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Nitarudi Africa Safaris
Nitarudi Africa Safaris
Nitarudi Africa Safaris
Nitarudi Africa Safaris

About Rwanda

Where is Rwanda?

Rwanda is located in central Africa bordering with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi.  Rwanda is mostly grass covered hills decreasing in altitude to the east. Rwanda is described as the land of 1000 hills with a rich variety in flora & fauna with striking natural beauty in scenic rolling and breathtaking green savannah. Rwanda has a predominantly rural population and an economy based on agriculture. The capital city Kigali is a hilly green and clean city. The best part to explore is the Place de l’Independence, with some local architecture and international restaurants along with nightclubs, and then stroll through the Muslim quarter or shop in the markets for handicrafts and fabrics. Guided tours can be arranged into the nearby national parks.

Capital City: Kigali
Time Zone: UTC+2
Population: 9,038,000 (2005 UN estimate)
Electricity: 220V - 230V
Currency: Rwanda Franc (RWF)
Languages: Kinyarwanda, Bantu, French, English, Kiswahili
Calling code: +250
Area: Total 26,338km2, land 24,948km2, water 1,390km2

Rwanda Climate and Weather conditions

Climate: Rwanda has a temperate climate with two rainy seasons - February to April and November to January; the mountainous areas are fairly cold.

Culture in Rwanda

Local Culture: Locals are friendly and inviting, many rural areas follow the traditional way of life. Please understand that genocide is a part of recent history, and is still fresh in everyone’s memory, so avoid the topic. Rwandans are very private people and loud public confrontations, public political discussions or obvious displays of emotions (such as crying) are frowned upon. Nudity or the wearing of bikinis in public places is frowned upon. Rwandans appreciate decent dressing and visitors are advised to show respect to the local people, their culture and traditions.

What to eat on tour - Food in Rwanda

Food: Enjoy the delicious goat kebabs, grilled fish and chicken, chips and fried plantain in most bars and restaurants. Local Rwandan cuisine includes potatoes, bananas, rice, cassava and beans accompanied with some vegetables, fish and meat sauce. Kigali has a good range of international hotels with multi-cuisine restaurants including Indian, Chinese, Italian, Greek and French.

Tipping: Tipping has not been standardized, but generally a 10% tip for good service is acceptable

Rwanda Visa requirements

Visas and Health certificate: A valid passport and visa are required for entry. Visitors from certain countries, though, are exempt from visas for a visitation period of 90 days. Check with the Rwanda mission in your country before you travel. For more information, visit the foreign affairs website at www.migration.gov.rw. Visas are issued at Rwanda missions abroad and at entry/exit points as well. A yellow fever certificate of vaccination is required.

Flights and Transport in Rwanda

Flights and Transport: Direct international flights into Kigali  from Brussels, Rwanda Air  has flights to Dubia via Mombasa, and daily flights through Entebbe (Uganda) Johannesburg (South Africa), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia). Charter flights can be arranged on request to all national parks. All East African cities and towns are well connected by road. Buses run from Kigali to Kampala (Uganda), Nairobi (Kenya), Benako (Tanzania), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Bujumbura (Burundi). We also organize road transport in 4-wheel drive vehicles to national parks and other places of interest. Surface roads link the capital city to the major towns of Butare, Byumba, Gisenyi, Gitarama, Kibungo, Kibuye and Ruhengeri from where well maintained roads lead to the game reserves and national parks. Carry a photocopy of your passport all the time, just in case you need to show it a police/military security checks. Minivan taxis and special hire taxis are available in key towns and cities.

Health and Medical - Rwanda

Health/Immunization: You are advised to carry sunscreen and/or insect repellant as well as some anti-
malarial medication as a precaution. Good medical facilities are available in the country. However, it is recommended that you take out medical insurance before arrival. You are advised to visit your GP for a check-up at least a month before travelling. Prophylactics against malaria are strongly advised as is mosquito repellent. Drink only bottled or boiled water.

Currency and Money - Rwanda

Money: Currency unit is the Rwanda Franc in denominations of 500, 1,000, 2,000 and 5,000. While all major currencies are accepted in all large towns, the US Dollar is traditionally the more common hard currency. Exchanging money is easy, with choices between the banks and exchange bureaus in all large towns, although the rates are more favourable in the capital city. Larger new denominations fetch better rates. Note that most financial institutions do not accept notes older than 5 years. Credit cards have limited acceptance, and although traveller’s cheques and currencies can be exchanged at banks and exchange bureau, it is wise to keep a supply of currency on hand, as most businesses will only take cash.

When to visit Rwanda

When to Visit: May to November is generally the best time to visit, avoiding the long wet rainy seasons. National Day, on July 1st, and the Harvest Festival, August 1st, are the two biggest festivals in both cities and rural villages.

Clothes to wear for Safari in Rwanda

What to Wear: Rwanda is a very conservative society, most people dress modestly, especially women. Light clothing is recommended for daytime. The evenings are considerably cooler, especially at high altitudes, so carry a couple of light sweaters. Those intending to climb the mountains will be exposed to alpine temperatures, so pack accordingly. Strong walking shoes are required for treks. You may also need a hat, sunglasses and a waterproof jacket. Casual to conservative clothing is acceptable, depending on the region, with heavier clothes for the higher altitudes and cooler nights, and lighter clothes for the lower altitudes and days. Ask permission before photographing people.

Tourist accomodation in Rwanda

Where to Stay: The most luxurious hotels, used mostly by business travelers and up market tourists, set their rates in dollars. There is, however, also plenty of budget accommodation.

Tourist safety and Security in Rwanda

Safety: Keep a very low profile when traveling and avoid traveling at night. Steer well clear of any demonstrations and be aware of your surroundings. Watch your wallet or purse in crowded areas and keep an extra copy of your travel documents separated from the originals.

Top tourist destinations in Rwanda

Destinations: National Parks – Parc National des Volcans, Akagera, Nyungwe, visit the National Museum of Butare, relax at Lake Kivu, visit the Genocide memorials of Nyamata and Ntarama.

Tourist restrictions - Rwanda

Prohibitions: Plastic bags are prohibited in Rwanda, so please don’t pack your property in plastic bags.

Telecommunications - Rwanda

Telecommunication: Public Pay phones are available in major towns/ cities, with mobile phone coverage countrywide. Internet cafes operate in most urban areas. Emails can be sent from most hotels, as can faxes and telexes.

 

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