Rwanda

Rwandas gorillas, the gentle giants of the rain forest, welcome you!

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Why Rwanda?

The land of the thousand hills – as Rwanda is also called – stands out due to its special abundance of species and the possible encounter with its mountain gorillas. They are the last ones of their kind and can be found in the foothills of the jungles and rain forests of the Virunga Mountains and in Bwindi National Park. The region runs between Rwanda, Uganda and Congo offers unforgettable experiences with the gorillas.

 

Rwanda’s popularity has lots of reasons:

– Easy availability with only little time difference (+ 1 hour during winter)
– Good flight connection with Ethiopian Airlines via Addis Abeba or Brussels Airlines directly to Kigali. These flight connections can easily be combined with other destinations like Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilimanjaro or Zanzibar.
– Uncomplicated entry regulations: Germans don’t need a visa, Austrians and Swiss can obtain their visa at the border. For this you will need an online registration in advance (here) or you contact your Embassy directly.
– Central location on the African Continent with lots of volcanos in the north, beautiful beaches at Lake Kivu in the west, savannah landscapes at Akagera National Park in the east or the Nyungwe National Park in the south which protects the largest connected mountain rain forest in East and Central Africa.
– Home of the rare mountain gorillas and golden long-tailed monkey
– Possibility to watch primates, wild animals and birds from near distance

Travel Season

Good travel time:
September
Best travel time:
June, July, August
Green Season:
February, March, April, May
Small Green Season:
October, November, December
     

Tips before your Departure

Entry

Germans and Austrians need a passport that has to be valid for at least 6 more months after leaving the country and a visa. The chargeable visa can be acquired in advance at the Embassy or directly at the airport for 30,- USD. Children need a children’s passport or a valid child ID to old sample. Inhabitants of other countries should ask for their respective entry requirements at their responsible Embassy.  

Health

Besides sunscreen and your personal first-aid kit we recommend medicine for diarrhea due to the climatic change. When entering Rwanda you don’t have to show a certification of a valid yellow fever inoculation. But please note that you might need this in other countries if you are on a round trip through Africa. Beyond that, no immunizations are required, but please ask your doctor or local health authority before departure. In addition we suggest you invest in a travel health insurance, and will be happy to inform you about it.  

Currency

Currency is the Rwanda-Franc.  

Time Shift

There is no time shift during the European summer time, in winter it’s + 1 hour.  

Climate

In Rwanda there is tropical semi-humid climate that is moderated by the heights. Temperatures within the deeper or medium located areas are constantly high year-round, they show an average of about 21° C. In higher elevations there can be frost during night. There are two rain seasons (February-April and November-December), but generally the amount of precipitation decreases from West to East.  

Luggage/Clothes

For safaris please think of clothes in muted colors, long trousers, long sleeves, headgear as well as comfortable shoes. Please also remember to take sunscreen and insect-repellant spray. For the rainy seasons you should also bring some rain protection, and in the evenings you might need a pullover or cardigan for lower temperatures.  

Day of Departure

Flight

At the moment there are no direct flights from Germany to Rwanda. The main airport is Kigali, that can be reached with comfortable connection flights with e.g. KLM (via Amsterdam), Turkish Airlines (via Istanbul) or Ethiopian Airlines (via Addis Abeba). We will be glad to advise you on prices for flights in Comfort/Business Class. For a fee of € 30, - we can reserve your preferred seat. We can also reserve a parking place at the airport in advance. We recommend to call the airline 1-2 days before departure to let them confirm the time of departure. Please keep your passport ready for your return flight.  

Security Advice

Please note that you have to be at the check-in counter of your airline at least two hours before your departure. We will be glad to send you some information on your airport. Please remember not to pack any sharp objects into your hand luggage like nail scissors etc.  

Your travel destination

Arrival

After arriving at your airport in Rwanda you will be welcomed by your tour guide and accompanied to your hotel or you will directly start your safari.  

Population

Official languages in Rwanda are Kinyarwanda, French and English. Besides they often also speak Kiswahili as trade language.  

Round trips/Excursions

By land or by sea: The landscape and animal kingdom (especially under-water) of Mozambique have a lot to offer. We offer an interesting choice of round trips and excursions and will be glad to advise you. It is recommended to book before your departure as in the peak season many safari lodges are booked up and you may lose valuable vacation time.  

Security

Please deposit your money, jewellery as well as your documents in the hotel safe. Don't take too many things with you and take care of your handbag and camera. After sunset it is recommended to use a taxi instead of public means of transport. Please note that it’s prohibited to take photos of the airport Kigali, bridges, government buildings as well as military facilities. It is also prohibited to import plastic packaging or plastic bags. Please have a look at the latest information of the Department for foreign Affairs.  

Electricity supply

The voltage is 230 Volt alternating current, 50 Hertz. In some hotels you will find suitable European sockets, but we recommend to bring an adapter with you.  

Telephone

Calling from Germany: 00250/local area network/subscriber; calling to Germany: 0049/ local area network without 0/subscriber  

Diplomatic missions

German Embassy: Rwanda 10, Avenue Paul VI Kigali, Tel.: +250 280 57 52 22 Austrian Embassy (represented by the Embassy in Kenya): P.O. Box 30560, Tel.: +254 233 3227 Swiss Embassy: Blvd de la Révolution 38, Kigali, Tel.: +250 252 57 55 34  

Tip

They will be happy about any tip, in restaurants they expect 10-15% of the invoice amount. You can give your safari driver about 5 US$ per person and day, a porter will be happy with 1 US$ per person and a maid with 1 US$ per night/guest.