Winner of the 2021 Peace Corps Writers Award for Best Travel Book

by Steve Kaffen (Russia)


Rwanda is one of Africa’s smallest and most densely populated countries, and one of its most diverse. Nicknamed “Land of A Thousand Hills,” Rwanda is blanketed with rolling farmland that produces some of Africa’s best coffee and tea. Volcanoes National Park is home to mountain gorillas in the higher elevations and golden monkeys down below, while the Nyungwe National Park rainforest contains playful black-and-white colobus monkeys and sources of both the Nile and Congo Rivers. Close encounters with the gorillas and monkeys on treks led by park rangers are among Africa’s exhilarating wildlife experiences.

Throughout the country are memorials to the victims of the genocide in spring 1994, during which up to a million residents, largely of the Tutsi ethnic group, were massacred by ethnic Hutu extremists. Offsetting the trauma that still exists is the resilience of Rwanda’s warm and outgoing population. Their desire for stability and solidarity is exemplified by “umaganda,” a morning of public service on the last Saturday of the month when all Rwandans engage in volunteer work for the betterment of their communities.

Steve Kaffen (Russia 1994—96)

Join Steve on a revealing journey through Rwanda. The book contains, in addition to descriptive narrative, over 150 original photos of Rwanda’s landscapes, lifestyles, cultures, and up-close wildlife encounters.

Rwanda and the Mountain Gorillas
Steve  Kaffen (Russia 1994-96)
Independently published
May 2021
$3.99 (Kindle)


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