Rwanda is a landlocked country in the Great Lakes region of Africa, bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It’s renowned for its breathtaking scenery, mountain gorillas, cleanliness, and, sadly, the horrific genocide. If you’re a football lover, you must have spotted the “Visit Rwanda” tagline on Arsenal’s shirt since the 2018/19 season. Rwanda is often referred to as le pays des mille collines, French for “land of a thousand hills.”
Here is a comprehensive Rwanda travel guide for all kinds of travelers.
Passport validity: 6 months after the date of entry into Rwanda
Blank Passport Pages: 1 page
Tourist Visa Required: Yes
Vaccinations: Yes. Yellow fever vaccination if coming from a country with a risk of transmission.
Currency: The currency of Rwanda is the Rwandan franc (RWF).
Currency restriction for entry: None
Currency restriction for exit: None
Credit card: Credit cards are generally accepted at the Kigali International Airport but not at some land borders. It’s a good idea to have cash at the airport in case credit card transactions are unavailable upon arrival.
Entry, Exit, and Visa Requirements
You can get a Rwandan visa through the following procedures:
- Obtain a 30-day, 90-day, or 10-year tourist visa through the Rwandan Embassy in your country. Learn more here.
- Obtain a 30-day tourist visa at the port of entry for $50 (single entry) or $70 (multiple entry). Learn more here.
Quick Facts About Rwanda
- Rwanda is a landlocked country in Central Africa, bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo
- The climate in Rwanda is tropical, with two rainy seasons (March to May and September to December)
- The official language of Rwanda is Kinyarwanda, but French and English are also widely spoken
- Rwandan cuisine includes dishes such as goat meat stew, plantains, cassava leaves, sweet potatoes, and beans
- There are many things to see and do in Rwanda, including visiting the Akagera National Park for wildlife spotting or hiking in the Volcanoes National Park.
What to See and Do in Rwanda
Rwanda is a stunning country with a vibrant culture, diverse natural landscapes, and fascinating historical attractions. Whether you are interested in wildlife safaris, mountain trekking, or exploring history, there is something for everyone in Rwanda. Here is a list of things to see and do in Rwanda. But before you even check them out, find out the best time to visit the country to ensure you get the most out of your experience.
- One of the most popular tourist attractions in Rwanda is Volcanoes National Park. This park is home to several mountain gorilla colonies, and visitors can trek through the lush forest trails to see these amazing creatures in their natural habitat.
- You can also go hiking and trekking at the Nyungwe Forest National Park, one of the oldest rainforests in Africa. This park is a great place to see chimpanzees and other wildlife. Volcanoes Park also offers a perfect hiking and trekking spot in the country.
- For those interested in history, the Rwanda Genocide Memorial is a must-see. This memorial is dedicated to the victims of the 1994 Rwandan genocide and is a sobering reminder of the atrocities that took place.
- If you are looking for an adrenaline-pumping activity, you’ll love sailing, fishing, and water sports in Lake Kivu. The lake also offers perfect beachfront lounging for when you feel like chilling.
- Last but not least, you can explore Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda. Kigali is a beautiful, clean, and safe city with plenty to see and do.
Here is a list of tour companies in Rwanda just in case you need help getting around.
Where to Stay in Rwanda
There are many accommodation options available in Rwanda to suit all budgets.
- There are several five-star hotels in Kigali for luxury accommodation, such as the Radisson Blu Hotel and the Marriott Kigali Hotel.
- For mid-range accommodation, there are plenty of hotels and guesthouses available.
- For budget accommodation, there are several hostels and campsites available.
When is the Best Time to Visit Rwanda?
The best time to visit Rwanda is during the dry season, which runs from June to September. During this time, the weather is cool and dry, making it ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, trekking, and wildlife safaris.
If you are interested in visiting the Volcanoes National Park to see the mountain gorillas, then the best time to visit is from June to August and December to February since they receive the lowest rainfall and the forest is less slippery.
What to Eat in Rwanda
Rwandan cuisine includes dishes such as:
- Ibiraya (Rwandan fries)
- Akabenzi (Pan-fried Pork)
- Mizuzu (Deep- fried Plantains)
- Agatogo (Plantains with meat and spices)
- Umutsima (Corn and Cassava)
- Isombe (Pounded Cassava leaves)
- Ubugali (Cassava Porridge)
- Brochettes (Barbecued Meat)
- Beans and Avocados with Boiled Sweet Potatoes
Transport and Getting Around Rwanda
Rwanda is served by Kigali International Airport, which is located just outside the capital city of Kigali. The airport offers direct flights to several major cities in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. You can also fly into Rwanda from Uganda or Tanzania via one of the regional airlines.
Once you’re in Rwanda, getting around is relatively easy. The country has a good network of roads, especially around the city and major towns. Plenty of taxis and buses are available, but you rent a car if you want more flexibility. Just be sure to drive on the left-hand side of the road!
Rwanda is an amazing country with something for everyone! Whether interested in wildlife and history or want to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery, Rwanda has it all.