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GETTING THERE

Airlines servicing Kigali International Airport (KGL) are: RwandAir, Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, KLM, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines.

Helicopter transfers within Rwanda are available through Akagera Aviation.

VISAS

As of 1st January 2018, nationals of all countries receive a visa on arrival at Kigali International Airport and all land borders.

Costs

  • A single entry tourist visa costs US $50 (exclusions apply for select countries and is valid for 30 days.
  • A single entry conference visa costs US $30 and is valid for 30 days.
  • A multiple
  • entry business visa costs US $50 and is valid for one year.
  • The East African Tourist Visa (EATV) covers Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda, costs US $100 and is valid for 90 days.

For further information on visas or work permits, please consult the Rwanda Directorate of Immigration and Emigration .

Applicants should have a valid passport or another acceptable travel document. The document must have a validity of at least six months on the day of entry into Rwanda.

Visas can be applied for before departure, by submitting an application online, with the option to pay online or upon arrival. Alternatively applications can be submitted at the Rwanda Diplomatic Missions of the country of residence.

Visa extension applications should be submitted to the Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration offices. Details on each class of visa are set out in the Information section. Visa extensions should be applied for whilst the initial visa remains valid.

HEALTH

The greatest health risks in Rwanda are accidents and malaria. Much of Rwanda lies at too high an elevation for malaria to be a major concern, but the disease is present and prophylactic drugs are recommended. Travelers should seek professional medical advice on taking anti-malarial medicines and take precautions to avoid mosquito bites, especially between dawn and dusk.

Travelers should ensure they are up to date with vaccinations, following the advice of their local healthcare provider, and should consider bringing a small first aid kit. A certificate of yellow-fever vaccination is required.

It is advisable not to drink tap water. Bottled mineral water can be bought in all towns – make sure the seal is intact.

As a small country, medical help is rarely far away. For basic treatment most towns of any size have pharmacies with a limited range of medicines, while larger towns have hospitals. King Faisal Hospital in Kigali is the most advanced in Rwanda.

In case of medical evacuation, Akagera Aviation operates a helicopter ambulance service within Rwanda in daylight hours, with one military paramedic on call. Please make sure you have adequate medical insurance. Due to the risks of passing on human colds or other illnesses to primates, it is essential that you are in good health if you want to see them.

PLASTIC BAN

Please refrain from bringing plastic bags to Rwanda. Banned by law since 2008, any plastic bags in your luggage will be confiscated at the airport or other point of entry.

As a country we strive to protect, safeguard and promote the environment – a matter which is written into our constitution and carefully observed by our citizens, who all participate in a community service called Umuganda on the last Saturday of every month.

We respectfully request that all visitors help us keep Rwanda the cleanest country in Africa, and dispose of all litter responsibly.

WEATHER

Fractionally south of the Equator and with much of the country lying at altitude, Rwanda enjoys an agreeable tropical highland climate.

Temperatures vary considerably between locations, but vary little from month to month. Peak temperatures rarely exceed 30°C (86°F) in the daytime or drop below 15°C (59°F) at night. Akagera is generally the warmest and the Virunga mountains the coolest.

The average daily temperature in Kigali is 21°C (70°F).

There are two rainy seasons in a year, from mid-February to May and mid-September to mid-December.

The dry season, from June to mid-September, sees light cloud cover and occasional light rainfall. The roads and paths tend to be easier to navigate in this period.

CONNECTIVITY

Rwanda has an excellent mobile phone network covering almost the entire country, and international calls can be made easily.

The country is among the top three African countries in terms of internet connectivity, with an ever-growing fibre optic network.

CURRENCY

The Rwandan franc (Rfr) is the principal currency, although US dollars are widely accepted. Expect to pay for local services in cash, in Rwandan francs. The greater the amount, the more likely US dollars or other hard currencies are preferred, such as gorilla tracking and upmarket hotels.

A growing number of places accept credit and debit cards, with Visa being more widely accepted than Mastercard. It’s best to check when making a booking.

ATMs can be found in Kigali and nearly all major cities.

Cash can be exchanged at banks and private forex bureaux (bureau de change). Both are closed on Sundays and public holidays.

It may be impossible to exchange traveler’s cheques away from the capital. Western Union facilities are common.

ON SAFARI

Rwanda has a well-surfaced road network linking the major towns, and the most convenient way to travel the country is by car. Smaller roads are frequently unsurfaced with varying conditions, especially during the rainy season.

Tour operators can arrange a vehicle with a driver, or a number of agencies rent out cars and 4x4s.

Taxis operate in the larger towns. Travel insurance may not cover motorbike taxis, which are also common.

There are no rail services and the most popular form of public transport is shared minibuses. In Kigali, buses operate a smart card system called Tap&Go.

Akagera Aviation provides helicopter transfers and tours.

WHAT TO WEAR

Dress codes are informal yet respectful. Men tend to wear trousers but shorts are fine, although walking around without a shirt is frowned upon. Women will feel more comfortable in knee-length or longer.

Daytime temperatures are generally warm, so bring lots of light clothing and think about sun protection, including a hat and sunglasses. The evenings tend to be cool, and a light sweater appreciated.

In Volcanoes National Park and Nyungwe National Park slightly heavier clothing is useful. A lightweight waterproof jacket may come in handy in the moist mountains.

Avoid wearing blue in Akagera National Park, which attracts tse tse flies, and take sensible precautions against mosquitos and other bites.

When tracking gorillas, wear sturdier clothing to protect against stinging nettles, and solid walking shoes. Consider bringing gardening or leather gloves as well as gaiters.

For those who wear contact lenses, cleaning fluid is not readily available and dust or sun could prove an irritation, so it’s best to bring a pair of glasses along for peace of mind.

TIPPING

Tipping is discretionary and appreciated. Cash is usually preferred. As a rough guide, tip professional guides and drivers US $10 per day, trekking porters US $2.

ELECTRICITY AND POWER SOCKETS

Electricity supply is usually 230v 50Hz round 3-pin.