Practical Information About Rwanda
Rwanda travel guide helps you know the dos and donts of Rwanda so that you are not caught off guard in a foreign land. Rwanda is a land-locked country located in South-West of Uganda. She is also referred to as ‘the Land of a Thousand Hills’. Rwanda has five volcanoes, 23 lakes and numerous rivers. Rwanda has three main conservation areas: the Volcanoes Park, Akagera Park and Nyungwe Forest.
Rwanda travel guide helps you to explore the astounding beauty, diverse wildlife, amazing natural tourist destination, and hospitable people. There is nowhere in the world where someone can visit the endangered mountain gorillas and chimpanzees, navigate the waterways in search of the elusive shoebill stork, hippo’s and elephants, explore the savannah grasslands teeming with thousands of mammals including the legendary tree-climbing lions, look out for birds that are over 1046 recorded species.
Rwanda travel guide shows that Rwanda can be visited at any time of the year. The long dry season, June to September, is the best time for tracking gorillas and hiking in Nyungwe since the ground should be dry underfoot and the odds of being drenched are minimal. The wettest months are from March to May.
Rwanda Travel Guide Information
Getting to Rwanda (Transport Plans)
There are several international flights that arrive at Rwanda’s main Kigali International Airport, which is just 10 Km from central Kigali.
Kigali currently receives direct flights from Nairobi, Entebbe, Bujumbura, Addis Ababa, Kilimanjaro, Brazaville, Douala, Libreville, Mombasa, Mwanza, Brussels, Amsterdam, Dar es Salaam, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Juba, Lagos, Lusaka, Doha and Dubai. It is also possible to take a bus from neighboring countries.
Passports & Visa Guide Information
A valid passport is mandatory. Visas, required by all visitors except nationals of the USA, Germany, Canada, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo, Make you arrangements with us to get you a visa on arrival.
All visitors interested in traveling into Rwanda, should have a valid passport or any other internationally acceptable travel documents, that, in theory, include a visa equivalent to his or her intent behind entering into this country.
Tourism in Rwanda (Rwanda Wildlife )
Tourism is one of the fastest-growing sectors in Rwanda since it is fortunate to be one of only two countries where tourists can get to see the endangered mountain gorillas safely. Mountain gorilla trekking and Volcanoes National Park are an economic engine for Rwanda. The country generates a lot of money from tourism, and revenue is projected to continue increasing.
In addition to mountain gorillas, Rwanda’s tapestry of habitats makes it an inviting home to a diversity of other wildlife species and 700 kinds of birds.
Important Travel Tips to guide you in Rwanda
Adhere to the Laws Governing Rwanda
Rwanda travel guide gives you the laws governed by Rwanda. As soon as you land into Kigali, ensure to follow the laws that govern the country. Consider the dos and don’ts to avoid any collision with the government bodies especially the police. Plastic bags and bottles are not allowed anywhere in Rwanda both in the city, national parks and all other tourism spots all over the country. Rwanda is widely known as the cleanest and organized country which popularity you must maintain. Driving in Rwanda is done on the right remembering to follow traffic lights. Driving speed is 60 kilometers per hour and overtaking is a criminal offense.
People & Language: Learn a few basics
Rwandan people are very friendly and love their greetings too. Kinyarwanda is the main indigenous language or Rwanda, and part of the Bantu linguistic family. English is the language used in schools, however, as the government switched from French to English in education after the genocide.
This means that if you want a clear conversation with any Rwanda citizen, try to learn some Kinyarwanda for easy communication in markets, shops, streets and public transport. You may not be fluent with the local language but you should know simple things like greetings and asking for directions.
Get Equipped with Local Currency
For easy transactions in markets, taxis and shopping malls, travelers are reminded to carry some Rwanda francs. Local currency is also preferred in tipping during gorilla trekking since porters and local guides cannot easily access forex bureaus to exchange the money. A traveler who tips in Rwanda francs is considered the best. Although big lodges accept payment in dollars, small service providers in restaurants do not accept payments in dollars. In some places, credit cards can be used to make payments but visa cards are not allowed in most if not all places in Rwanda.
When to Pay a Visit Rwanda
Most people travel to Rwanda to trek with the endangered mountain gorillas. Yet, many others hold off on this once in a lifetime adventure because they buy into the idea that Rwanda, like much of Africa, is unsafe.
Having been blessed with conducive climate, Rwanda can be visited all year round with no difficulty. However if you are travelling for safaris, dry season in the months of June, July, august, September, October, December and January are the best time to visit Rwanda for activities. Most activities especially gorilla trekking and nature walks among others become quite difficult with middy slippery and muddy grounds. However the rainy season in the months of the March, April, and November call for discounts on rom rates and transport costs with fewer crowds in national parks and other tourism spots all over Rwanda.
Shopping and Gifts Centers
Akabanga chilli oil is a top and hot local gift. Seek out the Nyamirambo Women’s Centre in Kigali, a cooperative of creative gems. The products are very cool, too.
There is a growing art gallery scene in Kigali, with bright bold paintings which reflect the kitenge fabric heritage. Ask for them to roll an unframed canvas for easy transport.
Sisal basketry is everywhere. Leave your hand luggage at home and bring a beauty back with you.
Support the local people
If possible, support the local people and help in improving their standards of living. Most of Rwanda people depend on agriculture for a livelihood yet with limited land. Expect to meet children and women on the streets begging for money and others selling some few things like crafts to earn a living. If you are going for gorilla trekking, tipping a porter is an indirect support for a local livelihood. This indicates that support can be given in different ways.
Be responsible for your safety
Much as peace has been restored in Rwanda, travelers are reminded of pick pocketing and robbers especially in the late night hours. Travelers are therefore reminded to be careful and guard their gadgets like cameras and phones at night. Travelers must by all ways avoid travelling at night with lots of hard money and expensive gadgets can be tempting to robbers.
Be part of Rwanda traditions and culture
When you are in Rwanda, endevour to take part in country’s traditions and culture. Umuganda is one of Rwanda’s unique traditions which involve general cleanness of the all streets, and renovation of all broken structures in Rwanda. Umuganda is done every last Saturday of the month and all citizens from the president to a local person willing take part in cleaning. During this activity, all businesses are put on halt even travelers on safaris are stopped on the way till the end of the activity at 12:00pm. Any traveler who takes part in the activity shows love and respect for the local culture.
Getting Around in Rwanda
Rwanda has possibly the best roads in East Africa. Most visitors who have booked through a tour company will be provided with good private vehicles, usually 4-wheel drive. All of the major centres are connected with local and luxury bus services. Air charter services are available anywhere in the country and well advertised.
Communications in Rwanda
Rwanda has an excellent cell phone network covering almost the entire country. International phone calls can be made easily. Appropriate SIM cards for the network are readily available everywhere, even in remote towns, and cell phones can be purchased or rented from major shops in Kigali. Most towns of any size will have several Internet cafes and computer centres.
What to Wear for While in Rwanda
Dress codes are informal. Daytime temperatures are generally warm, so bring lots of light clothing, supplemented by light sweaters for the cool evenings and heavier clothing for the Parc des Volcans and Nyungwe. When tracking gorillas, wear sturdier clothing to protect against stinging nettles, and solid walking shoes. A hat and sunglasses provide protection against the sun, and a waterproof jacket may come in handy in the moist mountains.
Health & Safety in Rwanda
A certificate for yellow fever vaccination is required. Malaria is present and anti-malarial drugs are recommended. Bottled mineral water, which is available in all major towns, is recommended instead of drinking ordinary tap water.