Trekking gorillas during Covid-19 times

COVID-19: Travel Guidelines to Visitors and Tourists in Rwanda

Important travel information to visitors coming to Rwanda for safaris and other activities in relation to Civid-19 restrictions in the country.

Rwanda is currently battling the second wave of Covid-19 which has led to the government reimposing a partial lockdown and a nationwide night curfew. However, the country is still welcoming tourists and visitors coming for various purposes provided they follow the established Covid-19 protocols.

Rwanda’s current Covid-19 status

Rwanda recorded its first Covid-19 case on March 14, 2020. As of Aug 31, 2021, the country had registered 87,131 cases, 1,083 deaths while up to 75,412 had recovered. Active cases in Rwanda are 10,646. The country has so far made 2,434,988 cumulative tests and a total of 854,194 vaccine doses have been administered according to the World Health Organisation and the Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC). Rwanda’s population is 12.63 million people.

General travel guidelines to visitors coming to Rwanda

Rwanda Covid-19 travel guidelines
  • All visitors coming to Rwanda apart from accompanied children under the age of 5, must complete the Passenger Locator Form and upload their negative Covid-19 test certificate before departing from their home countries.
  • All travellers arriving in Rwanda are required to present a negative Covid-19 certificate. The only test accepted in Rwanda is SARS-CoV2 Real Time Polymerase (RT-PCR) performed within 72 hours before departure to Rwanda. Travellers should note that all other forms of Covid-19 tests are not permitted.
  • Upon arrival at Kigali International Airport, travellers will be tested for Covid-19 at their own cost of $60 which can be made by cash or online.
  • Following the test, travellers will wait approximately 24 hours for their results from one of the designated transit hotels. Designated transit hotels have special rates that have been negotiated by the government of Rwanda for the 24-hour waiting period.
  • Rwanda require passengers arriving from India and Uganda or having travelled to those countries in the preceding seven days to complete seven days in a mandatory quarantine upon arrival in Rwanda at certain designated hotels at their own cost. The Rwanda government encourages Airlines to first confirm if passengers have booked seven days in a designated hotel before boarding.
  • Travellers who test positive for Covid-19 or show asymptomatic results while in Rwanda including those who are already vaccinated, they will be treated as indicated in the National COVID-19 Management Guidelines until they have fully recovered. All treatment costs will be met by travellers.
  • Before departing Rwanda, travellers must test negative for Covid-19. The only accepted test is a SARS-CoV2 Real Time Chain Polymerase (RT-PCR) performed within 72 hours before departure. Travellers should book and pay for their tests at least two days prior to departure through the online platform.
  • Curfew is in place in Rwanda and movements within the country are prohibited between 8:00 PM and 4:00 AM while all businesses must close by 7:00 PM.

Rwanda’s Covid-19 vaccination information

The government of Rwanda has approved and acquired some Covid-19 vaccines and they are already being used to vaccinate residents who meet criteria for certain eligible groups. Covid-19 vaccines available in Rwanda include Pfizer and AstraZeneca.

Travellers from the United Kingdom

Rwanda is currently one of the countries on the UK’s Red list which are described as having the highest Covid risk. The UK government has put in place some rules to guide travellers returning from Red list countries.

Travellers who have been in a country or territory on the red list in the last 10 days will only be required to enter the UK if they are British or Irish nationals or have residence rights in the UK.

Before travelling to the UK, you are required to;

  • take a Covid-19 test within 3 days before travelling to England

What to do and see in Rwanda

gorilla trekking in Rwanda

Rwanda has a variety of amazing experiences for its visitors. Leading tourist activities in the country include the breathtaking gorilla trekking encounter in Volcanoes National Park in the northwest of the country, home to about 350 endangered mountain gorillas. Others include chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe Forest National Park, game viewing in Akagera National Park where visitors can find the famous Africa’s “big five” which include lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino, among other game species. The canopy walk experience in Nyungwe forest is another amazing encounter in Rwanda as well as nature walks, bird-viewing, city tours and cultural and historical tours.

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