Rwanda, the “land of a thousand hills”, is a landlocked country with beautiful, diverse landscapes. The high-altitude forests of the volcanic Virunga Mountains are home to the famous mountain gorillas, Lake Kivu has pretty beaches, jutting peninsulas and an archipelago. Many tourists are surprised at how harmoniously the people of Rwanda live together today after the genocide of the Tutsi and the liquidation of the renegade Hutu in 1994 threatened to destroy the country’s social fabric. The reconciliation process has not been easy and the “Government of National Unity” took over a country with deep wounds. Today, however, its inhabitants not only live side by side, they also strive to be recognized as one people. Rwanda is a land of unimaginable beauty, a beauty that defies its violent past. It is to be hoped that she will be spared political turmoil in the future.
Arriving by plane
According to top-medical-schools, there are no non-stop flights to Rwanda from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. RwandAir (WB), the national airline of Rwanda, connects Brussels non-stop and London via Brussels with Kigali once a week. KLM (KL) flies from Frankfurt/M., Munich, Vienna and Zurich via Amsterdam to Kigali and Ethiopian Airlines (ET) from Frankfurt/M. and Vienna via Addis Ababa. Ethiopian Airlines (ET) flights can also be booked via Lufthansa (LH) or Austrian Airlines (OS).
Frankfurt/M. | Munich | Vienna | Zurich – Kigali: 12 hours each (The travel times can be considerably longer, depending on the length of the stay.)
Arrival by car
Roads lead from the neighboring countries of Uganda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Rwanda. The border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo can be closed at any time. Due to the politically unstable situation and the sometimes poor condition of the roads, overland journeys, especially night journeys, are not recommended. Long-distance buses: The bus company Volcano Express connects Kigali with Kampala (Uganda) as well as Bukavu, Kabare and Goma (Democratic Republic of the Congo) every day. Toll: The country’s roads are free of charge. Documents: In addition to the national driver’s license, the international driver’s license is required.
Arrival by train
There is no rail transport in Rwanda.
Traveling by plane
Akagera Aviation offers helicopter flights across the country. RwandAir (WB) connects Kigali and Kamembe, near the town of Cyangugu.
Traveling by car/bus
The road network has a total length of around 12,000 kilometers. Highways connect the larger towns of the country. Tolls: Rwanda has no toll roads. Gas stations are sufficiently available.
Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic
Condition of the roads
Rwanda’s relatively well-developed road network is constantly being improved. The capital, Kigali, is connected to the main cities in the country by paved roads. Side roads are mostly unpaved, sometimes in poor condition and often impassable during the rainy season.
Rwanda’s road network consists of national roads (trunk roads) identified by the letters RN and a number, and regional roads beginning with the letters RR.
Rental cars are available in Kigali at the airport and in the city. Four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended. Europcar states a minimum age of 18 years; Drivers under the age of 23 pay a young driver fee.
Taxis, including motorcycle taxis, are available in Kigali and other major cities. The fare should be agreed before departure.
The semi-state owned RITCO Ltd. (Rwanda Interlink Transport Company Ltd.) operates bus services throughout the country. All larger towns can be reached by bus from Kigali.
Traffic regulations: – alcohol limit: 0.4 ‰; – Telephoning is only allowed with hands-free assistance; – official motorcades always have priority; other vehicles are obliged to stop on the right and let them pass. Speed limits: – urban: 40 km/h; – extra-urban: 80 km/h.
The ADAC foreign emergency call offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money, and medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; in the event of damage to the vehicle: Tel. +49 (0)89 22 22 22, in the event of illness: +49 (0)89 76 76 76. In the event of breakdowns or accidents with the rental car, the car rental company should be contacted first.
In addition to the national driver’s license, the international driver’s license is required.
Traveling in the city
In Kigali, minibuses, so-called matatus, run regularly on important routes in the city. Taxis and the cheaper motorbike taxis are also used in the city area.
Locally on the way by train
Rwanda does not have a rail network.
Traveling by ship
On Lake Kivu, ferries connect the towns of Cyangugu, Kibuye and Gisenyi.