Travel Tips For First Time Travelers to Rwanda
Are you planning an african safari to Rwanda? Gorilla Trek Africa offers you detailed travel tips to ensure your safety and comfort in the land of a thousand hills. Like traveling to any other new destination, first time travelers to Rwanda require travel advice to ensure safety and enjoyment. Whether you are traveling for gorilla trekking, volcano climbing, golden monkey tracking, community visits and kigali city tour we help you enjoy your stay in this beautiful land.
Depending on where you are connecting from, Rwanda can be easily reached by road and air transport. If you are traveling alliance Express flies directly from Kigali to Entebbe (Uganda), Johannesburg (South Africa), Nairobi (Kenya) and Bujumbura (Burundi). In partnership with SAA and SA Alliance Air, it also flies from Kigali to the USA via Johannesburg and to London via Entebbe. Other international flights are with Sabena (Brussels), Kenya Airways (Nairobi), Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa), Air Tanzania (Dar Es Salaam) and Air Burundi (Bujumbura). All international flights arrive at Kanombe Airport, 10km from central Kigali. An airport tax of US$20 is levied upon departure.
Passport and visas:
Travelers to Rwanda are required to have valid passports.Visas are required by all visitors except nationals of the USA, Germany, Canada, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo, cost US$50 upwards depending on a place of issue. Nationals of countries without an embassy can obtain a visa on arrival by prior arrangement with their hosts, who can arrange for you. East Africa residents can visit Rwanda using a national identity card which make it easier.
A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required. Travelers are advised to visit their medical doctors for check ups before traveling to Rwanda. Remember to carry medical cards and medicine for emergency. Travelers are also advised not to drink tap water. Bottled mineral water can be bought in all towns.
Rwanda francs is the most used currency in Rwanda. Travelers are advised to exchange their foreign currencies into Rwanda Francs for easy transactions and movements within this land of a thousand hills. Those staying in lodges can pay in US Dollars and payments mostly by credit card.
Best time to Visit:
Rwanda can be visited throughout the year. Gorilla tracking and other forest walks are less demanding during drier months. The European winter is the best time for birds, as Palaearctic migrants supplement resident species.
What to bring:
A pair of binoculars will greatly enhance game drives and forest walks, as will a good field guide – for birders, Van Perlo's Illustrated Checklist to the Birds of Eastern Africa is the only guide to describe all the species found in Rwanda. Bring a camera and an adequate stock of film. Toiletries and other essentials can be bought in the cities, but it is easier to bring all you need with you.
Kinyarwanda is the indigenous language mostly spoken in Rwanda. Other languages spoken include French, English, Rukiga and Kinyarwanda. Travelers are advised to learn some local words such as greetings, asking for directions and money to avoid being taken advantage of.
Travelers to Rwanda are assured of excellent accommodation facilities. Various luxury, midrange and budget lodges and hotels have been established in Rwanda to serve travelers with excellent food and sleeping services at affordable rates.
Hotels, lodges and restaurants in Rwanda serve both local and international foods. Whichever country you come from, you are assured of different food options at affordable rates. Rwandan favorites include goat kebabs, grilled tilapia (a lake fish), ugali (a stiff maize porridge), matooke (cooked banana) and potatoes.
Banking and business hours:
Most banks, shops, and offices are open from 8 am to 5 pm on weekdays, with a lunch break being taken between noon and 2 pm. Banks are open from 8 am to noon on Saturdays.
To book Rwanda tours and flights
Tourism activities and Attractions in Rwanda
- Gorilla trekking
- Golden monkey trekking
- Boat cruising
- Canopy Walk
- Volcano hiking
- Culture/ Historical tours