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About Rwanda

Rwanda is best known for its tragic genocide and its mountain gorillas. Rwanda backpacking tours offer a range of attractions with spectacular wildlife and views.

Rwanda Budget Travel

Below is a list of Rwanda's top destinations, click on the link to view all details and tours.

Kigali, Ruhengeri

Fast Facts

Currency
Rwandan Franc (RWF)

Dialing Code
250

AIDS

Rwanda HIV/AIDS basic precautions include the following:
• Don't ever share needles or syringes
• Practice safe sex at all times
• Equipment should be sterilized
• If you require self-administered injections, take an adequate supply of your own needles
• Avoid tattoos, acupuncture treatment or body piercing from suspect or unsterile operators

Airports

Rwanda major airports include:
• Kigali International Airport

Birdlife

Rwanda birdlife is rich and diverse. Many species can be found across key wetlands, rainforest, mountains, lakes and woodlands, with a range of endemic and migratory species to be seen. As a birding destination Rwanada is second only to Uganda.

Conservation

Rwanda conservation is essential to rebuild the city after years of civil war and the tragic 1994 genocide. Key conservation issues include deforestation, habitat loss, poaching, pollution and land abuse. Some of the current conservation projects include chimpanzee and gorilla protection programs, protected areas of forest, nature reserves and replanting projects.

Culture

Rwanda culture includes the following:
• Food and drink is an important social ritual
• Music and dance plays a key role in social gatherings and expression
• Art is a fairly large cultural pastime
• Architecture is an interesting aspect of Kampala and other urban area culture

Customs

Rwanda customs allows for free import of the following for passengers over 17 years:
• 200 cigarettes, 1/2 lb. of tobacco or a combination of 1/2 lb. of tobacco products
• 1 bottle of spirits including liquors or wine
• 1 pint of perfume and eau de toilette

Health

Rwanda health facilities are generally sub-standard, with very limited number of hospitals, plus lack of facilities for serious illness or injuries. Medication is extremely expensive, and many hospitals are over-crowded. It is best to take out comprehensive travel insurance for your Rwanda travels, and bring basic supplies such as cold medicine, headache pills or diarrhea pills.

Innoculations

The following Rwanda inoculations are required:
• Yellow Fever
• Hepatitis A & B
• Typhoid
• Polio
• Rabies

Languages

Rwanda languages include:
• Kinyarwanda (official)
• French (official)
• English (official)
• Kiswahili

Malaria

Rwanda malaria medication includes the following:
• Mefloquine (Lariam)
• Doxycycline
• Atovaquone/proguanil (Malarone)

Money

Rwanda money and banking information is as follows:
• Banking hours are Monday to Friday from 08h30-14h00
• Banks include Citibank Rwanda, Stanbic bank, Trans Africa bank and National Bank of Commerce
• Transfer services include Western Union, Swift Link and Money Gram
• Credit cards are accepted at some hotels or large stores, however not all operators accept cards
• It is best to exchange money at the airport as soon as you arrive

People

Rwanda people include the following:
• Hutu 84%
• Tutsi 15%
• Twa 1%

Phrase

Rwanda local phrases in Swahili include:
• Hello/welcome! - Jambo!
• No problem - Hakuna matata!
• Thank you very much - Asante Sana
• What is the price? - Bei gani?
• I don't understand - Sielewi

Plants

Rwanda plant life is lush, green and plentiful. The country is adorned with a rich array of plant life, making it green and fertile. National parks and lake areas are especially green, with a range of trees, ferns and other leafy plants to be found.

Population

An April 2008 UN estimate puts the population in Rwanda at 10,186,063.

Religion

Rwanda religions include the following:
• Roman Catholic 56.5%
• Protestant 26%
• Adventist 11.1%
• Muslim 4.6%
• Indigenous beliefs 0.1%

Safety Tips

Rwanda safety tips include the following:
• Rwanda is generally safe for travel, however basic precautions should be taken
• Pick pocketing, robbery and muggings have been known to occur, so be on guard
• Keep valuables out of sight and secure in a moneybag under your shirt
• Avoid travel to areas near borders of Sudan, DRC or other areas

Transport

Rwanda local transport options include:
• Motorbike
• Taxi
• Car

Travel Books

Rwanda recommended travel books include:
• Rwanda: The Bradt Travel Guide by Philip Briggs
• Eyewitness to a Genocide: The United Nations and Rwanda by Michael Barnett
• Land of a Thousand Hills: My Life in Rwanda by Rosamond Halsey Carr and Ann Howard Halsey
• Rwanda in Pictures by Tom Streissguth
• Visiting Rwanda by Dervla Murphy

Visa Requirements

Rwanda visa requirements are as follows:
• Most foreign nationals require a visa to enter Rwanda
• Some nationalities may not need a visa, including certain African countries – speak to your local embassy for more information
• A valid passport of 6 months minimum is required
• Visas are valid for 3 months (90 days) of date of application
• Return tickets plus proof of sufficient funds are required

What To Buy

What to buy for Rwanda safaris:
• Rwanda guidebook plus bird and wildlife species guide and map
• Sleeping bag and camping mattress if you are on an overlanding tour
• First aid box with basic supplies and medications
• Plug adapter for UK and US visitors
• Insect repellent and malaria medication

What To Pack

What to pack for Rwanda safaris:
• Loose, lightweight clothing in neutral colours
• Comfortable, waterproof walking or hiking shoes
• Camera, batteries, film or memory card and binoculars
• Warm clothing for cooler weather plus a raincoat for wet months
• Sunglasses, sunscreen and sunglasses

When To Go

When to go to Rwanda:
• The coldest months of the year are June and July
• The hottest months of the year are October and February
• Rainy seasons are from March to May, and late September to January
• It is cheaper to travel during wet months, with many travel discounts on offer
• Roads are in worse condition and trekking is often hard during these months however

Wildlife

Rwanda wildlife is rich and abundant, with a number of key game reserves found across the country. Gorillas are one of the most famous animals of the country, and can be found high up in the deep rainforests and mountains of Rwanda.

 

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Left quoteThe highlight of my trip had to be Gweru in Zimbabwe, it was my idea of paradise. So much to do there with the animals and the location of it was just beautiful!Right quote

Anne B (27) from Ireland

Left quoteThe trip was great! A very relaxed ride in a mokoro, followed by camping in the Okavango Delta and watching the animals on the islands was awesome!Right quote

Michael & Silke from Germany

Left quoteI loved every millisecond of the entire trip... Guess what I did in Swakopmund? I skydived out of a plane - woohoo was that AWESOME :-)Right quote

JoJo E (61) from Switzerland

Left quoteFinally home and had a great time…. I loved the shark diving, Sossusvlei and Himba people. Saw Lions, a Leopard, Elephants, Giraffes, everything really! Thanks for…Right quote

John E from Canada

Left quoteI did not believe in god till i visited Chobe National Park.Right quote

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