Here are a few tips to make your stay in Rwanda even better…
Do not forget…..
- Malaria is present, but not common in Kigali. Treatment against malaria.
- An effective insect repellent with a minimum 30% DEET for Rwanda is a malaria risk area.
- A sunscreen lotion with a high UV index, because the sun rays in Rwanda are unforgiving.
- Before your departure, get vaccinated against: yellow fever (mandatory), hepatitis A and B, typhoid fever and meningitis.
- First aid Kit and your medication. However, most medications can be purchased over the counter from the city’s many pharmacies.
- Basic hygiene products, because they are expensive in Rwanda.
- A headlamp, since power outages are common and the sun sets every evening at 6 pm.
- A refillable water bottle and tablets or drops to purify water.
- Treated nets impregnated with deltamethrin. Tap water is not safe to drink.
- An adapter with two round blades (used in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Caribbean) and a converter (230 v 50 Hz).
- Binoculars. Rwanda has several species of birds to observe.
- Comfortable walking shoes. Keep in mind that the roads are strenuous.
- A good raincoat will be very useful especially in the two rain seasons (which occur mid-March to end of May and from October to December).
- Warm clothing for a cool evening.
- A hat to protect you from the sun.
- The Rwandans are very proud therefore they may get offended by a neglected look
To make new friends…
- Always ask before you take pictures.
- Keep on smiling and be patient in every situation especially in restaurants, because you can wait up to an hour to be served.
- Learn a few words of Kinyarwanda, Rwandans are always happy when they are greeted in their mother tongue.
- Don’t worry; English is more present then French. Here the first language spoken is Kinyarwanda.
- Cross the street at locations reserved for pedestrians and no matter what do not step over a wire or cord even if they are at calf level. You will be fined if an authority representative sees you.
- Avoid any conversation on politics or genocide
- Never ask someone to what ethnic group he or she belongs
- Rwanda is a safe country but it is best to take some precautions as petty crime is on the rise. Please be aware of your belongings, especially when in public transportation, markets or in more downtown areas.
- In a safari or in a gorilla tour always follow the guides’ instructions. Remember that they have your safety at heart
- Do not bring plastic bags. They are banned in the country since 2006
- 1st of January : New year’s day
- 1st of February : National Heroes day
- Easter Sunday
- Easter Monday
- 1th of April : Genocide memorial day
- 1th of may : labour day
- 1th of July : Independence day
- 4th of July : Liberation day
- 15 th of August : The Assumption
- 25 th of September : Republic day
- 25 th of December : Christmas
- The currency is the Rwandan franc (Frw)
- For the currency exchange rate, click here
- Credit cards are widely accepted in Kigali.
- In Kigali, ATMs withdrawals are possible with an international credit card. Otherwise, you can go into a bank to make a withdrawal with your own credit card.
- Euros and US dollars can be converted to Rwandan franc in a Forex.
- Traveller’s cheques are very difficult, even virtually impossible to Exchange.
- The maximum amount of Rwandan Francs you can withdraw per transaction at an ATM is 200,000 RWF (about $270 USD) and most machines will allow two withdrawals of 200,000 RWF.
- You can withdraw USD from KCB ATMs scattered around town ($500 USD maximum per withdrawal).
- If you bring USD make sure all bills are newer than 2006.
- The most common transportation in Kigali is motorcycle taxis (locally known as motos). If you plan to travel by moto, we strongly recommend using SafeMotos – they have apps for Android and iOS where you can order a safe driver right to your door and also provide better helmets for their riders.
- Some travelers can receive a visa upon arrival. More country specific visa info linked here.
- The tourist visa is $30 USD for one month.
- The East African Tourist Visa, which is $100 USD grants you multiple entry access to Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda.
- You can pay in cash or by credit card.
For more informations…
- Visit the group Kigali Life on Yahoo
- Visit Living in Kigali web site
- Visit Rwanda Immigration and Emigration
- Visit Rwanda Development Board