One of Africa's smallest and most beautiful countries, Rwanda is synonymous with gorillas; it's an absolute 'must' for any wildlife enthusiast. Home to the world's last remaining mountain gorillas, and the rare and playful golden monkeys, Rwanda is primate capital, with the Volcanoes National Park - set in the densely forested Virunga volcanoes and bordering both Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo - the jewel in its crown. The country's fertile green, mountainous landscapes have given rise to its nickname 'Land of a Thousand Hills', which have also blessed it with a relatively cool climate. It's a country largely off the beaten track, and has undergone a miraculous transformation since the dark days of the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Today, there's tribal unity, political stability, a cool, friendly capital - Kigali - with a thriving nightlife and food scene, and a promising future.
KEY FACTS BEFORE YOU GO:
- Capital: Kigali
- Currency: Rwandan franc
- Time Difference: 1 hour AHEAD of BST, and 2 hours AHEAD of GMT
- Flight time: Flights are indirect, and take from 10 hours and 40 minutes
- Official language: French, English, Kinyarwanda, Swahili
- Entry requirements: Visas are required for Rwanda, and can be obtained in advance at any Rwandan diplomatic mission or online. Further information about visa requirements is available from the Rwandan High Commission. Tourist visas are also available on arrival for 30-day periods, for £20/$30, which can be paid in cash (Sterling, US dollars, or Rwandan francs) or Visa/Mastercard, although not all land border crossings are able to accept payment by credit card. Passports must have at least 6 months' validity from date of entry, and one blank page.
- Vaccinations and Health: You should always ensure that you travel with adequate travel health insurance. For up-to-date information, please check this website (as recommended by the Foreign Office): https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/country/187/rwanda. If vaccinations are required, it is generally advisable to arrange an appointment with a health professional four to six weeks before departure.
General information on travel vaccinations can be found on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/travel-vaccinations/rwanda
To find out more, and for the most up-to-date advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/rwanda
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