Important information considered before traveling to Rwanda
Getting to Rwanda:
The major airport is Kigali International Airport and its located 10km East of the center Kigali Airport receives direct flights from Nairobi, Entebbe, Bujumbura, Kilimanjaro, Addis Ababa, Brazzaville, Libreville, Douala, Mwanza, Brussels, Amsterdam, Dar Es Salaam , Juba, Lagos, Dubai and Doha. It’s also easy and possible to take a bus from neighboring countries.
Vaccination: The yellow fever is a current risk in Rwanda due to the many outbreaks that are taking place in the region. It’s recommended that travelers over the age of 9 months receive this vaccine. This is vital for the travelers who will continue on to the other EAC countries since Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya require yellow fever vaccinations as well. The following vaccinations are also suggested but not required when visiting Rwanda; Malaria, Typhoid, Hepatitis a, Rabies and Hepatitis B.
Malaria: Though less common than other African countries, Malaria does exist in Rwanda. So while there is no vaccine against malaria, prophylactic drugs along with prevention will show reduction of the risk of getting it. We recommend you consult your doctor on malaria medicine prior to traveling to Rwanda.
It’s not advised to drink tap water during your time in Rwanda. It’s important to stick to bottled water.
Money: Rwanda’s unit of currency is Rwandan Franc (RWF). It’s good to reach in Rwanda with the US dollars and Euros in cash, which can be converted either at the airport or at any forex bureau or at the bank. The most major useful branch would be the Banque de Kigali that offers cash advances on credit cards and also accepts the traveler’s cheques with is not possible in Kigali. There are ATMs throughout Kigali which can be accessible to the visitors. The credit cards are accepted in some luxury restaurants and hotels, however; it’s better to inquire and confirm prior to ordering. The Bureau de change are mostly located in Kigali and can offer a better exchange rate than many banks. All the banks and the forex de change are close d on Sundays and on each last Saturdays of every month until 11:00 am for national pay of community work “the Umuganda”
Tipping; this is customary to tip for any service in restaurants, and the bars. A tip of 5% is very acceptable and a tip of 20% is so generous. It’s customary to tip your guide; at the end of a safari or the hike, and the cook or the porter that might accompany. Tipping is not at any fixed amount and this depends on personal wish.
The internet; Wi-Fi is present in most of the hotels and it’s free of charge. It’s easy to find cafes in Kigali with WIFI and its best to check beforehand in case you are planning on using the internet. The lodges in the countryside are well equipped with Wi-Fi, however, the cafes and restaurants outside of Kigali may not have it on offer.
SIM cards & Phone: pay as you go SIM cards are present in most major retail shops in Kigali and there are multiple phone registration kiosks and stands around the city where you may buy and also register the SIM cards. The major mobile phone network operators with in Rwanda include; Airtel Rwanda, MTN and Tigo Rwanda. More so ensure that your phone is unlocked.