Please ensure that you visit your doctor to enquire about any vaccination requirements you may need for your visit to Rwanda. It may be worthwhile taking a copy of your itinerary with you to show the exact areas you will be travelling to within Rwanda. Please check on the requirement specifically for the yellow fever vaccine as the certificate requirements are relevant to certain travellers only.
Passports and Visas
If you are a British, Irish, US or Canadian Citizen your passport needs to be valid for at least 6 months after your date of entry. There must be at least two facing blank visa pages available. All UK, US and Canadian citizens visiting Rwanda must obtain a visa upon entry. Tourist visas are valid for 30 days, and available to purchase for $30 USD at Kigali International Airport on arrival. Please have cash with you for this. You can check if you need a visa to visit Rwanda by visiting this website: https://www.travisa.com/
Internet access and mobile phone coverage
There is internet access available either by purchasing a local sim card for your phone or WiFi at the accomodation - however please don't rely on there being reliable, fast WiFi. Consider adding international roaming to your mobile phone package before leaving home.
What to pack
The weather is likely to be anywhere from 20C to 32C. You will need light comfortable clothing e.g. Vests/T-shirts, shorts/light trousers for the daytime and some longer trousers and long sleeves in the evenings. Don’t forget your sun tan lotion and a sun hat!
For gorilla treking you are able to hire waterproofs and hiking gaiters in Rwanda, though you might prefer to bring your own. It is essential that you have a good pair of well worn in, comfortable hiking shoes with ankle support and good grip/tread. A small back pack to carry your water, camera etc is also recommended.
There is no dress code – but in the evenings it is a good idea to wear long tops and trousers to reduce insect bites. On previous trips, guests have enjoyed wearing something smarter for some dinners so you may wish to pack a summer dress/smarter shirt.
Don’t forget to pack your Cameras, Video Camera, extra memory cards, batteries and chargers.
Obviously we can’t give advice on any medication you may need but please ensure you are prepared for any minor ailments that may occur whilst you are away as pharmacies are few and far between. If you need any assistance with storage conditions for medication, do let us know.
Travelling with CPAP or other Medical Machines
Inform The Big Journey Company that you are travelling with such a device as early as possible and well before you travel. Also,
-Check that you have the correct electrical and voltage adapters for the country and accommodation you are visiting;
-Check with your airline that they allow your device to be carried as additional hand luggage and ensure that your device is easily accessible and properly labelled as medical machinery;
-Always carry a letter from your medical practitioner prescribing its use for you;
-Ensure you have details of your machine separately in case of the need to secure repairs/replacements whilst you are travelling;
-Check with your medical practitioner about the use of tap or bottled water in the event that distilled water cannot be sourced in the country you are travelling to.
Please note, if you require distilled or ionised water, you must inform The Big Journey Company of this at least two weeks ahead of travel so we are able to make preparations with our ground agents. There will be an additional charge for this.
Mosquito / Insect Bites
Malaria precautions/prophylaxis are essential. Avoid mosquito bites by covering up with clothing such as log sleeves and long trousers especially after sunset, using insect repellents on exposed skin and where necessary the hotels will provide you with mosquito nets in the room. Rooms are sprayed nightly with insect repellent. If you have been travelling in a malarious area and develop a fever seek medical attention promptly. Remember malaria can develop even up to one year after exposure.
The standard voltage in Rwanda is 230 volt power. The power sockets are Type C (also called the standard "Euro" plug with 2 round prongs. Those travelling from the US or Candad will need an adaptor and may need an adapter for some appliances (please check the power requirements of your applicances).
The currency in Rwanda is the Rwandan Franc but US dollars are widely accepted. If you pay for anything with US dollars, make sure the bills you have are dated after 2008 - crisp and new bills are preferred!
Tipping is customary in Rwanda, and while it is certainly up to the discretion of each person, to a certain extent it is recommended in order to guarantee the best level of service. We can provide you with a list of recommended tipping scales if you wish, or we suggest you budget around $10 per person for tipping porters, rangers, and service staff.