akagera national park

Rwanda ranks among the world’s most exciting emergent ecotourism destinations. Few would have expected it 25 years ago, when a long-simmering civil war erupted into a tragic genocide in which up to a million people died. But two decades of subsequent political stability have seen Rwanda emerge as one of the most economically vibrant and socially progressive countries in Africa.

Rwanda is the world’s premier gorilla-tracking destination. But there is much to see there besides gorillas. The mountain-ringed inland sea that is Lake Kivu; the immense Nyungwe Forest National Park with its chimpanzees, monkeys and rare birds; the wild savannah of Akagera National Park – and, perhaps above all, the endless succession of steep cultivated mountains that have justifiably earned Rwanda the soubriquets 

Health and safety in Rwanda


Rwanda is a healthy country for tourists and you’ll never be far from some kind of medical help. The main towns have hospitals (for anything serious you’ll be more comfortable in Kigali) and all towns of any size have a pharmacy, although the range of medicines on sale may be limited. In Kigali, the pharmacy in Boulevard de la Révolution is open 24 hours


So far as tourists need be concerned, Rwanda is among the most crime-free of African countries. Kigali is a very safe city, even at night, though it would probably be courting trouble to stumble around dark alleys with all your valuables on your person. Be aware, too, that this sort of thing can change very quickly: all too often, as tourism volumes increase, so too does opportunistic and petty crime.

The following security hints are applicable anywhere in Africa:

  • Most casual thieves operate in busy markets and bus stations. Keep a close watch on your possessions in such places, and avoid having valuables or large amounts of money loose in your daypack or pocket.
  • Keep all your valuables and the bulk of your money in a hidden money belt. Never show this money belt in public. Keep any spare cash you need elsewhere on your person – a button-up pocket on the front of the shirt is a good place as money cannot be snatched from it without the thief coming into your view. It is also advisable to keep a small amount of hard currency (ideally cash) hidden in your luggage in case you lose your money belt.
  • Where the choice exists between carrying valuables on your person or leaving them in a locked room I would favour the latter option (thefts from locked hotel rooms are relatively rare in Africa). Obviously you should use your judgement on this and be sure the room is absolutely secure. Bear in mind that some travellers’ cheque companies will not refund cheques which were stolen from a room 

Time Zone

Central Africa Time (GMT/UTC + 2 hours)

Official Languages

Kinyarwanda | French | English


Rwandan Francs(Rwf)



Immigration & Visas

Citizens of all countries are allowed to get visa upon arrival without prior application.

Citizens of country members to the African Union, Commonwealth and La Francophonie can get free visas upon arrival in Rwanda for a visit of 30 days.

A citizen of East African Community Member States can receive a pass/entry visa free of charge upon arrival for a six-month stay in Rwanda.

Visitors from the following countries can be granted 90-day visas at no cost upon arrival in Rwanda: Angola, Benin, Central African Republic, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, The Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, Ghana, Guinea, Indonesia, Haiti, Mauritius, Philippines, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Sao Tome and Principe, Singapore and the State of Qatar.

Citizens of countries that are not visa exempt have an option of applying online or at the Rwanda Diplomatic Mission of the country of residence before departure. Those applying online have the option to pay online or upon arrival. There is no single affiliated agent that is authorised to apply for a visa on your behalf.

The visa fees must not exceed 50 USD for single entry visa or 70 USD for multiple entry.

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