About Rwanda

Rwanda is an attractive welcoming country lying in the heart of the African Continent.

With its green fields and temperate climate due to its high elevation, tourists have named Rwanda “The Land of a Thousand Hills”.

With so much to see and so much to do, it is the ideal place for breathtaking holidays.  

 

Safety

Rwanda is one of the safest countries in Africa to travel to.

The regime is quite authoritarian, however any acts of aggression or harassment of tourists is particularly frowned upon and police are quick to take action to ensure tourism is not discouraged.

Having said that, Rwanda is a particularly friendly country, the nature of Rwandans is to greet and hug each other and the sight of laughing, chatting people, hand in hand is very common.

Tourists are not as rare as years ago when seeing another foreign tourist in the capital was uncommon. But nowadays, people are happy to help with directions and assistance where possible.

 

Climate

Despite being located very close to the equator, Rwanda has a reasonably high altitude starting at about 1500m so the climate is quite pleasant.

Like everywhere else Rwanda has 4 seasons a year, but you can arrange them into two seasons; dry and wet. During the wet period it rains but it’s still warm. There is a short dry season during July preceded and followed by “little dry seasons” of about a month each.

For the rest of the year it is common for storms to occur every day and occasional long periods of rain also happen.

Most days reach early thirties before a storm and pleasant evenings are followed by mild nights where sleeping under a sheet is comfortable.

 

Language

Kinyarwanda is unique to Rwanda and the mother tongue. Most people are fluent in French (in the capital and major regional towns) and Swahili. English is now officially the second language so most businesses and many people speak reasonable English. Rwanda has recently joined the Commonwealth of Nations.

Some translation examples:

Bite/Amakuru? (Hi/ How are you?);  Uvuga Icyongereza? (Do you speak English?);  Yego(Yes);  Oya(No); Urabeho(Good bye); Murakaza neza(You are welcome); Money(Amafaranga).

  

Shopping

Kigali the capital has a couple of supermarkets for clothes, food and general merchandise. There are streets close to the centre of the city which trade in nearly everything imaginable, their wares are visible from the street.

Street vendors sell clothes, shoes, fruit, confection and anything that is available at the wholesale market on the day. These vendors are being discouraged however the quality is usually reasonable and prices negotiable. Shops are less inclined to haggle.

Most residential areas have “telephone box” like vending stations which sell most daily requirements. Bread, pastries, milk, and many groceries. It is amazing the range and quantity of goods in such small area.

 

Transport

Short trips can be taken on the back of a bicycle for a couple of francs,  (about RWF50 to the Dollar Aus) motorbikes carry the majority of people on medium distance trips, i.e. 5 – 15 minutes. Which cost between about $4.00-$8.00.

A cheap way to get around but most accidents involve these bikes.

Vehicular taxis are also available and somewhat cheaper than developed countries.

 

Health

Malaria is present, particularly in low lying areas and it is advised to take prophylactic action. Mosquito nets are small and light and assist in a worry free night.

Yellow fever is present in the country and many countries will not permit entry after leaving Rwanda unless vaccinated.