One of today’s greatest development success stories, Rwanda is Africa’s prime study abroad jewel. The country underwent a breathtaking transformation since the genocide in 1994. A model for poverty reduction and economic growth, it accounts for the highest percentage of women in parliament anywhere in the world. And the streets of its modern green capital Kigali are clean, safe and free of corruption.
The Republic of Rwanda has a population of 12.3 million over an area of 26,338km2. The Capital of Rwanda is Kigali and the official language is Kinyarwanda.
Up-to-date visa information is available at www.migration.gov.rw. Unless there are changes on short notice, the following can be used as a general guideline:
Nationals of the following countries may visit Rwanda without a visa for a period up to 90 days: Benin, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Indonesia, Haiti, Mauritius, the Philippines, Senegal, Seychelles, Sao Tome and Principe, Singapore, and EAC partner states. Nationals from any other country will be issued an entry visa valid for a period of up to 30 days and may pay the visa fee (US $30) upon arrival at any Rwandan entry point without prior application.
Passports must be valid for at least six months from the day of the start of the journey.
Rwanda’s has one international airport, the Kigali International Airport.
A yellow fever vaccination is not required for entry into Rwanda but recommended. Visitors may be asked for an international health certificate upon arrival in the country, so it is recommended to carry this certification as well as a general vaccination record.
Other vaccinations, such as hepatitis A/B, typhoid, meningococcal meningitis and rabies, as well as tetanus, diphtheria and polio may be advisable depending on the program.
Malaria is rare in Kigali but remains a health issue in other parts of Rwanda, so visitors are advised to consult their doctor at least 4 weeks before the program about the most appropriate anti-malarial drug. In addition, visitors should try to prevent mosquito bites between dusk and dawn by using DEET-based insect-repellent and a bed net.
Water should always be boiled or treated before drinking.
Rainy seasons: mid-February to mid-May, mid-September to mid-December
Average temperature: 24.6°C (76.3°F) – 27.6°C (81.7°F); hottest in June, July and August
For weather forecast, check https://meteorwanda.gov.rw/home
Rwanda is most famous for gorilla trekking, an activity which offers visitors a once in a life time experience in the habitat of mountain Gorillas. There are also plenty of other activities that visitors will be able to do. From doing a Big Five game drive in the Akagera National Park to exploring the Congo Nile trail and walking on a canopy in the misty Nyungwe Forest, Rwanda has unique activities to offer and that are not to be missed.
Traditional food in Rwanda consists of soup, meat brochettes, sambaza (a small lake fish), ubunyobwa (peanut sauce), matoke (plantains steamed in banana leaves), ugali (a type of hard porridge made of maize flour or cassava and water), fried sweet potatoes/potatoes, boiled vegetables (beans, cassava, yams, pumpkins etc.) and rice.
Akabanga is probably one of the spiciest of chili oils and it is found in every restaurant in Rwanda. It is very spicy, so a few drops should be more than enough!