Rwanda is known as the land of a thousand hills. Rwanda’s stunning scenery and warm, friendly people offer unique experiences. It is among the 48 visa-free countries Nigerians can travel to. It is blessed with extraordinary biodiversity, with incredible wildlife living throughout its volcanoes, montane rainforests, and sweeping plains.
Travelers come from far and wide to catch a glimpse of the magnificent gorillas, yet there is so much more to see and experience. Here are some facts about Rwanda.com
1. THE PEOPLE OF RWANDA
According to Britannica.com, the people of the Republic of Rwanda speak the Bantu language known as Rwanda (also known as Kinyarwanda). The Rwandan people are divided into two main groups: the Hutu, traditionally farmers; and the Tutsi, traditionally cattle-owning pastoralists. A small third group, the Pygmy Twa, are hunters and potters. The Rwanda language is mutually intelligible with Rundi, which is spoken in Burundi. Rwanda’s people live as refugees in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, and Uganda. More than 12 million people speak the Rwanda language.
According to africa.upenn.edu, the majority of Rwandans, about 65%, are Roman Catholic, with another 9% Protestant. Only about 1% of the population is Muslim. About a fourth of Rwandans are adherents of indigenous beliefs. However, these numbers and divisions are not clear-cut. Many Rwandans practice both their traditional religion and Christianity at the same time.
Rwandans believe that one’s ancestors, the abazima, can protect and benefit living family members if they are honored and remembered through sacrifices. When they are not, and sacrifices are not performed, they can cause illness or other misfortunes. Diviners are called upon by family members to interpret the wishes of abazima and to recommend ways to appease angered ancestors.
According to Karellafrica.com, Rwanda is located just south of the equator, and as a result, the temperate tropical climate does not change much throughout the year.
However, due to high elevation, temperatures are lower than in typical equatorial countries. Rwanda experiences frequent rains throughout the year, with an average annual rainfall of about 40 inches. The heavy rain seasons are from January through April and from October through December.
Average daytime temperatures in Rwanda are about 75 degrees Fahrenheit, while nighttime temperatures can drop into the low 50s. Kigali, in the centre of the country, has a typical daily temperature range between 12 °C (54 °F) and 27 °C (81 °F), with little variation throughout the year.
According to gov.rw, the total population of Rwanda is 12.3 million people, Rwanda is a relatively young country. 50 percent of the Rwandan population is under 20 years old, with the median age standing at 22.7 years old.
According to visitrwanda.com, the Rwandan franc (Rwf) is the principal currency, although US dollars are widely accepted. Expect to pay for local services in cash, in Rwandan francs. The greater the amount, the more likely US dollars or other hard currencies are preferred, such as gorilla tracking and upmarket hotels.
A growing number of places accept credit and debit cards, with Visa being more widely accepted than MasterCard. It’s best to check when making a booking. ATMs can be found in Kigali and nearly all major cities. Cash can be exchanged at banks and private forex bureaux (bureau de change). Both are closed on Sundays and public holidays.
Language is central to the culture and belief system of the Rwandan people. According to worldatlas.com, the people of Rwanda mainly speak three major languages: Kinyarwanda, French, and English. These three languages are also official. Interactions with other members of the East African community have led to the introduction of the Swahili language into the country, especially for trade purposes. The pre-colonial, colonial, postcolonial, as well as post-genocide periods of the country, have influenced the adoption and use of these languages.
Kinyarwanda is a national language and the most widely spoken in the country, with about 93% of the population using the language. Being an official language, Kinyarwanda is used as a medium of instruction in Rwandan institutions, administration, media, and commerce for daily business transactions.
Since Rwanda is a former Belgian colony, it adopted French as an official language. However, despite being the colonial language, only about 0.1% (mostly the educated) of the Rwandan population speak French.
English is the third official language in Rwanda, spoken by about 0.2 % of the population. English became an official language in Rwanda in the late 20th century and was introduced in schools in 2008.
The Rwandan government in February 2017 passed legislation making Swahili an official language in the country. The adoption of the language as an official language came following requests by the East African community for members to include Swahili as one of the official languages.
According to benjamindada.com, you will have a much easier time fitting in if you already have someone waiting for you there. If you don’t, you will need some patience. While Rwandans are welcoming of foreigners, they are also weary of people to an extent. If you come on too strong, you will risk alienating a lot of people.
It is natural to want to make friends as soon as you can but you shouldn’t approach people in groups. Most will be intimidated by you and most are not comfortable using a second language and you might therefore find yourself met with silence or simply ignored.
Instead, approach individuals. Express interest in them and they will express interest in you. With their friends around, most of them feel a lot more comfortable speaking a second language, however, broken it might be. The individual will then introduce you to their friends who will easily accept you.
Habits don’t die easily. When you hang out in a group, now and then, your Rwandan friends will switch to using Kinyarwanda. If you see them laughing, ask one of them to share the joke.
8. Visa-Free, E Visa, or Visa On Arrival? How long can you stay?
According to rwandaimmigration.org, Nigerian travelers require a visa to enter Rwanda, even for short stays. However, Nigerian citizens will be pleased to hear that they can obtain a Rwanda e-visa. The Rwanda electronic visa allows travelers from more than 100 countries, including Nigerian citizens, to enter the African country for up to 30 days.
A Rwanda e-visa for Nigerians allows visitors to access Rwanda without having to visit an embassy in person, submit multiple documents, or wait months for a reply. Rwanda has many e-visa requirements for Nigeria, which must be met to apply for a visa online.
These requirements include submitting a variety of documents and other items in support of the visa application. Nigerian travelers should have these items on hand when filling out the online form.
- A valid Nigerian passport: A Nigerian passport that is valid for at least 06 months from the date of your arrival. The passport must also have at least two blank pages for stamps when entering and leaving the country.
- Digital Photo: Another important requirement is a passport-sized photograph in PNG or JPEG format. This photo should be taken in color against a white background.
- Email address: A valid email address is required for all applicants. Rwanda electronic visas from Nigeria will be sent to successful applicants via email, so they need to have access to the email address they provide.
Because the Rwanda-approved visa is electronically linked to an individual passport, Nigerian citizens must use the same passport to complete the Rwanda e-visa application as they will use it to travel to this country. Those with dual nationality should keep this in mind.
How can you extend your stay?
According to migration.gov, an application for a visa extension is submitted to the Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration offices. Detailed requirements are set out in the information for applicants for each class of visa. An extension of a visa should be applied for whilethe initial visa remains valid.
A grace period of five days after a visa has expired is allowed for a person to either depart or renew their visa without a penalty; otherwise, the person will be subjected to a penalty and a visa extension may be denied.
According to thecrazytourist.com, these are the top attractions in Rwanda.
Since the dark days of the Rwandan genocide, the city of Kigali has done a U-turn. Where once marauding gangs and death patrols roamed, today there are bustling markets and spice-scented street stalls.
The ramshackle barrios now ooze the energy of day-to-day bustle, while the appearance of shimmering steel skyscrapers on the horizon is just another sign of the flow of foreign investment in these parts.
There are a couple of things you simply need to see: the moving Genocide Memorial and the grand presidential palace. Apart from that, it’s just a case of taking in the newfound national confidence, shopping for Rwandan handicrafts in the bazaars, and sinking cold ones in the raucous nightclubs.
Huye was once known as Butare, and most locals still call it that today. But whatever its moniker may change to, there’s no altering its prestigious history.
Huye is the home of the National University and the National Institute of Scientific Research, along with countless other revered learning centers. That makes it something like Rwanda’s answer to English Oxford, or Massachusetts’ Cambridge.
It also makes it a place rich with cultural attractions. Visitors can hear tales of the old Tutsi monarchs at the National Museum of Rwanda; they can eat alongside erudite students, and they can delve into the stalls and handicraft emporiums of Huye Market.
Kibuye juts its way into the blue-brown waters of Lake Kivu in a series of curved headlands and steep-sided bays.
It is one of the most beautiful towns in all of Rwanda, it’s surrounded by high hills that come dressed in wisps of mist by morning and offer sweeping views of the lake waters and the islands by afternoon. Between the streets, there are some earthy little eco-lodges on the shores, along with one interesting Catholic church, and a memorial to the Rwandan genocide.
There’s also a smattering of empty beaches around the center, and oodles of boats available for tours away from the banks.
NYUNGWE FOREST NATIONAL PARK
Few protected forests can boast the same kind of superlatives as Rwanda’s mystical Nyungwe Forest National Park. This vast area of more than 940 square kilometers is the single largest enclave of montane forest remaining in this corner of the continent. The thick canopies of mahoganies and clambering jungle vines hide one of the most diverse arrays of simian life in the world.
There are chimpanzees and rare golden monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabeys, and big baboons all swinging through the boughs there.
While Lake Kivu is hardly a single destination, it’s worth a special mention on its own simply because of the sheer wealth of attractions and activities it offers travelers to Rwanda from its place on the extreme western border of the country.
It covers a vast area of more than 2,700 square kilometers, it ranges from Gisenyi in the north to the multicultural island of Ishwa in the south.
Along the way, visitors will be able to spot rustic fishing villages on stilts, clusters of trademark catamaran skiffs on the water, a speckling of pretty tropical islands, and perhaps even the more modern outlines of industrious natural gas extractors above the lake.
10. Average Monthly Salary
According to salaryexplorer.com, a person working in Rwanda typically earns around 692,000 RWF per month. Salaries range from 175,000 RWF (lowest average) to 3,090,000 RWF (highest average, the actual maximum salary is higher).
This is the average monthly salary, including housing, transport, and other benefits. Salaries vary drastically between different careers.
According to rwandamigration.com, to get a job in Rwanda as a foreigner, you will need a visa to work in Rwanda. It is recommended to obtain employment there before applying, as your new employer can often sponsor your application.
To get a work permit, the following are the requirements according to rdb.rw
- Any genuine acceptable travel document valid for not less than 6 months.
- Payment of 150.000 Frw
- Business registration certificate
- Police clearance certificate from the country of residence for the previous six months
- Detailed curriculum vitae
- Photo with white background
- Completed permit application form
- Application letter to the Director General of Immigration and Emigration
11. CRIME RATE AND SECURITY
According to foreign-travel-advice.com, levels of crime remain relatively low in Rwanda, but there are cases of burglary, theft, bag snatching, and mugging in Kigali.
It is advisable to take sensible precautions. Take care when walking at night. Pre-arrange transport. Lock car doors when driving, don’t leave valuables in cars when parked and don’t leave cars unsupervised in the town center. Don’t carry large amounts of money or other valuables.
Also, some off-limits military zones in Kigali may not be well-lit or signposted. You should take extra care when walking around less populated zones, particularly at night time
12. AVERAGE COST OF LIVING
According to livingcost.org and rocapply.com, the cost of living in Rwanda is $664, which is 1.41 times less expensive than the world average. Rwanda ranked 127th out of 197 countries by the cost of living and the 101st best country to live in.
The average salary after taxes in Rwanda is enough to cover living expenses for 0.6 months.
13. FOOD PRICES IN RWANDA
- 12 eggs dozen, large is 12.50 RWF
- 1 beer pint in local shops and markets is 7 RWF
- 1 kg of tomatoes is 8.50 RWF
- Ample chicken 2kg is 38.75 RWF
- 1 liter 100% fruit juice is 8.50 RWF
- 1 package of cigarettes from imported brands is 25 RWF
- 1 kg (2 lb.) of apples is 7.50 RWF
- 1 bottle of red table wine, good quality is 48.95 RWF
- 2.5 liters of Coca-Cola is 0.95 RWF
- 1 Bread loaf standard is 9.50 RWF
- Whole fat Yogurt 500ml is 12 RWF
- 1×6 pack Dardanelle tuna is 18.50 RWF
- Heinz baked beans 1 tin is 8 RWF
- 1.5 kg Sugar is 10 RWF
- 2-liter cooking oil is 20 RWF
- Yum-yum noodles per pack are 2.00 RWF
- 1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes is 5.50 RWF
- 1-liter milk is 8.50 RWF
- Fast food restaurant large serving/ take away is 25 RWF
14. COST OF UTILITIES
- Utilities per month (water, electricity, gas) for 2 people in a flat is 165 RW
- Wi-Fi monthly fee 8 Mbps (1 month) is 145 RWF
- Laundry detergent (bleach, sunlight liquid, washing surf) is 58.50 RWF
- The House Cleaning fee per day is 105 RWF
- Large Gas heater price range upwards is 200 RWF
- Original branded Electric Fans are 200 RWF
- The original branded Electric kettle is 120 RWF
- 40 inches Beko flat screen HD TV set is 2000 RWF
- Single bed Blankets are 120 RWF
15. COST OF PERSONAL CARE
- Avon for women and men cologne is 100 RWF
- Ladies’ hair painting is 60 RWF
- Ladies’ Sanitaryware (Pads and Tampons) is 18 RWF
- Men’s haircut is 40 RWF
- Ibuprofen, Panadol, Grandpa Painkillers box of 12 doses is 24.50 RWF
- Mobile package local network providers’ talk-time, data, and messages are 65 RWF
- 1 month of gym subscription is 105 RWF
- The earphones original (Samsung. iPhone) is 90 RWF
- Unisex Loris perfume is 30 RWF
- Gadgets maintenance and repairs cell phones, laptops, tablets) starting price is 100 RWF
- Smartphones (Samsung, Xiaomi, HTC, iPhone) price range upwards is 1000 RWF
- Laptops (Samsung, Lenovo, Hp, Monster, Dell, etc.) price range upwards is 3000 RWF
16. COST OF ENTERTAINMENT
- Boat cruise with refreshments and finger snacks is 120 RWF
- Go carting 30 mins is 120 RWF
- Movie House 3d cinema is 30 RWF
- Summer Festivals (jet, bumper cars, lucky deep(per ticket) is 15 RWF
- A photoshoot is 120 RWF
- Cappuccino/expresso/ coffee is 12.50 RWF
- A 3-course dinner local restaurant for two people is 96.50 RWF
- 3-course dinner classy, exotic restaurant with two people is 150 RWF
- Play station 4 console without games is 2000 RWF
- Spalding Basketball is 200 RWF
- The original branded Racket and Wilson’s tennis balls are 500 RWF
17. COST OF TRANSPORTATION
- Taxi fare on average 5-10km is 45 RWF
- Public transport per trip one-way maximum fare is 30 RWF
- 1-liter petrol/diesel is 6.50 RWF
- The 1-day rental car cost is 140 RWF
- Driver’s license is 2300 RWF
18. COST OF CLOTHES
- 1 pair of jeans (Denim or similar) is 150 RWF
- 1 pair of men’s formal shoes is 215 RWF
- 1 pair of original sport/casual shoes (Nike, Adidas, or equivalent brands) is 280 RWF
- 1 classy summer dress (Zara, H&M, or similar retailers) is 135.79 RWF
- Ladies’ formal shoes are original and durable is 120 RWF
- Back-pack, gym bag (Nike, Adidas, New Balance) is 150 RWF
19. TRAVEL COST TO RWANDA
The high season for flights to Rwanda spans from June to August and you should plan to pay 827.00$ and more for your return flight to Rwanda.
The period from January to March has considered the low season and the average fares for flights are generally cheaper: you can usually get a return flight for about 527.00$ on average. And if you’re lucky, you can even find a better deal.
20. AVERAGE HOTEL COST IN RWANDA
The high season in Rwanda runs from June to October. One night in a mid-range hotel during these months costs around 34.00$. The low season spans from March to May. You can get a room for a night for as low as 14.00$. Some nice bargains are usually also available, especially at the higher-end resorts.
21. AVERAGE COST OF HOTEL
According to hotelscombined.com, here is the average cost of hotel: The average price in Rwanda is $508/night and $12/night respectively.
The cheapest month is March while the most expensive month is December.
22. FOODS YOU CAN GET IN RWANDA
Rwandan food is neither spicy nor hot. People eat simple meals made with locally grown ingredients. The Rwandan diet consists mainly of sweet potatoes, beans, corn, peas, millet, plantains, cassava, and fruit.
Rwanda is also a fairly conservative country. No one will discriminate against you for your liberal views and thoughts, but if you express them very early on, it will alienate people.
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