Rwanda travel advice
Rwanda travel advice
The Republic of Rwanda is a landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley of Central Africa, where the African Great Lakes region and Southeast Africa converge. Located a few degrees south of the Equator, Rwanda is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Known as the land of a thousand hills, Rwanda’s stunning scenery and warm, friendly people offer unique experiences in one of the most remarkable countries in the world. It is blessed with extraordinary biodiversity, with incredible wildlife living throughout its volcanoes, montane rainforest and sweeping plains, travelers come from far and wide to catch a glimpse of the magnificent gorillas with so much more to see and experience.
For travellers travelling to Rwanda, you must ensure that your passport is valid for a period of 6 months from the time you will be entering Rwanda and also ensure that you have a blank page.
The Rwanda eVisa is an online visa that allows you to visit the country for 30 days. You can also apply online for the East African visa, which allows you to visit, in addition to Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda with a validity of 90 days, however, travellers are advised to check with their embassy on whether they can get visas on arrival or they have to apply in advance.
Yellow fever vaccination
Currently, Rwanda has no requirements for yellow card vaccination on arrival in the country but if the client intent to visit neighbouring countries, then you will be required to have it.
Malaria is a risk in Rwanda. Fill out your malaria prescription before you leave and take enough with you for the entire length of your trip. Follow your doctor’s instructions for taking the pills; some need to be started before you leave.
Getting to Rwanda
Rwanda can be accessed via air or by road, by air all clients arriving in Rwanda have to enter through Kigali international airport and by road Rwanda can be accessed via Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda air is the national carrier of the Republic of Rwanda
Rwanda has no restrictions on dressing code but we recommend clients dress descent while in public places to avoid attracting the attention of men and women and also to respect the cultural values of the people of Rwanda
What to pack
Rwanda experiences hot weather in the day and cold weather at night while packing ensures most of your clothes are quickly dry as they manually dry laundry and a warm jacket is advisable for night times and if you’re going to trek then it’s important to pack appropriate trekking gear for gorillas most especially.
The main currency of the Republic of Rwanda is the Rwandan franc which is usually 800-1100 francs to an American dollar, on arrival in Kigali there will be many forex bureaus that you can exchange American dollars, Euros and pounds into local currency.
Money and Tipping
Money is the main exchange value in Rwanda, though the country is moving slowly to non-cash economy cash is still accepted across the country along side credit cards in most of the tourist sites
Tipping is appreciated in Rwanda, mostly after service in most of the tourism sites and we recommend tipping in Rwanda as its one way of earning extra money for the staff and a big motivation, especially for park rangers we will provide our booked guides with a tipping guide depending on where you’re visiting.
Health sector of Rwanda
The country currently operates a well-functioning, decentralized healthcare public service system comprising 1700 health posts, 500 health centres, 42 district hospitals, and five national referral hospitals. Travellers can visit these health centres but maybe required to pay for the services so it’s very important to purchase travel insurance before travelling to Rwanda.
Kinyarwanda is the national language of Rwanda and the first language of almost the entire population of the country. It is one of the country’s official languages alongside French, English, and Swahili.
Depending on where you’re visiting almost all lodges, and campsites will have either national grid or solar lighting for clients but most of the cooking is done by gas or firewood in rural areas, it’s advisable to avoid carrying heavy machines like hair driers when you’re going to stay in rural areas as there may be no electricity or they will be using solar as the main source of energy and it doesn’t hold heavy machines like washing machines.
Expedition Leaders and Guides
Rwanda has guides from safari guides based in Rwanda, to rangers and site guides in eco-tourism sites, these guides mostly speak English and French.
There is a variety of accommodation across Rwanda, ranging from budget campsites, standard lodges, and luxury and super luxury lodges, please ensure that you book your accommodation in time during the summer period from June to October in order to avoid missing out on the best accommodation.
Meals and drinks
Most restaurants in Rwanda will serve local Rwandan dishes but tourism facilities will serve both continental and local dishes and food is safe for eating, for drinks there are a lot of drinks ranging from soft drinks to alcoholic drinks however for water we recommend drinking bottled water instead of tap water which may not be safe for drinking.
There is a fairly good distribution of internet network across Rwanda but you may be required to purchase a local sim card for your stay, lodges and restaurants will have wireless internet but will require a password.
There are several Sim card service providers in Rwanda, the packs will charge per minute or per second for direct calls and you will be required to buy data in order to access the internet from your sim card.
Laundry services are available across Rwanda in hotels, some lodges may do complementary or charge a fee, we recommend giving in your laundry 24 hours before departure as they wash the laundry by hand and sundry it and if the weather is good, you will get it the same day but if not next day.
Officially in the Republic of Rwanda, cars drive on the right-hand side, the speed limit is 50-80 km per hour unless instructed and there are automatic cameras set all over the country, we recommend hiring a local driver if you’re visiting and would like to hire a car but for our tailor-made safaris, we will provide all the logistics for your vacation.
Smocking is allowed in Rwanda but not in public places, hotels, and restaurants will have designated places where you can smoke and they will always provide you with an ashtray.
There are photography restrictions in Rwanda, those intending to bring drones may need to apply for approval, except for military stations, police, prisons, and presidential palaces you can take pictures anywhere in Rwanda randomly but if you need a specific picture for example for a person then you may need to seek for permission.
Pack for purpose List
While packing for Rwanda it’s important to pack school materials for school kids, this can be donated to small village schools in areas where you are going to visit, we do not recommend food items only learning materials, clothes, shoes, books, pencils, pens etc.
Safety of Rwanda
Rwanda is one of the safe countries for solo travellers and crime rates are extremely low however we recommend clients avoid walking and travelling at night most especially in busy cities.
Please check with your embassy for travel updates in Rwanda, however, our booked clients will receive travel updates in case of any possible threats to your travel and we will provide further details.
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