Rwanda Travel Tips

RWANDA TRAVEL TIPS

When you book your safari with us, you’ll receive all the details for your trip before you travel–including must-have advice and expert travel tips.  As you plan, here are a few essentials to keep in mind.

Kigali International Airport (KGL)

  • Located approximately 10 km or 20 minutes from central Kigali
  • Entry-point for safari goers to Rwanda
  • Convenient connections to Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania

Visas should be applied for in advance online at the Rwandan government’s processing website. A foreign visitor’s holiday visa (V-1) costs 50 USD and is valid for 30 days upon entering the country. A multiple entry visa costs 70 USD and is valid for 90 days.

In addition, the passport must be valid for a minimum of six months beyond visa issuing and/or date of entry, and it must at least have one blank visa page.

For visitors combining their stay in Rwanda with a trip to Kenya or Uganda, they may apply for the East African tourist visa.

Please note that entry requirements can change at any time. It is therefore advised to check with your consular for complete details before traveling to Uganda.

A World Health Organization (WHO) vaccination card with proof of yellow fever vaccination certificate is  required to enter Rwanda for all travelers over the age of 1 year if traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

It is always recommended to consult a personal physician or travel clinic prior to your trip.

The official currency of Rwanda is the Rwandan franc.

Both US dollars (USD) and Rwanda francs are commonly accepted at larger hotels and lodges.  Tips in the tourism circuit are accepted in US dollars and Rwandan francs, though Rwandan francs are preferred when possible. 

Please note that USD notes older than 2009 may not be accepted, and notes will not be accepted if they are torn, stamped, or marred. 

Currency can be exchanged in foreign exchange centers in Kigali and larger towns throughout Rwanda.  Large notes (like EUR, USD 50 and 100) get better exchange rates than the smaller denominations.

ATMs are available in and around Kigali and dispense Rwandan francs, though not all accept foreign cards.  While the occasional ATM is available upcountry, they are not reliably present and it is not advisable to depend on ATMs while on safari—especially while traveling in the bush.  It is also advisable to alert your bank and credit card companies beforehand that you will be traveling to Africa to avoid denial of a transaction.

It is possible to pay by credit or debit card (Visa or MasterCard) in many hotels and lodges (usually with an additional surcharge).  However, it is recommended to carry extra cash in case a card is not accepted or the network is down.

It is generally advisable to pack light while traveling on safari, as visitors are often travelling between multiple parks on a single trip. 

For international air travel, please check your airlines’ luggage guidelines prior to travel.

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