Rwanda is a comfortable Africa: +25 all year round, no mosquitoes and snakes, and almost European service in hotels. The best national parks, the “moon mountains” Rwenzori and mountain gorilla watching, active tourism and recreation on Lake Kivu – all about Rwanda: photos, tours, maps and reviews.
“Land of a thousand hills” covered in rainforest, Rwanda is one of the fastest growing tourist destinations on the African continent. “Comfortable Africa” - this is how one can briefly characterize the advantages of Rwanda – a stable mild climate throughout the year, the absence of poisonous snakes, the hospitality of the locals and the most diverse flora and fauna. Add to this the opportunity to see giant mountain gorillas, get lost in the lunar landscapes of the tropics on the slopes of extinct volcanoes, spend time in meditation on the deserted shore of one of the most beautiful lakes in Africa – and it becomes clear that further life without visiting Rwanda is in no way possible.
The capital is Kigali. According to populationmonster, Kigali is one of the largest cities in Rwanda.
The main cities are Huye (formerly Butare), Gizenyi, Musanze, Kibungu, Kibuye, Gitarama.
How to get to Rwanda
From Moscow to Rwanda can be reached by flights of Qatar Airways via Doha, KLM with a change in Amsterdam, Emirates via Dubai, Brussels Airlines via Brussels. These flights can be operated with or without refueling in Nairobi (flight time from Nairobi to Rwandan capital Kigali is 25 minutes).
Another option is to fly to Nairobi, East Africa’s main hub, and from there to Rwanda on regional carriers Kenya Airlines and Rwandair. The minimum travel time is 15.5 hours.
Rwanda is comfortable to visit throughout the year. The country’s climate is subequatorial, seasonally humid. There are two wet seasons: from March to mid-May and from mid-October to December; rains do not change the usual rhythm of life. The dry season lasts from mid-May to mid-October, the peak of eco-tourism is in July-August. The temperature of the central part of the country stays at + 24 ° all year round, in the humid alpine forests the thermometer shows + 10-15 °.
Of the folk crafts of Rwanda, all kinds of straw weaving are most common: from mats and carpets to dishes, baskets and lids for dishes. National baskets are called “agaseke”, the largest tourist-oriented center for their production is located in Kigali and is called Gahaya Links Gifted Hands Centre.
In Rwanda, you can buy wonderful ebony products, although somewhat primitive, but authentic. Local craftsmen will take orders for figurines according to your sketch.
Another popular art is imigongo, or cow dung painting. The village of Nyakarambi, near the border with Tanzania, is famous for this. The art style is predominantly abstract, the colors are all shades of brown, white and black.
From Rwanda, you can also bring ceramics, wood carvings and paintings by local artists.
From edible souvenirs, pay attention to local high-quality coffee and tea.
In Rwanda, be sure to try urgvagva, a Rwandan homemade banana beer.
The national cuisine of Rwanda was practically not influenced from outside, and most of the dishes here are purely local. In restaurants, you can taste grilled fish and chicken, as well as goat meat skewers. Dishes are garnished with french fries or fried bananas, generously flavored with onions and hot peppers.
Restaurants of a decent standard are concentrated in the capital; here you can find establishments of not only local, but also Indian, Chinese and Mediterranean cuisines. Lunch will cost approximately 7000 RWF.
You can also dine in the so-called “melanges” – restaurants operating on the “buffet” principle. The choice is the same potatoes in numerous variations, legumes, bananas, rice, cassava, vegetables, and meat and fish in much smaller quantities. In such establishments, only one approach to the buffet is allowed. Depending on the rank of the melange, lunch prices range from 700 to 7000 RWF.
Beer is ubiquitous in Rwanda (there are three local varieties), and national soda is also popular.
Entertainment and attractions in Rwanda
The raison d’être of Rwanda as a tourist destination is largely defined by the mountain gorillas that live in the Volcanoes National Park and other natural reserves, where you can see the fantastic variety of flora and fauna of the region. Read more about it on the National Parks of Rwanda page.
However, other sights of Rwanda are no less interesting. Lake Kivu is the most beautiful of the East African lakes, you can ride on it in a speed boat, canoe or kayak. Windsurfing is also developed. You can relax on the banks of the Kivu in the resort towns of Rubavu and Karongi.
You can listen to local songs and participate in national dances, as well as improve your health with the help of local healers, in the Ibi’Iwasu Cultural Village in the north of the country.
It is worth visiting the National Museum of Rwanda, the Royal Palace in Nyanza, the Museum of Ancient History of Rwanda, the Ruesero Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Natural History in Kigali.
In addition, in Rwanda, several memorial sites are dedicated to the tragic extermination of the Tutsi people. These are the Genocide Memorials in Kigali, Nyamata and Ntarama.
Citizens of the Russian Federation need a visa to visit Rwanda. This fact, however, does not in the least burden the pleasant preparation for the trip, since the procedure for obtaining it is simplified as much as possible. The visa application is submitted online at the website of the relevant Rwandan migration authorities. Prepare a scanned or saved online hotel booking confirmation in advance – it will be asked to be attached to the online application. The visa itself will be put in the passport at the border, collecting a visa fee of 30 USD from the tourist. If one month in the vastness of Rwanda is not enough for you, it is easy to extend the visa on the spot.
Since April 2014, tourists can visit Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya on a single “East African” visa. A multiple-entry visa, you can stay in these countries for 90 days for every six months. Visa fee – 100 USD.
when crossing the border or applying for a visa to Rwanda, they do not require, but to go to Africa without it is a very reckless step.
From January 1, 2018, citizens of the Russian Federation will be able to obtain a visa to Rwanda upon arrival, without first submitting an application online. The cost of the visa will be 30 USD. The opportunity to obtain a single “East African” visa will also remain.
Due to the absence of the Rwandan Embassy in Russia, an application for an entry visa can be submitted online on the website of the State Immigration Committee of Rwanda (Single Entry Visa category). At the end of the procedure, you need to upload an invitation or hotel booking confirmation. A confirmation of the possibility of issuing a visa will be sent to the applicant’s email address indicated in the application form, which must be printed out and presented along with the passport upon entry into the country.
The visa is valid for 30 days, if necessary, the period can be extended up to 3 months, for which you need to contact the Rwanda Immigration Authority. The cost is 30 USD for a single entry visa and 60 USD for a multiple entry visa. The visa fee is paid at the border, when passing through passport control. Visa extension up to 90 days will cost 45 USD.