Rwanda 100 Franc 1989 banknote front (2), featuring zebras
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Rwanda Zebras

Art from Rwanda 100 Francs Banknote, Year 1989 – Face and Back
closeup detail of  Rwanda 100 Francs Banknote, Year 1989 front, featuring zebra
detail from Rwanda (1989) 100 francs banknote

Zebras are beloved in Africa for their beauty.  They are very social roaming in clans, called by humans “harems”, with long-lasting committed relationships.  A harem consists of a stallion, several mares and their offspring.  Many harems will congregate into a herd during migrations and for protection.  They’ll remain together and act in coordination to defend against predators.

Rwanda 100 Francs Banknote, Year 1989 front, featuring running zebra
Rwanda (1989) 100 francs banknote

Herds can be seen today roaming in the grasslands of Akagera National Park near the shores of Lake Ihema in Northeast Rwanada, a region shared with giraffe, hippo, buffalo and hundreds of species of bird. 

closeup detail of Rwanda 100 Francs Banknote, Year 1989 back, featuring volcanoes Karisimbi and Bisoke
detail from banknote showing volcanoes Karisimbi and Bisoke

Volcanoes National Park is in Northwest Rwanda and is the first national park in all of Africa.  It is dominated by five of the eight volcanoes of the Virunga Mountains.  Two of the volcanoes, Karisimbi and  Bisoke are illustrated on this banknote.  The region, covered in rainforest and bamboo is just 100 miles or so, as the wildlife roams, from Akagera National Park.     

According to Wikipedia, “Recent civil wars in Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Uganda have caused dramatic declines in all wildlife populations, including those of plains zebra. It is now extinct in Burundi.”  Why is Volcanoes National ark depicted on the same 1988 banknote as the Zebra?  I do not know, but the suggestion occurs to me that perhaps zebras were well known on the sides of the mountains but departed elsewhere during the war.

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Rwanda 100 Francs Banknote, Year 1989 back, featuring volcanoes Karisimbi and Bisoke, and mother with child