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Rwanda: Geography

Geography Rwanda
Location:
Central Africa, east of Democratic Republic of the Congo
Geographic coordinates:
2 00 S, 30 00 E
Map references:
Africa
Area:
total: 26,338 sq km
water: 1,390 sq km
land: 24,948 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, arable land
Land use:
arable land: 32.43%
permanent crops: 10.13%
other: 57.44% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
40 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
periodic droughts; the volcanic Virunga 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, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography - note:
landlocked; most of the country is savanna grassland with the population predominantly rural

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Source: The CIA World Fact Book 2003

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