The Republic of Rwanda is surrounded by Uganda to the north, Tanzania to the east, Burundi to the south and Congo to the west and northwest. Rwanda is one of Africa’s smallest countries and yet one of the most densely populated.
Much of Rwanda is 3,000 ft. above sea level, and most of the central plateau being higher than 4,700 ft. In the northwest, on the border with the Congo, are the volcanic Virunga Mountains; the snow-capped highest peak, Mount Karisimbi is 14,870 ft. Tourism is the greatest foreign money earner; the biggest attraction being the Mountain Gorilla trekking. Most Rwandese are agriculturalists, with small farms; the produce is sold in local and city markets within Rwanda.
The Rwandan Highlands has a pleasant climate, with a daily temperature around 14°C. Elsewhere, the average daytime temperature is about 30°C. 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.
Visas are required by all accept nationals of Tanzania and Uganda and are generally valid for 3 months extendable in Kigali. New regulations require visa applications to be made on line; at least 3 days prior to travelling.
Official Currency: Rwanda Franc (FRw)=100 centimes.
The foreign exchange rates are approximately: $1 US is equal to 745 francs.
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; 1 hour behind its neighbours Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
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.