The Best Travel Advice for Visiting Rwanda for the First Time

Best travel advice for Visiting Rwanda for the First Time (by a Local!). Visit Rwanda: Explore the Land of a Thousand Hills & Travel Advice – Greetings from Rwanda. It is essential to engage the services of a tour operator like Kabira Gorilla Safaris to help you make the most of your stay in Rwanda. Coming to Africa, especially to Rwanda and the entire continent, requires some planning and preparation.

Practical safari advice that will help you stay out of trouble and frustration. When you go on safari with us in Rwanda, we don’t simply sell you safaris; we also tell you about the finest options for you.

It is best to be prepared before leaving and bring only what is necessary. Choosing where to stay while on a safari, what to wear for different activities, and of course, what to eat.

Almost everyone can benefit from some counsel, including vegetarians and vegans. We don’t want you to go hungry after all.

Be prepared before you travel.

It is advisable to be ready because a journey to Africa will be unlike any other trip you have ever done. To prepare for your safari in Africa, read books, peruse your neighborhood newspaper, and watch a couple National Geographic films, such as Gorillas in the Mist or Out of Africa.


Rwanda’s primary airport is Kigali International Airport. Many direct flights from all over the world do land at this airport.


At present time, Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) customs and immigration agents are efficient and courteous to all foreign travelers. The Kigali International Airport and all overland borders offer immediate visa sales. The airport has stores, restaurants, and ATMs available as well as foreign exchange and foreign currency facilities. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is needed. Every guest should take antimalarial medication. Drinking bottled water is preferable to drinking tap water. Although there are a number of airport taxes available at the airport that can take you to your desired destination, it is highly recommended to our clients to ask for one of our basic vehicles.


At the international airport of Kigali, there is no Customs counter for departures. Passengers who are departing must provide the immigration officer with a passport that is valid for at least six months, another form of identification, and a completed departure embarkation card. The officer will check to see if the tourist has the required visa.

After being properly stamped, the travel document is given back to the passenger. The departure-transit concourse is where passengers go after that for refreshments and duty-free shopping. Passengers enter the holding room after completing the last security checks to check their belongings, tickets, passports, and traveler’s checks.

Packing for your Visit to Rwanda:

Practical Advice for Packing for Rwanda- and the most practical is that you do not pack the kitchen sink – keep it down to the essentials starting with the reason you are coming to Rwanda for. That can decide even the type of suitcase that you will need and use.

If you are coming for a Safari – you will need to pack differently than if you are coming as a volunteer or business visitor – however every visitor while visiting Rwanda should make plans to spend a few days in the African Wild even on a mini-safari.

How much you can pack is determined by which region of the world you are flying from since different regions have different allowances for suitcases.

Packing wisely is the key and if you are coming for a Safari or as a volunteer pack with purpose and pack some things such as deflated footballs, books, dolls, no candy please, stethoscope, blood pressure kits and more. Pack wisely.

Rwanda: What to Pack When You Visit Rwanda


At any time of the year, light summer attire paired with a sweater or jacket is optimal. On safari expeditions, however, cotton pants and casual shoes with a flat heel are strongly advised. Don’t forget to pack a swimsuit and a hat to protect yourself from the sun. During the rainy season, windbreakers and umbrellas are advised. All you have to do is ask for further information at the time of booking.

Depending on the area of the country one is in, daytime temperatures are typically warm, so pack enough of light clothing. Bring some light sweaters as well because evening temperatures tend to be cooler, especially at high elevations. Due to the chilly alpine temperatures, tourists planning to walk or climb in the mountains are urged to pack appropriately. You should pack sturdy walking shoes, durable clothing, a sun hat, sunglasses, and waterproof coats that are perfect for safaris, wildlife drives, and visits to national parks.


Although smoking is prohibited, all safaris involve frequent stops where you may have the chance to smoke.

Do not forget to carry common sense for your Visit to Rwanda:

It needs common sense and practical consideration to make the most of your time in Rwanda because Africa is distinct from other parts of the world and quite different from everywhere else.

Nothing is predictable save Africa’s miracles. A Westerner may frequently find the African ways frustrating. A Westerner may go mad about things like poor customer service, which is something that can be improved, the disinterest of wait staff, and perhaps bad hotel management.

Take a deep breath and remember that while we may approach things differently in many ways, we will all have the same hopes for the future just before you lose all patience or sense of humanity.

Rwanda Tourist Visa:

If you are traveling, the easiest place to get a visa for Rwanda is at the Entebbe airport when you arrive. At any port of entrance into Rwanda by land, you can obtain a visa.

If you want everything arranged before you arrive, you can apply for the Rwanda tourism visa online. In our opinion, the procedure is complicated compared to the visa on arrival because it requires uploading itineraries, pictures, and a credit card cost.

As of January 1, 2018, visas can be requested at the point of entry for people traveling on to Rwanda. There is also the $100 East African Visa, which permits for unrestricted travel between Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda.

Travelers to Rwanda: Financial Advice and Pointers:

You can discover the most information here on using money in Uganda, including money security and safety advice.

Rwanda is a cash-based culture where the US dollar is the preferred currency. Credit card use is restricted because traveler’s checks are not widely recognized and it might be difficult to have them converted into cash.

It is possible to use a credit card, however there is typically a 3–5% fee. ATMs can be located in big cities; carry a Visa ATM card; Master Cards can only be used in a select number of banks; avoid using American Express cards with ATMs.

Eating out in Rwanda – Restaurants:

Unless you live here like I do, it’s unlikely that you will be cooking for yourself. If you plan to prepare meals for yourself, I can recommend a butcher shop and bakery that are affordable and use western methods of cutting meat. There are some fundamental safety measures that must be followed when dining out in order to maintain good health.

Most of the time, the food offered in lodges, restaurants, hotels, and campgrounds is properly prepared and secure to consume. The cuisine at the upscale establishments is of the highest caliber. However, we would advise against eating any street food, drinking only bottled water, and peeling your produce.

Consuming spicy cuisine does not guarantee your health. You don’t want Amin to exact his vengeance on you, keeping you in bed while you could be exploring Rwanda.


Although Rwanda is not a country where tipping is common, any tips you choose to give to a waiter, waitress, driver-guide, or member of the lodge or hotel staff while visiting Rwanda will be gratefully received.

You could be surprised by the extent of the effect your tip will have. Additionally, it is traditional to tip your safari driver-guide as well as the guides who take you on gorilla or chimpanzee tracking expeditions and wildlife game drives.

Tipping may not be customary in Rwanda, but it is still a good idea to do so as a goodwill ambassador.

Given the modest wages that waiters and waitresses earn in Rwanda, the tip does not necessarily need to be big.


In Rwanda, you may purchase a variety of domestic and foreign beer brands. The majority of wines and spirits are imported and are widely accessible at moderately increased rates. The legal drinking age is 18, but this rule is not strictly followed.


A genuine international certificate of vaccination may be required for travelers coming from or travelling through the majority of tropical Africa and South America, which are cholera and yellow fever hotspots. Travelers who exclusively use the airports in this zone for their flights are exempt from the requirement. Additionally, vaccinations against meningitis, typhoid, and hepatitis are indicated for all travelers. Visitors should also take malaria prophylactics because Uganda and Rwanda are in a malaria zone, but the best approach to prevent getting malaria is to avoid mosquito bites by using insect repellent and sleeping under a mosquito net. Don’t forget to bring some bug spray for your own comfort. Most hotels, resorts, and campers offer mosquito netting. Visitors should take malaria precautions both while they are abroad and when they return home. It is best to stay away from swimming in still water pools and only consume boiling or bottled water.

It is also advised to consume bottled water rather than tap water, which is easily accessible in any of the numerous supermarkets, eateries, and retail establishments. Due to a strong AIDS sensitization effort by the government and NGOs, the AIDS pandemic that plagued the country has drastically decreased, although it is still advisable to exercise caution.

Before leaving your home country, you should acquire medical insurance, which should cover emergency air evacuation if you want to spend any time in a remote area. A few medical rescue organizations are accessible.

Rwandan Internet Access:

The majority of our lodges have internet access, but you may also buy a local sim card to make a connection or connect to the internet via a cable. Everywhere in the café has access to the internet.

Traveling through Rwanda:

Getting Around for Visitors in Rwanda.the range of transportation choices available to travellers to Rwanda.

Public minibus taxis are available in both cities and rural areas. There are countless Boda-Boda motorcycle taxis that provide speedy, effective transportation but come with significant risks.

Long-distance buses are available within the nation as well as to Kampala, Nairobi, and even Tanzania.

The finest way to see Rwanda is to be driven about on a safari; it is also the safest and most pleasant way to do it.

What to Bring with You to the Visit:

Passports must be current for travelers to Rwanda, and visa requirements should be confirmed before departure with customs and immigration at the airport. You can make the most of game reserves, national parks, tours, and game drives with binoculars and tour guides. Zoom lens (70-300 or comparable) for photographers who want to capture the stunning wildlife and landscape.

A portable, lightweight video camera is preferable, especially for walking safaris. Bring extra batteries and tapes. With the proper converter, batteries can be charged inside of lodges.

In Kigali, there are facilities for printing and developing film. Any of the numerous supermarkets and shopping complexes in the cities can be used to buy toiletries and other necessities. Always be sure to get permission before snapping someone’s picture. Sometimes the subject will ask for money; if this happens, agree on the amount before taking the image.

Finally, dress tastefully and without offending anyone. Dressing too modestly is unacceptable. The majority of African nations prohibit naked bathing.