Rwanda Safaris, Gorilla Trekking , Rwanda Travel Guide

THE REPUBLIC OF RWANDA

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

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Rwanda Travel Guide

Rwanda, located in Central Africa is reffered to as the ‘ Land of a Thousand Hills ‘. The Landlocked country lies 1,270km West of the Indian Ocean. This is a landlocked country located about 120 South of the equator in the Tropic of capricon and 2,000km east of the Atlantic, located in the heart of Africa. The Country is surrounded by Uganda in the north, Burundi in the south, Tanzania in the east and Zaire to its west and northwest. Rwanda Safaris and Tours

Rwanda has 5 Volcanoes, 23 lakes and numerous rivers, with a Land Area of 26,340 km (less than half the land area of scotland). The mountaneous topography is due to the country’s position in Eastern rim of the Albertine Rift, and the Volcanoes are a result of the Rift valley formation.The Riftvalley escarpment through western Rwanda serves as a watershed between the Nile and the Congo. The country has vegetation which consists of Bamboo forest, open moorland

PRACTICAL DETAILS:

Currency: Rwandan franc
Time: GMT +2

Airport:Kigali International Airport
Nearest seasports: Mombasa (1,760km); Dar es Salaam (1,528km)
Electricity: 230/240 volts at 50Hz
Main Health risk: Malaria
International telephone country code: 250

GEOGRAPHY:

Capital: Kigali
Rainfall: Annual average 900-1,600mm; rainy seasons March -May and October to December.
Average Temperarture: 24.6-27.6 C; Hottest August and September.
Land Area:26,340 km (less than half the land area of scotland)
Location:120 South of the equator in the Tropic of capricon.
Altitude: From 1000 to 4500m above sea level; highest point is mountain Kalisimbi (4,507m)Vegetation:Ranges from dense equatorial forest in the Northwest to to Tropical Savanna in the East.Terrain: Mostly grassy uplands and hills;relief is mountaineous with altitude declining from west to East.
Natural Resourses: Some tin, Gold and natural gas.
Land use:47% cropland, 22% forest, 18% pasture, 13% other
National Parks: Volcanoes park (northwest); Akagera park (East); Nyungwe Forest (South west)
Main Exports:Coffee and tea

HUMAN STATISTICS:

Language:Kinyarwanda, French,English and swahili are also spoken.
Population:Approximately 8.01 million; 46% male, 54% female,
Density: 290 per km
Life expectancy: men 48.1, Women 50.1 years
Religion: Roman catholic (majority),protestant, muslim, traditional.
Income per capita: Rural US $ 105; Urban US $ 1,569
Education: Primary, secondary, technical/vocational, higher/university

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ADMINISTRATION/POLITICS:

President: Major General Paul Kagame
Prime minister: Bernard Makuza.
National Flag: Red (for the Blood shed for Independence), Yellow (representing peace) and Green (symbolising the Nations agriculture).
Government: The Broad-based government of National security, with three branches :executive, legislative and judicial.
Administrative divisions:12 prefectures, divided into 92 communes.

WHEN TO VISIT:

Rwanda can be visited at anytime of the year. June to September is the long dry season and is the best time for tracking Gorillas and hiking in Nyungwe since the ground should be dry.Rwanda can however be visited any time of the year since the vegetation is greener ,the sky is less hazy and Gorrillas can be trekked.

GETTING THERE AND AWAY:

Rwanda has several Airlines flying in and out of the country. Most tourists travel to Rwanda by Air.The International Airport lies 10km from central Kigali. Rwanda Flights
Alliance Express flies directly to Kigali from Entebbe-Uganda, Nairobi -Kenya, Bujumbura-Burundi and Johannesburg-South Africa. The Airline also runs connecting flights from London via Entebbe in partnership with British Airways.

The Sabena Ailines from Brussels runs direct flights to Kigali.

Air Tanzania from Dar-es-Salaam, Air Burundi from Bujumbura, Kenya Airways from Nairobi, and Ethiopian Airlines from Addis-Ababa also run direct flights to Kigali.

An Airport tax of US $ 40 is levied, now collected on the ticket at the time of issue so one doesn’t have to hand over cash. Taxis are available at the Airport to town.

Remember to confirm your return flight atleast three days in advance, via an airline office or Airline office in Kigali inorder to avoid inconviniences later.

AIR TICKETS:

Rwanda has several Tour and travel companies which offer Airline tickets and also offer other services.

OVERLAND:

Four countries boarder Rwanda. These include Uganda to the North, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burundi to the South. The Boarders are all open, and regular Buses link Rwanda-kigali and Bujumbura.

Direct Buses and Mini-buses -taxis connect Kampala and Kigali. These take 10-12 hours and cost around US $ 15.

There are several Mini-buses -taxis along the roughly 50km road between Kisoro in SouthWest Uganda and Ruhengeri in northwest Rwanda. It is also easier to travel between Kabale the largest town in Southwest Uganda and Kigali.Tanzania is also connected to the boarder through Ngara town which is connected to Rusumo by Mini-buses and taxis. There are buses from Ngara to Mwanza on lake Victoria . Mwanza is a lasrge port with accommodation and other facilities with links to Dar-es-Salaam and Arusha in northwest Tanzania. Gorilla Safaris and Tourism

VISA AND PASSPORT GUIDELINES

Before travelling to Rwanda, your passport should be valid and wont expire atleast six months of the date you intend to leave Rwanda.

It would be better to travel with photocopies of your important papers so that incase your passport is stolen, it would be much easier to get a replacement.

Visas are required by all visitors except Nationals of the USA, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania.

Visas can be acquired at the Kigali Airport on arrival in the country. The cost is US $ 35 upwards depending on the place of issue.Incase you are travelling overland, it would be best to acquire your visa in a neighbouring country. There are Rwandese Embassies in Kampala (Uganda), Bujumbura (Burundi), Nairobi (Kenya) and Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania)

There are also embassies in Cairo, Washington DC, Brussels, London, Paris, Ottawa, Bonn etc
Rwanda Travel Information

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