Welcome to Rwanda
Dispelling myths of unrest, Rwanda is firmly focused on its future. This safe, incredibly clean country – where women hold most of the seats in Parliament – optimistically welcomes visitors to show off its natural beauty, mountain gorillas, coffee plantations and welcomingly people.
If you’re headed to Rwanda, you’re likely in search of those elusive gorillas, so head to Volcanoes National Park, where you’ll find them hiding in the bamboo forest. There is a limited amount of gorilla interactions per day, so book well ahead. While you’re in the Virunga region, keep an eye out for the country’s second most popular primate, the Golden Monkey. Go beyond gorillas to elephants, giraffes, hippos and warthogs at Akagera National Park.
Take canopy walk in Nyungwe Forest National Park, spotting white colobus monkeys along the way. Here in the Land of a Thousand Hills, revel in the warm, friendly atmosphere, extraordinary biodiversity and incredible wildlife.
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Need To Know
- If it’s gorillas you seek, you’ve come to the right place. Within Virungas Massif, which includes Volcanoes National Park, live 60 percent of the world’s popular of endangered mountain gorillas in the wild.
- Community service is the rule, not the exception. Rwandas are proud of their country and show it by coming together on the last Saturday of each month to participate in Umuganda, or community projects, ranging from building schools to cleaning roads.
- Speaking of clean, Rwandas are serious about their environment. No plastic bags are allowed in the country and if you enter with any, they will be confiscated at the airport.
- Rwanda is strikingly safe to visit. It has been recently ranked as one of the safest country’s in the world, a place where the majority of residents feel safe walking alone after dark. The Rwandan capital, Kigali, ranks as the safest capital city in Africa.
- Leading by example, Rwanda boasts a huge number of women in the Rwandan Parliament – 67 percent of the seats.
Rwanda’s official language is Kinyarwanda.
When To Go
The best time to visit Rwanda is during the long dry season from June to mid-September. The rainy season is March to May, with heavy, persistent rain. October and November are a shorter rainy season, followed by a short dry season from December to February.
Kigali International Airport, Kigali
Passport must be valid at time of entry for six months beyond arrival date.
Visa Required By US Citizen?
The CDC recommends the following vaccines for most travelers when visiting Rwanda: Hepatitis A, Malaria and Typhoid. Depending on where you are traveling, you may also need Hepatitis B, Rabies and Yellow Fever vaccines.
Power plugs and sockets: types C and J. Standard voltage: 230V. Frequency: 50Hz.
Official local currency: Rwandan Franc
The main roads between Kigali and major towns are generally in good condition. Use caution for excessive lighting and lack of headlights in oncoming traffic. Secondary and unpaved roads may become impassable during the rainy seasons.
Public transportation is available in the form of official Kigali city buses and orange-striped licensed taxis. Negotiate a fare before departure. Considering hiring a car service through your travel agency or hotel.
Valid driver’s license from country of origin and international driver’s license required.
US Embassy Info
U.S. Embassy Kigali
2657 Avenue de la Gendarmerie (Kacyiru),
Telephone: 250-252-596-400-7000 (Monday through Thursday, 8:15 a.m.
to 5:30 p.m. and Friday from 8:15 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: 250-252-596-400, and dial 1
Local Visitor Info
Rwanda Tourism Information Centre
KG 9 Ave
Local Emergency Phone Numbers
Safety and Security
Rwanda is generally considered very safe. Reported crime in Rwanda generally involves petty theft or theft from residential and hotel rooms.
Stay away from demonstrations and protests, which have the risk of becoming violent.
Armed groups operate on the DRC side of Virunga Park. Obtain a permit from the Rwanda Office of Tourism and National Parks prior to entry.
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