Rwanda Safaris and Tours with Jewel Safaris
Rwanda is a landlocked country surrounded by Uganda in the north, Tanzania in the east, Burundi in the south, and Zaire to its west and northwest.
Rwanda lies on the East African plateau, with the divide between the water systems of the Nile and Zaire rivers passing in a north-south direction through the western part of the country. To the west of the divide, the land drops sharply to Lake Kivu in the Great African Rift Valley; to the east, the land falls gradually across the central plateau – its grassy highlands are the core areas of settlement of Rwanda’s population – to the swamps and lakes on the country’s eastern border.
Most of Rwanda is 3,000 ft above sea level, with much of the central plateau being higher than 4,700 ft. In the northwest, on the border with Zaire, are the volcanic Virunga Mountains; the highest peak, Mount Karisimbi (14,870 ft) is snowcapped. Lake Kivu, 4,700 feet above sea level, drains into Lake Tanganyika, through the sharply descending Ruzizi River. The Kagera River, which forms much of Rwanda’s eastern border, flows into Lake Victoria.
Because of the high altitude of the country, Rwanda has a pleasant tropical highland climate, with a daily temperature range as great as 14°C (25°F). Temperature vary considerably from region to region because of the variations in altitude. The average daytime temperature is about 30°C except in the highlands where it is much cooler. There are four seasons; long rains from mid March to mid May, short rains from mid-October to mid-December; long dry period from mid-May to mid-October and short dry season from mid-December to mid-March. The north-east has more rainfall than other parts of the country.
Climate Chart for Kigali
For today’s weather forecast see CNN – Africa Weather Forecasts
LATEST TRAVEL ADVICE
Foreign & Commonwealth Office (London)
State Department – Travel Warnings
VISAS & IMMIGRATION
Visas are required by all accept nationals of Tanzania and Uganda and are generally valid for 3 months extendable in Kigali.
Official Currency: Rwanda Franc (FRw)=100 centimes.
Current Exchange Rate: Today’s Exchange Rate
A few larger hotels accept the major credit cards. It is advisable to take some cash in US Dollars as travelers cheques can be difficult and time consuming to exchange.
BANKING & BUSINESS HOURS
Banking: Monday to Friday: 0830-1130 and 1330-1630 Saturday: 0830-1130
Shops: Monday to Friday: 0830-1300 and 1400-1700 Saturday: 0830-1230
Rwanda is two hours ahead of GMT
TRANSPORT & GETTING AROUND
Domestic Flights within Rwanda
Air Rwanda runs domestic flights from Kigali to Gisenyi and Kamembe. There is a small departure tax charged for domestic flights
Minibuses serve most of the main towns but road conditions are poor, and very pot-holed.
Self Drive / Hire Cars:
Driving is on the right hand side and an International Driving Licence is required. There are no international car hire firms in Rwanda but local establishments can be found in Kigali.
|The Africa Guide’s recommended Map|
|Rwanda/Burundi Folded Map (Maps Worldwide)
Published by ITMB Publishing Ltd Subtitle International Travel Maps
specialise in areas that are interesting, exotic and off the beaten track.
|1st January||New Year’s Day|
|28th January||Democracy Day|
|1st May||Labour Day|
|21st May||Kamarampaka Day|
|26th October||Armed Force’s Day|
|2nd November||All Saint’s Day|
|25th December||Christmas Day|
|Variable holidays||Easter Monday|
Electric Power is 230V running at 50Hz. The Plug types used are :
Round pin attachment plug – view
Round pins with round grounding pin (offset) – view
If you need medical care whilst in Rwanda, it is best to be aware that medical providers may not accept payment through your insurance company. In these circumstances you will have to pay in full after your treatment and file a claim with your insurance company for reimbursement. Therefore you should have access to cash, either from a credit card or by wire transfer. If you need assistance contact the country’s local embassy or representative.
To be compensated you must be treated by licensed medical personnel and provide your insurance company with proper documentation and receipts.
It is advisable to always ensure you have a comprehensive travel insurance policy which covers you for repatriation to your home country.