There is now an East African visa (multiple entries) which allows you to visit Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda. The visa fee is 100 USD and it is valid for 90 days. Many people do not know a lot about Rwanda apart from the Genocide in 1994.
Here are a few key facts you should know.
1. The capital city of Rwanda is Kigali. It is the economic and transport hub of Rwanda. There are many museums to visit for history enthusiasts including the National Museum and the Kandt House – Museum of national history. It also has memorials dedicated to the Rwandan Genocide including the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre.
2. The nationals of the following countries can visit Rwanda without a visa for 90 days: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Britain, Sweden, USA, Germany, Congo, Canada, Hong Kong, Burundi, and Mauritius.
3. Other countries will require an entry visa. This can be done at the nearest High commission. If your country has no Rwandan embassy then you can get one by having your hosts facilitate the visa for you.
4. There are many local, regional, and international airlines that go to Rwanda. RwandAir is the national carrier. Our very own Kenya Airways also flies there. Others include SN Brussels, KLM, Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Air Uganda and South African Airways.
5. Rwanda is one of the countries where you need a yellow fever certificate so make sure you carry yours. It is also a malaria-prone country so make sure you take anti-malaria medication.
6. Kinyarwanda is the national language of Rwanda. Many Rwandese speak English and Kiswahili as well.
7. Rwanda has very good roads. You can get around on motorbike taxis, as well as public buses, taxis and minivans.
8. There are only three countries in the world where you can find mountain gorillas in their natural habitat and Rwanda is one of them. Rwanda is known for its conservation efforts to keep the mountain gorilla numbers up.
9. A great tourist attraction in Rwanda is the gorilla naming ceremony called Kwita Izina which is held by the Tourism and Conservation Department of the Rwanda Development Board. This is a huge ceremony with a lot of dancing and singing as people celebrate the naming of baby gorillas.
10. Rwanda has the cleanest streets in Africa. Every last Saturday of the month there is usually a day of cleanup by all residents of Rwanda including the President.
11. Rwanda is also one of the safest places in Africa. You can walk around Kigali even at midnight without fear of being robbed.
12. Rwanda is working on attracting tourist dollars to its economy. Kigali is in the process of building a 360 million-dollar MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing, and exhibitions) centre. This centre will have a 5-star hotel – Radisson Blu, a museum and a shopping mall. The complex will have a 2,600-seater convention centre. They are also building a new international airport at Bugera.
13. Rwanda has one of the oldest forests in the world called Nyungwe. It is Africa’s largest protected mountain rainforest.
14. Akagera National Park is the largest national park. Some of the animals to be found in the forest include Elephants, Buffalo, zebra, giraffes, hippos, and crocodiles. There are also 480 species of birds.
Bankelele a prominent business blogger wrote a great post about Rwanda for the Daily Nation. Visiting Kigali from Nairobi leaves you both impressed and sad.
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