Rwanda’s tropical location, just south of the Equator, combined with high altitude ensure a pleasant, temperate year-round climate. Temperatures therefore hardly vary throughout the season, with an average of 25°C during the day and slightly cooler at night. However, exceptions can be experienced in the chilly upper slopes of the Virunga Mountains and lower Akagera National Park. Generally, the long rainy season takes place from March till June and there is a short rainy season around October-November. Also during the drier periods you may experience light rain showers occasionally
Rwanda can perfectly be visited during all season. Please keep in mind though that July and August are peak season for tracking the mountain gorillas and therefore gorilla permits are more difficult to obtain. Chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe Forest is recommendable during the rainy seasons, since the chimps will be able to find food relatively easily and are therefore easier to locate.
We advise you to travel light as most of the trip will be on the safari vehicles.
The costs for a single entry visa for Rwanda is US $50 per person. Visas have to be applied for online via the Rwanda Immigration website, at least two weeks prior to your arrival. A copy of the approved application has to be presented at the entry point where the visa will then be issued and paid for. Kindly note that citizens from the following countries are required to pay visa fees but are allowed to obtain their visa upon arrival without prior online application: Australia, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, UK and USA. If you are planning to combine Rwanda with a visit to Uganda and/or Kenya it is recommendable to request for the East African Tourist Visa. This special tourist visa costs US $100 per person and allows 90 days multiple entry to Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya. Regretfully, Tanzania is not (yet) a member of the East African community and therefore not part of this arrangement. The East African Tourist Visa can be requested in the same way as the single entry visa, but make sure to select this option when completing the form on the Rwanda Immigration website.
A certificate of yellow fever is required for entry into Rwanda. In addition it is advisable to take malaria prophylactic as malaria is particularly widespread throughout lowland Rwanda. Kindly always consult your travel doctor for the latest health advice before travelling to Rwanda.
The national currency in Rwanda is the Rwandan Franc (RFW) US dollar notes but also euros and British sterling are widely accepted and can be exchanged at the airport or any Forex bureau or bank. Also a number of ATM’s are available in Kigali and accessible to visitors. When bringing US dollars ensure that the notes are printed in/after 2006, since older notes may be refused or attract a less favorable exchange rate. Credit cards are usually only accepted at the major hotels in Kigali.
Dress is mainly informal and should be light as well as practical, like long trousers, t-shirts, trekking shoes. Something warm should be brought along for early morning and evenings and shirts/jumpers in the evening are better helping against mosquitoes. Light rain jacket for the rain is necessary.
In Rwanda the voltage is 220-240 volts. A 2 pin European adaptor is requested. Keep in mind that power cuts are common in Rwanda so it is recommended to carry a torch with you and always recharge appliances when the power is available.
Rwanda’s national language is Kinyarwanda, but also English and French are widely spoken throughout the country.