Official Name: Republic of Rwanda
Population: 12 Million
Land Area: 26,338 square km
Currency: Rwandan franc RWF100 = AUD 16 cents (calculated on 01 September 2016) US Dollars are widely accepted
Time: 2 hours ahead of GMT
Language: Official languages are Kinyarwanda, French & English
Schooling: Free education in state-run schools for nine years – 6 in primary, 3 in secondary. Many poorer children still fail to attend due to the necessity of purchasing uniforms, books and commitments at home. English is the only syllabi taught in schools now.
Agriculture: Despite Rwanda’s fertile ecosystem, food production often does not keep pace with population growth. Economy suffered heavily during the 1994 Genocide with widespread loss of life, failure to maintain infrastructure and neglect to important cash crops like coffee beans and tea, pyrethrum, bananas, beans sorghum and potatoes.
Key Industries: Rwanda is a country of few natural resources however minerals including cassiterite, wolfamite, gold, and coltan which are used in manufacture of electronics and communication devices are an important contributor. Tourism is an important growth industry for Rwanda.
Health Tips: Yellow Fever is a risk in Rwanda and it is required that proof of Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is required upon entry. Most travellers also take precautions for Hepatitis A, Malaria and Typhoid. Bottled water is recommended in Rwanda and our 5 day Rwandan safari includes this in our package.
Geography & Climate: Rwanda is one of the world’s most densely populated countries however it maintains an amazing level of cleanliness It is a land locked country with Uganda in the North & West, Burundi in the South and The Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania in the East. Although located only two degrees south of the equator, the high elevation makes the climate temperate. Average day temperatures are around 24 degrees C with a possible maximum of 30 degrees C. There are varying seasons: long dry mid May to September, short rains from October to December through to March/April.
Rwanda is known as ‘The land of a Thousand Hills”. Most of the country is mountainous with the Virunga Volcanic Ranges in the North rising from Lake Kivu. Abundant rain keeping them lush and green Its green rolling landscape of hills, mountain ranges, tea plantations and terraced farms create a beautiful backdrop for all of your photos. One of the main reasons for visiting Rwanda has to be to see the endangered mountain gorilla in the Virunga Mountains. Extended stays will allow you to see the chimpanzees of the Nyungwe in the south as well as the scenic Lake Kivu. The mountain gorillas in Rwanda are quite habituated and reside in bamboo areas rather than dense forests (this certainly assists with those precious photos). Tracking Gorillas can be done all year long but the dry season will be more comfortable. Morning and night rains are also frequent in the dry season so rain jackets are recommended. Waterproof tramping boots are a necessity as well as water proof day pack, long trousers, long sleeved shirt, (these are to protect from the nettles too), camera protection and gloves can be useful too.
One thing that makes Rwanda unique is its cleanliness and the locals are proud of their achievement. Umungada Day is a day of “coming together for a common purpose” – Clean-up Building and Repair Day. It is a mandatory community service day from 8:00 am – 11:00 am on the last Saturday of each month; shops, restaurants and businesses are closed, traffic is scarce, public transport is limited and you will find people everywhere working. Plastic bags are banned in Rwanda. However as a tourist you are most likely allowed to bring in a modest number of zip lock bags for personal use ie camera/phone protectors, part of your luggage packing but you must ensure that you will taking it out of Rwanda when you leave. In particular shopping/grocery type bags are not permitted.
Rwanda is rich in traditional culture and practices. An old cultural tradition that you will see throughout Rwanda are cow dung paintings. Distinctly geometrical and colourful designs were initially created to enhance hut walls. Although stunningly beautiful and very tempting to purchase, products that have been derived from bovine excrement will not be permitted back into Australia.
Effective 06 May 2017 the Rwanda Development Board has announced an increase in the price of gorilla permits. From USD750 pp to USD1,500 for all visitors
Traveljoy Safaris that include Rwanda