In the following all important information about travelling to and in Rwanda is collected.
Table of contents:
1. Entry regulations for German citizens
2. Safety instructions
3. Financial information
4. Medical advice
5. Travel and local travel
8. What should I take with me?
9. Further information / travel guide
Citizens of the German state can only enter the country with a passport, which must be valid for 6 months after the trip. The identity card is not sufficient. Since November 1, 2014 Rwanda also requires a visa for Germans. You can obtain a visa on arrival on site, online or at the Rwandan Embassy in Berlin.
The prices (as of 09.2019):
Holiday Single-Entry (30 days) for 50 US $, approx. 45€
Holiday Multiple-Entry (90 days) for 70 US $, approx. 63€
EAC Visa (90 days) for 100 US $, about 90€
For groups of 4-10 people there is a group visa, which can be applied for at the Rwandan Embassy and is valid for 90 days. It costs 135€ plus postage and is therefore cheaper than applying for one visa per group member. In addition, the entry is faster. However, you have to take care to apply for the visa in time.
More information about visa requirements in Rwanda can be obtained on the website of the Rwandan Embassy and from the German Foreign Office.
Caution is advised when traveling to the immediate border area with Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo, south of Lake Kivu, as well as when travelling further into these countries. The same applies to the border area with Uganda in the north of the country. In the immediate border area, cross-border effects of conflicts in/with neighbouring countries cannot be excluded.
Special caution is advised when travelling in the area of the Nyungwe Forest National Park and on the connecting road between Cyangugu, formerly Rusizi, and Nyamagabe, formerly Gikongoro. On 15 December 2018, several buses were stopped by gunmen in Nyungwe Forest and travellers were killed. The security forces were subsequently significantly strengthened and state control in the area was restored. In view of possible activities of terrorist groups, increased caution is advised in Rwanda, as in other countries in the region. Particular caution and increased vigilance is advisable, especially in larger cities - especially in public places such as markets or bus stations (Federal Foreign Office, as of 03.07.2019).
Rwanda's currency is the Rwanda Franc. It is divided into 100 centimes, which are no longer used due to their low value, so that only banknotes are in circulation.
The exchange rate is currently 1€ ≙ 1000.00 RWF (as of 03.07.2019). Foreign currencies may be imported, but have a declaration obligation, i.e. they must be declared on entry and may not exceed the declared amount on exit - minus the exchanged money. The exchange receipts should therefore be kept!
The exchange possibilities on site are very good and possible in almost all banks, hotels or foreign exchange offices. Especially in bigger cities, like Kigali, it is also possible to pay in US dollars. We recommend to take Euro or Dollar notes with you, because payments with credit cards are only possible in a few hotels.
When entering Rwanda, proof of a valid yellow fever vaccination is not required if you come from a yellow fever-free country. Standard vaccinations should also be updated before departure.
In January 2019, the WHO declared a lack of vaccination against measles a threat to global health. It is therefore strongly recommended that the vaccination protection against measles for adults and children be checked and, if necessary, supplemented at the latest during travel preparations.
The risk of malaria is high in all regions of Rwanda. Since the disease is transmitted by mosquito bites, adequate mosquito protection is recommended. In concrete terms, this means that mosquito repellent should be applied to all parts of the body, including areas covered by clothing. However, there are also alternative means with which clothing can be impregnated before bites. Furthermore, it is recommended to hang mosquito nets over the sleeping places.
There is no vaccination against malaria! There is only malaria prophylaxis, which is only available on prescription in Germany. However, the different drugs can be very expensive depending on the manufacturer and side effects are not uncommon, such as depressive depression.
Since prophylaxis cannot provide 100 percent protection against malaria, it is recommended to take appropriate mosquito repellents. After many experiences on site by our employees, we advise against taking the prophylaxis if you are in good health. Malaria has similar symptoms to a strong flu. A healthy person can survive it relatively easily. The side effects occur with most users and the chemical cocktail of drugs is not insignificant for the body. Careful application with mosquito repellent is sufficient.
It is best to take out foreign travel insurance before you start your journey. This is offered by many insurance companies already for a small amount.
Various national and international airlines serve the airport in Kigali, which is located about 10 km outside the city. There are direct flights from Brussels, Amsterdam or Istanbul in Europe, but there are also connecting flights via Addis Ababa, Doha and Nairobi.
One means of transport that most Rwandans use, especially in the cities, is the shared taxi. A minibus can travel to various central points for relatively little money. However, a lot of time should be planned, as there are no exact departure times and the taxi only leaves when it is fully loaded.
There are also many normal taxis. But these are much more expensive.
Another way of getting around is by bicycle taxi, moped taxi or motorcycle taxi. They are much faster than the shared taxis and cheaper than the normal taxis. You must wear a helmet, but beware: the helmets you carry are usually not sufficiently stable.
The roads are very well developed. Between the cities and important centres of the country there are comfortable bus lines which are very cheap.
The Rwandans themselves are mostly on foot on their routes, as even bicycles are too expensive for them. Shared taxis and other taxis are only popular in the cities, in the countryside they are unaffordable for most people.
There is a well-functioning national mobile network of the providers Airtel, MTN and Tigo. However, since not all German SIM cards can be used, it is advisable to buy a very cheap card locally. Internet cafés are often available even in more remote places. The mobile internet is being expanded more and more and already covers many areas well.
Especially in the larger cities there are also more comfortable hotels. Otherwise, there are also relatively inexpensive inns that can be easily booked on site.
Mosquito net (depending on accommodation)
Fanny pack / money belt
Medication (malaria profilaxes, tablets for travel sickness, tablets for diarrhoea, aspirin, etc.)