Rwanda is a country located in Africa with name that begins with letter R. The “land of 1,000 hills” is located in the heart of Africa. Both the Nile and the Congo are fed by Rwandan waters – the country is the continent’s watershed. But also the mountains of the East African state, which borders Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Eastern Congo, should not be neglected: the dormant Karisimbi volcano in the northwest rises 4,507 m as the highest peak. Like the 3,711 m high Visoke, it belongs to the Virunga volcanic chain. Between these two peaks lies the well-known Karisoke Center, founded in 1967, for research into mountain gorillas, which only occur in the rainforests in this area. But the country near the equator is home to many other animals. In the Akagera National Park in the east, the “classic” fauna of Africa from elephants to lions is represented, and in the southwestern Nyungwe National Park you can observe a number of primate species and colorful birds. The landscape of Lake Kiwu in western Rwanda is also impressive. Check Countryaah to find more countries that begin with letter R.
A valid passport and a visa are required for entry. A 30-day tourist visa is also available upon arrival in the country.
Due to the average altitude of 1,000 m, Rwanda has a mild, humid highland climate with average temperatures of moderate 20 to 22 °C. In addition to the altitude, the two rainy seasons from March to June and October to November determine the temperature and weather.
Food and drink
Plantains that are made into pulp, cornmeal, and legumes are the basic ingredients in many Rwandan dishes; Sweet potatoes and cassava are other important sources of calories in stews like Ubugali and Isombe. Meat is rarely on the table. The drinks are also dominated by the banana: in Rwanda beer is even brewed from them and schnapps is made.
Rwanda is considered to be the cleanest country in Africa: once a month, people are encouraged to clean their villages and streets from rubbish, and plastic bags have been banned in the country for over ten years. In addition to the important role that education plays in Rwanda, the role of women is also noteworthy: In Rwanda they make a much greater contribution to economic and political life than in other African countries.
Tap water is not drinkable! Medical care does not come close to European standards. The European authorities strongly recommend that you take a personal first-aid kit with you. Sufficient sunscreen and mosquito repellent are also advisable. It is best to consult a doctor about which vaccinations help against tropical diseases or whether malaria prophylaxis makes sense. Since there is no social security agreement with Rwanda, you should consider taking out travel health insurance.
Violent crime is rare, but property crimes are easily on the rise – you should therefore refrain from carrying or displaying large amounts of money, valuables or jewelry with you in public.
All about money
1 Uganda shilling (UGX) = 100 cents
1 Rwanda Francs (RWF) = 100 Centimes
Tips are usually paid in Uganda Shillings. For the entire journey you need cash in the amount of around 200-300 euros. In larger cities, shillings can be withdrawn from machines with an EC or Visa credit card. Please note that you need a pin code for the credit card. Payment by credit card is only possible to a limited extent. Sometimes problems arise with EC cards. The mixture of the above-mentioned means of payment has proven to be very useful in order to react variably to local conditions.
For the tips, a community cash desk is sometimes set up, which is used for all tips for rangers, boat drivers, hotel employees, etc. The amount of the deposit is approx. 60 euros per person for the entire trip. Your travel guide will also be happy to receive appropriate recognition after a successful tour. Tips for luggage service, for serving in restaurants and for guided tours are around one euro per person (approx. 3000 UGX)
Entrance fees for program-based visits to national parks, guided tours by professional park rangers and trekking guides are included in your travel price.
Other essential information
The time difference to CET is +2 hours
For electrical devices, you should have an adapter (3-pin, UK system) with you. Most hotels can provide electricity.