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Things to Know When Visiting Rwanda – A Step by Step Guide

Things to Know When Visiting Rwanda – A Step by Step Guide

Rwanda the “Land of a thousand hills” is the smallest African country covering an area of about 26,338 square kilometers. It is a landlocked country and it is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Rwanda features among the most popular safari destinations and the rare mountain gorillas are the prime and the most sought after tourist attractions by most trekkers on safari in Africa. If Rwanda is your dream destination, below are some of the things for you to take note of prior making your holiday.

Getting around Rwanda

Most Rwanda Safaris are largely conducted using car rentals and if this isn’t pocket friendly to you, you can embark on public transport means and you will equally achieve your dreams in this incredible destination. For safaris to Rwandan national parks, you will need a car hire to help you make it to the park gate which may not be the case with public transportation that in most cases take visitors up to only main towns, they are mainly important for navigating around town areas. For long safaris or even short tours, you will need to hire both a car and a driver to make you reach to a destination of your choice. Car Hire Companies have a fleet of cars ranging from coasters, saloon, safari land cruisers, vans with pop ups and others, you have variety to choose what is best for your safari whether self drive or guided tours

Rwanda is among modern developing and organized countries,

Whereas most travelers may think Rwanda is still a traditional state considering that it is in Africa, the most astonishing bit of it is that this incredible country’s capital city (Kigali) features on top list as the cleanest, modern and of up to date. Most parts of Rwanda have street lights, sign posts, numerous coffee houses, movie theatre, modern taxis, Wi-Fi; its streets have several flowery trees, side walk and others.

Local residents in Rwanda are very welcoming

For lucky travelers, you can explore more about Rwanda’s traditional songs and dances as they perform before clients as the best way for them to welcome them to the community. For any direction request, feel free and request and certainly you will have many locals coming to help you out.

Respect rules while on safari in Rwanda

Like any country, strict rules do apply everywhere including Rwanda and they must be observed by all travelers on safari in Africa. For motorists, they have to be on helmets while riding with client and in most cases clients are also given one and for drivers seat belts are a must for a driver and clients too are required to do so as soon as they get into the car ready to set off for a safari.

Language spoken in Rwanda

English is Rwanda’s official language. This has been the official language from 1994 and its education system changed from English to French around 2008. You may encounter a challenge when it comes to interacting with local residents as most of them may understand only French and others understand only English or even Kinyarwanda. In case you get into a rural area and find less educated residents, higher chances are some of them can understand at least one of the official languages.

Plastic bags aren’t allowed

Non biodegradable plastic bags are regarded illegal in Rwanda. Once you land at the airport, your luggage is cross checked for plastic bags and if got, there is a charge attached to it is around $150 and in case the store owner is got keeping them he or she will also face at least 1 (one) year of imprisonment or else, better leave your plastic bags at home. This country is ideally focused and determined to be among the first plastic Free states in the world.

Where to stay

Rwanda features good accommodations for all types of travelers offered at all budgets ranging from camping, hostels, home stays, apartments, and budget, midrange and luxury facilities. Most hotels have websites where you can ably book your accommodation online.

The ATMS machines

While Rwanda is ever becoming a modern state, you will realize that the ATM machines aren’t widely distributed through the country and if they are available, they can be largely for local accounts.

Accessing cash can be challenging

The fact that Rwanda is cash based economy in Africa; intending visitors are therefore encouraged to come with enough cash and the notes should be of 2000 to current and although some banks and forex bureaus can receive them, they may also reduce about five percent in the course of the transaction.

Challenge of utilizing credit cards

Most banks can issue cash earlier for master cards though Visa Cards aren’t allowed in the Land of a Thousand Hills. Some of these banks don’t have the infrastructure to clear the Visa Card and in most cases, they keep saying that your card has issues even when it doesn’t. You therefore need to take note of the rules and be prepared to be able to enjoy Rwanda’s natural wanders like mountain gorillas, birds, rolling hills, stunning Virunga Mountains, landscape, water bodies, cultures and traditional practices. You will certainly need to come along with your good camera for photo taking while on Rwanda safari.

Safety in Rwanda

A sides from the terrific history, Rwanda is today one of the safest destination that you consider in your next holiday in Africa. The streets have lights and you can see people and if you are interested in jogging, this is the perfect place for you to do so after sunset.  This country is secure for visitors to explore at night.

The roads are in better state though windy

Based on African or East African standards, Rwanda’s roads are of better state and visitors are able to navigate up to the destination of your choice. However, in case of any allergies, make sure that you come along with your pills.

Take note of community services on every Saturdays of the month

Rwanda has a mandatory community service day which starts at 8:00am to 11:00am on every last Saturday of each month locally known as Umuganda which means coming together and persons above 18 and below 65 are urged to engage in these volunteer activities. This however attracts about 80 percent of Rwandans to participate in these monthly community activities. So far, the successful programs include construction of medical centers, schools, hydro electric plants and rehabilitating wetlands as well as establishing highly productive agricultural plots.

The word Muzungu is allover

Like most African states, most locals (especially the children) in Rwanda commonly use Muzungu to mean a white person.

Rwandans love their president

President Kagame is highly recognized by most residents as the source of security and father of the nation. Looking at the terrific genocide event of 1994, President Kagame has fought against insecurities and the country is peaceful compared to the previous times. They also treasure forgiveness given the previous experiences of genocide; the significance of forgiveness is a highlight among Rwandans today. While on safari, you won’t miss to see the phrase ‘NEVER AGAIN.’

Best season to visit Rwanda

For safaris to Rwanda, it is better that you pay a visit to this country in the dry season which starts from June to September and December to February. This season comes with less amount of rainfall making it the perfect season for one to freely enjoy his or her vacation in the Land of a Thousand Hills.

In conclusion, if you are planning to travel to Rwanda this coming holiday, you will need to consider such that you have the most successful safari in Africa.

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