Rwanda

Rwanda, the land of 1,000 hills, has become quite a famous destination for tourism. The country located in Central Africa is a haven for natural vegetation, wildlife, mountains, pristine topography, volcanoes, waterfalls and rainforests. The Parc des Volcans is one of the last sanctuaries where one can find the mountain gorilla in their natural habitat. Rwanda is situated in the region of Great Lakes and has many beautiful and serene lakes bordering it.

Climate

Rwanda has a temperate tropical highland climate, with lower temperatures than are typical for equatorial countries due to its high elevation. Kigali, in the centre of the country, has a typical daily temperature range between 12 °C and 27 °C, with little variation through the year.

Topography

The country`s is located on the great East African plateau, with the Nile and Congo rivers passing in a north–south direction through the western part of the country. To the west of the divide, the land drops sharply to Lake Kivu in the Great Rift Valley; to the east, the land falls gradually across the central plateau, its grassy highlands are the core areas of settlement of Rwanda`s peoples - to the swamps and lakes on the country`s eastern border. Almost all of Rwanda is at least 1,000 metres above sea level; the central plateau is between 1,500 and 2,000 metres high. In the northwest on the border with the DRC are the volcanic Virunga Mountains; the highest peak, Mt. Karisimbi 4,519 metres is snowcapped. Lake Kivu, 1,460 metres above sea level, drains into Lake Tanganyika through the sharply descending Ruzizi River. The Kagera River, which forms much of Rwanda`s eastern border, flows into Lake Victoria.

Language

The main language spoken in Rwanda is Kinyarwanda. French is widespread and English is also spoken by many people.

Electric Supply

Installations are of British standard and appliances should be fitted with a square, three in plugs of the British style. The voltage is 240 Volts 50 Hz for domestic use. The voltage fluctuates continually, however and proper surge protectors are advisable for any expensive equipment.

Time

Two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+2).

Banking Hours

Mon-Fri 0830-1400 hours

Sat 0830-1200 hrs.

Forex bureaus are open 0900 to 1700 hours on weekdays and 0900 to 1300 hours on Saturdays.

Communication

Communication include a system of Telephone, Radio and Television broadcasts, Internet, Mail, several Newspapers, Telex, Fax and Airmail services. International direct calling is available at most hotels and the several internet cafes.

Medical Services

Rwanda has good health services, with some good Government and Private Hospitals and Clinics in the major cities.

Currency

Rwanda`s currency is the Rwandan franc (FRw). ‎Coins 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 francs. ‎Notes 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 francs. You can exchange money at banks and hotels although Forex Bureaus usually have better rates.

Credit Cards

International credit cards are accepted in the major Hotels, Restaurants and shops.

Working Hours

Shops and businesses are generally open from 08:30 hours and 17:30 hours on weekdays, with a lunch break between 13:00 hours and 14:00 hours. Some businesses are open on Saturday at least until Midday.

Public Holidays

DatePublic Holidays - 2016
1st JanuaryNew Year's Day
2nd JanuaryDay After New Year's Day
1st FebruaryHeroes Day
25th MarchGood Friday
28th MarchEaster Monday
7th AprilGenocide against the Tutsi Memorial Day
1st MayWorkers Day
2nd MayWorkers Day Holiday
1st JulyIndependence Day
4th JulyLiberation Day
6th JulyEid Ul-Fitr
5th AugustUmaganura Day
15th AugustAssumption of Mary
12th SeptemberEid Al Haj
12th DecemberMaulid Day
25th DecemberChristmas Day
26th DecemberBoxing Day
27th DecemberChristmas Holiday Day

Customs Regulations

Free import

For 16 years old and over: 2 cartons of cigarettes and 2 l of alcoholic beverages.

Restricted items

Local currency – maximum of 5,000 of Rwandese Francs; No limit on foreign currency but declaring compulsory; National residents must exchange any foreign currency up to 8 days upon return.

Prohibited items

Live or dead animals and foodstuff from third countries where an epidemic has been present and has been included in a health risk list by Rwanda authorities Narcotics; Arms and ammunitions; Pornography; Items infringing copyrights; Environmentally unfriendly items (i.e. polyethylene bags).

Health Requirements

All visitors are advised to take an antimalarial prophylactic beginning two weeks before the arrival and continuing for six weeks after their departure. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers over one year of age coming from countries with infected areas. Other travellers are strongly advised to obtain vaccination against the disease before visiting the country.

Visa and immigration requirements

The Republic of Rwanda, a member of the East African Community, allows citizens of all African countries to obtain a visa on arrival. Citizens of most other countries must obtain an e-Visa online before departure. All visitors must hold a passport valid for at least 6 months with at least one empty page.

Taxi Services

Taxis are immediately available at Kigali International Airport. They can also be found outside most hotels in Kigali and at most of the country`s major centers.

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Airports

Kigali International Airport is the primary airport serving Kigali is the main air gateway for all destinations in Rwanda; and in addition serves as a transit airport for Goma and Bukavu in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Security

Similar to other cities and towns around the world, it is advisable to take the usual precautions to safe guard yourself and your belongings. Do not leave valuables in your car.

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