Planning a road trip in Rwanda? Here is the quickiest way to plan a memorable road trip in the land of a thousand hills.
Before traveling to Rwanda
It is important to make all necessary bookings early enough. It is important to book a Rwanda Car rental online. You can contact several car hire agencies and get the best offer that match your desires. There are lots of car rental agencies but it is important to book a rental car from a reliable car hire agency.
Before arriving in Rwanda, you must carry photocopies of your travel documents. Place one set in your checked in luggage and the other in your hand luggage. Present your papers to the customs officials on arrival such as your passport and stumped Visa if you have obtained one before.
Also carry documents such as information about your emergency contacts, return tickets, travel insurance and medical evaluation papers along with personal and dental insurance cards. Passport valid 6 months after your trip, visas for all countries as necessary, Airline tickets, Copy of AWR travel itinerary, Medical insurance card, Address book, Business cards, Document organizer.
Carry enough cash in US Dollars for tips and any extra purchases needed to pay for your stay in Rwanda. Make sure that the Dollar notes you are taking are dated 2002, or later crisp and unsoiled without any tears. You may be able to pay by credit cards such as Master cards and Visa at some hotels in Kigali though you may have to pay bank transaction fees.
The people of Rwanda are very particular about moral values, way of dressing and regard for religious locations such as churches, temples, mosques and other public spaces. It is advisable that you respect their customs, values and sentiments by dressing appropriately. Even when touring the bazaars, market places and other places of attraction take care to avoid clothing that exposes your shoulders and thighs. Therefore, pack full length trousers, knee length shorts or loose polo shirts. Guards may refuse you from entering religious places if they see that your clothes are too revealing.
More so, packing the appropriate clothing to wear while on a vacation ensures that you can move freely and comfortable on your trip. It is advisable for you to carry light, informal and loose -fitting clothing that you can safely get dirty if you are traveling for a business meeting. You must also pack clothes that you can wear in layers since the highlands can be cool in the evenings and early morning.
When touring the bush, it is preferable to avoid colors that are too bright, white or dark. Instead for clothing in neutral safari colors such as olive and green, mid-tone brown, khaki. Since you need to watch out for mosquitoes and tsetse flies in Rwanda, make sure you have long sleeved shirts and pants that cover your legs entirely, along with insect repellent. Wear socks and sturdy shoes with the proper padding that can protect your feet from blistering, stones, pebbles and thorns when on a safari.
During the day at your lodge, you can opt for sandals that you can slip off to air out your feet but make sure they can protect your feet from thorns, stones and pebbles.
Some lodges have medical kits to deal with small emergency situations but it is always advisable that you pack your own supplies. Since malaria is prevalent in Rwanda, take care to carry mosquito repellant and malaria prophylactics. Aspirin, ibuprofen, Panadol, Tylenol are some of the pain medications to bring with you. Since you are traveling in a tropical country, you should use also sunscreen with a high SPF. Other essentials include anti-diarrhea medication, antiseptic gels, antihistamines for treating insect bites and allergic reactions. For cuts and wounds, bring Band- Aids with antiseptic cream. If you wear contact lenses, make sure you have spare spectacles along with you.
While many lodges in Rwanda provide basic toiletries such as soap, shampoo and conditioner, you will need to carry your own toothbrush, tooth paste and deodorant in travel sized bottles and containers organized in protective bags. For ladies, you are supposed to carry the personal hygiene products you need like panty liners, pads to mention but a few. Make sure you bring enough bio-degradable bags in different sizes and capacities to pack dirty clothes and all your supplies. If you go kayaking, boating or on safari, you will want to protect cameras and other electronic from dust and water especially rain.
In order to capture the stunning beauty of Rwanda’s tourism destinations and their fascinating attractions, you will have to carry devices such as cameras, a zoom lens, extra memory cards and batteries along with a battery charger. You can also bring binoculars so as not to miss clear views of the incredible birdlife. Cell phones and tablets are great for keeping in touch with friends and family back home. The electric supply in Rwanda is 220 to 220 volts and 50 hertz supplied through a ‘type C’ Europlug, the ‘type E’ and ‘type F’ Schuko European style sockets. Therefore, pack the necessary adaptors and converters so you keep your gadgets and electronics charged for use.
If going on gorilla treks and chimpanzee viewing walks in the highlands of Rwanda, it involves hiking over mountain terrain that is rough and may vary greatly in altitude. Pack hiking boots that can help you navigate the uneven trails. Also make sure they are waterproof since many of the trails are muddy during the wet seasons. If you intend to trip out to lake Kivu, beach sandals are appropriate for walking along the sandy shore. You can also park your swimsuit for swimming in the lake or participating in the water activities.
Note that plastic bags of any kind are not allowed in Rwanda. This includes shopping/ grocery bags, Duty free bags, Ziploc baggies, Garbage bags. Instead of plastic bags, use dry bags, re-usable bags and rain cover. If you arrive with any plastic bags in your checked luggage, remove them before getting on the airplane to avoid fines that may be charge to you.