Rwanda

Rwanda

Use Normal Level of Caution
Use High Level of Caution when visiting the following Districts: Nyakabuye, Gisuma, Kamembe, Gishoma, Cyimbogo, Bugarama, and Karengera

The Republic of Rwanda is a country in Africa, bordered by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Tanzania, and Burundi. The population is about 12 million people and made up of mainly three groups, the Hutus, Tutsis, and Twa (Pygmy). The government of Rwanda is a republic with a president as chief of state and a prime minister as head of government.

During World War I, Belgium began to administer Rwanda and Burundi and set up a system whereby the Tutsis were the dominant group. In 1959, the Hutus, the majority, ousted the Tutsi king, and following this, thousands of Tutsis were murdered or displaced. By 1962 Rwanda gained independence from Belgium. Tutsis who were in exile began to form the Rwandan Patriotic Front, and in 1990, waged the Rwandan Civil War. In April 1994, the president was killed when his airplane was shot down, igniting genocide that resulted in the killing of about 800,000 people in about 100 days.

Since the genocide of the mid-1990s, Rwanda has made much progress developing the economy and building infrastructure. A period of reconciliation is ongoing. However, some human rights groups point out that civil and political liberties and freedom of speech are quite restricted, and that the government does not tolerate opposition or criticism.

Rwanda has been referred to as The Land of A Thousand Hills. Visitors can experience beautiful scenery, wildlife, volcanoes, Parc National Des Volcans, and resorts. This country claims to have one-third of the Mountain Gorillas remaining in the world and one-third of Africa’s species of birds.

Currency RWF: Rwandan franc
Language Kinyarwanda; French, English
Capital Kigali
Recent Alerts None
Latest Alert Not Available

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Rwanda. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Rwanda through contaminated food or water.

Hepatitis B

There is a risk for acquiring hepatitis B in Rwanda.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Rwanda, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Yellow Fever

There is a low risk of yellow fever in this country. According to the Rwandan Ministry of Health (instructions on yellow fever prevention measures, April 17, 2016), to enter Rwanda, a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate is mandatory for travellers coming from yellow fever endemic countries and countries with active yellow fever outbreaks. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is not required for travellers coming from yellow fever-free countries and without an active outbreak of yellow fever.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in Rwanda. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) and may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are also at higher risk.

Cholera

Cholera outbreaks occur in Rwanda. The risk to travellers is low unless living or working in poor sanitary conditions, drinking untreated water or eating poorly cooked or raw seafood in this country.

Dengue Fever

Outbreaks of dengue fever may occur.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis occurs in Rwanda. Travellers to Rwanda are at risk for tuberculosis if visiting sick friends or family, working in the health care field, or having close prolonged contact with the general population.

Malaria

All areas of Rwanda are at high risk for malaria.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya fever may occur in Rwanda.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Rwanda.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities or rural areas, where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

There is a low risk of yellow fever in this country. According to the Rwandan Ministry of Health (instructions on yellow fever prevention measures, April 17, 2016), to enter Rwanda, a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate is mandatory for travellers coming from yellow fever endemic countries and countries with active yellow fever outbreaks. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is not required for travellers coming from yellow fever-free countries and without an active outbreak of yellow fever.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Cholera Vaccine

The U.K. NaTHNaC recommends the oral cholera vaccine for some travellers whose activities or medical history put them at increased risk, travelling to areas of active cholera transmission. These risk factors include: aid workers; those going to areas of cholera outbreaks who have limited access to potable water and medical care; travellers for whom the vaccination would be considered potentially beneficial, such as chronic medical conditions.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Rwanda.

Anti-malarial Drugs

Recommended anti-malaria medications include atovaquone-proguanil, mefloquine or doxycycline. Resistance to chloroquine and sulfadoxime-pyrimethamine has been reported.

Safety and Security in Rwanda

Emergency Numbers

112 Calls to this number might not be answered.
111
113 Traffic accidents
3511 Abuse by a police officer, including bribery
3512 Gender-based violence

Personal Safety

Crime is relatively low in Rwanda. Petty crime does occur, such as purse snatching, pickpocketing, mugging and theft from hotel rooms or vehicles. Keep valuables secure and out of sight.

Some violent crime does occur in Rwanda but rarely against foreigners.

Areas To Avoid

Avoid areas bordering the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including the towns of Cyangugu, Kibuye, and Gisenyi. Armed groups operate in these areas, and at times, create an unstable and unpredictable security situation.

Deadly grenade attacks have occurred in Kigali, Musanze and Southern Province.

Avoid travel to areas near the border of Burundi, including the Nyungwe Forest, due to the risk of armed conflict and banditry.

Extreme Violence

Violence and criminal activity does occur in Rwanda. Grenade attacks have occurred sporadically since 2009, including in Southern Province, the capital of Kigali, and Musanze.

The United Nations has named April 7 as the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwanda Genocide. Travellers should be particularly cautious around the time of the Genocide Commemorations.

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