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Zebras in Akagera National Park. Photo: Getty Images

Rwanda, Zimbabwe named best places to visit in Africa in 2017

By Staff Reporter, TNR

Condé Nast Traveler has named Rwanda its second-best destination for travellers to Africa in 2017. The American luxury and lifestyle travel magazine has ranked Rwanda as No. 14 on its “Best Places to Travel in 2017” list, behind 13th-place Zimbabwe, the only other African country on Condé Nast Traveler’s list.

Rwanda, whose tourism has enjoyed an upward trajectory for the past decade, makes it to this list because “of one of the most anticipated hotel openings on the continent.”

“In June 2017,” Condé Nast Traveler says, “Wilderness Safaris’ Bisate Lodge will open in an eroded volcanic cone, just a short drive to the entrance of Volcanoes National Park, where visitors can see the critically endangered mountain gorilla.

“It’s also a prime example of a safari lodge making a firm commitment to conservation and community development. The hotel will have its own cooperative farm, tree plantation, and a number of educational initiatives around protecting endangered species.”

That aside, Rwanda is also being recognised for the safety and cleanness of the capital Kigali and the “speed at which it has grown into a major attraction for foreign investment.”

“It’s all the more astonishing considering the country was the site of one of the worst human tragedies in history, just 22 years ago, a chapter that instead of ignoring, the country stares right in the face, through its museums and education,” Condé Nast Traveler says.

For Zimbabwe, a new $150 million airport in Victoria Falls, capable of welcoming 1.5 million people a year aboard massive passenger jets, is only one of several reasons the country appears on this list.
“The country is building up its tourism infrastructure despite—and, sometimes, in spite of—years of economic downturn and authoritarian governance,” Condé Nast Traveler says.

Canada tops Condé Nast Traveler’s 17 best places to visit in 2017 because its “cities are truly having a moment. Montreal is redefining itself as a food city worth the flight (it’s only an hour in the air from NYC). Toronto is taking the Iceland approach and encouraging travelers to extend their layover via AirCanada’s new free up-to-seven-day stay. And the Rocky Mountaineer, a train that winds from Vancouver to Jasper without Wi-Fi, might just be the world’s best tech detox.”

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