Is Rwanda safe for tourism?

In Africa, Rwanda is among the safest travel destinations, especially for independent visitors. While there is occasional minor criminality for visitors, overall crime is quite low, and the people living there are amiable, kind, and welcome. Pickpockets can be found in busy areas like marketplaces, and rental automobiles can be broken into for valuables. Most people assume Rwanda is a really dangerous location when you bring it up. The horror of the 1994 genocide would likely be their first thought or recollection. You will, however, be astounded by how much the nation has pulled together, developed to restore the nation, and vowed to destroy their stunning nation “never again.” In the region, Rwanda is the safest place to travel. The genocide that began in the 1990s in the country is now gone, and the Rwandan administration is well aware of its solemn duty to protect both its inhabitants and foreign tourists. Every city in the globe has common, minor safety hazards including credit card fraud, overcharging, and petty theft. These can be avoided if one takes preventative precautions. There is security present everywhere to make sure you are safe and have a hassle-free stay, including the police, hotel security, and tourism police. Don’t worry, you’ll see the army man or officer at every turn. Their purpose is to ensure your safety. Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, is regarded as one of the continent’s safest cities and, thanks to its remarkable economic development, has emerged as a role model for the continent. Rwandans are extraordinarily compassionate, amiable, accepting, and sympathetic to all. Seldom will you find news in the neighborhood media about a tourist experiencing safety or security issues while in Rwanda.

Rwanda’s Economic & Political Situation.

Following the 1994 massacre, Rwanda has protected its political stability. In September 2018, women held 64 percent of the seats in the parliamentary elections. In the Chamber of Deputies, the Rwandan Patriotic Front remained in complete control. Two opposition groups, the Social Party Imberakuri and the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, have each won two seats in the parliament for the first time. After a constitutional revision in December 2015 that permitted him to serve a third term, President Paul Kagame was re-elected to a seven-year term in August 2018. The nation has gradually recovered under President Kagame’s direction, becoming a thriving economic powerhouse that prioritizes the development of local communities and the protection of its natural resources. Rwanda wants to become a High-Income Country (HIC) by 2050 and a Middle-Income Country (MIC) by 2035, according to the World Bank. Ahead of Qatar, Luxembourg, Portugal, New Zealand, Austria, Estonia, Sweden, Slovenia, Spain, the Netherlands, and Morocco, Rwanda was recognized as the ninth safest nation by the World Economic Forum in 2017. The rankings take into account the consequences of common criminal activity, acts of violence, and acts of terrorism, as well as the degree to which the public may trust law enforcement to deter crime. Rwanda’s people and government have put forth a great deal of effort to rebuild their country after the tragedy of the 1990s. You can have a historical experience that highlights both the good and the bad moments in the nation’s history by going to the genocide museum in Kigali.

Civil unrest in Rwanda.

Concepts of genocide based on racial, ethnic, regional, religious, or other contentious qualities cannot be promoted under strict legal guidelines. A fine of 100,000 to 1,000,000 Rwandan francs and five to nine years in prison are imposed for public instigation of “genocide ideology” or “divisionism,” which includes denial of genocide, prejudice, and sectarianism. With nonviolent protests that are usually organized in advance, political violence in Rwanda is rather rare. But while you’re out and about, especially in rural and border regions, be cautious and stay away from protests. Things can turn violent even in casual settings. Remember to stay informed about local news and alerts. In Rwanda, corruption is frowned upon and is extremely rare. To report issues, call the Rwanda National Police’s special hotline at 116 if you have been the target of harassment or attempted bribery. The Rwandan authorities may scrutinize human rights observers, journalists, and non-governmental organization employees more closely. It is forbidden to take pictures of public monuments, airports, government structures, and military locations. Security personnel or law enforcement may and will seize your cameras.

Regional Safety and terrorism in Rwanda.

Everywhere in the world, including East Africa, there is a threat from terrorism. While active in the area, the terrorist organization Al-Shabab has not specifically attacked western interests in Rwanda. Rwanda is recognized to have neither domestic organized crime groups nor foreign terrorist organizations, nor does the Rwandan government back any such groups. Rwanda is the world’s fifth-largest supplier of peacekeepers. Because of Rwanda’s porous borders, it is simple to pass through and enter neighboring countries. Along Rwanda’s western border, the rebel group Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is still active and has been connected to grenade assaults across the country. The UN peacekeeping force and the Congolese military forces are still engaged in fighting against rebel and militia groups in the provinces of North and South Kivu. Operationalizing close to the border in the eastern DRC is the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda. Therefore, do not venture unguided anywhere close to the border with Democratic Republic of Congo. Kigali International Airport serves as the entry point for many tourists who view Rwanda as a desirable destination yet nevertheless want to see gorillas. These tourists then cross the border to Uganda to go on gorilla trekking. Additionally, the trip across the little nation of East Africa is safe.

The Gorilla habituation experience

Thanks to tourism and gorilla trekking, Volcanoes Park welcomes thousands of visitors each, making it an extremely safe destination. There is known violence and rebel activity in the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. On the DRC side of Virunga Park, there are armed organizations in operation. It’s possible that the border is not precise, so proceed very carefully. That being said, Volcanoes National Park is not known to be under guerrilla fire. Make sure you visit Rwanda with a gorilla trekking permit that you obtained from the Office of Tourism and National Parks. With armed rangers and knowledgeable guides accompanying each party for their safety, gorilla trekking in Rwanda takes place in the safe and secure Volcanoes National Park.

Petty crime in Rwanda.

Although there are occasional attempted home invasions, car break-ins, pick-pocketing, purse snatching, and thefts of car accessories in Kigali, the city does have a low crime rate. Rwandan crimes are primarily nonviolent in nature. Though, as in any large city, exercise caution at night and avoid taking needless chances as crimes of opportunity can happen, Kigali continues to be the safest capital in Africa. There’s not as much to worry about here as in most other nations, and serious crime or antagonism directed specifically at tourists is rare. Rwanda ranks among the safest nations in the world, per the 2016 Gallup Global Law and Order survey. Rwanda is ranked second in Africa and eleventh overall in the report, with more than 87% of the population indicating that they feel secure and confident about their security. The Gallup Law and Order Index gauges public perceptions of law enforcement as well as feelings of personal safety. Among the queries put to the respondents were: “Do you think the local police are trustworthy in the city or area where you live? In the city or region where you live, do you feel comfortable going on nighttime walks alone? Have you or any member of your household had money or belongings taken in the past 12 months? Have you experienced violence or theft in the last 12 months? It is recommended that visitors to Rwanda be alert and exercise common sense when it comes to taking personal responsibility for their safety. It is advisable to use cautious in crowded marketplaces, nightclubs, and tourist sites, even if there are no off-limits areas in Rwanda. Avoid carrying along with you a lot of cash and make sure you keep watching your belongings in public places. Avoid showing off your money in public. Make sure you keep your valuables enclosed in your safe room. Always make sure whenever you are going to travel or move out you inform your friends or relatives. Be keen in areas filled up by foreigners.

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