|Still current at: 07 January 2011
Updated: 16 December 2010
This advice has been reviewed and reissued with amendments to the Safety and Security and Air Travel sections (grenade attacks; updated list of carriers flying to/from Rwanda). The overall level of the advice has not changed; we advise against all travel to specific parts of Rwanda and against all but essential travel to other specific parts of Rwanda.
(see travel advice legal disclaimer)
Safety and Security – Grenade Attacks
There have been reports of random grenade attacks throughout the year, most recently in early December 2010, resulting in fatalities and injuries. It remains unclear who is behind these attacks and we advise travellers to maintain a high level of personal security awareness.
Safety and Security - Terrorism
Photography of government buildings is prohibited. Due to environmental reasons, plastic bags have been banned. Visible plastic bags will be confiscated on arrival at the airport.
For more general information for different types of travellers see Your Trip.
Entry Requirements - Visas
British nationals do not need a visa to enter Rwanda for up to three months. If you intend to travel to Rwanda more frequently or you are working there you should contact the Rwandan Immigration Department for a longer duration visa. Further information is available from the Rwandan High Commission.
Please note that if you are planning to apply for resident/business or missionary multiple entry visas upon entry to Rwanda you will need to obtain UK police clearance. We strongly advise you to obtain police clearance before travelling as this takes a minimum of 40 working days to process.
Entry Requirements - Yellow fever vaccination certificate
You may be asked for your yellow fever vaccination certificate on arrival at Kigali International Airport, especially if you are entering Rwanda from a country where yellow fever is present.
Only limited medical facilities are available. In the event of serious accident or illness an evacuation by air ambulance to Kenya or South Africa may be required. Malaria is common to Rwanda.
In the 2008 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic the UNAIDS/WHO Working Group estimated that around 130,000 adults aged 15 or over in Rwanda were living with HIV; the prevalence rate was estimated at around 2.8% of the adult population. This compares to the prevalence rate in adults in the UK of around 0.2%. You should exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS. For more general information on how to do this see HIV and AIDS.
Seek medical advice before travelling to Rwanda and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up to date. For further information on vaccination requirements, health outbreaks and general disease protection and prevention you should visit the websites of NaTHNaC and NHS Scotland's Fit For Travel or call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.
See our Travel Health page.
Natural Disasters - Earthquakes
The last reported earthquake was on 3 February 2008. It was 6.0 magnitude and recorded in Bukavu (eastern DRC) and a second earthquake of magnitude 5.0 struck near the Lake town of Cyangugu in South-West Rwanda.
General - Insurance
You should take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake. See our Travel Insuranc page.
If things do go wrong when you are overseas then see our When Things Go Wrong page.
General - Registering with the British High Commission
All British nationals should register at the British High Commission on arrival. You may also register with our LOCATE service to tell us when and where you are travelling abroad or where you live abroad so our consular and crisis staff can provide better assistance to you in an emergency.
General - Passports
You should be aware that the British High Commission in Kigali offers only an Emergency Passport service.
General - Money
Credit cards are not used widely and few cash machines take foreign credit cards.
General - Consular Assistance
Four British nationals required consular assistance in Rwanda in the period 01 April 2009 – 31 March 2010 for the following types of incident; death (1 case); and arrest (1 case). During this period assistance was also requested with regard to lost or stolen passports.