IS RWANDA SAFE

Rwanda is regarded as one of the safest countries to visit in Africa. Thousands of tourists visit Rwanda each year, mainly for gorilla trekking safaris and they’re generally warmly welcomed and made to feel safe and secure in the country. As long as you’re travelling with a reputable tour operator and taking the usual precautions to keep safe, your Holiday In Rwanda should be incident-free.

Like any country in Africa, you need to make your own safety a priority and take the usual precautions to falling victim to a crime or tourist scam. There are legal matters to consider that’ll keep you on the right side of the law as well cultural issues that need to be respected so you don’t offend anyone. Otherwise, Rwanda is a breath-taking beautiful country and perfectly safe for the majority of travellers.

TOP SAFETY TIPS FOR RWANDA

Be vigilante

Take care when walking around the large towns and cities of Rwanda. Pickpocketing, bag snatching and petty theft of phones and electronics is fairly common in crowded market areas. Avoid attracting unwanted attention to yourself in the large towns and cities in Rwanda. Don’t flash fancy camera equipment around, cash or expensive jewelry; leave your valuables at home or in a safe in your hotel.

Avoid at all costs walking around after dark, particularly if you’re on your own. Most crimes committed in the city are non-violent but it’s not worth taking the risk. At the very least, a mugging where you lose your camera, phone and possibly important documents can derail your holiday plans.

Don’t do drugs in Rwanda

The possession, use and trafficking of drugs in Rwanda is illegal and offenders will be fined heavily and face potential jail time. Do not offer to carry a package from an unknown of suspicious source in your luggage as you risk being used as a drug mule.

Be careful what you photograph

You are prohibited from taking photographs of military, government buildings and border crossing points. If you’re unsure if it’s safe to take a photograph of something, ask your tour guide for permission.

Don’t drink and drive

Drinking and driving is illegal and punishable by a heavy fine or possible jail time. The same applies to using your mobile phone while driving. Remember, if you get tipsy or very drunk on a night out on the town, you are vulnerable. Your senses are dulled and you make poor decisions. You risk being followed home, falling victim to a crime and being seriously hurt.

Don’t mention the genocide

Talk of the Rwanda genocide that is inappropriate or divisive is illegal and you risk getting a heavy fine or being thrown into jail. Avoid any discussion of the genocide with locals, regardless of how harmless you think it might be. Many locals have been affected by the atrocity and still experience trauma from that brutal period.

Do your research on common tourist scams

Whether you’re in Paris or Kigali, you’ve got to watch out for the same old tourist scams. This includes card cloning, online fraud and overcharging. Do research on common ways tourists are ripped off in foreign countries and keep your wits about you so you don’t fall victim to whatever is popular in that country.Don’t trust people too quickly, rather rely on the advice and help of your tour guide.

Book your holiday in Rwanda with a reputable tour operator

For gorilla trekking safaris, always book a tour with a reputable tour operator. These tour operators make your safety a priority and will be quick to alert you to potential risks that could see you get badly hurt or put in a dangerous situation that could get you killed.

Be respectful of local cultures

Homosexuality isn’t illegal in Rwanda but it’s still considered taboo and not widely accepted. LGBTQ travellers should avoid public displays of affection out of respect for the local people who are still largely conservative, although not homophobic. Kigali is more gay-friendly and has a few popular restaurants and bars you can visit where you’ll feel safe.

Travel with a reputable tour operator in Rwanda

Consider all modes of road transport in Rwanda as highly unsafe. The drivers are reckless, the roads are in a poor condition and most vehicles are not roadworthy. For this reason, you are safest in Rwanda with a reputable tour operator in a luxury vehicle and a driver who’ll navigate the dangers.

Don’t pack plastic bags

You’ll notice as you travel around Rwanda how clean the country is. This is largely because the government has banned all non-biodegradable plastic bags. Your luggage will be searched at the airport and you’ll be fined up to 50 000 Rwandan Francs (roughly US$60) if found to have plastic bags in your bag or on your person. It’s such a serious offence that you may even be jailed. Be safe and don’t put anything in a plastic bag for your trip to Rwanda.

Be law abiding

You do not want to find yourself locked up in a Rwanda jail so it’s highly recommended that you abide by the country’s laws and stay out of trouble. Rwanda’s legal system is efficient and relatively uncorrupted, although it’s fairly common you’ll be asked to pay a bribe to get off a traffic fine. If arrested, you’re treated as ‘innocent until proven guilty’ in Rwanda and you have a legal right to a lawyer.

IS RWANDA SAFE FOR WOMEN TRAVELLERS?

Rwanda is a safe country to visit and there’s not real risk for female travellers as long as they take the usual precautions to avoid becoming a victim of crime, rape or other serious offences. Avoid wearing revealing clothes like short shirts and halter tops, mainly out of respect for the Rwandans culture. Local women generally dress conservatively, covering up their shoulders and legs.

IS IT RWANDA SAFE FOR CHILDREN?

It’s safe to travel around Rwanda with children as long as you follow the usual precautions to keep them out of harm’s way. Children are welcome at restaurants and safari lodges and it’s an opportunity of a lifetime for them to go on a safari in the Rwanda national parks.

However, there is an age restriction on gorilla trekking in Rwanda and it’s strictly enforced by the park authorities. The minimum age for gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is 15 years and older. You need to present an original passport before being permitted to continue with gorilla trekking so your age can be verified.

The main reason behind the age restriction on gorilla trekking is because children are more likely to have common colds and flus or other childhood diseases that can easily be transmitted to mountain gorillas. Another reason is children can be unpredictable and loud noises or screaming or a child running amok could cause a big problem.

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TOP RWANDA SAFARI FAQS

You need a visa to enter Rwanda. You can either get a visa on arrival at the airport, or before you travel. You can apply for single entry and transit visas on the evisas website. You can also apply for these, and other types of visa, at the Rwanda High Commission in London.

The charge for the visa on arrival is US$50 in cash while the charge for processing the E-visa application yourself via the correct Rwanda government website (http://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html) is US$52.53 including credit card fee.

Single Entry Visa is allowed to Indian travellers who wish to stay in Rwanda for a short period. … Indians who travel to a Rwanda for tourism purpose or business purpose or medical purpose. The applicant needs to mention the purpose of his visit. Rwanda tourist visa and Rwanda work visa are the single-entry visas.

The official processing duration for a Rwandan visa as per the official Rwandan Consulates’ site is 14 business days. However, this duration does vary between 2 and 15 days depending on the Embassy to be contacted.

Situated just beneath the equator in the African Great Lakes region, Rwanda has two dry seasons and two wet seasons. You’ll find that the Best Time To Visit Rwanda is during the longer of the dry seasons, from June to September. October then brings a short rainy season, followed by a short dry season from December to February. The longer rainy season runs from March to May. Rwanda is a destination for all seasons, so it is the best way to start Rwanda Safari as well.

Best Time: June to September (Except for chimp trekking in Nyungwe Forest)

High Season: June to September (Lodges might be full and gorilla permits must be booked long in advance)

Low Season: March, April, October, November (These are the peaks of the rains)

Best Weather: June to August (Least rain)

Worst Weather: March and April (Most rain, forest trails are slippery)

Rwanda Climate – Temperatures and Rainfall

Temperature-wise, Rwanda Safari Tours experiences little change in highs and lows from month to month, and no real winter/summer distinction as it is so close to the equator.  For much of the year, the daytime temperatures are a very pleasant mid to high 20s centigrade (25-28C). (This equates to the mid 70s to early 80s in Fahrenheit)

Best Time To Go Gorilla Trekking In Rwanda

Although it’s regarded as a year-round activity, the Best Time To Visit Rwanda for a Gorilla Trekking Rwanda is during the short dry season from mid-December to early February or over the long dry season months of June to September.

Best Time To Go Chimpanzee Trekking In Rwanda

The Best Time To Go To Rwanda for chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe, however, is during the two rainy seasons – mid-February to early June and mid-September to mid-December – as the apes are easier to locate.

Best Time To Visit Rwanda By Season

The climate in Rwanda is characterized by the following seasons:

  1. Long rains: March – May
  2. Long drying time: May – October
  3. Short rains: October – December
  4. Short drying time: December – March

Rwanda is a destination for all seasons, but the drier period from June to September is best for spotting the country’s undoubted highlight, the mountain gorilla.

The rainy seasons from March to May and June to September are the optimum times for tracking chimpanzees.

Temperatures hardly vary throughout the seasons due to Rwanda’s position just south of the Equator, with warm days and nights that can be cool, especially at altitude.

Contact Saso Uganda Safaris now to start planning the best bespoke Rwanda Safari Packages that adds great value to money. Rwanda is waiting for you! And so are we. Call us now!

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TOP RWANDA SAFARI FAQS

You need a visa to enter Rwanda. You can either get a visa on arrival at the airport, or before you travel. You can apply for single entry and transit visas on the evisas website. You can also apply for these, and other types of visa, at the Rwanda High Commission in London.

The charge for the visa on arrival is US$50 in cash while the charge for processing the E-visa application yourself via the correct Rwanda government website (http://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html) is US$52.53 including credit card fee.

Single Entry Visa is allowed to Indian travellers who wish to stay in Rwanda for a short period. … Indians who travel to a Rwanda for tourism purpose or business purpose or medical purpose. The applicant needs to mention the purpose of his visit. Rwanda tourist visa and Rwanda work visa are the single-entry visas.

The official processing duration for a Rwandan visa as per the official Rwandan Consulates’ site is 14 business days. However, this duration does vary between 2 and 15 days depending on the Embassy to be contacted.