‘A country rebuilt by women’

After the genocide, over 70% of the population in Rwanda was female. Today, may people say that Rwanda is a country rebuilt by women.

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After celebrating International Women’s Day, it felt fitting to shine a light on female empowerment in Rwanda. For example, did you know that women in power at a leadership level has resulted in the highest female representation in parliament anywhere in the world?

During the production of Beyond A Thousand Hills, we spent time with inspiring Rwandan women, across all levels of society, witnessing first-hand the cascading effect of female empowerment.

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From witnessing well-organised and creative women’s co-operatives along the Congo Nile Trail in rural Rwanda, through to our dealings with the Rwandan Development Board in Kigali and the countless female AEC entrepreneurs we visited and interviewed. Rwanda champions women’s rights far better than any country we’ve ever visited.

While you think about and appreciate all the wonderful women in your life, spend a moment to take a look at how this tiny country, nestled in the heart of East Africa is demonstrating a truly progressive and impactful approach to gender equality.

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To meet and hear about many of the wonderful Rwandan women we met, pick up a copy of Beyond A Thousand Hills on Amazon. All profits are being donated to support local Rwandan entrepreneurs.




Tour Du Rwanda

This past week has seen hundreds of professional cyclists hit the Rwandan roads, as the country celebrates one of the biggest sporting events in the annual calendar – the Tour Du Rwanda.

Now one of the top three races on the African continent, the Tour welcomes riders from across Africa, as well as top teams from Europe and the USA. The challenge must be one of the most gruelling cycling races in the world, as riders take on nearly 1000km of road, winding across Rwanda’s scenic hills, over eight gruelling days.

The Beyond A Thousand Hills team were lucky to spend time with the Rwandan cycling team and their founder, Jock Boyer (an ex pro cyclist the and the first American to race in the Tour De France) while producing the book. While sadly they weren’t in Rwanda to witness the Tour first hand, Beyond A Thousand Hills includes a series of wonderful photographs from guest photographer, Skyler Bishop.

Cycling 1
Photo credit – Skyler Bishop
Cycling 3
Photo credit – Skyler Bishop

If you’re a passionate cyclist, why not check out the Tour Du Rwanda next year! It’s quite a time to visit this charismatic country!

We also recommend reading the best selling book – Land Of Second Chances (The Impossible Rise Of Rwanda’s Cycling Team) by author Tim lewis.

Tim has been a great friend to the Beyond A Thousand Hills project, given the following endorsement of the book:

‘It’s always a struggle to convey the jarring, unexpected beauty of Rwanda, but Cate and John Gunn have done exactly that. Beyond A Thousand Hills is full of sumptuous images and inspiring stories’


In other news, we’re excited to announce that Beyond A Thousand Hills is now available to purchase on Amazon, for UK and European customers. Please check the book out on the link below and if you already have a copy, please feel free to leave a review!

Check out Beyond A Thousand Hills on Amazon UK

We’re also proud that the book has been covered in Travel Africa Magazine this last week! You can read a short interview with author – John Gunn, on the link below.

Check out Beyond A Thousand Hills in Travel Africa Magazine






Pioneering Conservation in Akagera

While producing Beyond A Thousand Hills, the team visited Akagera National Park multiple times. The chance to spend some time in Rwanda’s great wilderness was always a highlight.

Zebra Heard

Located on Rwanda’s north-easter border with Tanzania and run by African Parks, the 112,000-hectare Akagera National Park now boasts all of Africa’s big five, after the re-introduction of 18 black Rhinos in early 2018.

Lonely Elephant

The park was devastated during the Rwandan Civil war in the 1990s, with much of the land reallocated as farmland for returning refugees. Over the last decade, African Parks have worked closely with the local population, building a long term and sustainable model for park management.

While the Pioneering Eco-Tourism chapter in Beyond A Thousand Hills beautifully showcases a selection of the parks wonderful wild inhabitants, it’s enriched by an inspiring and informative essay from Sarah Hall, tourism and marketing manager at Akagera National Park.

Well worth a read, Sarah highlights and brings to life a selection of the brilliant conservation initiatives that are currently in place. Ranging from high-tech wildlife tracking, to community engagement initiatives centred around the re-introduction of the Park’s famous Lions.

Lions of Akagera (Photo Credit: Skyler Bishop)

Order a copy of Beyond A Thousand Hills to find out more (or pick one up at the Park souvenir shop) and if you haven’t yet stepped foot in Akagera National Park, the opening of the new luxury Magashi Bush Camp (run by Wilderness Safaris), opening this Spring is a great excuse for a visit!


Images from Wilderness Safaris


Cricket, Dancers and Lions!

The Beyond A Thousand Hills team were fortunate enough to fly out to Kigali last week, to attend the opening of the new international Cricket Stadium in Kigali.
The new stadium has made headlines across the globe and attracted interest from some of the biggest names in sport. The team couldn’t miss the chance to capture and include the opening ceremony in the upcoming photography book, Beyond A Thousand Hills.
Joined by the likes of Michael Vaughan and Sam Billings, President Kagame officially opened the stadium alongside project director Alby Shale. Once the rain had cleared (playing cricket in the rainy season was always going to be a challenge!) The one thousand plus crowd were treated to a captivating Twenty20 celebrity cricket match!
While the opening ceremony offered great sporting entertainment in a world class venue, the legacy of the stadium has been designed to bring education, healthcare and reconciliation to Rwanda, as part of the excellent Cricket Builds Hope initiative.
As well as attending the ceremony, the Beyond A Thousand Hills team kept to a busy schedule, including hosting a charity print sale at the Heaven Restaurant and working with official project sponsor, Akagera Aviation, to photograph Akagera National Park’s beautiful and diverse wildlife, including the recently introduced Lions.
Finally, the team continued to interview a range of local Rwandan partners for inclusion in the book, as part of the creation of a uniquely inside-out perspective on the country.
Book production remains in full swing as the team head back to the UK!
As pre-orders for the book continue to flow in, we have limited availability for the first print run, scheduled for Spring 2018. If you’d like to be included, please get in touch at

A First Look!

Greetings from Kigali!

The Beyond A Thousand Hills team have just touched back down in Rwanda and we have lots to report!

We’re excited to share that book production is going well and the majority of chapters have been created. We’re incredibly happy with the look and feel of the book and we have been working hard with our London based design team to produce a traditional photography book with a modern Rwandan twist. We can’t wait to share it with you.

To give you a flavour of what’s coming, we’ve included a couple of spreads from the book below!



In our determination to create a book of the highest quality, production has been extended by 8-12 weeks, and the Beyond A Thousand Hills photography book will now be published in February/March 2018.

If you’d like to pre-order a copy of the book and be included in the first print run, please get in touch on

Throughout the journey of the Beyond A Thousand Hills project, we’ve worked hard to ensure a social purpose remains at the heart of the book. Supporting the African Entrepreneur Collective (AEC) is a big part of the project and this coming Friday 27th October, the team will be hosting a Beyond A Thousand Hills charity print sale.

Profits from the sale will be donated to the AEC to help them continue their great work with local Rwandan Entrepreneurs. If you’re Kigali based, please do come and see us at the Heaven Restaurant in Kigali at any point between 3-9:30pm on Friday!

We really can’t wait to share all of our work with you all!

John & Cate

Exciting Times…

…for the Beyond A Thousand Hills project

The Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign was successful and the project reached all of its stretch goals, ending up 150% funded. A huge shout out to all of our backers for believing in and supported the project, thank you.

We’ve already had over 200 books ordered and continue to be humbled by the interest shown in the project.


Production of the book is now well underway as we work towards a Christmas publication deadline. Our design team is currently sinking their teeth into the first three chapters and we’ll share some taster pages with you as soon as we have them.


General interest in the book has also increased over the last couple of months and we’ve had queries from a number of airlines, who are keen to feature Beyond A Thousand Hills in their in-flight magazines. We’re currently piecing together some short photography essays and if you’re flying into East Africa later this year, you may well see us on-board!

While production is ongoing, we’re excited to be flying out to Kigali next month. While in town, we’ll be hosting a Beyond A Thousand Hills print sale on 27th October and we’re currently taking a limited number of pre-orders that we’ll be flying over from London. If you’d like a signed, framed and mounted print, please find out more here.


While in Rwanda, the team will also be attending the opening ceremony of the new National Cricket stadium, as well as trekking up north to photograph the newly opened Bisate Lodge, run by the luxury Safari Company, Wilderness Safaris.

We’ll keep you updated during the run up to publication and while we’re in Rwanda!

Cate & John

Beyond A Thousand Hills with Cricket Builds Hope


We were privileged to have spent the evening at the Cricket Builds Hope fundraiser last night at the Oval, London.

The Rwandan Cricket Stadium Foundation’s mission is to use cricket to promote reconciliation by constructing and managing the first international standard cricket facility in Kigali, Rwanda. The facility will be non-profit and will operate a sport for all policy to ensure that Rwandans from all backgrounds can have access to the countries fastest growing sport.

Whilst a fantastic speech by David Cameron kicks off a successful night for hundreds of supporters, Beyond A Thousand Hills images from our upcoming book are exhibited to celebrate contemporary Rwanda.


Rwanda’s cricket captain, Eric.


This April the Beyond A Thousand Hills Team were shown around the stadium by Rwanda’s incredibly humble and inspiring cricket captain Eric.


The ground is currently under construction on a 4.5 hectare plot on the outskirts of Kigali.



The iconic stadium in the making is set among incredible scenery with stunning views. We could almost hear the excited crowds on a warm afternoon.


The stadium is set to be completed in October with a grand opening in Kigali. We’re excited to have captured images of the progress so far and are looking forward to attending the opening for an exciting feature in our upcoming book.

Please visit the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation website for more information on the project and how to donate. Help raise the final funds required to complete the project and become part of Rwanda’s future.

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To pre order a book or other rewards visit our crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter.  We have already exceeded our initial crowdfunding target and the book is officially in production. Any additional funds will help market the project internationally,  sharing a new narrative for Rwanda across the globe.

Opening Night!

The project kicked into gear last week, as we hosted the opening night of the Beyond A Thousand Hills Photography Exhibition in Westminster, London.

Over 150 people turned out to see a carefully curated and captioned visual narrative, bringing to life contemporary Rwanda and the inspiring people and projects changing the face of the nation.

Beyond A Thousand Hills Exhibition 2

Beyond A Thousand Hills Exhibition 1

During the event we also officially launched the Beyond A Thousand Hills Kickstarter campaign.

Over the next 2 months, we’ll be attempting to raise £4,500 in order to print and publish the book. One week in, and we’ve already raised over 40% of the funds, but it’s early days and if you’re interested in supporting the project, we have a wide selection of great rewards to choose from.

Beyond A Thousand Hills Post Cards and Prints


Beyond A Thousand Hills Coffee Table Book 


Beyond A Thousand Hills Framed Prints


Beyond A Thousand Hills Photography Exhibition Opening Reception


We’re excited to be launching our unique photography exhibition on contemporary Rwanda at the Impact Hub Westminster on Monday 27th March.

Join us for the opening reception of Beyond A Thousand Hills from 6:30pm.

As we work on our book ‘Beyond A Thousand Hills’ the exhibition explores the unique approach to entrepreneurship and innovation in modern day Rwanda. We also look at other untold stories changing the face of the nation.

We’ll be heading back out to Rwanda to photograph and document some new and exciting innovations and projects in April.

Follow our progress here as well as on our Facebook page:

Please register for the event here

6:30pm: Welcome Drinks

7:30pm: Photographer’s Talk

8:30pm: Drinks & Exhibition

We hope to see you there!