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Rwanda

Rwanda
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The Republic of Rwanda is an East African state. The capital city is Kigali. Rwanda shares its borders with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Tanzania, and Burundi. Partially, the western border of the country passes through the Lake Kivu.

The climate in the country is equatorial. The temperature in September and October can reach +21°C and in July, the average temperature is +17°C. In this country of “eternal spring”, there are not droughts. The wet season lasts from November to December and from March to May. We recommend the tourists travelling to Rwanda from June to September.

The majority of the population in Rwanda are the Catholics. The official languages are French, English, and Rwanda.

The lovers of an out-of-town holidays should go to the Lake Kiva, the most beautiful of all the African Great Lakes. This is the only lake in which there are no crocodiles.

The tourists will see the chain of magnificent volcanoes stretching along the Great African Rift. In Rwanda, there are both extinct and active volcanoes which became a perfect place for trekking and hiking. Visit the Volcanoes National Park, the Nyungve National Park, and Akagera National Park and see rare African black gorillas, leopards, and giraffes.

In the capital city, the tourists can visit the Kigali Memorial Center, the Museum of Natural History, and the Kigali Geological Museum. Take an interesting excursion to Ruhengeri and enjoy the dormant volcano Karisimbi.

Get in

There are no direct flights between Rwanda and CIS.

The travellers should take a transit flight from Moscow, KLM offers flights with a transfer in Amsterdam, Brussels Airlines stops in Brussels, and Emirates in Dubai. Swiss International offers the flights with a transfer in Zurich and EgyptAir in Cairo.

Commonly, all the planes make a stop in Nairobi for refuelling and it will take you only 25 to get to Kigali. Nairobi is the main hub airport of the entire region.

By Land

There is an official automobile route from Congo to Rwanda. During a bus trip the tourists will see the Congo River and the Nile River.

Visa

EU and CIS citizens must get a visa to travel to Rwanda.

As there is no Embassy of Rwanda in Russia and other CIS countries, the tourists can apply online on the site of the Immigration Department. The tourists must attach the invitation or the hotel booking. The entry facility form is then sent to the e-mail. The tourists must provide this form and an international passport at the border.

It normally takes 3 days to get a visa and it is valid for 30 days. If necessary, a visa can be extended for 3 months more. The travellers should apply to the Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration.

Since 2014, the East Africa Tourist Visa allows travel between Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda with the same multiple entry visa.

Customs

The Customs legislation of Rwanda does not have any provisions restricting the import and export of foreign currency. However, the money must be declared in any case. The import and export of national currency are prohibited.

The tourists can import the following goods duty-free:

  • tobacco and alcohol;
  • things for personal use.

The tourists are not allowed to bring in:

  • any PE package;
  • ivory goods;
  • things which contain phosphorous, mercury and other dangerous chemicals (for example, in cosmetics or fertilizers).

To import to Rwanda raw coffee the tourists must obtain a permission from the tax authorities.

The following goods are subject to 100% customs duty:

  • photo equipment;
  • video equipment;
  • audio equipment.

It is prohibited to export:

  • skins of wild animals;
  • horns of rhinoceros;
  • ivory;
  • diamonds and gold;
  • spices (without a document confirming a legal purchase).

Everyone must have a yellow fever vaccination certificate to enter the country.

Cuisine

The traditional cuisine of Rwanda is typical for the region and there are only local dishes. The most popular dishes among the tourists are chicken and fish delicacies.

We recommend trying goat kebabs. The common side dish is roasted bananas with hot pepper and onion, French fried potatoes, beans, and manioc.

In Rwanda, you should try Bougali (maize and water paste), Isombe (mashed manioc leaves with dried fish), and Matoka (steamed bananas).

A popular fish dish here is dried fish roasted with peanut butter.

Melange buffet restaurants gained the popularity among the tourists. International cuisine is served in the restaurants in Kigali.

The authentic alcoholic drinks in Rwanda are sorgo-based Ikigage and banana Urgwagwa.

Money

The national currency is the Rwandan Franc. We strongly recommend exchanging the currency at the National Bank of Rwanda and licensed exchanged offices (Bureau de change).

Credit cards are accepted only in expensive hotels and restaurants.

The majority of the ATMs work only with the locally issued cards.

One can withdraw the money from the card account only at the Banque due Kigali.

The traveller’s checks are not commonly accepted in Rwanda.

The situation in the country is under control of the local law enforcement service. The tourists must be careful and attentive in public transport. Visit the markets only accompanied by the locals.

Details of interest

Sightseeing in Rwanda

  • The Lake Kiva is fairly believed to be the most beautiful of all the Great African Lakes. As the content of natural gas in the lake is too high, there are no crocodiles in the lake. Kiva together with some other lakes, rifts, and creeks fall into the Kagera River, which falls into the Lake Victoria.
  • The territory of the National Park of Volcanoes is a habitat for endangered species of black gorillas. In the Park, the tourists can see the bamboo forests, evergreen tropics, swamplands, and meadows. In the Natural Park, there are 5 Virunga volcanoes.
  • The tourists should also visit the Akagera National Park to the north-east of Rwanda.
  • The Nyungve National Park is famous for its untouched tropical mountain rainforests, one of the last in Africa. The tourists can cross the suspension bridge and see with their own eyes the rivers Congo and the Nile.
  • In Kigali, the main touristic attraction is the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center, the Geological Museum with its unique collection of the local minerals, and the natural History Museum.
  • In the village Iby’Iwacu, the tourists can learn more about the everyday life of the Aborigines.
  • Take an interesting excursion to Ruhengeri and enjoy the dormant volcano Karisimbi. This is the highest peak in Rwanda (4.500 meters).
  • In the city of Musanze, everyone can see a natural bridge that was formed from the flows of volcanic lava.

Souvenirs in Rwanda

  • Woven goods and pottery, modern water colour works and wood engravings are sold in Kigali.
  • Imigongo is an art form popular in Rwanda traditionally made by women using cow dung. You can buy it in Nyakarimbi.
  • Souvenirs, mattings, masks, traditional lids for tableware and baskets Agaseke can be found in Ruhengeri.
  • The tourists can buy the crafts of the Twa pygmies in the Dancing Pots shop in Kigali.