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RWANDA - Country Guide
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Rwanda can be visited at any time of the year, however different seasons are advised for different activities. During the long dry season between June and September, when the ground is dryer and dirt roads are more accessible, it is the best time for tracking gorillas and biking in Nyungwe. For photography enthusiasts, the rainy season brings greener scenery and less haze and is also the best time to track Chimpanzees in Nyungwe. November to March is renowned as the best period for bird watching, as resident birds are accompanied by flocks of migrant species.
Rwanda is well served by International airlines, flying into Kigali.
From South Africa:
RwandAir offers daily flights from Johannesburg to Kigali.
Kenya Airways offers daily flights from Johannesburg, via Nairobi, to Kigali.
International Airlines Offering Flights to Rwanda:
Kenya Airways, Qatar Airways, KLM, Turkish Airlines and more.
Most nationalities entering Rwanda require a visa - check with the High Commission of Rwanda. Most visitors may obtain a visa on arrival at Kigali airport – visa cost can be paid in cash on arrival (please reconfirm this arrangements is still valid according to your nationality before you travel). Passports should be valid for at least six months from date of departure. A Yellow Fever inoculation certificate is COMPULSARY for Rwanda.
For 16-year-olds and over: 2 cartons of cigarettes / 2l of alcoholic beverages.
  • Live or dead animals and foodstuff from third-world countries where an epidemic has been present and has been included in a health risk list by Rwandan authorities (contact nearest embassy).
  •  Narcotics
  • Arms and ammunitions
  • Pornography
  • Items infringing copyrights
  • Environmentally unfriendly items (i.e. polyethylene bags)
  • Local currency – maximum of 5,000 of Rwandese Francs
  • No limit on foreign currency but declaring is compulsory
  • National residents must exchange any foreign currency within 8 days
It is compulsory to present an International Yellow Fever immunization card upon arrival. Rwanda is a malaria area and communication with your doctor at home regarding what malaria pills to take is essential. It is also a good idea to bring a good mosquito repellent to use in the evenings.
We highly recommend that you take out adequate travel insurance for the duration of your holiday for peace of mind and to avoid the high costs related to medical emergencies!
Languages:  Kinyarwanda, French and English are the official languages. French is widely spoken, but English is limited to a few people in the tourist centres.
People:  There is no consensus on whether the origins of the terms "Hutu" and "Tutsi" lie in class or ethnicity. Shaped by colonial rule, a physical criterion was used to distinguish between the two groups. These differences were invoked during the 1994 genocide, leading to even greater polarisation. It is impossible to establish Rwanda's ethnic makeup because the government has forbidden ethnic monitoring and has removed ethnicity from Rwandan identity documents. They believe in one country, one nation.
Religion: Christian 75% (predominantly Roman Catholic), indigenous beliefs 25%, Muslim 1%.
The official currency is the Rwanda franc (RWF), which is divided into 100 centimes. Credit cards are only accepted at a few hotels in Kigali, with Master Card and Visa being the preferred cards. International Visa cards are accepted at Eco bank and Access Bank ATM’s in Kigali and at Kigali airport. However, these ATM's are affected by power cuts. It is best to travel with US Dollars, as some banks won’t accept Pound Sterling.
It is polite and advisable to ask permission before photographing people. Photographs should not be taken of people or religious ceremonies without their consent. Photography of the airport or strategic buildings, military installations and soldiers are strictly prohibited.
Crime levels are relatively low in Rwanda, although tourists should be alert to bag snatching and incidents of petty theft. You should take sensible precautions i.e. exercise caution when walking at night, arrange transport, do not carry large amounts of money and do not leave cars unsupervised in the town centre.
The majority of the population in Rwanda lives off subsistence farming which means their meals rely heavily on starchy crops such as potato, maize and cassava. This is generally served with kidney beans and cabbage and where meat can be afforded it is most often goat. However, the restaurants in Kigali and other towns will generally serve grilled meat with French fries and sometimes rice with spicy stews. Hotels generally serve a reasonable choice of European dishes, while there are also Chinese, Greek, Indian, Italian and Middle Eastern restaurants. A fairly good selection of beers, spirits and wines are available. Beer is also brewed locally. We recommend only drinking bottled or boiled and filtered water for your own safety.
Gorilla trekking gear: Good, waterproof hiking boots as you will climb up a volcano. Rain gear or at least rain pants as you will enter the rain forest on the mountain. Leather palm gloves to protect your hands against the many stinging nettle plants. Tencel pants work great; they don’t pick up briars and nettles as jeans do and they dry quickly. If you have nice camera equipment, this is the time to bring it along. Bring long skirts and long pants, walking sandals and hiking boots as well as short and long-sleeved blouses. You can have your clothes laundered and pressed for a few dollars at hotels.
There is no clear principle on tipping in Rwanda, but most of the staff in the bigger hotels have come to expect it, as have guides and trackers. A general rule is to tip 10% in restaurants if you feel inclined, and to tip guides and trackers $10 USD per day.
New Year's Day1 Jan        01 Jan
New Year's Day Holiday2 Jan        02 Jan
Heroes' Day1 Feb        01 Feb
Good Friday30 Mar        19 Apr
Easter Monday2 Apr        22 Apr
Genocide Memorial Day7 Apr        07 Apr
Labour Day1 May        01 May
Eid Ul Fitr (end of Ramadan)15 Jun        04 Jun
Independence Day1 Jul        01 Jul
Liberation Day4 Jul        04 Jul
Umuganura Day3 Aug        02 Aug
Assumption Day15 Aug        15 Aug
Eid al-Adha Day21 Aug        11 Aug
Christmas Day25 Dec        25 Dec
Boxing Day26 Dec        26 Dec


Rwanda Packages

R1: Rwanda / Uganda Safari (4-Days)

Highlights Bwindi National Park (Uganda)
Duration:  4 Days / 3 Nights
Date:  July / Aug / Sept 2019

R2: Great Ape Safari

Highlights:  Gorilla & Chimp Trekking
Duration:  8 Days / 7 Nights
Date:  Private Safari

R3: Gorillas and Nyiragongo Volcano Hike

Highlights Virunga NP / Mount Nyiragongo
Duration:  4 Days / 3 Nights
Date Schedule as you wish!

R4: Gorilla Luxury Safari

Highlights:  Volcanoes National Park
Duration:  4 Days / 3 Nights
Date:  Private Safari

R5: Rwanda Gorilla and Wildlife Safari

Highlights:  Gorillas and Wildlife Safari
Duration:  7 Days / 6 Nights
Date:  Private Safari


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