Things to know before traveling to Rwanda Africa – Size of Rwanda. 6,3 At 238 square kilometers (10,169 sq mi), Rwanda is the world’s 149th-largest country. It is comparable in size to Haiti or the state of Massachusetts in the United States. The entire country is at a high altitude: the lowest point is the Rusizi River at 950 metres (3,117 ft.) above sea level
Rwanda, a small landlocked country in east-central Africa, is trying to recover from the ethnic strife that culminated in government-sponsored genocide in the mid-1990s.
In the genocide, an estimated 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed by dominant Hutu forces in 100 days.
The country has struggled with its legacy of ethnic tension associated with the traditionally unequal relationship between the Tutsi minority and the majority Hutus.
Rwanda is striving to rebuild its economy, with coffee and tea production among its main exports. The World Bank has praised Rwanda’s “remarkable development successes”, which have helped reduce poverty and inequality.
Rwanda boasts an agreeable tropical climate that’s not too hot or too cold. Though it’s located just south of the equator, the country’s high altitude helps keep temperatures moderate throughout the year. The country’s weather and climate are also characterized by frequent showers during the better part of the year and about 40 inches of annual rainfall on average.
It’s especially rainy in the northeastern corner of the country, steeped in the rainforest. Average daytime temperatures in Rwanda hover around 75 degrees Fahrenheit in the lower mountains, and a much cooler 55 degrees Fahrenheit along the higher mountains, while nighttime temperatures average in the 60s.
In Rwanda, there are two rainy seasons, the first from January to April and the second from October to mid-December. In between the two rainy seasons is a short dry season characterized mostly by sunshine and some light clouds. Even during the dry season, there is occasional light rainfall in Rwanda. This plentiful rain supply in spite of Rwanda’s short distance from the equator is due to its high altitude.
Kinyarwanda is the local language, and English has been Rwanda’s official language since joining the commonwealth in 2009. While most people can speak some English, many still converse in French since the education system used French prior to 2009.
Since 2018, citizens of all countries can secure 30-day visas upon arrival in Rwanda. Travelers from Benin, CAR, Chad, Ghana, Guinea, Indonesia, Haiti, Senegal, Seychelles, Sao Tome and Principe, DRC, East African Community partner states, Mauritius, Singapore and Phillipinescan visit Rwanda with a free 90-day visa granted on arrival. However, passports must be valid for at least six months from the day of entry into Rwanda. Please check the immigration website for the most current information.
The local currency is the Rwanda Franc. Foreign currency can be exchanged in Kigali or at local banks, but different exchange rates apply depending on the bank. Notes printed before 2005 are not accepted. Travelers cheques can be changed in Kigali, but you must ensure that you have original purchase slips with you. Major credit cards are accepted at the major hotels, and you are sometimes able to withdraw cash from ATMs in Kigali, but ATM machines are not always reliable. Visa and MasterCard are accepted at park reception.