Rwanda Safari Travel Information

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General Information

Please find below some useful travel information to help you plan your visit to Rwanda. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require any further information.

 

 

Climate

Equatorial climate (25 - 30°C) but nights can be cold (especially at lodges near the Virungas). Chance of rain in the Virunga region is high so bring rain gear.

 

Mountain Gorilla Treks

Tracking gorillas in Rwanda can be testing and requires a moderate to good level of fitness (though it is deemed easier than from Uganda where the trails are steeper and less accessible). Treks are often 2 to 3 hours each way (but can be more) and involve hiking through dense forest and traversing steep ravines and mountainsides, often in damp conditions. However, all this adventure is worthwhile for a glimpse of one of nature’s finest spectacles.
 

In order to minimise human contact with the gorilla groups the Rwandan authorities issue Gorilla Permits – ensuring that a limited number of visitors can observe them each day. These permits are in high demand, so do book early to secure your chosen date/s.

Eco-tourism is nature-based tourism that meets conservation objectives. Gorilla tourism depends largely on the conservation of these magnificent animals. Some rules have been developed to protect the gorillas and the park rangers will brief you before the trekking. Please respect them.

Please note that there is a minimum age restriction of 15 years for visitors on gorilla treks.

 

Currency

The currency of Rwanda is the Rwandan Franc (RFr or Frw) but it is advisable to take US dollars or Euros in cash. US dollars are only accepted if they are dated 2006 or later.

In Kigali the Banque de Kigali and various Bureaux de Change – (closed Saturday afternoons and Sundays) - can change travellers’ cheques. Credit cards can be used in some hotels and restaurants in Kigali. NB  Visa is accepted but Master Card is not.

 

What to Bring with you

With changeable weather conditions and dense forest vegetation it is advisable to take layers of protective clothing. We recommend wearing the following:

  • t-shirt
  • long-sleeved top
  • warm fleece / jumper
  • thick trousers
  • thick wool socks (and gaiters preferably)
  • strong lightweight, water-proof walking boots
  • hat with brim
  • garden gloves to aid scrambling up banks

And carry a small rucksack with:

  • water
  • pack lunch and snacks
  • binoculars
  • camera / video camera with spare battery, memory cards or film
  • light-weight rain mac / poncho

Walking sticks are available at the Park headquarters and porters can be hired for approx US$10.

A sealed plastic bag around camera / lenses will help keep them dry on the trek.

Pockets are useful for valuables and spare camera batteries / lenses etc as all other equipment must be left with porters approx 200 metres away from the gorilla groups.

 

Security

After the 1994 genocide, Rwanda has stabilised. Democratic elections have been held, and Rwanda is one of the most stable and safe African countries.

 

Health Requirements

The recommendations regarding vaccinations and anti-malarial drugs constantly change so please ask your G.P. / medical centre for up-to-date details. A Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate is required (for all travellers over 1 year old).

 

Immigration

Entry requirements can change without notice, so it is advisable to check the latest information regarding passports and visas via the Rwanda Directorate General of Immigration & Emigration on www.migration.gov.rw or with your High Commission, Embassy or Consulate.

A valid passport is required, with a minimum of 6 months validity remaining after your date of entry to Rwanda.

Currently:

  • Nationals of Australia, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, Sweden, Republic of South Africa, United Kingdom, United States of America may acquire the entry visa upon arrival* at any Rwandan entry point on payment of USD$ 30, valid for a period of up to 30 days.
  • Nationals of Singapore, Hong Kong, Mauritius & Phillipines are exempt from the Visa requirement for a period of up to 90 days.
  • EAC Partner States' citizens can be issued a 6 month visitor pass (no fee, can be renewed) at entry points.
  • DRC citizens can be issued a 90 day visitor pass (no fee) at entry points in accordance with the CEPGL Agreement.
  • Nationals of African countries that are not exempt from the visa fee can gain a visa at entry points.
  • Nationals of countries not aforementioned must gain a visa prior to arrival via their Rwanda Embassy / Consulate / Commission and pay the prescribed fee (up to US $60).

*  NB  Visitors arranging Visas on arrival are advised to complete an online Entry Facility Form prior to travel. This allows visitors:

  • to be accepted by the airlines
  • to purchase easily a one-entry visa on their arrival at any Rwandese border post
  • to get a 2nd visa at the border if they re-enter Rwanda having left to neighbouring countries with an initial 1 entry visa

Please note for Visas: 2 passport-size pictures are required when you travel (white background) and you will require a supporting letter from our Rwanda agent verifying your purpose of travel and ground arrangements. You will also need proof of travel insurance.

Complete the Entry Facility Form online at www.migration.gov.rw or for more information email: immig@rwanda1.com

The central immigration centre in Kigali will email (usually within 48 hours) an attachment to be printed by the receiver. This document is to be shown if requested at Airline Check-In and at Immigration on arrival. 

Some useful links are:

Embassy of the Republic of Rwanda - USA

Rwanda High Commission - United Kingdom

High Commission of the Republic of Rwanda - Canada

 

Concerned about the security of your booking and your own safety while on safari?
We fully appreciate your concerns when it comes to booking a safari in Africa and you can rest assured that your financial security when booking and your own personal safety when on safari is our highest priority. Gamewatchers Safaris is a member of the Kenya Association of Tour Operators bonding scheme, backed by a leading insurance company, to ensure your payments are fully protected if a bonded KATO member ceases trading.
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