Rwanda Travel Information
Rwanda Travel Information : Also known as the “land of a thousand hills” Rwanda is a landlocked country neighbouring Uganda in the north, Burundi in the south, Tanzania in the east, and the DR. Congo in the west and northwest. Rwanda is situated on the East African plateau and bisected with between the water systems of the Nile Congo rivers passing in a north, south direction through the western part of the country. In the west the land drops sharply to Lake Kivu in the great African rift valley, to the east, the land falls gradually across the central plateau. The country’s grassy highlands are the core areas of settlement of most of the Rwanda’s population to the swamps and lakes on the country’s eastern border.
Most of Rwanda is 3,000 ft above sea level with much of the central plateau being higher than 4,700 ft. In the north west, on the border with Congo, are the volcanic Virunga mountains, the highest peak mount karisimbi is snow capped. Lake kivu is above sea level drains into lake Tanganyika, through the sharply descending Ruzizi river. The Akagera river which forms much of Rwanda’s eastern border, flows into lake Victoria.
Due to the fact the country is home to high altitude areas, Rwanda features a favorable tropical climate with average temperature ranging from 14 degrees Celsius. Temperature varies depending on the region since the altitude also keeps on changing from region to region. However the average day time temperature is normally approximately 30 degrees Celsius apart from the highlands characterized with cool temperatures.
Rwanda experience two climate seasons, the dry and wet season, each of these seasons occurs in two phases. Namely; the long rains from March to may, short rains from October to December, long dry period from may to mid October and short dry season from mid December to mid march. The north east experiences more rainfall than other parts of the country.
VISAS AND IMMIGRATION
Visas are a must requirement by all international visitors and this can be the East African Visa that gives you a chance to experience other countries like Uganda, kenya, Tanzania, DR.Congo and Burundi. It is generally valid for 3 months extendable in Kigali.
- Official currency: Rwanda Franc
A few hotels accept the major credit cards. It is advisable to take some cash in dollars as travelers cheque can be difficult and time consuming to exchange.
BANKING AND BUSINESS HOURS
- Banking: Monday to Friday: 0830-1130, 1330-1630
- Saturday 0830-1130
It is important to note that, Rwanda is two hours ahead of GMT
TRANSPORT AND GETTING AROUND
A domestic flight within Rwanda are also available namely; the Air Rwanda that runs domestic flights from Kigali to Gisenyi and kamembe. There is a small departure tax charged for all domestic flights.
There are many mini buses serving most of the main towns although the road conditions are poor and very pot holed.
Take note that driving in Rwanda is on the right hand side and, you need an international driving license valid for atleast 6 months incase you plan to enjoy a self drive safari in the country as you explore fascinating places. There are no international car rent agencies in Rwanda but local establishments can be found in Kigali.
If you need medical care whilst in Rwanda, it is best to be aware that medical providers may not accept payments through the insurance company, in these circumstances you will have to pay in full after your treatment and file a claim with your insurance company for reimbursement. Therefore you should have access to cash, either from a credit card or by wire transfer. If you need assistance contact the country’s local embassy or representative.
To be compensated, you must be treated by a licensed medical personnel and provide your insurance company with proper documentation and receipts.
It is advisable to always ensure you have a comprehensive travel insurance policy which covers for your repatriation to your home country and through the entire safari.