Rwanda’s Public holidays
There several days in Rwanda which are taken as very important and they were declared public holiday, any one to this nation must respect them too, these include;
1st January New Year’s Day
1st February National Heroes Day
7th April Genocide Memorial Day
1st May Labour Day
1st July Independence Day
4th July National Liberation Day
15th August Assumption Day
1st October Patriotism Day
25th December Christmas Day
26th December Boxing Day
Good Friday and Easter Monday fall on variable dates, however they are also recognized as public holidays in Rwanda. If your expedition falls in one of these events, you are joyfully welcome to participate and join with the local people.
During the peak season costs tend to move a bit high when compared to the low seasons. However park entry fees, and tourist activitie fees most of the time remains constant whether peak or low season. Some lodges offer budget pleasant costs during the wet months of March, May, October and November. Other lodges maintain their prices all year around, so it’s always better to consult your travel agent or tour operator before your safari.
Rwanda tourist offices
All the tourist spot in Rwanda are under the offices of Rwanda tourism and national park (ORTPN) its offices are located in the capital Kigali. The mission of the Rwandan Office for Tourism and National Parks (ORTPN) is to ensure the conservation of biodiversity in protected areas and to promote sustainable tourism. Only three national parks form the main attraction in Rwanda these include Volcanoes national park the only protected area for the endangered mountain gorillas over 380 individuals live in this park and it’s the most visited Rwanda national park over 80% of travelers to Rwanda visit this park, Nyungwe forest national park houses over 13 species of primates couple with chimpanzee the most close relative of man, Akagera National Park known for housing animals species including the big five mammal except rhino, the elephant, hippos, buffalo, elephant and elephant Are present in this park. Permits for gorilla and chimp tracking are only sold at the (ORTPN) in Kigali or in Kiningi near the park headquarters.
The unit of currency is the Rwandan Franc is (RFr). It’s divided into 100 centimes. Note come in RFr100, RFr500, RFr1000 and Rfr5000 denominations. Coins come in RFr1, RFr5, RFr20 and RF r50
It’s always advised to come with USD or EURO cash to Rwanda as there are many exchange rates in most major towns in Rwanda operating 24/7 and even at the airport Kigali international airport you can find many. Rates for traveler’s cheques and other currencies are significantly lower, there are very many banks in Kigali open, however some are very slow at dealing with currency exchange, many branches are available in Butare, Gitarama, Cyangugu, and Ruhengeri where you can exchange your currency to Rwandan currency. Banque de Kigali is the only perfect place that can exchange traveler’s cheques beyond Kigali. Credit cards are usually accepted only in relatively expensive hotels and restaurants in Kigali, some hotels do not accept credit cards as terms of payment.
Passport and visa to Rwanda
All travelers to Rwanda must possess a valid passport or visa to be allowed to enter Rwanda, visas can also be obtained upon your arrival at the airport and they can be issued at only usd$ 100. However due to bilateral agreement signed between Rwanda and the following countries Canada, Uganda, UK, Germany, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi, Democratic republic of Congo Sweden, Mauritius, south Africa and Hong Kong people from these countries can visit Rwanda for a period of 90 without a visa. You can apply a visa online, you can contact the Rwandan embassy nearest you to know the visa requirement and apply it from there. In case your country requires a visa you must obtain it and a passport is an essential requirement for any traveler to a foreign country.
You must go for medical check-up to prove your medical status before you continue with your safari, anti-malaria vaccination is very essential before your departure to Rwanda. Rwanda has very many hospitals in most of the big towns and doctors are readily available to provide medication at any time. Before traveling you are also recommended to pack first aid kit as well as any personal medical necessities as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on trip because our tour guides / drivers are not allowed to manage any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Remember you can get headache while in the forest or any other problem which requires quick attention. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared before you travel.
Population and people
Rwanda’s population is regarded as one of the most densely not only in Africa but also in the entire world and according to estimates 2013 its population is around 12million people although the population is expecting to increase by 2018. Research has it that the huge number of people are dying from AIDS related diseases, however some historian such as Gerald Prunier stress it that the 1994 Rwanda genocide war partly contributed to Rwanda’s population density, since over 1 million people were killed and many were forced into exile during and after the genocide. Rwanda’s population is young with over 42.8% being under the age of 15 years and estimated 60% are under the 65. The Hutus, Tutsi and Twa are the only groups of people existing in Rwanda, however the Hutu dominates others groups with over 84% of the people in Rwanda are Hutus, and the Tutsi covers only 15% and Twa 1%. The twa are forest dwelling pygmy who most of their time depended on the forest for survival however, they are now evicted from the forest for conservation of rare mountain gorilla that now inhabit the forest. Their origin is a bit unclear as some stress that they came from down from Rwanda’s earliest inhabitant, however some scholars disagree on this origin, some believe that they are derived from earlier social group and others view them as being races or tribes