For Germans, a Ruandan visa is given at entry, but can also be obtained upfront by sending the passport to the Rwandan embassy. It cost us 30 US Dollars at border entry.
Ruandan Francs are preferred, but US Dollars and credit card are possible at some places.
Official Rwandan language spoken by most people is Kyniarwanda. French, English and Swahili is also spoken by some Rwandans.
Right-hand side with a maximum speed limit of 60km/h on country roads and 40km/h in cities. Most roads seemed to be paved, but we only saw the roads from the Ugandan border to Kigali.
Wifi is possible in some places. Internet connection is ok!
We personally believe and experienced Rwanda to be safe, welcoming and friendly. However, due to its genocide history in 1994, Rwandans might not instantly be very trusting, which is understandable thinking of its history!
Therefore, safety measures are high. Police officers are to be seen frequently and even when entering some hotels people and their luggage are screened.
Safety seems to be of great importance, which is especially obvious at the airport. When we got to the airport by cab we had to get of the car before driving onto airport ground. While the car with all our bags was automatically screened, we were screened seperately in a room.
After we could get on the cab again and drove to the departure drop-off area.
When entering the airport building we had to line up to have our passports and our luggage checked and screened again. After we could drop off our luggage, went through customs and were screened again before getting to the gate. A minimium of 3 hours time might be required at the airport before take-off. So this probably is the safest airport we ever experienced.
However, like we always recommend, travel responsibly. Take your valuables always with you and for women it is always better to be accompanied by someone else.
No mosquitos experienced in Kigali in September. However, it is always important to ask your GP for advise in regards to immunisation and recommended travel medication.
We did not stay overnight in a hotel in Rwanda, but spent an afternoon and evening at the Kigali View Hotel in the city center while waiting for our flight. It was clean, we could sit by the pool for refreshments and the restaurant offered American food like Pizza, Burger, Chips and few African and Indian dishes. The dishes were ok, but a bit of patience is required when ordering. Everything requires African time.
The hotel staff was super helpful and allowed us to stay for 6 hours, while leaving our luggage in our acquaintances room. Airport tranfer was organised for us by the hotel for 20 US Dollars. So for a non-luxery stay it is ok.
We had food with a local family while staying for one day in Rwanda.
It consisted of yummy cooked cabbage, meatballs, rice, cooked potatoes and plantain in a light tomato sauce, kind of cooked and mashed eggplant, sweet potatoe and posho (corn bread), as well as home made chili pickles. It was super yummy. Have a look at the pics.
Tours & Attractions
Genocide Museum in Kigali is a very informative, but also touching place to visit to get an idea on what happened in 1994. We were fighting tears when watching movies of survivors, reading stories and seeing pictures. It is an interresting place to visit from a historical and culutral point of view.
Nyamirambo Village walk
This walk is offered by the Planeterra Nyamirambo Women Project in Kigali to get to know the surroundings while supporting a social project.
Rwandan cooking classes and a basket weaving course are also offered to get to know the local culture a bit.
Drive through countryside
We drove for 2 to 2 1/2 hours from the border of Uganda to Kigali and the countryside was just beautiful. Green, hilly, tea and banana plants, lots of Rwandans walking along the road in their colourful dresses and items balancing on their head. Quite a lot of cyclists could be seen along this road. So the coutryside to us seemed beautiful.
From Kigali there is a national park that can be reached in about 3 hours to see wildlife, as we were told. We did not do it though, but a tour can be booked leaving from Kigali via various tour providers.
Like in Uganda, wild Gorillas can also be observed in Rwanda. As we did not do it in Rwanda, we can only mention that tour providers offer Gorilla trekking in Rwanda too.