Best Time To Visit
When to go
Rwanda can be visited year-round. Although it is equatorial, its high altitude creates a warm, pleasant climate. Rainy season is April-May, with short rains in November. The dry season is better for tracking, but the short rains are not serious. Palearctic migrants augment Rwanda’s phenomenal birdlife from November to March.
Kenya Airways from London Heathrow to Nairobi and a good connection for the short flight on to Kigali. Flying time is 8 hours to Nairobi, plus 80 minutes to Kigali.
Brussels Air flies from Brussels to Kigali three times weekly, with connections from all major UK airports. Flying time 8 hours from Brussels, plus connecting flight from the UK.
GMT +2 hours
A single entry 1-month visa is issued on arrival for US$30. Alternatively, you can apply for this on line through the High Commission.
If you are visiting Rwanda in combination with Uganda and/or Kenya, you will need to apply for an East Africa Tourist Visa, which costs US$100, and is valid for 90 Days. It is Multiple Entry. You will need to apply online through the consulate/embassy/high commission of the first country that you are entering.
Parts of Rwanda are malarial. A yellow fever immunisation certificate is a requirement. Always consult your doctor at least six weeks before travel and refer to this useful NHS website - Fit for Travel for details of recommended vaccinations for travel to Rwanda.
Things To Do
- Trek with your guide in Volcanoes National Park to find the gorillas
- Visit Dian Fosey’s memorial and celebrate her conservation work
- Look for birds and primates in Nyungwe Forest National Park
- Learn about Rwanda’s culture and history in Butare
- See the famous Intore dancers - music and dance play an important part in Rwanda's traditions
- Relax on the beach at Lake Kivu
- Shop for rare curios in Kigali - great gifte to take home
Rwanda's picturesque mountain scenery is best known for Gorillas in the Mist, and as the home of Dian Fossey and the endangered mountain gorilla. It's Africa’s premier gorilla tracking destination but we encourage visitors to spend a few days exploring Rwanda's rich culture and landscape if time permits.
Our Frequently Asked Questions sections are intended to help you decide if a particuar destination is right for you. Here Derek Schuurman and Craig Kaufman answer questions about Rwanda. They both have some great stories about their experiences gorilla trekking and exploring the culture and history of this small East African country. Ring them on 020 7666 1250 if you'd like to find out more.
What’s so special about Rwanda?
Most people come to Rwanda see the gorillas... Rwanda is a country of contrasts and visiting it is a profound, humbling experience. We've both seen a vast array of incredible wildlife throughout Africa, but few wildlife experiences are as moving as visiting a family of mountain gorillas.
How do we get there?
Kenya Airways operates daily flights via Nairobi to Kigali.
How do we travel around the country?
Travel is by four-wheel drive safari vehicles. Some vehicles have flexible tops so that visitors can stand up and get an even better sense of the scenery.
If there was one thing I shouldn’t miss in Rwanda, what would you recommend?
Gorilla tracking in Volcanoes National Park is an absolute must do - you couldn't come here and not do that!
Is Rwanda safe?
Whilst there is petty crime in all large cities Rwanda is considered to be a safe tourist destination.
Can I drink the tap water?
Tap water is not safe to drink. Make sure all water has been boiled before you drink it. We advise people to treated water with iodine or a water purification tablet and add vitamin C tablets to hide the taste. However bottled water is widely available and your vehicles will come stocked with supplies.
Is English widely spoken?
Yes, but not to the extent that it is in Uganda for example.
Should I expect very basic facilities in all Rwandan hotels and lodges?
Not necessarily. At all of the main tourist sites there are now good quality lodges and hotels, so there's a range of options depending on what level of facilities are important to you.
What is the local food like?
The local cusine is pretty good for the most part. There's a strong English /European influence in many local foods as is the case in Uganda. Meat is expensive and not widely available to the locals so there are lots of options for vegetarians.
How much of a culture shock is travelling to Rwanda?
Given the country’s turbulent history, visitors inevitably learn about (and usually visit) a genocide memorial site. It is both an intensely moving and harrowing experience – but it is something people always say they are glad they did.
How can I contribute to the local economy and conservation programmes?
We can help you to make donations to reputable local charities. We would recommend contributing to gorilla conservation, or to a UK based charity such as SURF (Survivors Fund).The World Jewish Relief Fund also does ongoing work in Rwanda with victims of the genocide. Ask us for more details - we've always very happy to talk through options and how together we can all make a positive difference.
Do I need to get any vaccinations ahead of travel and/or malaria tablets?
A yellow fever immunisation is a requirement and the country is malarial. See your doctor at least six weeks before travelling as they will have all the up to date advice on what you need.
I am pregnant, can I travel to Rwanda?
It is not advisable to travel to malarial countries during pregnancy. Always take advice from your doctor before travelling.
If you'd like to start planning your trip ring 020 7666 1250.
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Why Choose Us?
Passionate travel experts
- We've been leading wildlife travel since our first South Africa tours over 25 years ago
- Our Travel Specialists have lived in their specialist area for years
- We work with local guides to immerse you deeper in our diverse range of experiences
Personal & tailor-made
- You'll speak to your own expert who'll share their first-hand knowledge
- We'll make your itinerary seamless with 24/7 emergency contact available
- Your Travel Specialist will listen to ensure you have the best chance of seeing the wildlife you love
Responsible by nature
- We take care to actively contribute to the conservation of environments we visit
- For select countries, we make a charitable donation on your behalf when you make your booking
- We've partnered with conservation experts and NGOs to curate responsible tours