Is Rwanda Safe for Travel? Rwanda is generally safe for travel; nevertheless, current COVID-19 travel restrictions will govern your entrance, departure, and movement within the nation. Rwanda is one of Africa’s safest tourist destinations, and it is one of the countries that has handled the COVID-19 crisis well. You may visit Rwanda now and after COVID-19 with confidence.
When most people hear the word Rwanda, they immediately think of a frightening area. The horror of the 1994 genocide would be their first recollection or thought. You will be astonished, though, at how much the country has come together, grown to restore the country, and sworn ‘never again’ would they tear their magnificent country down.
Rwanda is the Africa’s safest destination. The country’s civil upheaval in the 1990s, which started a genocide, has long been forgotten, and the Rwandan government fully recognizes that it is its fundamental obligation to safeguard the safety of both tourists and locals. Petty theft, credit card fraud, and overcharging are prevalent safety dangers in cities across the world, but they may be avoided if an individual takes preventive precautions.
Security personnel are evident everywhere, including police, hotel security, and tourism police, to assure your safety and the privacy of your stay. Don’t worry, you’ll see the officer or army guy around any corner.
They are there to protect you. Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, is considered as one of Africa’s safest capitals, and its tremendous economic growth has converted it into a model city for the rest of Africa.
Rwandans are exceedingly compassionate, warm, hospitable, and inviting to all. You will seldom hear in the local press about a visitor to Rwanda experiencing safety and security issues during their stay.
Rwanda’s government and people have fought valiantly to rehabilitate from the tragedy of the 1990s. A visit to Kigali’s genocide museum will provide you with a historical experience that highlights both the country’s dark and light periods.
Strict rules make it illegal to promote notions about genocide based on ethnic, regional, racial, religious, linguistic, or other contentious features. The public encouragement of “genocide ideology” or “divisionism,” which includes genocide denial, bigotry, and sectarianism, is punishable by five to nine years in jail and penalties ranging from 100,000 to one million Rwandan francs.
Political violence in Rwanda is generally minimal, with nonviolent rallies that are usually pre-planned. However, avoid protests and use caution when traveling, especially outside of cities and border areas. Even calm events can devolve into violence. Maintain your awareness of local news and notifications.
Corruption is extremely minimal in Rwanda and is not allowed. If you are a victim of harassment or attempted bribery, call the Rwanda National Police dedicated hotline at 116.
Human Rights Observers, Journalists, and NGO workers may face increased scrutiny from Rwandan authorities.
Military bases, government buildings, airports, and public monuments are not permitted to be photographed. The police or security services can and will seize your cameras.
Terrorism is a worldwide issue, especially in East Africa. Al-Shabab, a terrorist organization, operates in the region but has not targeted Western interests in Rwanda. Rwanda has no recognized international terrorist organizations or internal organized criminal groups, and the Rwandan government does not assist any terrorist organizations. Rwanda is the world’s fifth greatest provider of peacekeepers.
The border regions are permeable, making it simple to travel into another nation through Rwanda. The Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebel organization, based in Congo, continues to operate along Rwanda’s western border and has been connected to grenade assaults across the country.
Congolese army troops and UN peacekeepers continue to fight rebel and militia groups in the regions of North and South Kivu. The Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda operates along the border in eastern DRC. As a result, avoid unguided travel near the DR Congo border.
The Rwanda-Uganda borders have been reopened and now you can access both countries by road via the Cyanika and Katuna borders. However, with a few restrictions, you may fly from Uganda to Rwanda via Kigali International Airport.
Rwandan gorilla trekking takes place at Volcanoes National Park, which is safe and secure, with armed military guides accompanying each party for their safety.
Tips on how to travel safely in Rwanda.
Visitors visiting Rwanda are encouraged to take full responsibility for their own safety by remaining watchful and using common-sense safeguards. While there are no off-limits zones in Rwanda, it is essential to be cautious around crowded markets, nightclubs, and tourist destinations.
- Carry only what you need, and keep a tight eye on your belongings in public settings.
- Don’t flaunt or flaunt your money or money belt in public. Women should keep their handbags zipped and in front of them at all times. Wallets should be kept hidden in men’s front pockets, especially in busy places.
- Keep your valuables secure in your hotel or room’s safe.
- Jewelry and other valuables should be left at home.
- Always share your schedule and plans with a friend or family member.
- Exercise extreme vigilance in regions frequented by foreigners.
- Avoid walking alone after dark, even in well-lit places.
- Close the windows and lock the doors.
- Always have a copy of your passport and visa with you. Keep original papers in a safe place, such as your hotel safe.
- Electronic item theft is prevalent. Cell phones, iPads, iPods, and other electronic devices should be kept out of sight. Valuables should be secured or stored in a safe at hotels or apartments.
- Keep a modest profile. Even if you are lost, avoid drawing attention to yourself. When offering directions, most Rwandans rely on landmarks rather than street signs.
- Maintain vigilance and awareness of your surroundings.
- If you are mugged, it is best to hand up your possessions and not struggle.
- Women should never leave their handbags unattended or dangling from the back of a chair.
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
- When driving, keep car doors locked and no valuables visible in the vehicle.
- Avoid non-metered taxis and vans.
- Share a cab with someone you don’t know and bargain the fare before getting in.
- If you are in a busy place, have your photographic equipment tied to your arms.
- Keep your mobile phone in your pocket rather than in your hands, since tiny criminals might easily steal it.
- Rwanda has no laws that make sexual orientation or consenting same-sex partnerships illegal. However, public displays of affection are uncommon.
- You must respect Rwandan culture and be aware of several activities that are considered inappropriate; do not debate or inquire about genocide, women do not normally drink in bars, public shows of affection are not encouraged, and eating or drinking in public is not authorized.
- You should be aware that you are subject to local regulations when in Rwanda. You may be expelled, jailed, or imprisoned if you break local laws, even if you do it unintentionally. If you are unable to present an appropriate form of identification, you may be held for interrogation by the police. Convictions for illicit drug possession, use, or trafficking result in severe jail terms and large penalties. If you are arrested or imprisoned, request that police or prison personnel promptly alert your embassy.
- Local governments are in charge of investigating and punishing crime. Kigali City‘s emergency number is 112. Police officer abuse or attempted bribery hotline 116.
The Rwandan franc (RWF) is the official currency, however US dollars may also be used, with bureaus and banks accepting only big value US notes created after 2006.