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Rwanda Travel Information

The Basics

Time

Local time is GMT +2.

Electricity

Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. European two-pin attachment plugs are the most commonly used.

Language

Kinyarwanda, French and English are the official languages. French is widely spoken, but English is limited to a few people in the tourist centres.

Travel Health

There is a year-round risk of malaria throughout Rwanda and travellers are advised to take a course of prophylactics. A yellow fever certificate is required by all visitors and inoculation is also recommended. Hepatitis A and Meningococcus vaccinations are also recommended, as well as a polio booster for those who have not had one as an adult. Cholera outbreaks are not uncommon. Bottled drinking water is available in all towns. Medical facilities are limited and medical supplies may be unavailable, although hospitals are located in all major towns. Comprehensive medical insurance is advised.

Tipping

Some small change left at restaurants will be appreciated when dining in Rwanda. Guides on gorilla treks expect to be well tipped; amounts vary, but 10% is common.

Safety Information

Crime levels are relatively low in Rwanda, although tourists should be alert to bag snatching and incidents of petty theft. Travel to the border areas with Burundi and the DRC is not advised; trips to see the gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park should only be undertaken as part of a guided trek. Rwanda is considered a low threat for terrorism, however there are reports of random grenade attacks as recently as March 2012 and travellers should be vigilant at bus stops and other public areas. The roads in major towns are good, however travel after dark is not advisable; landslides are common during the rainy season (late spring to early autumn).

Local Customs

Photography of government buildings is prohibited in Rwanda. Plastic bags have been banned for environmental reasons and will be confiscated on arrival at the airport. It is considered impolite to ask someone about their ethnic origin.

Business

A handshake is the normal form of greeting. A knowledge of French is useful as English is not widely spoken; interpreters may be required. Lightweight suits are suitable attire for meetings, which need to be arranged in advance.

Communications

The international dialling code for Rwanda is +250. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the UK). City codes are not required. There is an excellent cell phone network covering most of the country, and cell phones can be rented in Kigali. Internet cafes and computer centres are located in most major towns.

Duty Free

Passengers older than 16 years may bring two cartons of cigarettes and two litres of alcohol into the country without incurring import duties.

Become our Rwanda Travel Expert

We are looking for contributors for our Rwanda travel guide. If you are a local, a regular traveller to Rwanda or a travel professional with time to contribute and answer occasional forum questions, please contact us.

Africa Miracles

Africa Miracles specialises in tailor-made holidays to Rwanda. Travel to the website and find information on Rwanda and suggested itineraries.

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