When you think of safe and secure travel destinations to visit, then think not beyond Rwanda – the Land of a Thousand Hills. It comes on the top list of safe and secure safari destinations not only on the African continent but the world at large. Each year, Rwanda attracts millions of travelers who come to enjoy thrilling gorilla trekking adventures in Volcanoes National Park, relaxation on Lake Kivu, cultural encounters or Big 5 game drives in Akagera National Park.
Rwanda is a trouble-free safari destination. Yes, there has been a tremendous transformation in the travel sector and the country’s economy at large. Rwanda has transitioned from its tragic past (the 1994 Rwanda genocide) to now a preferred destination for all travelers. This doesn’t mean that it is 100% secure, like other nations on earth, there are petty crimes that often occur. To ensure that you enjoy the best of Rwanda safari holiday, here are some of the important safety travel tips to take note of;
- Petty crimes
Rwanda is safe to visit for tours, but be mindful of petty crimes, especially while in Kigali city center just like any urban area any where around the world. Petty crimes such as pickpockets are common in overcrowded areas like markets. If you have valuables and you have parked somewhere, we advise you to make sure that your rental car doors are properly locked. The amazing part is that these petty crimes occur at a relatively low rate and guests can visit Rwanda even as solo travelers.
- Plastic bags
Rwanda is a clean country thanks to its ban on all non-biodegradable polyethylene plastic bags in 2008. Even at Kigali International Airport (KGL), you can find warning signs and fines are levied on those carrying non-biodegradable polyethylene bags. You are advised to conduct yourself well and be a responsible traveler.
Health insurance is essential if you are visiting Rwanda for a holiday. Travel insurance covers some expenses especially medical. Note, Rwanda is a developing country and medical facilities aren’t evenly distributed all over the country. Health insurance is essential, especially in case there is a need for evacuation.
- Safety at night/moving around/getting around Rwanda
The road conditions in Rwanda have improved and they are in a better state according to East African standards. It is possible to connect to upcountry by bus though buses often don’t move deep into the remote areas like national parks where tourism activities are conducted. To get to the deepest areas for your tourism activities, a rental car is recommended and there are many car hire services to rent for your ground travel.
When renting a car in Rwanda, ensure that you deal with a registered and licensed tour operator. Moving at night is risky because some areas don’t have security lights and we encourage you to get to your destination early enough.
- Border safety
There is a positive relationship between Rwandan and its neighbors. The border safety between Rwanda and all her neighbours is safe and secure, and it is possible to combine gorilla trekking tours in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and Bwindi or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda forexample. The borders between Rwanda and other countries are open to travelers on a safari in Rwanda.
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