Rwanda Traveller Information
Rwanda is a relatively stable East African country, and easily accessible from Kenya and Uganda. It is relatively easy, safe and simple to travel around. It is landlocked, surrounded by Uganda to the north, Tanzania to the east, Burundi to the south, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west.
Rwanda is not only the land of a thousand hills, but also a country rich in flora and fauna and stunning natural beauty in its scenic rolling and breathtaking green savannah. The country hosts some rare species of animals like the silverback mountain gorillas as well as unique birds and insects in the tropical forest of Nyungwe.
The equatorial climate is tempered by altitude (Kigali 1500m) significant rainfall during the rainy season (September to December and March - end of May).
There are direct international flights into Kigali from Brussels several times a week on Brussels Airlines, and from Istanbul three times per week on Turkish Airlines. KLM also flies to Kigali directly from Amsterdam. RwandAir has, since the end of August 2011, started flights to Dubai (via) Mombasa using its new Boeing 737-800 and separately to Jo-Burg using the same aircraft. There are also daily flights from Entebbe airport in Uganda, Johannesburg and Addis Ababa. Additionally, there are connections twice a day from Nairobi, and several flights a week to Bujumbura. Note that the Rwandan capital is also easily accessible (3h by road) from the Goma airstrip in DRC.
Transport network Road infrastructure The following areas are paved:
• Kigali - Kibuye very winding, little traffic, in good condition.
• Kigali - Ruhengeri good condition.
• Ruhengeri-Gisenyi: Good.
• Kigali - Uganda border Byumba: good condition, many trucks.
• Kigali - Gitarama: Good. The road network of the city of Kigali and its suburbs, outside the main paved roads, consists of roads in very poor condition. The Kibuye-Gisenyi and Kibuye-Cyangugu tracks remain difficult. The use of an all-terrain vehicle is recommended. Fuel supply is generally provided in the main cities. Generally, drive with caution, particularly at night, given the large number of pedestrians along roads, including children.
Short distances can be travelled either on foot, or by taxi-velo (bicycle taxi). Taxi-velos are widespread, and are relatively inexpensive but not allowed in urban areas. A taxi-velo driver will cycle, and the passenger will sit rather precariously on the back.
Motorcycle taxis (taxi-moto) are also popular, especially in Kigali, a normal journey will cost up to $2. If you look like a foreigner and are walking on the main road, drivers will probably come up to you to offer a ride. Most of the drivers speak basic English or French, some do not.
Taxis are less common, and are best found at taxi stations, by waiting at the taxi sign at bus stops, or by calling them. They are significantly more expensive, even short rides cost 2000 francs, almost $4, and longer rides can be 5,000 or more (almost $10).
Slightly longer distances, indeed the whole country, can be travelled by Matatu (or Twegerane, literaly let's get closer). These white minibuses are found throughout East Africa, and are crammed full of adults, children, and anything else you can think of (bags, chickens).
Kinyarwanda is the chief spoken language in Rwanda. It is also spoken in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo and in the south of Uganda (Bufumbira-area). Kinyarwanda is a language of the Bantu linguistic family. It is closely related to Kirundi spoken in the neighboring country Burundi and to Giha of western Tanzania.
English and French are also official languages, and many residents (particularly in urban areas) will speak one or the other in addition to Kinyarwanda.
Due to the mass movement of people over the past fifty years, a result of the country's war torn history, you will likely encounter several people who speak a handful of other languages spoken in the East African region (Kiswahili, Lingala, Luganda). Most traders in Rwanda will speak enough Kiswahili to make a sale.
Note: Although Rwanda is politically stable, travellers are advised to avoid being closer to the borders with Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo.
Pays des illes Collines (Land of a Thousand Hills), Rwanda is a lush country of endless mountains.The peaks of the Virunga volcanoes are the most majestic in the world so far.These mountains found In Parc National Des Volcans, the volcanoes form a natural border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Uganda, and in it’s jungles and bamboos, are hidden a considerable percentage of the world’s last remaining Mountain Gorillas.
The shores of Lake Kivu can provide you with some of the best inland beaches on the continent. Deep in the southwest, Parc National Nyungwe Forest is the most extensive montane rainforest in the region, and home to many primates.
Rwanda has five volcanoes, twenty-three lakes and numerous rivers, some forming the source of River Nile. Spectacular volcanoes and dense tropical forests dominate the north of the country, while gentle hills and valleys, calm lakes and turbulent rivers in both savannah and dense tropical vegetation dominate the rest of the country.
Foreign Nationals who wish to get Rwandan Visas can submit their applications to Rwandan Diplomatic Missions in their Countries.
For those coming from countries where there is no Diplomatic Mission, they should request for an entry on line which will be used to obtain a visa on any official point of entry (airport or border post) in Rwanda.
In view of the bilateral agreements, the Nationals of the following Countries may visit Rwanda without visa for a period up to 90 days: USA, Germany, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Uganda, Mauritius, South Africa, Kenya, Great Britain, Sweden, Singapore, Hong Kong and Burundi.
General Information for an Applicant Seeking To Visit Rwanda On a Tourist Visa
Travel Document: An applicant shall be holder of a valid passport or another acceptable travel document. The document must have a validity of at least 6 months on the day of entry in Rwanda.
Health Requirements: A vaccination certificate may be required at the border post. In the event of a major disease outbreak, specific requirements could be set and put to the knowledge of the applicants.
Visa Fees: These are fees for processing of applications. If applications are refused, or withdrawn by the applicant, refunds of fees will not be made.
Validity of Visas: The maximum and Minimum period of validity of visas is set out in the Information for Applicants for each visa class.
Single or Multiple Entries: Whether a visa will usually be issued for single or multiple entries is set out in the Information for Applicants for each visa class.
Financial Requirements: An applicant must have sufficient funds to cover the costs of their stay in Rwanda. Evidence for such funds may be requested online, at the Rwandan foreign mission or at the entry point. Extension of Visas for Some Classes: Some visa classes may be extended. Details are set out in the Information for Applicants for each class.
Extensions of visas should be applied for whilst initial visas remain valid.
A period of grace also allows a visa holder 5 days after their visa expires to depart the country, without penalty. Persons who depart more than 5 days after the expiry of their visa may be subject to a fine and may be refused a further visa.
Change of Status for Some Classes: An applicant may apply to the Director General for another class of visa whilst they are in Rwanda and whilst their current visa remains valid.
For the Group tourist visa change of status is not permitted. Information for Applicants for the particular visa classes will state if change of status is not allowed.
Verification of Documents: Documents, supporting applications, must be originals or certified as true copies by the issuing authority.
FLIGHS TO RWANDA.
The biggest airlines flying to Rwanda are :-
South African Airways
AIR CHARTERS IN RWANDA.