Photographers Capturing Rwanda's Stunning Landscapeairport_transferbarbathtubbusiness_facilitieschild_activitieschildcareconnecting_roomcribsfree_wifigymhot_tubinternetkitchennon_smokingpetpoolresturantski_in_outski_shuttleski_storagesmoking_areaspastar

Photographers Capturing Rwanda's Stunning Landscape

Construction materials along Lake Kivu | Courtesy of Gaël R. Vande weghe and Philippe Nyirimihigo
Construction materials along Lake Kivu | Courtesy of Gaël R. Vande weghe and Philippe Nyirimihigo
Rwanda’s lush green landscape is the stuff of myths. In the past few years, the country has gained international attention as a must-visit travel destination for its impressive animals, striking volcanoes, and diverse terrain. Philippe Nyirimihigo and Gaël R. Vande weghe, two of Rwanda’s most celebrated photographers, have documented this breathtaking scenery in a book titled This is Rwanda, to be publicly released in 2018.
The convention center during the dry season Courtesy of Gaël R. Vande weghe and Philippe Nyirimihigo

Although photography rarely captures the multifaceted essence of Rwanda, Nyirimihigo and Vande weghe have managed to do just that. Their book creatively highlights the country’s beauty through aerial photography, sharing 145 photographs from their helicopter trips across Rwanda. Nyirimihigo and Vande weghe, as two of the co-founders of the Kigali-based communications agency Illume Creative Studio, have been working on this new book together since 2013. Through challenging weather conditions, including rain and haze, they have flown thousands of miles in partnership with Rwandan helicopter company Akagera Aviation.

Their powerful work, as featured below, will likely become known as an important and insightful collection of photographs documenting Rwanda today.

Mount Muhabura, the westernmost volcano Courtesy of Gaël R. Vande weghe and Philippe Nyirimihigo

Noting Rwanda’s size and the often simplistic international coverage, Vande weghe said “It’s so small [that] a tiny helicopter allows for full country coverage in a [short] trip. However, the country is so diverse, from urban landscapes, dry savannas, mountain rainforests, high altitude volcanoes, and a multitude of lakes, that one book would not actually be enough.”

Nyirimihigo and Vande weghe hope this book will be the first in a series and work as a story telling project to highlight Rwanda’s magnificence.

Many of the images in the book have never before been publicly shared, adding to the excitement of the impending release. “We just wanted to do Rwanda justice,” commented Vande Weghe.

A few zebras in Kirara plain in Akagera National Park during the rainy season Courtesy of Gaël R. Vande weghe and Philippe Nyirimihigo
Island on Lake Kivu around Karongi Courtesy of Gaël R. Vande weghe and Philippe Nyirimihigo
Ruhango on the way to Huye in the Southern Province Courtesy of Gaël R. Vande weghe and Philippe Nyirimihigo
The landscape of the gentle hills of the Eastern Privince in Gahini Courtesy of Gaël R. Vande weghe and Philippe Nyirimihigo
The mature forest of the western valleys in Nyungwe National Park Courtesy of Gaël R. Vande weghe and Philippe Nyirimihigo
Details of the Rugezi swamp Courtesy of Gaël R. Vande weghe and Philippe Nyirimihigo
The countryside east of Kigali Courtesy of Gaël R. Vande weghe and Philippe Nyirimihigo
The solar field of Agahozo Shalom close to Rwamagana in the Eastern Province Courtesy of Gaël R. Vande weghe and Philippe Nyirimihigo
The southern entrance of Akagera National Park Courtesy of Gaël R. Vande weghe and Philippe Nyirimihigo
The northern edge of Lake Kivumba Courtesy of Gaël R. Vande weghe and Philippe Nyirimihigo
The foothills of the Muhororo and the swamps north of Lake Rwanyakizinga in Akagera National Park Courtesy of Gaël R. Vande weghe and Philippe Nyirimihigo
The approach to the volcanoes, as seen from Gishwati forest Courtesy of Gaël R. Vande weghe and Philippe Nyirimihigo
Construction materials along Lake Kivu Courtesy of Gaël R. Vande weghe and Philippe Nyirimihigo