Rwanda is one of my favourite countries after a wonderful visit in 2013, travelling across the country and experiencing the wonderful countryside in the land of a thousand hills. Last year, I went back to Rwanda as I had to stopover in Kigali between getting from Johannesburg to Brazzaville. It was great to be back for a night, staying at 5 Swiss Hotel, a very nice budget hotel arranged last-minute by Rwanda Development Board. In the past, I have stayed at the two Serena hotels in the country and which I wrote about back in 2013.
Like in 2013, Rwandair was happy to help me out with a ticket in exchange for social media promotion and a write-up and it was great flying this airline again. It has an impressive network in Africa and even flies to Dubai for an affordable price, making it hard to come up with an excuse not to visit Rwanda.
Here are five tips that can make your trip even better.
1. Some nationalities don’t need a visa to visit Rwanda, but Denmark is not one of them. If you are running short on time, go to your nearest embassy where you can easily get a visa. If you plan your trip in advance, it is possible to obtain a letter online at https://www.migration.gov.rw. I did that in 2013 while I this time was running too late and had to get a visa last minute at their embassy in Pretoria.
2. Take the bus around the country. The infrastructure of Rwanda is surprisingly good and unlike most other African countries. Travelling across the country from Kigali to Gisenyi was a fantastic experience, and one of the most beautiful overland journeys in the world. Remember this is the land of a thousand hills.
3. Rwanda is one of the few gorillas-countries and research in advance is required. You need a special permit so make sure to plan well ahead. Also, keep in mind this is very expensive. 750 American dollars!
4. Rwanda is otherwise great value for money. You can take a motorbike taxi anywhere within the city centre of Kigali for around a dollar. Hotels are available to fit any budget.
5. Make sure to visit the Presidential Palace museum in Kigali and Hotel de Milles Collines, the world famous hotel from the 2004-movie, Hotel Rwanda.