Rwanda is a small landlocked country in the Great Lakes region of east-central Africa, bordered by Uganda, Burundi, Congo and Tanzania. A verdant country of fertile and hilly terrain, the small republic bears the title "Land of a Thousand Hills". It features a number of national parks, most famously Parc des Volcans with its population of mountain gorillas, and L ...ake Kivu with its resorts and watersports. The capitol, Kigali, is serviced by international airlines. Home to approximately 10.1 million people, Rwanda supports the densest population in continental Africa. The country has received most international attention due to the Rwandan Genocide of 1994, and there are genocide memorials that are a powerful reminder of this tragic history.Show More
A passport that is valid for at least six months after the end of your trip is required for both U.S. and Canadian citizens to enter and depart the country. Please ensure that the name on your passport matches all travel documents we have issued. If this is not the case, please contact us immediately. Please make a photocopy of your passport’s identification page and keep it separate from your original. It’s also a good idea to leave a digital copy with someone at home. This may speed up the replacement process should you lose your passport. Your passport must have at least one blank page for the entry stamp. This cannot include the ‘endorsement’ page at the back.
The requirements for visas have recently changed. Please review the information carefully and contact your nearest Rwanda Embassy for more details. Effective November 1st 2014, citizens of the USA, UK, Australia, South Africa, Germany, Israel, New Zealand and Sweden will be required to purchase a visa for Rwanda at any point of entry, without prior application. The fee is $30USD for a 30-day visa.
ALL OTHER NATIONALITIES - Must apply for a visa online and then pay for the visa upon arrival.
Where Application Made: Applications should be made online (Click here for application form!) using the Entry Facility provided at the entry point. If the link does not work, visit the website of Rwanda Directorate General of Immigration: http://www.migration.gov.rw/index.php?id=203
Visa Fee: $60 USD
Note: After submitting the online application, you immediately receive a tracking code.
Cancelation and Medical Insurance is highly recommended as it can safeguard against the expenses associated with in-country medical emergencies, lost or delayed baggage and emergency cancelation or interruption of your trip. Please ensure your policy will provide you with upfront medical coverage so that you are not responsible for a hefty doctor’s bill while away. Insurance can be purchased through us.
Some vaccines require more than one dose or a major length of time to be effective. For that reason, it is recommended to see your doctor or health provider at least 6 to 8 weeks before your trip. For all vaccinations and health requirements, you can also refer to the recommendations from:
World Health Organization (WHO): http://www.who.int and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) http://wwwnc.cdc.gov.
Currently Required Vaccinations: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers over 9 months of age arriving from infected areas or directly from the U.S. and Canada. It must be given at least 10 days before your trip in order to be effective.
Other vaccines to discuss with your doctor or travel health professional:
Remember that the best precaution is the preventative kind. Wearing long sleeves is a good idea. To reduce the risk of contracting yellow fever, dengue fever and malaria, liberally apply mosquito repellent that contains DEET to your skin and clothes, and wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers/slacks especially in the evenings.
If there are any medical items essential to your health, such as prescription drugs or corrective eye wear, bring duplicates and divide them between your checked bags and hand luggage. While non-prescription drugs such as aspirin are generally available, it is difficult to replace prescription items. Other recommended Items:
Rwanda’s climate is tropical and moderate the high altitudes of the country make sure it’s not too hot or too cold year-round. There are two rainy seasons in Rwanda; January – April and October – mid December in between these two seasons is a dry season. Even during the dry seasons rain is common, this is how the rainforests stay lush and green year round. Gorilla trekking is best during the dry season, avoid months of July and August for less crowds. For up-to-date forecasts, check www.weather.com.
It is important to pack clothes for warm days and cool evenings, as well as a warm jacket for early morning. Light, quick-drying, practical clothes are advisable. Non-synthetic, comfortably fitting, cotton clothing breathes more easily and will keep you cooler under the hot African sun. Shorts and T-shirts are normally the order of the day, and are replaced with long-sleeved shirts and trousers at night for warmth and protection from insect bites.
Preferred colors on safari are khaki, beige, olive green and brown. You are less visible in the African bush and therefore less threatening to the animals. These colors also help to deflect harsh sun and are less likely to attract mosquitoes.
Other essential items:
Sweater, jersey pullover, safari jacket or windbreaker for the evenings, swimwear, bandannas, handkerchiefs and hat with a brim. For upscale lodges and nights out, you may want to pack something more formal.
FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS: Video camera, camera with zoom lens in a dust-resistant case, sufficient memory cards, a spare camera battery and charger, binoculars, bird and animal check lists
Electricity: Electricity in Rwanda is 220 Volt, 50 Hz. Plugs are designed to accept round prongs.
Phone: Your cell phone will work in most areas while on safari if you have a “Smart Phone.” However, roaming can be quite expensive so we do strongly recommend that you pre-purchase a data and roaming plan with your carrier before travel.
Internet: Local connections are exceptionally slow and can be costly (as much as $5-10 per half hour). “Smart” phones such as BlackBerrys and iPhones will actually download data much faster than computers. Again, roaming and data charges can be exceptionally high – so please talk to your phone provider to pre-purchase a data plan for when you are on safari.
Internet cafés and wireless access are available in most urban areas, airports and hotels. Please note that wi-fi and internet service provided in properties is at the discretion of each establishment and Kensington Tours has no control over this. Please feel free to check with your Sales Consultant before travel if you’d like to know internet set up at each of your properties or contact the properties directly so you are aware of their internet policy if this is important to you. You may like to speak to your internet provider prior to travel to arrange a roaming package.
The currency in Rwanda is the Rwandan Franc (RWF). Notes are in denominations of 5000, 2000, 1000 and 500. Coins are in denominations of RWF 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 but these are worth very little and are rarely used. For current exchange rates please visit www.xe.com
Language: There are three official languages: Kinyarwanda, French, and English. You’ll also find numerous indigenous languages.
Currency: Rwandan Franc (RWF)
Religion: Christian 65%, Muslim 26%, Protestant 9%
Time Zone: GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) + 2 Central Africa Time
Electricity: 220 Volt, 50 Hz
Telephone: Country code for calling is 250
Calling North America: Dial 011 plus area code and your 7-digit number
Emergency numbers in Rwanda: There is no 911 equivalent in Rwanda. For police dial 311, for emergency dial 112, and for traffic accident dial 113