Getting into Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, and Tanzania.

The overview in all countries: Short distances within cities can be travelled either on foot or by taxi-velo (bicycle taxi). These are relatively inexpensive. Motorcycle taxis (taxi moto) are the most popular in Kigali, Dar es Salaam, and Kampala. These taxis can be identified by their jerseys and they always have an extra helmet. Most drivers speak basic English or French (for Rwanda). Laws require moto-bikes to use helmets, and Rwandans, Ugandans, Kenyans, Tanzanians abide by this.

Taxis are common and can be found at taxi stands in Kigali, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Kampala and other provinces (districts) and they have specific bus stops. One may hire a special taxi or by calling them or if at any hotel, one may get the hotel reception calling taxi as most of hotels have a taxi station near them. They are more expensive than motorcycle taxis and other public buses.

“Matatus” are the white with green or yellow minibuses, in Uganda- blue stripped, that travel across the country. All the East African countries have a good local transportation system for inter-region connectivity, good road system, and have plenty of well maintained and modern minibuses. Cars and drivers can be hired from any of these cities and towns, and most of the roads are well maintained. To make your trip more interesting, if considering driving from any of these cities to other provinces/ districts deep upcountry, it is recommended that you get a 4×4 vehicle, and travel with someone who knows the area or use the public transport Matatus or Buses. Each 30 minutes, there are buses from different transport agencies to all upcountry towns. Back country driving is perfect for anyone with a sense of adventure. Be advised to start your journey when you are in knowledge of having your clients to get a 4×4 vehicle, good maps, and a working phone before leaving, when you reach in your country of destination.

Internet

Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, free of charge. It is quite easy to find Cafés in with Wi-Fi, but it is not always guaranteed so it is best to check beforehand, if you are planning on using internet. The lodges in the countryside are also equipped with Wi-Fi; however, cafés and restaurants outside the main cities, generally do not.

Malaria

Even though less prevalent than other African countries, Malaria does exist in all East African Countries.. While there is no vaccine against malaria, prophylactic drugs along with prevention will significantly reduce the risk of getting it. We recommend you consult your doctor on malaria medicine prior to traveling to any of these countries.

Money

Rwanda’s unit of currency is the Rwandan franc (Rwf), Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania- Shillings. It is best to arrive in Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania with US or Euro cash, which can be exchanged at the airport or any of FOREX bureau / banks. The many bureaus and banks, which offers cash advances on credit cards and also accepts travellers cheques, which is not possible in the provinces/ districts.

There are ATMs throughout Nairobi,Kigali, Dar Es Salaam, Kampala which are accessible to visitors.Credit cards are accepted in some upper-market restaurants and hotels, but it is best to confirm prior to ordering.
FOREX Bureaus are mostly located in Kigali, Nairobi, Dar Es Salaam, Kampala and can offer slightly better exchange rates than most banks.
All banks, and most bureau de change are closed on last Saturday of every week and other Hotels operate 24 hrs.

Phone and SIM Cards

Pay as you go SIM cards and phones are available in most major retailers around Kigali, Nairobi, Dar Es Salaam, Kampala. There are also multiple phone registration kiosks and stands around the city where you may purchase and register SIM cards.

Tipping

It is customary to tip for service in restaurants and bars. A tip of 5% is very acceptable and a tip of 20% is very generous. It is also customary to tip your driver/guide at the end of a safari or hike, as well as the cook and/or porter that may accompany you. Tipping is not at any fixed amount and may depend on personal wish.

Vaccination

Yellow fever is a risk in all the East African Countries.. It is recommended that all travelers over the age of 9 months receive this vaccine. This is also important for travelers who will continue on to other EAC countries since Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya all require yellow fever vaccinations as well.

The following vaccinations are recommended but not required when visiting Rwanda:

• Hepatitis A
• Malaria
• Typhoid
• Hepatitis B
• Rabies

Visas

Visa requirements for foreign nationals visiting Rwanda as tourists are as follows:

Nationals of:

Hong Kong Philippines Mauritius Singapore Democratic Republic of Congo may visit Rwanda without a visa for a period of up to 90 days. Citizens of the East African Community citizens: Burundi Kenya Tanzania Uganda will be issued with a 6 months visitor pass (renewable) upon arrival with no fee.

Nationals of: Australia Germany Israel New Zealand Republic of South Africa Sweden United Kingdom United States of America will be issued with a entry visa valid for a period up to 30 days and pay for a visa ($30) upon arrival without prior application. Those wishing to stay for longer than 30 days and/or enter more than once can exit and re-enter Rwanda to obtain another 30 day visa, or pre-apply for a tourist visa (T2), valid for 90 days with multiple entry. Nationals of: all African countries not listed above will be issued with an entry visa upon arrival at any Rwandan entry point (US$30 fee still payable but no need to pre-apply) Nationals of: all other countries not listed above will need to apply for a Tourist Visa (T2) at the Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration or at a Rwandan Embassy or Diplomatic Mission. Cost is US$50, validity is 90 day and for multiple entry. The East Africa Tourist Visa allows entry to Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya. Applications should be made in advance with the country to be entered first. For Rwanda, applications can be made Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration or at Rwandan Embassy or Diplomatic Mission, or online. Cost is US$100 and validity is 90 days. For further information on visas for any of these countries Rwanda, Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya click here. Please note, all travellers require a passport valid for 6 months after your arrival.

Weather

Temperatures vary from country to another. Temperatures average around 24°C (75°F), except for in the higher mountain areas where it ranges from 10°C to 15°C (50°F to 60°F)

Rwanda can be visited and enjoyed any time of the year.