Rwanda FAQs

If you do not see the answer to your question here, please submit your question via our contact page. We look forward to your comments and questions.

What options are there for traveling to Rwanda?

By Air: Daily and direct flights into Kigali International Airport (KGL) are more available then ever. Some European routes include, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Brussels, as well as Istanbul and Dubai. Other cities you can search in Africa will connect through some of these cites Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Bujumbura (Burundi), Entebbe (Uganda), Nairobi (Kenya), Johannesburg (South Africa), Killimanjaro (Tanzania). If you would like a flight suggestion please contact us.

By Ground: Traveling from Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Uganda, there are busses that come to Kigali, Rwanda daily. These routes are often long and inexpensive, but do offer an unforgettable experience and great scenery.

What are the Visa requirements for Rwanda?

Update on Visa’s to visit Rwanda. On May 7th 2015 a new policy was made by the Rwandan Government, and will go into effect by June 1 2015 and will be applicable for the next 12 months.
– National of Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Republic of South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States of America, shall get an entry visa and pay a $50.00 visa fee upon arrival at any entry into Rwanda without prior application. The visa is good for a total of 30 Days.
– EAC Partner states citizens will continue getting visitors visas for 6 months with no fee.
– DRC citizens will continue getting visitors visa for up to 90 days with not fee.
– Nationals of Singapore, Hong Kong, Mauritius and the Philippines are exempt from entry/tourism visa and may stay for up to 90 days.
-Nationals of African countries not exempt from the visa fee shall continue getting entry visa at Rwanda entry points.
-Nationals of countries not mentioned shall get a visa upon application before travelling and pay the prescribed fee.
For more information and the online application, please visit the Rwandan immigration page.

**Please note that Canadians do require a visa to enter Rwanda.

Most recent U.S. Travel alerts

Please make sure when traveling to Rwanda and our region that  you have with you an updated copy of your yellow WHO proof of vaccination card.

For other country reports please visit your countries websites.

April 3, 2016 – U.S. Embassy in Kigali.  This announcement is not just for Americans.
Yellow Fever Vaccination Required for Entry into Rwanda 

The U.S. Embassy in Kigali wishes to remind travelers to Rwanda that proof of yellow fever vaccination is required for entry. Due to a recent yellow fever outbreak in Angola, Rwandan immigration officials now require un-vaccinated air travelers  over the age of one year to obtain a vaccine upon entry at the airport (cost $40 U.S. dollars). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends all travelers age 9 months or older be vaccinated against yellow fever. The U.S. Embassy encourages any American citizen in Rwanda or planning to travel to Rwanda that has not been vaccinated to seek vaccination.

We remind all citizens to be vigilant in implementing anti-mosquito measures. Such measures can include: avoiding areas where there is standing water in which mosquitos can breed, avoiding being outdoors in the early morning or early evening twilight period, using mosquito repellants, and using mosquito netting.

American citizens should also be vigilant in recognizing the signs and symptoms of yellow fever, which can appear similar to those for malaria. These symptoms include sudden onset of fever, fatigue, weakness, chills, severe headache, arthralgia (joint pain) and general body pain, nausea, and vomiting. If you notice such symptoms, immediately seek diagnosis and treatment from a health-care provider.

For more information about Yellow Fever, please visit the CDC link FAQs about Yellow Fever.

For further information:

·        See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and  Country Specific Information for Rwanda.

·        Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.

·        Contact the U.S. Embassy in Rwanda, located at 2657 Avenue de la Gendarmerie, Kacyiru, Kigali, at +250 252-596-400, 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Fridays, except U.S. federal holidays and Rwandan holidays. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +250 252-596-400.

·        Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

What are the Passport Requirements?

For traveling abroad please make sure your passport has a minimum of 6 blank pages for entry and exit stamps.  Some countries will place a full page visa into your passport eliminating a full page.  It is also required that your passport expiration date is valid for at least six (6) months after your return date.   If your passport does not have these things you may not be allowed in to your destination or even to board the plane.
What vaccines are required for travel to Rwanda?

There is only one required Vaccine for traveling into Rwanda. Please make an appointment with your travel doctor to obtain the Yellow Fever Vaccine as well as to discuss your options for Malaria medications. Many doctors may also recommend HepA and HepB and Typhoid. You may also wish to check with the CDC Website for more information. Please remember to bring with you the World Health Organization (WHO) card they give you once you have received your vaccines.
What about money, credit cards, cash and tipping?

Rwanda’s currency is the Rwandan franc. Rwanda is a cash-based economy and offers few opportunities to use a credit or debit cards. There are many Forex exchange locations in Kigali making it easy to change your currency to Rwandan Francs.

BE AWARE UNITED STATES CURRENCY MUST HAVE A PRINT DATE OF 2009 OR NEWER. OLDER BILLS MAY AT TIMES NOT BE EXCHANGED, nor will bills in denomination less the $20. You will also receive a better exchange rate for your US dollars in Rwanda when you bring either $50’s or $100’s compared to $20’s. There a few banks in which debit and credit cards are accepted to access cash if needed. Transactions are cash only with the exception of a few of the larger hotel chains. If you would like suggestions on money please feel free to contact us.

About tipping – Tipping in Rwanda is not expected in restaurants yet we believe that all good work should be rewarded. Our suggested tip for the National Parks the rangers, guides, and porters be tipped between $5-$20 each. Your driver will also be appreciative of being tipped for his GOOD service, we suggest $15 -$25 per day.

What about medical care in Rwanda?

Access to medical care is best in Kigali, where there is a well-equipped private hospital. There are other smaller hospitals and clinics around the country. If you require special medications we suggest that you bring whatever you may need including an additional three – four day supply.

In case of emergency while outside of the Kigali and in Rwanda, Akagera Aviation does provide for all members of RTTA emergency helicopter evacuation to Kigali.

Is the drinking water in Rwanda safe?

We advise that you drink only bottled water while in Rwanda. Brushing your teeth is safe from the tap, though many do use bottled water just as a safety precaution.
What about electricity? Internet? Cell Phones?

Electricity: Rwanda’s voltage is 220V. Our recommendation for those traveling with multiple rechargeable batteries such as cameras, computers, cell phones or other equipment is that you bring extra batteries. As well as you may consider a power supply with a surge protector and multiple outlets.

Communication: Rwanda is becoming the hub of East African communications. There are many local Internet cafes both in Kigali and many towns throughout the country. Most of the larger hotels provide Internet access. Sim cards and/or cell phones are readily available as well as prepaid phone cards. If you have your own cell phone it must be unlocked in order to work with a local sim card. Sim cards may be purchased in the phone shops with identification.  Airtime is prepaid and can be purchased easily on the street by local vendors.

What's the weather like in Rwanda?

Any time of year is a good time to travel in Rwanda. Rwanda is known as eternal spring. It maintains a relatively even temperature of about 76.3°F – 82°F/ 24.6°C – 27.6 °C. The hottest time of year is August through September. Evenings are often cool and refreshing and a sweater is suggested. There are two rainy seasons, March through May and October through December. The rainy season shows itself typically with a daily downpour mixed with sunshine. The annual rainfall averages 31.5 in/ 80 cm.

Current Weather in Kigali, Rwanda.

What should I pack on my trip to Rwanda?

Rwanda is located in the middle of Africa, just 2 degrees south off the equator.  It is commonly known as eternal spring so remember clothing for cool nights. For evening wear and eating out of doors we recommend long sleeves and pants as a deterrent for mosquitoes. Repellent impregnated clothing is great.

Day-to-day: Dress code in Rwanda is mostly casual but conservative. Shorts are acceptable but not seen often on locals. Women may be more comfortable in knee length shorts or skirts. For nightlife, women may like a nicer outfit for dinner and or dancing, men may like a dress shirt with chinos, khaki’s or slacks.

Other recommendations include sun block, Flashlight, book, journal with pens or pencils, extra batteries, memory cards for camera’s and/or film and Feminine Hygiene products.

Trekking: If your expedition includes trekking gorillas and or chimps in the Volcanoes NP or Nuyngwe NP, we recommend the following.

Long pants and sleeves
Firm footwear is required, no flip-flops
Windbreaker or light raincoat
Bug repellent
Garden gloves

If you are visiting the lakes Kibuye or Gisenyi don’t forget your swimsuit and towel.

Who can trek the mountain gorilla? What do I need to know?

The Rwanda government does not allow anyone under the age of 15 years to trek the Mountain Gorilla. All trekkers are required to be at the park offices no later then 7AM. All Gorilla permit sales are final.

For some trekking Mountain Gorilla’s can be strenuous.  The starting elevation is about 9000 feet above sea level, and you can can upwards of 1500 – 2000 feet. The trek at times is through dense forest at a steep incline. The national park does provide porters for your convenience should you like them to carry your pack or even be of assistance while hiking. Should you have personal health concerns please see your personal physician.

Some trekkers like to have light rain jackets, pants, or gators and garden gloves for the thicker brush.

Please inquire with Intore Expeditions should you have other questions.

What about camera gear?

Details coming soon