FAQ Rwanda Safaris

Do I need a visa to enter Rwanda?

Under the new regulations, you are required to purchase a Visa to enter Rwanda.  This can be done either in advance through the Rwandan Embassy or Consulate office in your country, or on line on the Rwandan Immigration Website at least 3 days prior to departing for Rwanda.

You can also get the visa on arrival, this is allowed for several countries, you can check whether your country qualifies. Here are some whose residents can get the visa on arrival – United Kingdom, United states, France, Australia and several other countries

There are two types of Tourist Visas available: a standard Rwanda Tourist Visa, and the East Africa Tourist Visa. The standard single-entry Rwandan Tourist Visa, which is valid for 90 days, is $100 US for most countries; for some countries, the fee is $30 US.  The East African Tourist Visa allows multiple exits and entries between Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda, is valid for 90 days, and costs $100 US. As these visa charges change from time to time, it is advisable to consult with the official Rwanda Immigration website:   www.migration.gov.rw

Can I use my ATM card, Visa Debit or Credit Card in Rwanda?

There are plenty of opportunities in Kigali, the capital city, to use your ATM card. Most banks in Rwanda have VISA networks and correspond with most of the large banks overseas.  Outside Kigali, ATMs are only available in larger centers, such as Butare and Nyanza.  In the smaller towns and in the parks, ATM machines are few and far between.

Visa Debit and international Credit Cards such as Mastercard are accepted in most large establishments in Kigali.  Petrol Stations and lodges outside of Kigali will usually accept credit and debit cards.  These credit card systems are shared on the phone lines, which are not 100% reliable and as such, we always recommend you travel with some local cash or common foreign currencies, such as U.S. Dollars, Euros, or British Pounds. This money can be used or exchanged in emergencies, when ATM machines and/or Credit Cards are not accepted. It should be noted that the U.S. Dollar is most widely accepted of these currencies.

Are traveler’s checks accepted in Rwanda?

Usually, most banks do accept travelers checks. You will be asked to show your passport and a proof of purchase to cash them, and the exchange rate is somewhat better than that for exchanging cash.

Is tipping common in Rwanda?

Tipping is somewhat a new phenomenon in Rwanda, as it is generally in East Africa.  The exceptions to this statement are high-end tourist restaurants, lodges, and safari staff, who are used to being tipped by tourists.  Travel industry guidelines suggest that guides and drivers for safari adventurers are tipped between $5 and $10 US a day.  Hotel and restaurant staff are also getting used to receiving a tip, and your discretion is necessary to determine an amount.  Foreign currency, especially the lower denominations, is not easy to change for a good rate; thus, we advise you to tip in Rwandan francs if possible.

Are Vaccinations required to enter Rwanda?

Although there are many recommended precautionary vaccinations, the only one that is mandatory is Yellow Fever.  You must get a booster shot every 20 years and present your vaccination booklet upon entry into Rwanda. Make sure to bring the booklet with you.

Is Rwanda a safe country for tourists?

Rwanda is considered one of the safest countries in not only Africa, but the world as a whole.  Crime is not a big issue for travelers, but one must always use common sense when traveling in any foreign country.  Even in large urban centers such as Kigali, there is little concern for safety, and there are many police officers patrolling the streets.  Rwanda is a particularly good country to travel to with children, as they are most welcome. In most cases, hotels and restaurants are family-friendly.

What is the accommodation like when I am on safari in Rwanda?

As in most countries, there is a large variety of accommodations available.  When booking, you should note the different features offered by the hotels and lodges to ensure that they meet your needs.  Adventure in the wild safaris can be contacted at any time for specific information on any particular location.  You should feel free to ask as many questions as you like; your complete satisfaction is our goal and we are always available to give you in-person information about our recommended lodging.

What vehicles does Rwanda-Gorilla Safari use?

Our fleet of vehicles is quite extensive, and your vehicle will be chosen based on your itinerary.  All of our vehicles have 4-wheel drive and can be used for off-road traveling. We always use ‘safari-type’ vehicles, such as the Toyota LandCruiser or Nissan Patrol.  These vehicles accommodate up to 4 or 5 people and their luggage.  For slightly larger groups and for use mainly on the tarmac roads, we use Toyota Super Custom vans, which can accommodate 7 to 9 passengers.

Adventure in the wild safaris takes your safety as our first priority.  As such, all our vehicles are fully maintained and regularly serviced to avoid unnecessary breakdowns.  Our drivers are mechanically trained and are in most cases able to take care of any small repairs that might be necessary en route.  The vehicles are air conditioned for your added comfort and carry fully comprehensive Insurance. 

Can one book a safari if one is traveling alone?

Yes, solo trekkers are most welcome. Sometimes, single travelers must pay extra surcharges, but we at Rwanda-Gorilla Safari always do our utmost to minimize these additional charges by coordinating his or her itinerary with other travelers.

How large are the safari groups that I will be traveling with?

The size of the specific group will depend on the vehicle assigned.  In most cases, the groups are 8 people or less.  The larger vehicles, such as the Super Custom Vans, will allow groups of up to 9 people.  Gorilla Tracking guidelines do not permit more than 8 persons per group, which also limits the numbers to a manageable amount for most travelers.

What to Wear for your Gorilla trek in Rwanda?

Trekking gorillas in their natural habitat means hiking through thick jungle; thus, you should wear long trousers and a long-sleeved shirt. Bring shoes or boots that can handle mud, as well as a waterproof jacket. You should also pack water and a snack with you, since you might be hiking for several hours. Your guide can lend you a walking stick for the hike if needed, and if you would like to, you can hire a porter to carry your small belongings to keep your hands free from the starting point.

Equipment for the Gorilla trekking

We recommend that you bring a camera that works in low lighting; flash is not allowed when around the gorillas. Consider bringing a cover for your camera, as it may rain at any time of the day or of the year.

The Mountain Gorilla Families in Volcanoes National Park

Groups or families of gorillas tend to climb much higher on the slopes during the dry season than during the rainy season. There are ten families currently residing in the park, ranging in size from 11 to 28 members, 1 to 4 silverbacks, and up to 12 infants.

Rwanda Offices:

Jesus Is Able House, KN5 Road, Remera, Kigali.

Uganda Offices:

Kampala Office: JLS Building, Najjanankumbi, Kampala, Uganda.

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