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Although we are now working from home, if you are due to travel shortly we will be in touch to support and guide you in either postponing or cancelling your trip, based on Foreign Office advice and your insurance arrangements.
 
When you feel ready to do so, we are here to help you plan your next holiday, knowing availability in many key destinations is already tight for next year. To help you move forward with confidence, our booking conditions have been relaxed in case you are unable to travel due to COVID-19 issues beyond your control (eg a new wave of infections; visa restrictions; mandatory quarantine; or cancellation of your international flight).
 
Thank you for your ongoing kindness & support in these difficult times. And remember that all our holidays are fully financially protected, wherever in the world you live.

Warm regards

Claire Farley, Managing Director

Travel guide to Rwanda

Passports
Your passports must be valid for at least 6 months after your return date & have two blank facing pages. If you do not have this, you may be denied boarding at your departure airport. Soiled, damaged or defaced passports will not be accepted.
 
Visas
A compulsory e-visa should be purchased on-line in advance of travel, printed out & presented on arrival ($50 pp). Alternatively you can purchase your visa at the airport on arrival, but this will involve queueing. A 72-hour transit visa ($30) or 90-day East African Tourism visa ($100) that allows multiple entry into Uganda, Kenya & Rwanda - but not Tanzania, can also be purchased at the airport on arrival.
Health
There are no compulsory health requirements, but malaria tablets are recommended. A Yellow Fever vaccination is not compulsory unless you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever (eg Kenya or Uganda), in which case a valid yellow fever certificate is mandatory & must be presented at the airport to gain entry. Airport transits of < 12-hours are exempt. The vaccination must be done at least 10 days before travel. If you are over 60 years of age and your doctor advises against a yellow fever vaccination, you must carry a letter from your doctor that states this. As tsetse fly and dengue fever are present, a good insect repellent and anti-histamine are advised. The mosquito that spreads dengue bites during the day and is more common in urban areas. Tsetse fly is associated with cattle. You should be up to date with your primary courses and boosters. Always check with your doctor at least 8 weeks before travel for any other inoculations recommended (eg Hepatitis A+B, Cholera, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Polio, Meningococcal Meningitis, Rabies and TB).
Currency
Rwandan Francs (RWF) – but as USD dollars dated from 2006 onwards are widely accepted at hotels, restaurants and shops that cater for tourists, so it is not necessary to travel with local currency, unless you are planning an extended stay in one of the towns or cities. Take small denominations, as you may not always be able to get change and these are also useful for tipping. Dollars dated before 2006 will not be accepted anywhere in Rwanda. VISA & Master cards are accepted at many hotels & restaurants, but often with a 5% surcharge. American Express & Diners Club are not generally accepted. Always ensure you carry cash when travelling in the countryside, as some places may not accept cards. If you want local currency, this can be purchased at the airport on arrival, but be aware that you will not be able to swap back any surplus currency afterwards.
Language
French + English + Kinyarwanda
Time Zone
GMT + 3 Hours
Travel Tips
To ensure you have the best possible holiday experience, please read the following information carefully. If you have any questions, discuss them with us before you depart. 
 
Hand Luggage – pack essential items for a day or two in your hand luggage, in case your bags go astray & take a few days to catch up with you, especially if you have any tight connecting flights. 
 
Baggage – if you are flying on a light aircraft, your luggage must be packed in soft sports bags, usually restricted to 15 kg. Rigid suitcases will not fit into the luggage pods & will be left behind. 
 
Documents – take a copy of your travel insurance policy with you & leave a copy of your passport with a reliable contact at home, in case the originals are lost or stolen. 
 
Electronic Devices – ensure these are all fully charge before travel, as you may be required to switch them on at airport security, as any device that does not switch on cannot be check and may need to be surrendered. 
 
Mobile Phones – make sure they are set up for international calls and if you plan to use travel apps such as Google Translate or Google Maps, ensure you check your data package with your provider in advance. Alternatively turn off date roaming to avoid large phone bills. Be aware that some rural areas may not have mobile or WiFi coverage. 
 
Credit Cards – remember to inform your bank when travelling abroad. 
 
Clothing – pack in layers according to the season, including lightweight but long sleeved shirts & long trousers to protect against mosquitos (safari clothing is ideal for this). Neutral colours are best – khaki, green & brown. Avoid white & bright colours, as these increase your visibility to the animals, dark blue which attracts tsetse fly, & black which can get very hot. Take a generous supply of insect repellent to spray on your neck, wrists & ankles & avoid using perfume, as this attracts insects. Take a day pack, T-shirts, shorts, jeans, light fleece, sunhat, swimming costume, sunglasses, biodegradable sunscreen & flip flops. Sanitising hand cleaner & eye drops can be handy, especially if you wear contact lenses & a 'shewee' is invaluable for ladies in the bush. Free laundry is offered by many lodges, but you are expected to wash your own underwear. 
 
For gorilla trekking, proper walking shoes with a good tread are essential, as well as a backpack with decent rain gear, including a rain jacket & lightweight waterproof trousers with zip sides. Pack long socks (so you can tuck in your trouser legs & keep out biting ants) & gardening gloves to protect your hands, as you scramble through the rainforest. 
 
Medicines - if you travel with prescription drugs, carry an adequate supply in their original bottles/packaging & keep in your hand luggage, as if lost they may be difficult to replace. 
 
Accessories – pack a phone & charger, camera (with spare memory cards & batteries - a 200 mm zoom lens is good for wildlife photography), torch & binoculars (large 8x40 is best). We suggest one pair per person, as it can be frustrating to share. Drones are not permitted in any national park. 
 
Plastic Bags - thin plastic bags including duty free bags, bin liners & dry-cleaning bags, are banned in Rwanda for environmental reasons. You will need to surrender any in your possession on your arrival. Only durable 'bags for life', paper bags, cloth & woven bags are permitted. 
 
Plugs – type C (European 2-prong) and J. Pack a universal adapter as well as a hand basin plug/stopper, as these are not always provided. 
 
Books – pack a good travel guide, with information on the wildlife & birds of the region. Also a good supply of English reading material for quiet evenings and when waiting for flights, as these can be hard to come by. 
 
Water – tap water is safe to brush your teeth, but drink only bottled water. 
 
Food – European food is served throughout the country. Vegetarians & food allergies are well catered for. 
 
Taxis – in cities only use regulated taxis, which are best ordered through your hotel. 
 
Self-Drive – driving is on the right (unlike their neighbouring countries of Uganda & Kenya), although we do not recommend self-driving in Rwanda. 
 
Safety – take all sensible precautions. Leave valuable jewellery/watches at home, wear a money belt & be alert when outside your hotel. In particular avoid taking out large wads of cash in public view & keep spare cash, passport & a spare credit card in your hotel safe. 
 
Wild Animals – attacks by wild animals are rare, but we cannot guarantee that attacks will not occur so observe all sensible precautions. We cannot be held responsible for injuries caused during an incident with a wild animal. 
 
Indemnities - please be aware it is likely you will be required to sign indemnities for safaris & any other potentially hazardous activities. 
 
Drones - it is illegal to use a drone in East Africa. Doing so can lead to criminal charges with heavy fines and/or imprisonment. 
 
Pack for a Purpose - if you have a little space in your suitcase, local schools & communities always appreciate gifts of English reading books, pens & pencils, stationery, deflated footballs etc. Specific requests from communities can be seen on the 'Pack for a Purpose' website. 
 
Tipping – this is not compulsory, but if you wish to tip because you have received good service, we suggest the following per couple: 
- driver/guide: $10 per day (can be reduced for longer stays). 
- rangers: $5 per game drive 
- waiters: 10% (if not already added to your bill) 
- porters: $1 per bag. 
It is not necessary to tip drivers doing short transfers (eg to the airport). 
 
Displays of affection - Rwanda is one of the more LBGT-friendly African nations, but we advise all our clients, gay and heterosexual, to be sensitive to cultural differences. 
 
FCO Travel Advice - consult the UK Foreign Office website for the latest travel advice www.fco.gov.uk.
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