Ban
    signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

    Geography—note: landlocked; predominantly rural population

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)