The Republic of Rwanda is a unitary republic of Central and Eastern Africa. It borders Uganda to the north; Tanzania to the east; Burundi to the south; and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Rwanda is landlocked but is noted for its lakes.

Trips to Rwanda:

Rwanda Gorilla Tracking

The country is close to the equator but has a temperate climate due its high elevation, with the highest point being Mount Karisimbi. The terrain consists of mountains and gently rolling hills, with plains and swamps in the east. Abundant wildlife, including rare mountain gorillas, has led to a fast-growing tourism sector. Unlike many African countries, Rwanda is home to only one significant ethnic and linguistic group, the Banyarwanda. English and French are the official languages.

The Kingdom of Rwanda, initially a loose confederation, grew in importance from the 15th century to become the dominant civilization in the region, occupying an area beyond the present borders. The territory was assigned to Germany by the 1884 Berlin Conference, as part of Ruanda-Urundi, with the first Western explorers reaching the country in 1894. After World War I, the territory was allocated to Belgium as a League of Nations mandate. The German and Belgium regimes heavily favored the country’s Tutsis over the majority Hutus that led to tension between the two groups. Belgium switched allegiance to the Hutus following a revolution in 1959 and the country became independent in 1962. The Tutsi-led RPF invaded in 1990, sparking a three-year Civil War. In 1994, the president was assassinated, sparking the Rwandan Genocide. Between 500,000 and 1,000,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed in 100 days, in well-planned attacks ordered by the interim government. The RPF quickly restarted their offensive, and eventually took control of the country. A period of reconciliation and justice began with the establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the reintroduction of a traditional village court system. Since the Genocide, Rwanda has enjoyed political stability and social stability. This has permitted the development of agriculture, roads, tourism, and mining industries. Nevertheless, large numbers of Rwandans live in poverty as subsistence farmers. Rwanda is relatively corruption free and is an ideal model for other East African nations.

Entry Requirements

Rwanda Visas are issued on arrival. US Citizens do not pay an entry fees. A passport valid for six months after date of entry is required. Visitors must hold return/onward tickets and all documents required for their next destination.


Rwanda does not require proof of a valid Yellow Fever immunization certificate, but the country from which you came and are returning to, will ask. (Immigration officials might force a visitor to get immunized, which is at an extra cost). Hepatitis A and B, Tetanus, and Typhoid immunizations are recommended for all travelers. Malaria prophylaxis is recommended and you should consult your local doctor or physician to advise which malaria medication is best suited for you. Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the CDC’s Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel


Kigali, Rwanda

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg High F 81 82 80 79 79 80 81 81 83 81 79 80
Avg Low F 60 60 61 60 61 60 59 60 61 60 60 60


Rwanda – country code +250. Most areas will have mobile access and Internet available. Some areas on safari may not have mobile access.


Rwanda – Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz; electrical plug has two circular pins

Travel Advisories

Make two photocopies of valuables such as your passport, tickets, visas and travelers’ cheques.  Keep one copy with you in a separate place to the original and leave another copy with someone at home.

Be sure to inform your credit card company as well as your bank you will travel internationally into Africa. This will eliminate any credit card holds for fraudulent activity.


Carrying cash, an ATM or traveler’s check card and also a credit card that can be used for cash advances in case of emergency is advisable. The best places to exchange money are normally bureau de change, which are fast, have longer hours and often give slightly better rates than banks. Local currency is Rwandan Francs (RWF), however most places accept USD. Better hotels, lodges, and camps will accept credit cards, however it is advised to withdraw cash when visiting remote areas and villages.


Rwanda – is a presidential republic whereby the President of Rwanda is both head of state and head of government.


Rwanda – 56.5% of Rwanda’s population is Roman Catholic, 26% is Protestant, 11.1% is Seventh-day Adventist, 4.6% is Muslim, 1.7% claims no religious affiliation, and 0.1% practices traditional indigenous beliefs.

Ethnic Groups

Rwanda – the population is about 84% Hutu, a Bantu people, traditionally farmers. The Tutsi, a warrior people, constitute about 15% of the total population, but many have fled into neighboring territories for refuge, especially since civil strife began in 1959. The Tutsi migrated to Rwanda sometime before the 15th century. There are also some Twa, a Pygmy tribe of hunters related to the Pygmies of the DROC; the earliest known inhabitants of the region; they now constitute about 1% of the population of Rwanda. There are also small numbers of Asians and Europeans.


Rwanda – there are mainly 3 official languages spoken in Rwanda; French, English and Kinyarwanda. Kinyarwanda is part of Bantu language and spoken widely. Other languages like Rundi and Swahili are also spoken in Rwanda.


Rwanda is a rural country with about 90% of the population engaged in agriculture. It is the most densely populated country in Africa; is landlocked; and has few natural resources and minimal industry. Primary exports are coffee and tea. The 1994 genocide destroyed Rwanda’s fragile economic base, severely impoverished the population, particularly women, and eroded the country’s ability to attract private and external investment. However, Rwanda has made significant progress in stabilizing and rehabilitating its economy. In June 1998, Rwanda signed an Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility with the International Monetary Fund. Rwanda has also embarked upon an ambitious privatization program with the World Bank. Continued growth depends on the maintenance of international aid levels and the strengthening of world prices of coffee and tea.


Rwanda – the high altitude of Rwanda provides the country with pleasant tropical highland climate. Temperatures vary considerably from region to region because of the variations in altitude. Rainfall is heaviest in the southwest and lightest in the east. A long rainy season lasts from February to May and a short one from November through December.