The combination of tropical location and high altitude ensures that most of Rwanda has a temperate climate year-round. Situated 120km south of the Equator, Rwanda experiences an average annual temperature of 24-27C. Temperatures rarely stray above 30C by day or below 15C at night. The exceptions are the chilly upper slopes of the Virunga Mountains, and the hot low-lying Tanzania border area protected in Akagera National Park. Seasonal variations in temperature are relatively insignificant. Most parts of the country receive in excess of 1,000mm of rainfall annually. The driest months are July to September, while the wettest are February to May.
Passports & visas
You need a current passport with six months’ validity from the date you return home and two blank pages. You also need a return air ticket and a tourist visa. Visas are available on arrival for USD50 per person.
Consult your GP or a travel doctor at least six weeks before you travel. You may be required or recommended to get vaccinations for yellow fever, typhoid and hepatitis A & B, among others. A certificate of vaccination for yellow fever is required for anyone entering Rwanda, so please carry your certificate with you and present to immigration. Malaria is present in Rwanda so malaria prophylactics are recommended.
Rwanda has one international airport, in Kigali. There are also domestic airports and airfields that connect major towns and safari destinations. The national airline is Rwandair. Depending on your arrival time, you may need to spend a night in Kigali.
Most of our itineraries involve a private guide and 4×4 vehicle for road transfers between places. Keep in mind road conditions can slow you down.
You can take a scenic helicopter transfer between Kigali and Akagera – certainly a safari highlight!
Currency & language
The local currency is the Rwandan franc, but the US dollar is the preferred currency in Rwanda. Any US dollar bills you take to Rwanda mustn’t be tattered or torn, or issued prior to 2009. American Express, Visa and MasterCard are accepted in some camps and lodges, and in larger hotels and shops. Kinyarwanda is the official language in Rwanda. French, and to a lesser extent English, are widely spoken.
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