Security Alert May 17, 2024

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Travel Advisory March 29, 2024

Rwanda - level 1: exercise normal precautions.

Reissued with updates to add area of Level 3.

Exercise normal precautions in Rwanda. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Exercise Increased Caution in:

  • The Rwanda-Burundi border due to armed violence.

Reconsider Travel to:

  • The Rwanda-Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) border due to armed violence.

Read the  country information page  for additional information on travel to Rwanda.

If you decide to travel to Rwanda:

  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program  ( STEP ) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on  Facebook  and  Twitter .
  • Review the  Country Security Report  for Rwanda.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations.  Review the  Traveler’s Checklist .
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest  Travel Health Information  related to your travel.

Rwanda- Burundi  Border—Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution The Nyungwe Forest National Park abuts the border with Burundi. Borders may not be clearly marked. It is required to obtain permits from the Rwanda Development Board prior to entry. Relations between Burundi and Rwanda are tense and there have been cross-border incursions and armed violence.

Rwanda- Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)  Border – Level 3: Reconsider Travel Armed groups operate in DRC’s North and South Kivu provinces and Virunga Park which is adjacent to Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. The area has experienced escalating levels of armed conflict which could spill across poorly marked borders. Permits are required from the Rwanda Development Board prior to entry to Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.

Embassy Messages

View Alerts and Messages Archive

Quick Facts

Yes. Yellow fever vaccination if entering from a country where yellow fever is endemic and/or where there is an active outbreak of yellow fever.

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Kigali 30 KG 7 Avenue Kigali, Rwanda 

Telephone : +250-252-596-400-7000 (Monday through Thursday, 8:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Friday from 8:15 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.)  Emergency After-Hours Telephone : +250-252-596-400, and dial 1  Fax : +250-252-596-591  Emails :

To receive Alerts and other information from the Embassy during your stay in Rwanda, please sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) online at  

Destination Description

See the Department of State’s  Fact Sheet on Rwanda  for information on U.S.-Rwanda relations. 

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Requirements for Entry: 

  • U.S. passports must be valid for six months after the date of entry into Rwanda.  
  • Obtain a 30-day tourist visa at the port of entry for $50 (single entry) or $70 (multiple entry). Credit cards are generally accepted at the Kigali International Airport but are not accepted at some land borders. The U.S. Embassy recommends that travelers arrive at the Kigali International Airport travel with sufficient cash in U.S. dollars to pay for the visa in case credit card transactions are not possible at the time of your arrival. Additional information about this process can be found on the Rwandan Immigration website . 
  • Obtain 30-day, 90-day, or 10-year tourist visa through the Rwandan Embassy in Washington, D.C. Additional information about this process can be found on the Rwandan Embassy’s website .  
  • Immunizations : World Health Organization (WHO) card with yellow fever vaccination if entering from the countries listed on the Rwandan Immigration website .

For information regarding the application process for a residency permit or work permit in Rwanda, please visit the Rwandan Immigration website .  

Contact the  Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration   in Kigali within 15 days of arrival to extend your visa, or apply online through the IREMBO site.  

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Rwanda; however, the U.S. Embassy recommends that U.S. citizens enter the country on their U.S. passport. 

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Rwanda. 

Find information on  dual nationality ,  prevention of international child abduction , and  customs information  on our websites.

Safety and Security

The U.S. Embassy advises all travelers to review the following information:

  • Rwanda- Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)  border, including parts of Volcanoes National Park: Tensions between Rwanda and DRC have been elevated since early 2022 with Rwanda and DRC accusing each other of supporting armed groups that pose security threats to the other.  Multiple armed groups opposed to the Rwandan government operate in eastern DRC and have launched occasional incursions into Rwandan territory. Shells struck Rwandan territory in this area several times in 2022. Congolese armed forces and UN peacekeepers continue to conduct combat operations against rebels, militia, and ISIS-aligned groups in DRC’s North and South Kivu provinces, which abut Rwanda.  Violence, rape, kidnapping, killing, pillaging, armed robbery, and roadside criminality occur in these areas and often target civilians.
  • Rwanda- Burundi  border, including parts of Nyungwe National Park: Relations between Burundi and Rwanda are currently cordial but in previous years there have been incidents of cross-border incursions, armed clashes and attacks on civilian buses. 
  • Rwanda- Uganda border: Relations between Rwanda and Uganda are currently cordial but in previous years there have been elevated tensions in some areas along their shared land border.

Precautions : 

  • Avoid demonstrations and remain vigilant while traveling, especially outside of cities. Even peaceful gatherings can become violent.
  • Exercise extreme caution in border areas as the border may not be clearly marked. 
  • Monitor local news and Embassy  Alerts .
  • Obtain permits before entering Rwanda’s national parks. 

Crime: Most reported incidents involve petty theft and residential and hotel room robberies. Burglars may break and enter, or domestic staff and residential security guards may permit them entry. 

  • Avoid walking alone, especially after dark. 
  • Do not display cash and valuables.
  • Maintain caution in areas frequented by foreigners.  
  • Drive with doors locked and windows closed. 
  • Always carry a photocopy of your U.S. passport and visa. Keep original documents in a secure location. 

International Financial Scams:  See the  Department of State  and the  FBI  pages for information. 

Victims of Crime:  If you are in immediate danger, your first call should be to the Rwandan police through the emergency hotline number 112.   U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault should also contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance. Report crimes to the Rwanda National Police at 078-831-1124 and contact the U.S. Embassy at 250-252-596-400. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime. 

See our webpage on  help for U.S. victims of crime overseas . 

We can: 

  • Help you find appropriate medical care 
  • Assist you in reporting a crime to the police 
  • Contact relatives or friends with your written request 
  • Provide general information regarding the victim’s role during the local investigation and following its conclusion 
  • Provide a list of local attorneys 
  • Provide our information on  victim’s compensation programs in the United States  
  • Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in case of destitution 
  • Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home 
  • Replace a stolen or lost passport 

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance. 

Additional Resources : 

  • Kigali City emergency hotline number is 112. Be aware that victims are often directed to the nearest police station to register a complaint in person. 
  • The hotline number for traffic accidents is 113.  
  • The hotline number to report abuse or attempted bribery by a police officer is 116. 
  • See the complete list of police brigade numbers on  Embassy Kigali’s website . 
  • Emergency Medical Service (SAMU) 112
  • King Faisal Hospital +250 788-309-003 

Tourism:  The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities are uncommon. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities and to provide urgent medical treatment. Additionally, ambulance services are limited and unreliable. Tourists participate in activities at their own risk. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance.  See our webpage for more  information on insurance providers for overseas coverage . 

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties :  You are subject to local laws while in Rwanda. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities prior to practicing or operating a business.  

The police may detain you if you are not carrying an acceptable form of identification. Convictions for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs (including marijuana) result in long prison sentences and heavy fines. 

Furthermore, some offenses are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on  crimes against minors abroad  and the  Department of Justice  website. 

Arrest Notification :  If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our  webpage  for further information. 

Local Attorneys :  You can find a list of local attorneys on the U.S. Embassy’s  website .  

Genocide speech :  Laws about appropriate speech regarding the 1994 genocide in Rwanda are strictly enforced. Promoting ideas based on “ethnic, regional, racial, religious, language, or other divisive characteristics” is prohibited.  Public incitement of “genocide ideology” or “divisionism,” including genocide denial, discrimination, and sectarianism, is punishable by five to seven years in prison and fines of 500,000 to 1,000,000 Rwandan francs. Please refer to the Rwandan Ministry of National Unity and Civic Engagement’s website for additional information regarding this topic.

Human Rights Observers, Journalists, NGO workers, and Students :  Rwandan authorities may subject you to more scrutiny at immigration upon arrival if you meet or plan to meet with individuals or organizations who are critical of the government. 

Photography :  Photographing military sites, government buildings, airports, and public monuments is strictly prohibited. 

Currency :  The Rwandan franc (RWF) is the official currency, though U.S. dollars may also be used. Most vendors and banks will only accept U.S. bills printed after 2009, and exchange bureaus and hotels may refuse bills smaller than $100. 

Plastic shopping and grocery bags  are banned and may be confiscated upon arrival. 

Natural disasters :

  • Rwanda is in a seismically active region, which includes Mount Nyiragongo volcano in Virunga National Park. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available from the  U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency: Earthquakes  and at .   
  • During rainy season from February to May and September to December, Rwanda may experience heavy rains that lead to flooding and landslides. You can monitor weather warnings on the  Rwanda Meteorology Agency website .  

Akagera National Park and Wildlife Areas :  Heed all instructions given by guides and trackers. Approaching wild animals, even in a vehicle, can result in injury or death. 

Drones/Photography :  A permit is required to fly a drone recreationally or commercially in Rwanda. Please visit the Rwandan Government’s Tourism website for additional information. Photographing military sites, government buildings, airports, and public monuments is prohibited. Travelers entering Rwanda with drones, must declare the drone upon arrival, will be subject to additional scrutiny, and will be asked to present their permit.

Faith-Based Travelers :  See the following web pages for details:

  • Faith-Based Travel Information
  • International Religious Freedom Report  – see country reports
  • Human Rights Report  – see country reports
  • Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
  • Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad

LGBTQI+ Travelers :  There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTQI+ events in Rwanda. However, LGBTQI+ individuals may face societal discrimination and abuse, including harassment by neighbors and police. 

See our  LGBTQI+ Travel Information  page and section six of our  Human Rights Report for further details.

Travelers with Disabilities :  Rwandan law prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, and mental disabilities,  and the government generally enforces these provisions. Social acceptance of persons with disabilities in public is not as prevalent as in the United States. Expect accessibility to be limited in public transportation, lodging, communication/information, and general infrastructure. Access to transportation, lodging, and public buildings is limited, though newly constructed buildings in Kigali have improved facilities, including elevators.  Sidewalks are not common outside of Kigali and do not include curb-cuts. 

Students :  See our  Students Abroad  page and  FBI travel tips . 

Women Travelers :  Domestic violence is common. Although many incidents are not reported or prosecuted, government officials encourage its reporting. Call the Rwanda National Police hotline at 112. See our tips for  Women Travelers . 

Please visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Rwanda.

For emergency services in Rwanda, dial 112 for police, 113 for traffic accidents, or 116 to report abuse by a police officer.

Ambulance services are:

  • not widely available and training and availability of emergency responders may be below U.S. standards.
  • not equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment.
  • not staffed with trained paramedics and often have little or no medical equipment.

Injured or seriously ill travelers may prefer to take a taxi or private vehicle to the nearest major hospital rather than wait for an ambulance.

We do not pay medical bills. U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance. Healthcare providers require payment in U.S. dollars/Rwandan francs before services are performed. 

Medical Insurance :  Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See  our webpage  for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Visit the  U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas. 

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation. 

Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Check with the Rwanda Food and Drugs Authority  to ensure the medication is legal in Rwanda. Exercise caution when purchasing medication overseas. Pharmaceuticals, both over the counter and requiring prescription in the United States, are often readily available for purchase with little controls. Counterfeit medication is common and may prove to be ineffective, be the wrong strength, or contain dangerous ingredients. Medication should be purchased in consultation with a medical professional and from reputable establishments. 

Air Quality : Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.

Vaccinations : Be up-to-date on all  vaccinations recommended  by the CDC. While the CDC does not generally recommend the  yellow fever  vaccination for travel to Rwanda, the U.S. Embassy recommends travelers bring proof of yellow fever vaccination. The Rwandan government retains the right to turn travelers without the immunization away.

The following diseases are prevalent in  Rwanda : 

  • African Tick-Bite Fever
  • Chikungunya
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Leptospirosis
  • Tuberculosis (TB)
  • Schistosomiasis
  • Yellow Fever

Use CDC-recommended mosquito repellents and sleep under insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets. Chemoprophylaxis is recommended for all travelers even for short stays. 

Schistosomiasis, a parasitic infection that can be spread in fresh water, is found in Rwanda. The CDC recommends travelers avoid swimming in fresh, unchlorinated water, such as lakes, ponds, or rivers. 

The U.S. Embassy maintains a  list of doctors and hospitals . We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic. 

Further Health Information:

  • World Health Organization
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  (CDC) 

Health Facilities in General:

  • Adequate health facilities are available in Kigali and other major cities but health care, especially in rural areas, may be below U.S. standards. 
  • Some public medical clinics lack basic resources and supplies.
  • Hospitals and doctors often require payment “up front” prior to service or admission. Credit card payment is not always available. 
  • Private hospitals usually require advance payment or proof of adequate insurance before admitting a patient.
  • While English is widely spoken in Rwanda, in certain areas in the country medical staff may speak little or no English. 
  • Generally, in public hospitals only minimal staff is available overnight in non-emergency wards. Consider hiring a private nurse or having family spend the night with the patient, especially a minor child. 
  • Patients bear all costs for transfer to or between hospitals. 
  • Psychological and psychiatric services are limited, even in the larger cities, with hospital-based care only available through government institutions. 


  • Exercise caution when purchasing medication overseas. Pharmaceuticals, both over the counter and requiring prescription in the United States, are often readily available for purchase with little controls. Counterfeit medication is common and may prove to be ineffective, be the wrong strength, or contain dangerous ingredients. Medication should be purchased in consultation with a medical professional and from reputable establishments.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration are responsible for rules governing the transport of medication back to the United States. Medication purchased abroad must meet their requirements to be legally brought back into the United States. Medication should be for personal use and must be approved for usage in the United States. Please visit the  U.S. Customs and Border Protection  and the  Food and Drug Administration  websites for more information.  
  • Please review Rwandan rules on medication on the Rwanda Food and Drugs Authority website.

Water Quality

  • In many areas, tap water is not potable. Bottled water and beverages are generally safe, although you should be aware that many restaurants and hotels serve tap water unless bottled water is specifically requested. Be aware that ice for drinks may be made using tap water. 
  • Locally available fruit and vegetables may be contaminated with disease-causing organisms. In addition, these items may also have been treated with pesticides. It is important that all fruits and vegetables be adequately cleaned and prepared before consumption.

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety :  Main roads between Kigali and other major towns are generally in good condition. Many secondary and unpaved roads are accessible by four-wheel drive vehicles but lack shoulders and become impassible during the rainy season, February to May and September to December, when flooding and mudslides occur. U.S. Embassy personnel are prohibited from driving outside of cities after dark. Street lighting is limited, and it is difficult to see pedestrians, cyclists, and roaming animals. Additional risks include: 

  • poor vehicle maintenance 
  • headlights that are extremely dim or not used 
  • excessive speeding 
  • absence of professional roadside assistance. 

Traffic Laws :  An international driving permit and third-party insurance are required. For specific information concerning Rwandan driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and mandatory insurance, visit the website of the Rwanda Development Board .

Cell phone use while driving is illegal unless it is fitted with a hands-free device. After-market tinted window treatments are prohibited on all vehicles. 

Accidents :  Call the police and remain inside the vehicle until they arrive. If a hostile mob forms or you feel your safety is in danger, leave the scene and proceed directly to the nearest police station to report the incident. Do not stop at the scene of an accident or at intersections where people have gathered, as mobs can develop quickly. 

Drivers are responsible for damages if involved in an accident resulting in injuries, even if the driver is not at fault. 

Causing a fatal accident could result in up to eight years imprisonment. 

Drunk drivers are jailed for at least 24 hours and fined up to $400. 

Police roadblocks are common throughout the country. Travelers may be stopped, and vehicles and luggage searched. 

Public Transportation :  Use only official Kigali city buses and licensed taxis, which are orange striped. Confirm the fare before departure. U.S. Embassy personnel are not permitted to use motorcycle-taxis or mini-bus taxis. They are unsafe due to overloading, reckless driving, inadequate maintenance, and the risk of petty crime. Reputable car services are available for hire. Travel agencies and local hotels may be able to arrange private transport on your behalf. 

See our  Road Safety page  for more information. Visit the website of Rwanda’s national tourist office and  national authority  responsible for road safety. 

Aviation Safety Oversight : The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Rwanda’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization aviation safety standards for oversight of Rwanda’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the  FAA’s safety assessment page .

For additional travel information

  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)  to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • See the  State Department’s travel website  for the  Worldwide Caution  and  Travel Advisories .
  • Follow us on  Twitter  and  Facebook .
  • See  traveling safely abroad  for useful travel tips.

For additional IPCA-related information, please see the  International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA)  report.

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Where The Road Forks

How to Travel from Kampala, Uganda to Kigali, Rwanda by Bus

By: Author Zachary Friedman

Posted on Last updated: January 31, 2024

Categories Rwanda , Uganda

Home » Africa » Uganda » How to Travel from Kampala, Uganda to Kigali, Rwanda by Bus

Traveling by bus between Kampala and Kigali is pretty straightforward. One bus will take you all the way. No transfers required. The journey takes about 9 hours and can be made during the day or overnight. In this guide, I’ll outline how to buy tickets, prices, bus times, and more. I’ve made this trip a couple of times over the years. In this guide, I’ll share my experience.  

An African bus

The Best Kampala to Kigali Bus Company

The best bus company making this trip is called Trinity. They have the newest, most comfortable buses and operate, for the most part, on time. Another decent company making this trip is called Jaguar. They offer a similar service in terms of safety and reliability.

Anumber of other companies operate the route between Kampala and Kigali as well, but they may run older buses or are not as reliable. Safety is also a concern as some of the bus drivers speed like maniacs. Regardless of which company you choose, they will all get you to where you are going.

Where to Buy Bus Tickets Between Kampala and Kigali

In Kampala- The Trinity ticket office is located near Namirembe road and Old Kampala road. The Jaguar ticket office is just down the street. The buses leave from the ticketing offices where you buy your tickets. 

In Kigali- If you are traveling from Kigali to Kampala, the ticket office for Trinity and Jaguar is located at the Nyabugogo bus terminal. This place is located a ways outside the city center. You’ll probably want to take a motorcycle, taxi, or city bus to get there. Every driver knows where the station is.

Buying Bus Tickets

Several bus companies operate the Kampala to Kigali route multiple times per day. It is generally not necessary to buy your ticket in advance if you don’t care about which company you travel with. If you want to travel with a specific bus company, you’ll want to buy your ticket at least one day in advance to make sure you get a seat. Busses do fill up occasionally. 

I prefer to buy my ticket at least a day in advance if possible. I do this so I know where the bus station is located on the day of travel. It relieves a lot of stress not having to frantically search for an address early in the morning.

Ticket Prices Between Kampala and Kigali

Bus tickets cost between 40,000-45,000 UGX from Kampala to Kigali. For the most part, all of the companies will charge about the same so you might as well go with the best, most comfortable service. You may be able to find a slightly cheaper rate with one of the smaller, lesser-known companies if the cost is an issue for you.

If you’re on a tight budget, you can make this journey with a series of minibusses and save a few shillings. From central Kampala, you can catch a minibus heading southwest toward Rwanda. You’ll probably have to transfer in Mbarara, Uganda and at the border. You may require several more transfers along the way. 

African minibus with a full load

Trinity and Jaguar have buses leaving at 7 am and 9 am. Night buses are also available leaving in the evening and arriving in Kigali early in the morning. Between all of the bus companies operating this route, there is a bus leaving from Kampala to Kigali every hour or two. The journey takes about 9 hours.

I generally prefer to take night buses when I travel because it saves me the cost of a night of accommodation. For this trip, I took the day bus because it fit my schedule better.

Breaking Up the Trip

If you have an extra day and would like to break up the trip a bit, I highly recommend visiting Lake Bunyonyi. It is a picturesque lake located in the southwest of Uganda, just outside the small town of Kabale.

I spent a relaxing day just strolling around the lake and the town. This turned out to be one of my favorite places in Africa. To get to the lake from Kbale, you must take a short taxi or motorcycle ride. There are several hotels in town where you can get a room for around $10.

For more information on this trip, check out my step-by-step guide: How to Visit Beautiful Lake Bunyonyi as well as my guide to 15 Lakes of the Rift Valley.

Lake Bunyonyi is a great stopover to make because it is so convenient and easy to do. Trinity and Jaguar both make stops in Kabale anyway. To make this stopover, you can simply buy a ticket from Kampala to Kabale then catch another bus the next day that is continuing from Kabale to Kigali. Buses make this trip frequently so it isn’t a problem to catch one on its way. From Kabale, you are only about 2 hours from Kigali.

Lake Bunyonyi, Uganda

The Gatuna Border Crossing

You will cross between Uganda and Rwanda at the Gatuna border crossing. This crossing is smooth and fairly efficient. You will most likely be asked to present a yellow fever vaccination certificate at this border crossing regardless of the direction you’re traveling. One thing to remember is that plastic bags are not allowed in Rwanda. When customs checks your luggage, they may confiscate any single-use plastic bags. If you have the East Africa visa, you can cross this border without applying for another visa. 

The Rwanda Visa

The Rwanda visa is available at the border and costs $30 for most nationalities. After the immigration official checks your passport, they will give you a form for you to take to another window to pay for your visa. After you pay, you will be given a receipt. Next, you will return to the immigration office and present your receipt. The official will then stamp your passport and send you on your way.

The Uganda Visa

For most nationalities, Uganda does not issue visas on arrival at the border. You’ll have to apply online in advance. The cost is $50 plus a few dollars for a processing feel. You can pay by credit card. You’ll need to send a scanned copy of your passport and yellow fever vaccine along with your vis application. The visa takes just a day or two to process. They will email you an approval letter. After you’re approved, you’ll have to find a place to print the approval letter. You’ll need his letter when you cross the border. You can apply for your Uganda e-visa here. 

Arriving in Kigali, Rwanda

travel from uganda to rwanda

Trinity and Jaguar buses arrive in Kigali at the Nyabugogo bus terminal. This is a big, busy bus terminal located on the edge of the city. Most likely you will need to take a taxi or minibus to your destination in Kigali. If you want to withdraw Rwandan franks, there are ATMs located across the street from the bus terminal.

Have you traveled between Kampala and Kigali by bus? Share your experience in the comments below!

For a list of more step-by-step bus guides, check out my  Ultimate African Bus Guide .

More Africa Guides from Where The Road Forks

  • How to Plan a Cairo to Cape Town Trip
  • How to Visit Beautiful Lake Kivu, Rwanda
  • 5 Incredible Things to do in Uganda
  • Is Travel in Africa Safe? Avoiding Crime, Disease, Injury, and Scams
  • Is Uganda Safe?
  • How to Visit Sipi Falls, Uganda IIndependentlyand on a Budget
  • Living in Uganda as an Expat: Pros and Cons

Zachary Friedman

Zachary Friedman is an accomplished travel writer and professional blogger. Since 2011, he has traveled to 66 countries and 6 continents. He founded ‘Where The Road Forks’ in 2017 to provide readers with information and insights based on his travel and outdoor recreation experience and expertise. Zachary is also an avid cyclist and hiker. Living as a digital nomad, Zachary balances his professional life with his passions for hiking, camping, cycling, and worldwide exploration. For a deeper dive into his journey and background, visit the About page. For inquiries and collaborations, please reach out through the Contact page. You can also follow him on Facebook.

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Tuesday 19th of September 2023

I want to traveling

Tuesday 17th of October 2023

@Flavia, please do, I'm from Kenya and can vouch for route's safety. I travel there every December

Friday 1st of September 2023

I'm visiting Uganda for 3months and I'm considering doing the road trip from Kampala to Kigali while there. Maybe spend a day or two in Kigali. Now 2023. Would you still recommend it? Do you think it's still safe? I've traveled by road from Nigeria to Ghana. That took over 14 hours so if you say 9hours that sounds good to me. Would have loved to visit the lake you mentioned but from the other comments I see that might not be as easy now. Thanks for sharing this experience it's inspired me to take the trip. So if anyone's still reading the comments let me know if you think it's still a good idea to do the road trip.


I haven't taken this trip for a few years but I would recommend it. As far as I know, it is still safe. I was in Uganda earlier this year and I saw that bus companies were still offering this trip. I'm not sure if they exact route is the same but you can still travel from Kampala to Kigali.

Tuesday 19th of July 2022

I just travelled from Kigali to Kampala using the Trinity bus. Things have changed a bit since Covid, and I thought I should let you know about my experience. There are only two buses for Trinity and 2 for Jaguar in each direction. One day bus and one evening bus. The day bus leaves at 5am, and I'm not sure exactly what time the evening bus leaves. All crossings go through Kagitumba now, not Katuna. It's a bit further east, but it makes it difficult to visit Lake Bunyonyi. I found customs processing to be very inefficient, and it added 2.5 hours to the journey. I think this is because they added a Port Health check for both countries in addition to the Rwanda exit formalities and Uganda entry processing. Other than the lengthier journey, the experience was as you described. I don't know if I'd do it again, but the countryside in these two countries is beautiful, and I met some very kind people on the bus. I wasn't very impressed with the Trinity staff though. They were quite rude to people who needed toilet breaks, even threatening to leave them behind if they didn't come back straightaway. And the bus driver was definitely one of the speedier ones! Thanks for publishing this blog, I found it very useful for my trip here to these beautiful countries.

Wednesday 4th of October 2023

@Domenico, Hi Domenico Thank you for sharing your experience. Do you know if Rwanda visa on arrival is still available at the land border?

Tuesday 2nd of August 2022

@Domenico, Hello, thank you for the very useful blog. Domenico, I'm writing to you because I'm trying to reach Kigali from Nairobi. I will probably have a stopover in Kampala... I would like to know if you have any advice to give me (bus company, exchange office at the border...) Thank you very much

Friday 22nd of July 2022

Thanks for the update! Sounds like things have changed a bit in the years since I made this trip. That's a shame about the customs process. It used to be quick and easy.

Rodney Allen

Saturday 11th of September 2021

Is the border still open? (Sep 2021?

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Destinations in Asia

Flight number/ routing.

  • WB9500/KGL-CAN


  • A certificate of a negative Covid-19 nucleic acid & lgM anti-body tests taken within 48hrs before boarding. The test should be done at medical institutions designated or recognized by Chinese embassies abroad.
  • All passengers must apply to the Chinese Embassy for Health Declaration Code with the “HDC” Mark for foreigners & “HS” Mark for Chinese.
  • For more details on how you can apply, please visit:
  • WB500/KGL-BOM
  • WB501/BOM-KGL
  • All travellers should preferably be fully vaccinated as per the approved primary schedule of vaccination against COVID-19 in their Country.
  • Any passenger having symptoms of COVId-19 during travel shall be isolated as per standard protocol
  • De-boarding should be done ensuring physical distancing.
  • Thermal screening should be done in respect of all the passengers by the health officials present at the point of entry.
  • The passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated and taken to a designated medical facility as per health protocol (as above).
  • All travellers should self-monitor their health post arrival also shall report to their nearest health facility or call the National helpline number (1075)/ State Helpline Number in case they have any symptoms suggestive.

Destinations in Central Africa

  • WB212 KGL – DLA – BGF
  • WB213 BGF – DLA – KGL
  • WB214 KGL – BGF – BZV
  • WB215 BZV – BGF – KGL
  • A certificate of a negative PCR Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours before departure time is required for arriving passengers.

Operating: Mon, Tue, Fri, Sat

  • WB210 KGL – BZV – DLA
  • WB211 DLA – BZV – KGL
  • WB214 KGL – BGF – BZV
  • WB215 BZV- BGF – KGL
  • Arriving passengers are required to present a certificate of a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test performed less than 72hours before departure time. Upon arrival, they will have to self-isolate at home for 14 days.
  • A second Covid-19 PCR test will be conducted for all arriving passengers at a cost of 40,000 FCFA and results will be shared electronically. 
  • Passengers are required to register & pay the cost of RT-PCR test via dedicated platform: before departure. 
  • WB212/ KGL – DLA – BGF
  • WB213/ BGF – DLA – KGL
  • A proof of a Covid-19 PCR negative test from a certified laboratory taken within 72 hours before arrival is mandatory for passengers who are not fully vaccinated.

Operating: Mon, Wed

  • WB266/KGL-GOM
  • WB267/GOM-KGL

Effective date: 15 October 2021

  • A proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72hrs before boarding is required.
  • If the Covid-19 test taken is a RT-PCR test, a second RT-PCR test will be performed upon arrival and the results will be provided within 24 hours. During this time the passenger must remain in  quarantine at home.
  • If the Covid-19 test taken is not a RT-PCR test, two tests will be performed. The 1st result will be provided within 24 hours and the second test will be performed within 72 hours of arrival.
  • Non-residents are required to have insurance valid for the duration of their stay which covers among other things the cost of treatment on Congolese territory if they test positive for COVID-19.
  • All passengers will be tested for Covid-19 on arrival at a cost of USD45. Arriving passengers are required to register on before departure & receive a QR code to present at the testing center.
  • WB260/KGL-FIH
  • WB261/FIH-KGL
  • WB262/KGL – FIH
  • WB263/FIH – KGL
  • Proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72hrs before boarding is required.
  • If the Covid-19 test taken is an RT-PCR test, a second RT-PCR test will be performed upon arrival and the results will be provided within 24 hours. During this time the passenger must remain in  quarantine at home.

Operating: Mon, Wed, Fri

  •  Covid-19 PCR certificate test is no longer mandatory for all passengers arriving or departing Gabon.
  • Arriving passengers are no longer subject to a Covid test on arrival, or self-quarantine in a designated hotel.
  • WB264/KGL – FBM
  • WB265 FBM – KGL

Effective date: 29 September 2021

Destinations in East Africa

  • WB482/KGL-BJM
  • WB483/BJM-KGL
  • All nationalities can now obtain visas arrival on arrival in Burundi without any prior application. The cost of a visa is 90USD.
  • COVID-19 testing is no longer a requirement before boarding the flight to Bujumbura. However, a PCR COVID-19 screening test is still required on arrival.
  • A COVID test is no longer a requirement for those departing Bujumbura, however, it is mandatory for travelers whose final destination requires a COVID-19 certificate.
  • All passengers will be tested for Covid-19 on arrival at a cost of USD100 for foreigners and USD30 for nationals (Refugees and students are exempt from Covid-19 testing fees).  For citizens of EAC member countries, the cost of the test COVID-19 screening on arrival at Bujumbura International Airport is USD50.
  • WB446/KGL – DAR
  • WB447/DAR – KGL
Fully vaccinated1 will be exempted from both RT PCR and Rapid Antigen Test requirements. Travelers will be required to present a valid vaccination certificate with a QR code for verification upon arrival. The only accepted vaccines are those which have been approved by Tanzania and the World Health Organization. Not fully vaccinated, unvaccinated and those not eligible for vaccination due to their country policies will be required to present a negative COVID-19 RT- PCR or NAATs certificate with QR code obtained within 72 hours before departure. Not fully vaccinated, unvaccinated and those not eligible for vaccination due to their country policies and have no negative COVID-19 RT- PCR certificate will be tested for COVID 19 upon arrival using a Rapid Antigen Test at their own cost of TZS 23,000 (10 USD) for Tanzania Mainland except children aged 12 years and below and aircraft crew. Positive cases will be further confirmed by RT- PCR for 50 USD. Positive cases will be handled according to Bilateral and Joint Border agreements for ground crossings.
  • Travelers in transit by air transport are exempted from both vaccination and COVID-19 testing requirements unless stated otherwise by the conveyance to be used or the countries of their final destinations.
  • All departing travelers are advised to seek information before departure from their travel agents regarding COVID-19 requirements of their country of destination or conveyance to be used.
  • WB422 KGL – EBB
  • WB423 EBB – KGL
  • WB434 KGL – EBB
  • WB435 EBB – KGL
  • All inbound and outbound travelers will be required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination, except for travelers aged 5 years and below.
  • The requirement for a negative PCR test done within 72 hours of pre-boarding for all incoming travelers is suspended with immediate effect for those who are fully vaccinated
  • The requirement for a negative PCR test done within 72 hours for all outbound travelers is suspended with immediate effect for those who are fully vaccinated, except where it is a requirement of the destination country or the carrier airline.
  • Travelers with partial or no vaccination will be required to present a negative PC test done within 72 hours of travel.
  • Travelers below 5 years are not required to present a negative PCR test upon arrival or departure.
  • WB601/KGL-KME
  • WB602/KME-KGL
  • Covid-19 testing is no longer a requirement prior to boarding the flight to Rwanda. However, regular Covid-19 testing is encouraged.
  • The Passenger Locator Form is no longer a requirement before departure.
  • An additional COVID test is no longer required upon arrival at Kigali International Airport.
  • Certain meeting venues and national parks require COVID tests. Testing is available at health facilities and other designated sites for 5,000 RWF (or US$5) for rapid antigen tests, and 50,000 RWF (or US$50) for PCR tests (required to access Virunga National Park). Rwandan citizens pay a subsidized cost for PCR tests of 30,000 RWF (or USS30).
  • Face masks are no longer mandatory in Rwanda, but their use is encouraged in public indoor settings
  • In addition, the public is urged to get frequently tested while continuing to observe preventive measures including social distancing and hand hygiene.
  • Test results will be shared by SMS or email, and via the online portal accessible at . In case of difficulty obtaining results, contact the BC Medical Team on 114 or  [email protected] .
  • A COVID test is no longer a requirement to depart Rwanda by air. However, COVID testing (atown cost) is available for all travelers whose final destination requires one at health centres and other designated sites.
  • All Rwandan travellers aged 12 years and above must show proof of full vaccination before departing Rwanda by air. Fully vaccinated for people aged 18 years and above means having two doses and a booster when eligible (administered 3 months after second dose.)
  • Passengers transiting through Kigali are no longer required to present a certificate of PCR, or Antigen COVID-19 test, however, they must be required to abide by the particular travel health and COVID-19 related requirements of the destination country.


  • WB452/402/KGL-NBO
  • WB453/403/NBO-KGL
  • Travelers who are fully vaccinated shall be exempted from the requirement of a PCR test.
  • All eligible unvaccinated travelers arriving at any port of entry into Kenya, must have a negative COVID-19 PC test result conducted not more than 72 hours before departure, regardless of the route of entry. Those below the age of five (5) years are exempted from this testing requirement.
  • Unvaccinated travelers arriving at any point of entry shall be subjected to a rapid antigen test at their own cost of 30 USD. Any person who tests positive on antigen RDT will be subjected to an entry PCR test at their own further cost of 50 USD and self-isolate. Travelers below the age of five (5) years are exempted from this testing requirement.
  • All travelers arriving at any port of entry into Kenya will be required to fill out the passenger locator form on the ‘Jitenge’ platform:
  • Persons traveling out of the country will be required to abide by the particular travel. health and COVID-19 related requirements of the destination country.

Destinations in Europe

  • WB700/KGL-BRU
  • WB701/BRU-KGL
  • A  valid vaccination certificate , i.e. being fully vaccinated for at least 14 days,
  • or a  recovery certificate ,
  • or a  negative Covid-19 test certificate . Only a PCR test (less than 72h) or an antigen test (less than 24h) are accepted.
  • This is not applicable for transit passengers with a confirmed onward ticket to a non-Schengen country unless the country of their final destination requires otherwise.
  • Children younger than 12 years are exempt from the above regulations.
  • Non-essential travel is allowed with a valid vaccination certificate, i.e. being fully vaccinated for at least 14 days before departure
  • Non-essential travel remains prohibited for not (fully) vaccinated passengers.
  • Essential travel is allowed, subject to certain conditions. More info on
  • Children younger than 12 years are exempt from the above regulations – if accompanied by an adult.

Essential information to enter the United Kingdom

  • From 4 am, on 18 March 2022, no one entering the UK will need to take tests or complete a passenger locator form.
  • For information on Covid medical requirements for entry into Rwanda, please click on the link for East Africa, then Kigali.

Destinations in Middle East

  • WB300/KGL-DOH
  • WB301/DOH-KGL

Effective Date : 1st December 2021

  • Passengers must sign an Undertaking and Acknowledgement Form​ before arriving in Qatar. The form is available on the Ministry of Public Health website, pre-registration platform website (​ ), and airline online booking form. Citizens and residents who are immunized or fully vaccinated inside the State of Qatar arriving from one of the Green List countries are exempt from this requirement.
  • Passengers whose final destination is Qatar must take a PCR test result at a medical center accredited by the health authorities in the country of departure. The test result must be negative and must be done 48 hours before arrival in Qatar.
  • Qatari National or Residents of Qatar are not required to show proof of PCR COVID-19.
  • Arriving passengers must download the Ehteraz mobile application and activate it on their mobile phones using a local or international SIM card.
  • All transit passengers via Hamad International Airport (HIA) in Doha are not required to present a negative PCR test.
  • For more details visit
  • WB304/KGL-DXB
  • WB305/DXB-KGL
  • WB302/KGL – DXB
  • WB303DXB – KGL
  • Present a valid vaccination certificate(s) that reflects the completion of doses of vaccine approved by the WHO or the United Arab Emirates (UAE), provided with QR code System; or
  • Present a VALID Negative Covid-19 Test certificate that should be based on a molecular diagnostic test intended for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid for SARS-COV-2 viral RNA, that is issued within the valid time frame, namely, (48) hours from the time of collecting the sample and from an approved health service provider, which uses QR code System; or
  • Present a valid medical certificate issued by the relevant authorities that the passenger has recovered from Coronavirus SARS Cov-19 within a period of one (1) month (the date of recovery and the date of arrival) provided with QR code System, and
  • Undergo a PCR test upon arrival in Dubai, if requested, and self-quarantine until a negative test result is released to the passenger. In the event the passenger is tested positive, then such passenger shall follow the guidelines issued by the relevant Health Authority in the Emirate of Dubai.
  • Travel insurance for inbound passengers to Dubai is mandatory.
  • Note – the certificates referred to in this directive shall be Printed in English or Arabic language and provided with a QR Code.
  • For Transit Passenger(s), the rules/conditions governing entry at the final destination of the transit passenger(s) shall be applicable. 

Destinations in South Africa

  • Proof of vaccination against COV-19 and COV-19 test certificates are no longer required for international arrivals at all ports of entry
  • WB110/KGL-HRE
  • WB111/HRE-KGL

Operating: Wed, Fri, Sun

  • WB102/KGL-LUN
  • WB103/LUN-KGL

Effective date: 23 Dec 2021

  • Fully vaccinated travelers do not require any form of negative COVID test results but shall be required to provide proof of full vaccination status.
  • International travelers who are not fully vaccinated MUST show proof of a COVID- 19 PC test for a sample collected within 72 hours before departure from the country of origin.
  • Re-testing at own cost will be applied for travelers who do not meet the above
  • In case of a positive result, self-quarantine at the owner’s cost will be mandatory; following local Zambian protocols.
  • Children below the age of 12 years are exempt from these measures.

Travelers from Zambia must ensure that they observe the guidelines of the countries they wish to visit.

In addition to the above information, the following will also apply;

  • All arriving passengers will have their temperature checked
  • All travelers should hand over their health declaration forms to the Port Health

Destinations in West Africa

  • COVID-19 Travel Testing: Pre-departure and Post-arrival COVID-19 PCR tests are no longer required for all passengers irrespective of vaccination status. PCR tests required for all passengers who are partially/not fully vaccinated have been suspended.
  • Health Declaration form: Permission to travel/ QR code is no longer required. A simplified Health Questionnaire form (non-COVID-19 specific) shall be completed by all passengers traveling to Nigeria preferably pre-departure on the Nigerian International Travel Portal (NITP). Passengers who fail to fill the health questionnaire on the NITP pre-departure will be required to fill the health questionnaire either onboard the aircraft before landing or at the Airport terminal building upon arrival.
  • All International passengers including those from the ECOWAS region must complete a Port Health Declaration Form at before embarkation on a flight to Ghana.
  • All persons arriving in Ghana (citizens, residents, and visitors) who are fully vaccinated will be exempt from any form of testing done either prior to boarding from the originating country or on arrival in Ghana except passengers originating their journey from China.
  • Passengers originating from China will be required to present a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test result performed within 48 hours before departure from the originating country. In addition, such passengers will be required to undergo mandatory covid-19 testing on arrival at the Kotoka international airport at no cost
  • All other passengers, originating their journey from elsewhere other than China (i.e., Ghanaian citizens, permanent residents of Ghana, or non-Ghanaians), who are partially vaccinated or unvaccinated, will be required to present a valid negative covid-19 PCR test result within 48 hours prior to departure from the originating country. In addition, such passengers will be required to undergo mandatory covid-19 testing on arrival at Kotoka international airport at no cost
  • In addition to the above, passengers may be randomly selected and offered tests on arrival
  • Non-Ghanaians Travelling to Kotoka International Airport with fake or forged vaccination certificates shall be quarantined and returned to the point of embarkation AT THEIR OWN COST.
  • Airlines that bring passengers to Kotoka international airport who are not fully vaccinated or passengers originating their journey from china without a valid negative covid-19 PCR test performed within 48 hours prior to the departure would be surcharged $3500.
  • Passengers transiting and transferring through KIA will be required to fully adhere to COVID-19 testing requirements at the destination countries.
  • Children less than 18 years of age are exempt from mandatory vaccination, pre-departure PCR testing and testing on arrival in Ghana
  • Airline crew are exempted from the pre-departure and arrival COVID-19 testing and should follow the Airline policy for testing.
  • Passengers who arrive under emergency circumstances such as diverted flights will not be required to undergo testing if they do not leave the airport or remain in isolation in their hotel.
  • Traveling with pets into Ghana is allowed in line with the guidelines of the Veterinary Services Directorate of the Ministry of Food & Agriculture.
  • Passengers departing Accra will be required to adhere to COVID-19 testing requirements for the destination countries.
  • Departing passengers will undergo temperature screening at the entrance of Terminal 3 departures
  • Wearing of a nose mask is recommended in all Airport Terminals and ancillary buildings

Operating: Mon, Fri

  • Arriving passengers in Benin will no longer be required to present a COVID-19 test certificate.
  • Outbound travelers from Benin must comply with the requirements of the country of destination.
  • WB202/KGL-LOS
  • WB203/LOS-KGL

Entry, testing and quarantine regulations

To make sure your trip is as comfortable as possible, we have prepared RwandAir Travel Briefing for you. It serves as your guide, with everything you need to know at a glance.

  • Flying from

Frequently Asked Questions

01. what documents are required for travel with rwandair.

For all travelers, a valid passport and the necessary visas or entry permits for your destination are essential. Additionally, some countries might require proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within a specified timeframe before departure.

02. How do I stay updated on the latest requirements?

To ensure you have the latest information, please regularly check the official RwandAir website and the official websites of your destination country's government or relevant authorities. You can also reach out to our customer service team for assistance.

03. Are COVID-19 tests mandatory before departure?

Yes, many destinations now require a negative COVID-19 test before travel. The type of test, timeframe, and specific regulations vary by country. It is crucial to stay informed and adhere to these requirements.

04. Can RwandAir help with COVID-19 testing?

RwandAir has partnered with various medical facilities to facilitate COVID-19 testing for our passengers. Please visit our website or contact our customer service team for information on testing options available to you.

05. What health and safety measures are in place during the journey?

RwandAir is committed to ensuring the safety of our passengers and staff. We have implemented enhanced cleaning protocols, provide sanitization materials, and follow recommended health guidelines throughout the journey.

06. What happens if my flight is affected by changing travel restrictions?

Travel restrictions are subject to change. In the event of flight cancellations or rescheduling due to these restrictions, RwandAir will do its best to provide alternative options or refunds. Please refer to our flight disruption policies for more details.

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Wanderlust Movement | A South Africa Travel Blog

Travel to Rwanda: 15 Useful Things to Know Before You Go

October 27, 2017 by Lauren Melnick

Last Updated on March 30, 2024 by Lauren Melnick

"Travel to Rwanda: 15 Useful Things to Know Before You Go | Wanderlust Movement | #rwanda #traveltips #africa

Most people travel to Rwanda to trek with the endangered mountain gorillas. Yet, many others hold off on this once in a lifetime adventure because they buy into the idea that Rwanda, like much of Africa, is unsafe.

Yes, the country isn’t as developed to European standards, and yes, it’s neighbours tend to be a bit batshit crazy, but that’s all part of Rwanda’s charm. Its imperfections make it one of the top destinations in Africa, and at the moment it’s also one of the cheapest.

But travelling to Rwanda doesn’t need to be difficult. With tourism growing each year, the infrastructure is improving, and it’s becoming easier than ever before to explore the Land of a Thousand Hills.

Here are 15 things to know about Rwanda before you leave home!

Table of Contents

How to Get Your 30-Day Visa on Arrival for Rwanda

Is it safe to visit rwanda, don’t drink the tap water, rwanda travel vaccinations, hostels in rwanda, what currency is used in rwanda, is rwanda expensive, internet access in rwanda, how much does a gorilla permit cost in rwanda, when is the best time to travel to rwanda to go gorilla trekking, what to wear for gorilla trekking in rwanda, travelling to rwanda as a vegan, cooking class tours, jumia food – the uber eats of rwanda, tipping guides in rwanda, the best time to visit rwanda, how to travel to rwanda, how to get around rwanda, read up on rwanda’s history.

If you’re like me and you hate visa paperwork, you’ll love Rwanda. All African nationals are either visa-exempt or get their visa on arrival. South African’s fall into the later, and you’ll be happy to know the whole process is quicker than a queue at Home Affairs.

To get your visa, you’ll need two things: your passport and $30.

If you haven’t exchanged money before your trip, don’t worry. Rwandan immigration accepts Visa and MasterCard payments.

Once you’ve paid for your visa, you’ll go to a second queue where you’ll have a quick chat with an immigration official.

And then you’re done!

If you’re travelling to Rwanda from a country outside of Africa, here’s a handy map to see the visa requirements for different countries.

Yes! It is safe to visit Rwanda. In fact, Rwanda is the safest country in Africa and the 9th safest in the worl d.

You can stop worrying Mom.

You’re more likely to get shot in America than not survive a trip to Rwanda.

I felt completely at ease here. While people did stare at me, it was more my blue hair colour then leering. I also didn’t witness or experience any catcalling.

Plus, it is nowhere near as homophobic as its neighbours. Should we add the most progressive East African country to the list as well?

If you do encounter any problems, there is a policeman or someone from the army on every block – for real. While they might look intimidating, Rwandans are some of the friendliest people you will meet and will be more than happy to help.

It’s also a good idea to get a travel insurance policy , especially if you’re planning a trip to Rwanda on going gorilla trekking. The terrain can be quite difficult to climb (depending on the time of year), and if you do fall, you’ll want to be covered for my hospital visits or broken gear.

World Nomads provides travel insurance for travelers in over 100 countries. As an affiliate, we receive a fee when you get a quote from World Nomads using this link. We do not represent World Nomads. This is information only and not a recommendation to buy travel insurance.

The tap water is not safe to drink in Rwanda. Luckily, most hotels and hostels will have a free water dispenser that you can use. Before you travel to Rwanda, pack a reusable water bottle in your bag and fill up as you explore.

If you need to buy water, it’s inexpensive and available at any of the shops and supermarkets around the country.

travel from uganda to rwanda

You can travel to Rwanda without a Yellow Fever vaccination .


This means that there are no Rwanda travel vaccinations that you NEED to have. Of course, there are the recommended ones, but you won’t be denied entry into the country.

But if you’re flying in from or to any of the neighbouring countries like Kenya or Uganda, you will need proof that you’ve had the vaccination.

Update: Although none of the resources I encountered (and no one asked to see any Yellow Fever vaccination before any of my flights) some people in the comment section are saying otherwise.

According to the link above, the CDC does not recommend a yellow fever vaccination for most travellers to Rwanda and Rwanda only requires proof of a Yellow Fever vaccination if you’re travelling from an at-risk country.

However, if you want to check all your bases, feel free to get the vaccination. It lasts for 10 years, and you won’t have to worry.

A quick search on will only show a measly nine hostels in Rwanda.

But this doesn’t mean those are your only options.

A lot of the places don’t advertise on online booking sites. I recommend making a reservation for your first night and then exploring your options once in the country.

The hostel scene is small in Rwanda, but it’s growing. If you pay a little bit extra, you can usually get a whole 6-bed dorm to yourself. This is because most backpackers stick to the cheaper 12-bed dorms and the hostels are rarely full to capacity.

The official currency in Rwanda is the Rwandan Franc.

However, the US dollar is widely accepted. You’ll only need RWF to pay for smaller purchases, local transportation and food. Everywhere else will accept both currencies.

Yes and no.

Visiting Rwanda can quickly become expensive depending on your itinerary.

The national parks, like Akagera, have a steep $40+ entrance fee for foreign nationals, and the gorilla trekking permits cost well over a $1,000.

But you can still enjoy Rwanda as a cheap destination.

The local food in Kigali is affordable if you stay away from international restaurants. When it comes to transport, there are cheap motorbike taxis and long-distance minibuses that will take you to most of the towns around the country for a couple of dollars.

I didn’t have a problem getting online while in Rwanda. While it wasn’t the fastest connection, I wasn’ staring at my screen begging it to load.

If you aren’t planning on getting a local sim card for data, you might struggle to find a connection while exploring. Most of the restaurants I went to didn’t have WiFi except the cafe at the Genocide Memorial.

But then again I was eating at super cheap places.

Download a map of the area and join the cheapskate club if you don’t want to hunt WiFi down.

How to Get a Permit for Gorilla Trekking and Other Hikes

"Travel to Rwanda: 15 Useful Things to Know Before You Go | Wanderlust Movement | #rwanda #traveltips #africa

One of the best things to do in Rwanda is to go gorilla trekking. But you can’t just go on a hike and hope to see these majestic creatures.

You need a permit.

The permits for Volcanoes National Parks hikes and gorilla trekking can be bought either at the Tourism Headquarters in Kigali or the offices outside the national park .

Prices for the permits vary as well as their availability. For example, Rwanda tourism restricts the number of people that can see the gorillas each day, whereas the Dian Fossey Hike isn’t capped.

I recommend emailing the tourism headquarters to find out what availability is like before you go.

Another important thing to remember is that the dates of the permit cannot be changed. If you can’t go on that day anymore, you’ll need to purchase a whole new permit.

The Rwanda gorilla trekking permit costs $1500 per person. It’s a super steep price and the most expensive out of the three countries (Uganda and Congo) that offer the experience.

The reason the price is so high is that it keeps the trekking exclusive. The gorillas are vulnerable to human diseases and it would be irresponsible to have hundreds of people seeing the gorillas each day.

It would ruin their habitat and change their behaviour.

Plus, your money goes towards their conservation and curbs poaching as the gorillas are now more valuable alive than dead.

The best time to go gorilla trekking in Rwanda is during the dry season. Not only will the terrain be easier to navigate, but you won’t have to worry about the rain ruining your chances of seeing the gorillas.

I did the Dian Fossey trek at the beginning of the rainy season, and all the non-avid hikers found it difficult. There was lots of mud, steep inclines and swampy parts where almost everyone lost a shoe.

  • Shoes: A good pair of hiking shoes with a high ankle and good grip.
  • Hiking gaiters: If you don’t have your own you can rent a pair for RWF 10,000 (R 160.00) from your guide.
  • Clothes: Wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt in neutral colours. This will protect you from the stinging nettles and help you blend in.
  • Other essentials: A rain jacket for the sporadic showers, and a small backpack that can hold your water, camera and lunch.

Food in Rwanda

The local food is delicious. While I couldn’t taste the majority of the dishes as it’s quite meat-heavy, I enjoyed everything that I did get my hands on.

In the capital city of Kigali, I found it pretty easy to get hold of vegan food. While there aren’t any vegan restaurants, all the places I went to had a vegetarian option that could easily be modified into a cruelty-free meal.

A typical Rwandan breakfast includes a platter of fresh fruit so you shouldn’t have any problems munching down.

If you want to learn how to make some of Rwanda’s most famous local dishes, go to a cooking class.

The Nyamirambo Women’s Center offers one for only RWF 15,000 (R 250.00). Not only will you be helping vulnerable women in the community make a living, but you’ll get an authentic look into the preparation and creation of traditional meals.

Plus, they have vegetarian options that can be made vegan on request.

In case you don’t know, I’m an odd creature of comfort. I have no problem falling asleep just about anywhere, and once I’ve found a spot I like, I’m in it for the long haul.

So, as much as I love sampling the local food, I don’t love the whole actually going to a restaurant. Sometimes I just want the food and me to have a moment without all the stress that comes along with going out.

In steps Jumia Food. It’s Kigali’s answer to Uber Eats, and it’s fantastic. The app has a wide range of cuisines and price ranges to choose from that will be delivered straight to your hostel door with a swipe of a finger.

I highly recommend the Ethiopian restaurants if you don’t mind the splurge. But if you want cheap and mouthwatering, order anything from Chap Chap.

Tipping in Rwanda

Tipping is not customary in Rwanda restaurants unless you’re dining at the higher-end establishments in Kigali.

If you’re doing a hike, you’ll need to tip the guide. How much seems to be a debatable issue and I’d recommend asking the hotel staff or the company organising your tour for some guidance.

Keep in mind that the guides, porters and trackers are most likely former poachers. Your business helps them to make a living ethically and see the value in keeping the gorillas alive.

"Travel to Rwanda: 15 Useful Things to Know Before You Go | Wanderlust Movement | #rwanda #traveltips #africa

Plus, it’s also a great time of year to see Rwanda’s wildlife. The animals in Akagera National Park will be easier to spot as they make their way to the watering holes and hiking conditions will be at their easiest.

The only downside is that it’s peak tourist season during this time. Rates will be higher for flights, hotels and activities.

If you visit outside these months, it will be cheaper, but you’ll have to plan around the spots of bad weather.

The quickest way to get to Rwanda is to fly . I bought my return flights from South Africa to Kigali for under R 3000, but prices tend to hover around R4000.

If you’re already in East Africa, there are local buses that run between the different countries. Some of the most popular routes are from Kampala, Uganda to Kigali or Nairobi, Kenya to Kigali.

Read More:  Travel to Kenya: 15 Useful Things To Know Before You Go

The easiest way to get around Rwanda is to hire your own car, but it’s expensive.

Luckily, the country does have a decent public transport system that makes it cheap and easy to travel in Rwanda without a car.

If you want to visit Akagera National Park , you’ll need to join a tour or use your own wheels. The same goes for Volcanoes National Park; no public transport runs to the entrance of the park.

However, if you’re just around the cities and towns, there is no reason to hire a car. There are dozens of moto-taxis waiting to take you around at reasonable rates. The best part is that the drivers don’t inflate their prices and you don’t need to waste time haggling.

But most drivers won’t know street names. It’s a good idea to have your final destination open on Google Maps to show the driver and to make sure you’re going in the right direction.

"Travel to Rwanda: 15 Useful Things to Know Before You Go | Wanderlust Movement | #rwanda #traveltips #africa

In 1994, Rwanda went through a dark period where around one million Tutsis were murdered in 100 days.

Only 25 years have passed, and it’s still a fresh wound in the country. One thing that stood out for me while in Kigali was the high number of young people as most parents were killed during this period.

Before you going to Rwanda, watch the movie Hotel Rwanda to understand the basics of what led up to this traumatic event.

And of course, a visit to the genocide memorials is a must to understand Rwanda’s history and how the genocide has affected the entire nation.

Do you have any Rwanda travel tips? Hit ya gurl up in the comments below!

Want more African travel inspiration? Check out my other posts:

  • Everything You Need to Know About the Dian Fossey Hike
  • Akagera National Park: The Complete Guide
  • The Ultimate South Africa Bucket List: 40+ Amazing Places to Visit
  • What It’s Like Staying on Mumbo Island in Malawi
  • Visiting Kruger National Park: Everything You Need to Know
  • The Perfect Self-Drive Botswana Itinerary for an Epic Safari Trip

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Travel to Rwanda: 15 Useful Things to Know Before You Go

About Lauren Melnick

Lauren Melnick is the founder of Wanderlust Movement, Wander to Here and is a South Africa travel blogger. She's been travelling the world as a full-time freelance writer since 2016 and has visited over 40 countries.

When she isn't typing up a storm, you can find her conquering overnight hikes around the Western Cape, rock climbing, and hosting sold out group travel trips around South Africa, Namibia and Morocco.

Reader Interactions

travel from uganda to rwanda

November 12, 2017 at 1:15 am

Having lived in Rwanda, I would agree with much of this post. However there are a few things I would say: First, the 1994 genocide in Rwanda killed at least 800,000 people in those 100 days. It was a brutal and tragic piece of Rwandan history and so it’s understandable how, even 20 years later, they are dealing with the aftermath. Some people are willing to talk about this history but many do not want to divulge much information. And the memorial services and events are all held in April, so I’d recommend planning a trip that avoids these events (they are highly emotional, sometimes dangerous, and can be traumatizing for some who do not understand the history). Second, if you pay for anything with US dollars, make sure the bills you have are dated 2008 or higher and are crisp and new. Rwandans often get less in currency exchanges for bills that are not up to par. Third, the local language is fairly easy to learn. Within a few weeks I could speak Kinyarwanda conversationally. However it is also a perk to know French. Rwanda is in the process of switching it’s primary language system to Anglophone from Francophone so many of the younger Rwandans speak some English and many of the older Rwandans speak more French. However, everyone speaks Kinyarwanda! And Finally, if you plan to take Moto-taxis, be aware that they are quite unsafe. Motos are much cheaper and more fun to get around on, however taxi-busses and cars are a safer option and not unreasonable priced. Generally, however, Rwanda is an extremely safe country. Use common sense and general precaution, as you would in any new place, and you will likely be just fine!

travel from uganda to rwanda

November 13, 2017 at 8:29 am

Thanks so much for your comment Jess and all the useful info!

I also found the local language quite simple to learn and would love to go back next year for a month and really get more usage out of it. And my terrible French did help me out a few times as well ^.^

travel from uganda to rwanda

March 18, 2018 at 9:52 am

I love this. what kind of jobs are best for foreigners to Rwanda? Am a mechanical engineer in the domain of fluid [domestic and industrial plumbing] mechanics, fabrication, maintenance of industrial systems

March 18, 2018 at 10:36 am

You would probably have to contact someone who helps people immigrate to the country,

travel from uganda to rwanda

March 29, 2018 at 5:48 pm

I am planning a trip in November and Yellow Fever is required. I checked with the Board of Tourism. Actually I spoke with them.

March 31, 2018 at 10:32 am

Hey, thanks really weird. When I went there in September last year, no one asked to see if I had a yellow fever certificate on the South African or Rwanda side. And all the information I found last year said they had been removed as a at-risk country and it was no longer a requirement for arriving or departing travellers :/

travel from uganda to rwanda

June 6, 2018 at 9:47 pm

It seems that the requirement still exists but is not enforced very strictly. You should have it taken care of just in case they ask.

June 10, 2018 at 12:18 am

The CDC resource I consulted said that Rwanda only requires proof of Yellow Fever vaccination if you’re travelling from an at-risk country. So the information seems a bit conflicting for some reason. Of course, it’s safer to get the vaccination anyway, but it is weird that legit resources have varying information about such an important disease.

travel from uganda to rwanda

September 19, 2018 at 3:19 pm

i am travelling to Kigali on Tuesday 25th Sept and l have phoned the Rwanda high Comm and they did confirm that there is no need for the yellow fever vaccine if one is coming from a non-yellow-fever country or has never been to a yellow fever country within the past 25 days!

September 26, 2018 at 11:09 am

Ah Forbes! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment this. I really appreciate it 🙂 I hope you have an amazing time travelling to Rwanda!

travel from uganda to rwanda

June 18, 2018 at 2:14 pm

I wasn’t aware that they did away with the yellow fever vaccination till now, thank you.

June 18, 2018 at 6:52 pm

Hey Anita! I’ll double check before you go on your trip because people have been getting conflicting pieces of information.

travel from uganda to rwanda

November 10, 2018 at 12:13 pm

Very useful information. I’m going to Rwanda in the beginning of December. I arrive on Saturday evening late and want to spend Sunday to see Kigali and organize my permits and sort out my public transport to see Nyungwe Forrest National Park and go go to Valcanoes National Park to do some hikes. Is it possible to it on a Sunday or do I need to arrange a lot of stuff beforehand?

Thanks a lot!

November 12, 2018 at 4:12 pm

Hey, if the permit office is open on a Sunday, you should be able to organise your permits 🙂 It’s a very quick process, so it won’t take up a lot of your time.

travel from uganda to rwanda

January 23, 2019 at 9:57 pm

Very insightful blog. Really appreciate

January 24, 2019 at 10:35 am

Happy to hear you’ve found it useful!

travel from uganda to rwanda

February 21, 2019 at 6:21 pm

hey, I was born and I stay in Rwanda. I liked the post and I agree with the most of its information but what I wanted to correct is that it is 20,000 of Tutsi who were murdered during Genocide but over 1 million of Tutsi were murdered and it is been 25 years now. but apart from that Rwanda is the safest Country in Africa in my opinion and hospitality is a common trait in Rwandan people.

February 27, 2019 at 9:59 pm

Thanks so much! I have corrected the info 🙂

travel from uganda to rwanda

June 13, 2019 at 4:50 pm

Great post! So many useful information! 😀 I’m going to Rwanda in August, skipping the gorilla tracking (too expensive 🙁 ), but can’t wait to see other attractions!

June 24, 2019 at 2:48 pm

I hope you have an incredible time!!

travel from uganda to rwanda

July 7, 2019 at 6:22 am

Thanks for the information, I will be visiting in early October, how difficult is the trek? Is it something I should be worried about?

July 9, 2019 at 3:03 pm

Hey Debrah! I’ve you hike regularly / you’re a fit person you should be good. It will be a difficult hike if you’re not really active as it’s a lot of uphill and the mud means you’re going to work extra hard.

travel from uganda to rwanda

March 4, 2020 at 12:57 pm

Thanks for the tips and info….

travel from uganda to rwanda

February 23, 2021 at 3:45 am

Just wondering if you could update this post for current events.

February 24, 2021 at 6:50 pm

You mean for the pandarama ?

travel from uganda to rwanda

June 4, 2022 at 1:52 am

My husband and I will be with a tour group and visiting Rwanda soon, in July 2022. Your blog was so helpful; thank you! I am wondering how muddy trekking will be in July and if I need gaiters; and if so, do I need ankle length or knee length?

June 20, 2022 at 6:05 pm

I’m not sure what it’s like in July as I went in September. Maybe speak to the tour company and see what the guides recommend? my gaiters were knee-length 🙂

travel from uganda to rwanda

July 24, 2022 at 2:15 pm

Thanks for the posts; they are very informative; I am travelling to Rwanda for business on 26th July for two weeks, Im coming from Cairo, and I hope to see some of the unique places. I have to transit through Ethiopia, anyway, it’s going to be an exciting trip,

travel from uganda to rwanda

August 13, 2022 at 1:21 pm

Thank you for the tips and info. I am planning to visit Kigali in Sept/Oct for 6 days and am struggling to find a itinerary without gorilla tracking (as I am not keen on it). Is there enough to do in Rwanda over 6 days or should I consider adding another country?

August 21, 2022 at 1:53 pm

Hey Busi, it really depends what you like to fill your itinerary with. I spent a week in Rwanda and there was more than enough to keep me busy.

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Uganda to Rwanda: Gorilla Treks & Safari Drives

8 days, kampala to kigali.

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  • Full itinerary
  • Tour details

There’s a wealth of adventure to be had in both Uganda and Rwanda, especially now that tourists are beginning to rediscover this region. We keep this trip small and intimate to create a deep connection with this captivating land. Of course, there’ll be trekking to spot chimps and gorillas, and wildlife drives through Queen Elizabeth National Park to see elephants and hippos, but we’ll also visit the genocide museum for a closer look at the recent history of the region. Trust us: Uganda and Rwanda will stay in your memory for a very long time.

A selection of wildlife-focused tours endorsed by world renowned primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall. As a proud partner of the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada, G Adventures is thrilled to share that a portion of every adventure booked will help support their mission to protect wildlife and work with local communities to become their partners in conservation. Learn more

Kampala to Kigali

Special offers, is this tour for me, travel style: classic.

All of the highlights, culture, access, and I-can’t-believe-we-did-that moments, all at a great price.

Service Level: Standard

Comfortable tourist-class accommodations with character; mix of public and private transport.

Physical Rating: 4 - Demanding

Some high-altitude hikes or more strenuous activities, but accessible to most healthy travellers.

Trip Type: Small Group

Small group experience; Max 12, avg 8

Age requirement: 15+

All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

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Ripple Score for this trip: 100

Map of the route for Uganda to Rwanda: Gorilla Treks & Safari Drives

Places visited

Day 1 kampala.

Arrive at anytime.

Day 2 Kampala/Fort Portal

Take the scenic route to Fort Portal at the edge of Kibale National Park. Spend the night on a guest farm listening to the sounds of monkeys and birds.

Meals included:

Day 3 kibale national park.

Explore the evergreen rainforest and trek to spot chimps in the morning or afternoon. Enjoy a traditional lunch in the Bigodi Community.

Day 4 Kibale NP/Queen Elizabeth NP

Continue on to Queen Elizabeth NP, stopping at the equator. Head out on a wildlife safari drive in the afternoon. Keep your eyes peeled for warthogs, elephants, buffalo, five different species of primates, and hippos.

Day 5 Queen Elizabeth National Park

Take an early morning wildlife safari drive and enjoy lunch inside the park. Opt for an evening cruise along the Kazinga Channel.

Day 6 Queen Elizabeth NP/Bwindi Impenetrable NP

Enjoy the scenic drive south, with views of forests, volcanoes and lakes. Spend the night on the edge of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Day 7 Gorilla Trekking

Rise early for the tour's main highlight – gorilla trekking!

Day 8 Bwindi/Kigali

Cross the border into Rwanda, then head to the capital city, Kigali. Visit the genocide museum to learn more about the dark history of this fascinating country. Enjoy lunch at the G Adventures supported Nyamirambo Women's Centre. Tour ends on arrival at hotel.

Exclusive Inclusions:

What's included.

  • Your G for Good Moment: Nyamirambo Women's Centre, Local Lunch, Kigali
  • Guest farm stay near Kibale National Park
  • Chimpanzee trek
  • Bigodi community lunch
  • Queen Elizabeth National Park wildlife safari drives
  • Guided gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • Visit to Kigali Genocide Museum
  • All national park fees and trekking permits
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities


Standard hotel (1 nt), simple furnished tents/rooms (6 nts).

7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners Allow USD150-195 for meals not included.


Private van, walking.

Staff & experts

CEO (Chief Experience Officer) /driver throughout, experienced gorilla trackers, local guides.

Available extras  (Add these to your tour when you book)

Jinja river rafting - from $140.00.

Looking for a change from wildlife to simply something wild? Wake up early and head out on the Nile River for a full-day navigating the whitewater. Enjoy an exciting day testing your paddling skills in the rapids while waves crash over into your eight-person raft. This activity is suitable for rafters of all experience levels. Enjoy an included meal and drinks with your group after conquering the rapids.

Make it a private tour

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Rwanda is known as Le Pays des Mille Collines (Land of a Thousand Hills) thanks to the endless mountains in this scenically stunning little country. Nowhere are the mountains more majestic than the Virunga volcanoes in the northwest, and hidden among the bamboo forests are some of the world's last remaining mountain gorillas. For a change of scene, the shores of Lake Kivu conceal some of the best inland beaches on the continent, while Nyungwe Forest National Park protects extensive tracts of montane rainforest, and is home to many primates. Looking for a more metropolitan experience? Kigali, the capital, is one of the loveliest cities in Africa.


Must-see attractions.

Visitors at the Kigali Genocide Memorial.

Kigali Genocide Memorial

In the span of 100 days, an estimated one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus were systematically butchered by the Interahamwe army. This memorial honours…

travel from uganda to rwanda

Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park, which runs along the border with the DRC and Uganda, is home to the Rwandan section of the Virungas. Comprising five volcanoes,…

Wild Eastern Black-and-white Colobus in Nyungwe National Park.

Nyungwe Forest National Park

Nyungwe Forest National Park is Rwanda’s most important area of biodiversity and has been rated the highest priority for forest conservation in Africa…

Ethnographic Museum

Ethnographic Museum

This outstanding museum was given to the city as a gift from Belgium in 1989 to commemorate 25 years of independence. While the building itself is…

Murambi Genocide Memorial

Murambi Genocide Memorial

Nyamagabe (formerly called Gikongoro) and the satellite town of Murambi was the site of one of the most unforgettable horrors of the 1994 genocide…


Akagera National Park

Akagera is Rwanda's answer to the savannah parks of Kenya and Tanzania, and is utterly different in landscape to anywhere else in the country. Prior to…

King's Palace Museum – Rukari

King's Palace Museum – Rukari

Situated on a hill 2km southwest of town, this fascinating museum is less about ancient history and more about royal residences. The displays centre on a…

Rubona Peninsula

Rubona Peninsula

Roughly 6km south of town (about RFr1000 by moto-taxi), along a lovely lakeshore road, the Rubona Peninsula is Lake Kivu at its finest. Hills rise steeply…

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From stealing magic moments with mountain-dwelling gorillas to experiencing heart-warming encounters with villagers, Rwanda will deliver experiences unlike any other.

Volcanic mountains, dense forests, tranquil lakes and lively towns add a stunning backdrop to Rwanda’s real gems – the sincere, proud people and majestic, mysterious wildlife.

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Rwanda at a glance

Capital city.

Kigali (population 1.1 million)

12.6 million

Kinyarwanda, French, English

(GMT+02:00) Windhoek



Type C (European 2-pin) Type J (Swiss 3-pin)

Learn more about Rwanda

Best time to visit rwanda.

Rwanda has a tropical highland climate, with temperatures being pleasantly warm most of the year. March to May is the wet season, so expect frequent rain and thunderstorms during this period, which can make trekking and other outdoor activities uncomfortable at times.

Culture and customs

Rwanda has a rich, vibrant culture based on traditional dance, crafts song and drumming. History and culture is communicated through the generations with songs, poetry and stories providing links to the past. Visitors to Rwanda should catch a cultural performance of dynamic dance and music to appreciate the heritage and identity that is carried by these songs and dances. There are three main ethnic tribes in Rwanda - Hutu, Tutsi and Twa, each having their similarities and differences. The Twa comprise less than 1% of the population, and are hunter-gatherers, having lived in Rwanda for centuries. The Hutu and Tutsi are not divided by ethnicity but by a social caste system, with the Tutsi traditionally living pastoral lives and being members of the ruling class, and the Hutu traditionally being seen as peasant farmers. This is malleable though, as intermarriage between the two is quite common, so children may have a Hutu father and a Tutsi mother. While this has lead to much division and conflict in the past, Rwanda has more recently enjoyed 15 years of relative harmony, with these ethnic groups living and working alongside each other in peace.  Foreigners and travelers will find most Rwandans live simple lives, devoid of modern conveniences and perhaps it is because of this that Rwandans are known for being friendly, genuine and very accommodating to visitors. Homestays in particular provide valuable insights into the culture of Rwanda.

Eating and drinking

Intrepid believes that one of the best ways to experience a country is by eating! Whether you're sampling street food, savoring a cheap eat or indulging in a banquet, there are endless options to choose from wherever you are in the world.  Rwandan food typically consists of simple meals made from locally grown produce. Sweet potato, corn, peas, beans and cassava feature heavily, and are usually fried or cooked in a stew. Spices and seasonings aren’t common in Rwandan cooking, so food may be a little bland for some – but just right for others who prefer their food less spicy.

Things to try in Rwanda

1. Fresh fruit

Bananas, avocados, mangoes and papaya are plentiful in Rwanda and are a cheap, fresh snack when bought from markets and street carts.

2. Frites-banane (fried plantains)

Fried Plantains are a delicious snack and found just about everywhere in Rwanda.

Barbecued beef, goat and chicken are available at roadside street stalls in the larger cities.

Beer is popular with the men of Rwanda (women rarely drink). Primus, Mutzig and Amstel are the main beers available in Rwanda, as well as locally brewed banana beer.

Geography and environment

Sharing borders with Uganda , Burundi, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda is a densely populated, landlocked nation. Covered in grassland, mountains and rolling hills, most people in Rwanda live in villages surrounded by farmland. Plantations of cash crops like coffee and tea are common, but small subsistence farming is the main source of income for most Rwandans living in rural areas. 

The dense jungles and national parks of Rwanda house many species of animal including gorillas, baboons, chimpanzees and prolific birdlife. Unlike many other African bodies of water, freshwater Lake Kivu is free from crocodiles and hippos, so it’s a great spot for swimming, fishing and other recreational activities.

History and government

Early history.

The original inhabitants of Rwanda, the Twa, lived a hunter-gatherer lifestyle for centuries before the arrival of the Hutu people. Then the Tutsi brought with them a feudal system of land ownership and society. In 1890 Germany took control of Rwanda, and ruled until 1916 when the Belgians overpowered the German forces during World War I. Under Belgian rule, clashes between the Tutsi and the Hutu were frequent and a precursor to the violence of the 1990s. Independence was granted in 1962, and the Hutu majority came into power. Because of this, Tutsi people were marginalized, with less access to education and employment opportunities. This imbalance created simmering tensions within Rwanda, culminating in armed conflict and displacement of people.

Recent history

In 1994, Rwanda erupted into civil war following the death of the president in a plane crash (the plane was shot by a missile while trying to land in Kigali). Months of bloodshed ensued - it's estimated that close to a million people were killed within a period of 90 days. Millions of Rwandans fled into neighboring Uganda and Tanzania to escape the violence, murder and looting that had taken over their country. Due to the loss of life and infrastructure caused by the genocide of 1994, many Rwandans today live in poverty. Despite this, Rwanda is currently rising out of hard times to move into the future with increased prosperity and improved living conditions. The economy is slowly improving due to a flourishing tourism industry and a new government that has invested in education and infrastructure

Top 10 experiences of Rwanda

1. gorillas in the mist.

Trekking through the steamy jungle is well worth it once you set eyes upon a family of silverback gorillas. Watch them interact and play and marvel at how similar they are to humans. Watching these rare creatures is utterly captivating and engrossing – you won’t want to leave.

2. National treasures

Stop in at the Butare National Museum, considered one of the best museums in East Africa. Featuring tribal art, traditional housing, musical instruments and other artefacts, this museum offers visitors a great grounding in Rwandan history and culture.

3. Moving memorial

Be touched by the spirit of the Rwandan people when visiting the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre. This place is dedicated to the people who lost their lives in the genocide of 1994, and provides a peaceful space for survivors to mourn and ultimately heal.

4. Chill out lakeside

Experience the serenity and beauty of Rwanda’s Lake Kivu. Whether you’re enjoying a relaxing walk on the shores or heading out on a boat, Lake Kivu provides a pocket of aquatic splendor in a landlocked country.

5. Monkey magic

Have fun finding chimps, baboons and monkeys in the trees of the Nyungwe National Park. The dense rainforest terrain offers the perfect environment for these amazing creatures to live in.

6. Home sweet home

Experience true Rwandan hospitality while spending time with a local family on a homestay. Enjoy home cooking and new friendships – something you just can’t get when staying at a hotel.

7. To market

Strolling through the markets of Kigali is a great way to get acquainted with this up-and-coming city. Buy some trinkets or fresh produce, chat with locals and watch market-life in action.

8. Beach bliss

The small town of Gisenyi is home to unspoilt beaches where you won't have to fight for a spot to laze on them. Enjoy the isolation and make the most of the space in this pocket of paradise.

9. Small town charm

Known as the gateway town to the gorillas, Ruhengeri offers a change of pace to the crowds of Kigali. Be touched by the warmth and sincerity of the local people while staying in this town of about 80,000 people.

10. Feel the beat

Soak up a bit of nightlife by getting your groove on to African and Western pop music in one of Kigali’s busy nightspots. New Cadillac and Republika Lounge are popular with both locals and expats, so why not see how the city comes to life after dark.

Rwanda’s markets are filled with bright delights, from fresh fruit and vegetables to vibrant fabrics. Souvenir-wise, the best picks are handicrafts and artwork by local artists. Woven baskets, colorful fabric bags, interesting jewelry, wood carvings and terracotta pots all make great mementos of your trip or gifts for friends back home. It's a good idea to check with your local customs officials to ensure that you are able to bring certain items back into your home country. Australia and New Zealand generally have strict quarantine laws.

Festivals and Events

With the majority of Rwandans being Christian, Christmas is an important time for most. Rwandans typically don’t celebrate Christmas in a commercial way, with most foregoing gift giving and choosing to spend time at church and with family. Church services are usually a formal affair and run for several hours, with locals getting dressed up in their finest attire to attend mass. Time is then spent eating and socializing with family and friends.

Public holidays that may impact travel include:

National Heroes' Day

Tutsi Genocide Memorial Day

Eid al-Fitr / End of Ramadan

Independence Day

Liberation Day

Umuganura / Harvest Thanksgiving

Assumption Day

Eid al-Adha / Feast of Sacrifice

 Please note Rwanda's public holidays may vary

Further reading

Rwanda travel faqs, do i need a covid-19 vaccine to join an intrepid trip.

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travelers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).

However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travelers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

Is tipping customary in Rwanda?

Tipping isn’t expected of you in Rwanda. It's up to the individual whether to tip or not. Rounding up a bill for good service at restaurants is a good idea.

What is the internet access like in Rwanda?

Internet access has recently improved in Rwanda. Travelers will be able to access the internet in large cities like Kigali but expect limited to no access in regional and rural areas.

Can I use my cell phone while in Rwanda?

Cell phone coverage is quite good in Rwanda’s larger towns, but less so in rural and mountainous areas. Ensure you have global roaming activated before leaving home if you wish to use your cell phone.

What are the toilets like in Rwanda?

Squat/pit toilets are the standard in Rwanda, except for western-style, flushable toilets that are sometimes available in large hotels and other modern buildings. Carry your own supply of soap and toilet paper as they are rarely provided.

Can I drink the water in Rwanda?

Drinking tap water isn't recommended in Rwanda. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water. Ask your leader where filtered water can be found; some hotels we stay in may have drinking water available. It's also advisable to avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit and vegetables before eating.

Are credit cards accepted widely in Rwanda?

Credit cards are usually accepted by large hotels and western-style restaurants but not by smaller vendors. Ensure you have adequate cash to cover purchases not able to be made on credit.

What is ATM access like in Rwanda?

International ATMs are not so common in Rwanda. They can be found in Kigali and other larger towns, but may not accept foreign cards. Be sure to have other modes of payment before entering Rwanda, as relying solely on ATM usage isn’t wise. American dollars or euros can be exchanged easily at the airport, local forex bureaus and at banking institutions in Rwanda’s large cities.

Do I need to purchase travel insurance before traveling?

Absolutely. All passengers traveling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance

Does my trip to Rwanda support The Intrepid Foundation?

Yes, all Intrepid trips support the Intrepid Foundation. In fact, we make a donation on behalf of every traveler. Trips to Rwanda directly support our foundation partner, Gorilla Doctors .

Gorilla Doctors help safeguard wild eastern gorilla populations with life-saving veterinary care. Donations from our trips help them provide routine health monitoring, veterinary visits and clinical interventions for injured mountain and Grauer's gorillas. Each animal they treat contributes to the gorilla populations' health, genetic diversity and long-term sustainability.

Intrepid will double the impact by dollar-matching all post-trip donations made to The Intrepid Foundation.

Do I need a visa to travel to Rwanda

Visas are required by all nationalities and need to be obtained in advance. You must apply for this visa online.  You'll need to apply for an Entry Visa on their website (Services tab, Visa) which should take approx 2-5 days to come through. You must print this Entry Facility out to present at the border. Nationals of Australia, Israel, New Zealand, USA, Germany, South Africa, Kenya, Great Britain, Sweden and Singapore are not required to pre-register, however must pay the visa fee upon arrival at the border post. The visa costs approx US$60 payable on the border, with the exception of national from Australia, Israel, New Zealand, USA, Germany, South Africa, Kenya, Great Britain, Sweden and Singapore for whom the visa fee is US$30.  If you are asked to provide an address in Rwanda on your visa form, please use the address below - 

Centre Pastoral Notre Dame De Fatima, Avenue de la Nutrition, Ruhengeri, Rwanda

Supporting Documents may also be required - the embassy will contact you if they require these

Note: Rwanda is constantly updating its visa information; therefore, we recommend that you check the website carefully for the latest up-to-date information

How do I stay safe and healthy while traveling?

From Australia?

Go to: Smart Traveller

From Canada?

Go to:  Canada Travel Information

From the UK?

Go to:  UK Foreign Travel Advice

From New Zealand?

Go to:  Safe Travel

From the US?

Go to:  US Department of State

The World Health Organisation also provides useful health information.

Bradt Guides

Uganda vs Rwanda: which is best for your next trip?

The battle of the safaris.

  • Post author By Kagera Safaris
  • Post date 17th March 2023

If you are thinking of traveling to East Africa, you may want to consider the often overlooked countries of Uganda and Rwanda . While they may not be as famous as their neighbours for travellers seeking a safari experience, you’ll be surprised at the number of outdoor activities they offer.

Owing to their smaller size, travellers are able to explore these unique countries in relatively shorter time, allowing you to really make the most of your visit. You’ll get the best wildlife experiences (including primate trekking, game drives in savannah national parks and birdwatching), mountaineering, community encounters and several other adventures. All you need to do is decide where to go.

Uganda vs Rwanda : here’s what you need to know.

travel from uganda to rwanda

Uganda and Rwanda are both similar and different at the same time. Some activities can be found in both countries, while others are more specific to the destination. On paper, it may seem like Uganda has more to offer. Home to ten national parks, twelve game reserves and several lakes and rivers developed for tourism, Uganda can make Rwanda’s four national parks seem minimal.

But there’s more to it than that.

Let’s walk you through some examples.

Mountain gorilla trekking

Uganda is home to over 50% of the world’s wild mountain gorilla population, most of which are found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Bwindi is an eight hour drive from Entebbe, or a handy one-hour-thirty-minute flight from Entebbe.

Gorilla trekking in Bwindi promises an adventure through thick forest, giving visitors the opportunity to experience the ‘African jungle feel’ firsthand. Depending on the gorilla family you visit, you may have to trek to steep areas of the the Bwindi forest, meaning some level of physical fitness is important. A gorilla permit costs around $700 in Uganda.

In Rwanda, gorilla trekking happens in Volcanoes National Park which is a two-hour-thirty-minute drive from Kigali , or thirty-five minutes by helicopter.

The trekking experience takes place in slightly less dense vegetation than Bwindi, but offers similar surroundings to Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park as both are located in the Virunga massif. A gorilla permit costs around $1500 in Rwanda.

Chimpanzee trekking

Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda happens in Budongo Forest, Kibale Forest , Toro-Semuliki Wildlife Reserve, Kalinzu Forest and Kyambura Gorge.

Most of the chimp trekking happens in Kibale, where you will find more habituated families and, as a result, chimpanzee sightings are almost guaranteed. This is less hectic than gorilla trekking, with less steep topography to tackle and shorter walking distances.

In Rwanda, chimpanzee trekking takes place in Nyungwe Forest and the small Gishwati-Mukura National Park. The chimp trek in Nyungwe is slightly more hectic, both because of the hilly terrain and the somewhat elusive nature of the chimps – they tend to congregate in the trees here, posing a challenge for photographers especially.


Uganda is home to over 1090 bird species, which accounts for around 10% of the world’s bird species. They are found in many habitats across the country, including wetlands, forests, savannah, woodland, grasslands and on the banks of lakes and rivers.

Birding in Uganda is done in both protected areas and non-protected areas, from agricultural land to small pockets of vegetation in cities. Visitors on a two-week birding safari can expect to see or hear over 400 different species.

Rwanda is home to over 700 bird species – a huge number for a country of its size. Just like in Uganda, the bird habitats found here consist mostly of forests, wetlands, savannah, woodland, grasslands, lakes and rivers. It is easy to bird in Rwanda because of the relatively short distances between the different parks. 

Game drives

Uganda offers game drives through its savannah national parks. These largely take place in Kidepo Valley National Park , Murchison Falls National Park , Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lake Mburo National Park and Pian Upe Game Reserve.

Normally, game drives take place in the morning, early evening and at night, allowing visitors the chance to spot nocturnal animals too.

Rwanda’s game drives take place in Akagera National Park , an excellent choice for travellers hoping to catch a glimpse of all of the Big Five at the same time. Akagera also offers a boat safari on Lake Ilema, a unique experience that allows visitors an insight into the full range of Rwanda’s wildlife.

Community experiences

Uganda is home to over 57 tribes, each with their own unique language, food and culture. You can choose to visit some of these when on a safari in Uganda, in addition to the usual wildlife experiences on offer. Taste their food, dance to their music and listen to the folktale – you won’t regret it.

Unlike in Uganda, Rwanda’s cultural and community experiences tend to vary less across the country – but that isn’t to say they aren’t worth having.

For international travellers seeking insight into a culture and way of life entirely different from their own, Rwanda is an excellent choice.


Uganda offers numerous activities for adventure enthusiasts, including white water rafting on River Nile, kayaking, jet boating, bungee jumping, zip lining, mountain biking, abseiling, quad biking, tubing and canoeing, to name but a few!

In Rwanda, adventure activities on offer include cycling, kayaking, canoeing and several high-altitude canopy walks. These can also be added onto most safari itineraries.

Hiking and mountaineering

Uganda is home to several mountains and volcanoes open for hiking and mountaineering. Visitors can choose from multi-day hiking on Mount Elgon, Mount Rwenzori, Mount Moroto and Mount Kadam, or single-day hiking to the Virunga volcanoes of Mount Muhabura, Mount Gahinga, Mount Sabyinyo, Mount Wati, Mount Morungole and Mount Kilak.

For outdoorsy travellers, adding a few days of mountain experience sonto your safari itinerary can be an unforgettable experience.

Rwanda offers hiking experiences in the Virunga volcanoes of Mount Bisoke, Mount Karisimbi, and for two-day hiking trips, Mount Muhabura. This can be easily tacked onto a traditional itinerary of gorillas, golden monkeys and trekking to see chimpanzees.


Cost and accommodation.

In general, Rwanda is favoured by luxury travellers, with a number of luxury lodges to choose from in the Volcanoes park area. While Uganda does have a number of pricier options, visitors here will likely enjoy a more rustic adventure experience. 

The cost of your trip will depend on both its length and the number of activities included. We offer a 10-day tour of western Uganda – including walking with chimpanzees and gorillas, and several game drives – with prices starting from $7000. An 8-day tour of Rwanda’s primates starts from $8500.

Weather and climate

With some exceptions (such as the Karamoja region in North East Uganda which has one long dry season and one wet season), Uganda and Rwanda generally share the same seasons. In general, December-February and June-September are dry months, and March-May and October-November is the rainy season. 

Most people prefer to travel in the dry months as hiking and mountaineering tends to be easier during this period. It also makes navigating the dirt roads found in the savannah parks during game drives a more pleasant experience.

That said, traveling during the rainy season should not be seen as out of reach: wet weather tends to come thick and fast, lasting only a few hours before the sun comes out in full force.

Travelling in this season has the advantage of fewer crowds and a a higher chance of spotting primates that haven’t been pushed further into the forest in search of food. Many lodges also offer discounted rates for travelling in the low season. 

Getting there and away

Both countries have direct flights from major European cities, as well as good connectivity to the Americas and the UAE.

The gateway to Uganda is Entebbe International Airport which also has connectivity to several national parks and towns across the country. Kigali International Airport is connected to the major parks with helicopter flights of about thirty-five minutes on offer for most travellers.

More information

Kagera Safaris has been in the business of organising custom safaris for travellers since 2012. They have intimate knowledge of Uganda and Rwanda, ensuring you have the best trip possible. Head to their website for details of customised itineraries and departure dates. 

For more information, you can also see our guides to Uganda and Rwanda .

travel from uganda to rwanda

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Uganda Traveler View

Travel health notices, vaccines and medicines, non-vaccine-preventable diseases, stay healthy and safe.

  • Packing List

After Your Trip

Map - Uganda

There are no notices currently in effect for Uganda.

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Check the vaccines and medicines list and visit your doctor at least a month before your trip to get vaccines or medicines you may need. If you or your doctor need help finding a location that provides certain vaccines or medicines, visit the Find a Clinic page.

Routine vaccines


Make sure you are up-to-date on all routine vaccines before every trip. Some of these vaccines include

  • Chickenpox (Varicella)
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis
  • Flu (influenza)
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)

Immunization schedules

All eligible travelers should be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines. Please see  Your COVID-19 Vaccination  for more information. 

COVID-19 vaccine

Areas of active cholera transmission are  localized  to Kayunga (last case reported 3-6 months ago), Mbale (last case reported in the past 3 months), and Namayingo (last case reported 6-9 months ago) in Uganda. Cholera is rare in travelers.  Certain factors  may increase the risk of getting cholera or having severe disease ( more information ). Avoiding unsafe food and water and washing your hands can also help prevent cholera.

Vaccination may be considered for children and adults who are traveling to areas of active cholera transmission.

Cholera - CDC Yellow Book

Hepatitis A

Recommended for unvaccinated travelers one year old or older going to Uganda.

Infants 6 to 11 months old should also be vaccinated against Hepatitis A. The dose does not count toward the routine 2-dose series.

Travelers allergic to a vaccine component or who are younger than 6 months should receive a single dose of immune globulin, which provides effective protection for up to 2 months depending on dosage given.

Unvaccinated travelers who are over 40 years old, immunocompromised, or have chronic medical conditions planning to depart to a risk area in less than 2 weeks should get the initial dose of vaccine and at the same appointment receive immune globulin.

Hepatitis A - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Hep A

Hepatitis B

Recommended for unvaccinated travelers younger than 60 years old traveling to Uganda. Unvaccinated travelers 60 years and older may get vaccinated before traveling to Uganda.

Hepatitis B - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Hep B

CDC recommends that travelers going to Uganda take prescription medicine to prevent malaria. Depending on the medicine you take, you will need to start taking this medicine multiple days before your trip, as well as during and after your trip. Talk to your doctor about which malaria medication you should take.

Find  country-specific information  about malaria.

Malaria - CDC Yellow Book

Considerations when choosing a drug for malaria prophylaxis (CDC Yellow Book)

Malaria information for Uganda.

Cases of measles are on the rise worldwide. Travelers are at risk of measles if they have not been fully vaccinated at least two weeks prior to departure, or have not had measles in the past, and travel internationally to areas where measles is spreading.

All international travelers should be fully vaccinated against measles with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, including an early dose for infants 6–11 months, according to  CDC’s measles vaccination recommendations for international travel .

Measles (Rubeola) - CDC Yellow Book

Meningitis (Meningococcal disease)

Recommended for travelers 2 months old or older traveling to  areas of Uganda  that are part of the meningitis belt during the dry season.

Meningococcal disease - CDC Yellow Book

Meningitis Belt Map

Rabid dogs are commonly found in Uganda. If you are bitten or scratched by a dog or other mammal while in Uganda, there may be limited or no rabies treatment available. 

Consider rabies vaccination before your trip if your activities mean you will be around dogs or wildlife.

Travelers more likely to encounter rabid animals include

  • Campers, adventure travelers, or cave explorers (spelunkers)
  • Veterinarians, animal handlers, field biologists, or laboratory workers handling animal specimens
  • Visitors to rural areas

Since children are more likely to be bitten or scratched by a dog or other animals, consider rabies vaccination for children traveling to Uganda. 

Rabies - CDC Yellow Book

Recommended for most travelers, especially those staying with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities or rural areas.

Typhoid - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Typhoid

Yellow Fever

Required for all arriving travelers ≥1 year old.

Recommended for all travelers ≥9 months old.

Yellow Fever - CDC Yellow Book

  • Avoid contaminated water


How most people get sick (most common modes of transmission)

  • Touching urine or other body fluids from an animal infected with leptospirosis
  • Swimming or wading in urine-contaminated fresh water, or contact with urine-contaminated mud
  • Drinking water or eating food contaminated with animal urine
  • Avoid contaminated water and soil

Clinical Guidance


  • Wading, swimming, bathing, or washing in contaminated freshwater streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, or untreated pools.

Avoid bug bites

African sleeping sickness (african trypanosomiasis).

  • Tsetse fly bite 
  • Avoid Bug Bites

African Trypanosomiasis

African Tick-Bite Fever

African Tick-bite fever


  • Mosquito bite

Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic fever

  • Tick bite 
  • Touching the body fluids of a person or animal infected with CCHF
  • Mosquito bite
  • An infected pregnant woman can spread it to her unborn baby
  • Avoid animals
  • Touching infected animals (including bats and primates) or their body fluids
  • Touching body fluids (blood or sweat) from an infected person
  • Touching objects contaminated with the body fluids of a person infected with Ebola or Marburg virus
  • Avoid sick people
  • Avoid animals and areas where they live

Ebola virus

Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever

Marburg virus

Rift Valley Fever

  • Touching blood, body fluids, or tissue of infected livestock

Rift Valley fever

Airborne & droplet

  • Breathing in air or accidentally eating food contaminated with the urine, droppings, or saliva of infected rodents
  • Bite from an infected rodent
  • Less commonly, being around someone sick with hantavirus (only occurs with Andes virus)
  • Avoid rodents and areas where they live

Tuberculosis (TB)

  • Breathe in TB bacteria that is in the air from an infected and contagious person coughing, speaking, or singing.

Learn actions you can take to stay healthy and safe on your trip. Vaccines cannot protect you from many diseases in Uganda, so your behaviors are important.

Eat and drink safely

Food and water standards around the world vary based on the destination. Standards may also differ within a country and risk may change depending on activity type (e.g., hiking versus business trip). You can learn more about safe food and drink choices when traveling by accessing the resources below.

  • Choose Safe Food and Drinks When Traveling
  • Water Treatment Options When Hiking, Camping or Traveling
  • Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene | Healthy Water
  • Avoid Contaminated Water During Travel

You can also visit the Department of State Country Information Pages for additional information about food and water safety.

Prevent bug bites

Bugs (like mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas) can spread a number of diseases in Uganda. Many of these diseases cannot be prevented with a vaccine or medicine. You can reduce your risk by taking steps to prevent bug bites.

What can I do to prevent bug bites?

  • Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
  • Use an appropriate insect repellent (see below).
  • Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents). Do not use permethrin directly on skin.
  • Stay and sleep in air-conditioned or screened rooms.
  • Use a bed net if the area where you are sleeping is exposed to the outdoors.

What type of insect repellent should I use?

  • FOR PROTECTION AGAINST TICKS AND MOSQUITOES: Use a repellent that contains 20% or more DEET for protection that lasts up to several hours.
  • Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin)
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD)
  • 2-undecanone
  • Always use insect repellent as directed.

What should I do if I am bitten by bugs?

  • Avoid scratching bug bites, and apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to reduce the itching.
  • Check your entire body for ticks after outdoor activity. Be sure to remove ticks properly.

What can I do to avoid bed bugs?

Although bed bugs do not carry disease, they are an annoyance. See our information page about avoiding bug bites for some easy tips to avoid them. For more information on bed bugs, see Bed Bugs .

For more detailed information on avoiding bug bites, see Avoid Bug Bites .

Stay safe outdoors

If your travel plans in Uganda include outdoor activities, take these steps to stay safe and healthy during your trip.

  • Stay alert to changing weather conditions and adjust your plans if conditions become unsafe.
  • Prepare for activities by wearing the right clothes and packing protective items, such as bug spray, sunscreen, and a basic first aid kit.
  • Consider learning basic first aid and CPR before travel. Bring a travel health kit with items appropriate for your activities.
  • If you are outside for many hours in heat, eat salty snacks and drink water to stay hydrated and replace salt lost through sweating.
  • Protect yourself from UV radiation : use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, wear protective clothing, and seek shade during the hottest time of day (10 a.m.–4 p.m.).
  • Be especially careful during summer months and at high elevation. Because sunlight reflects off snow, sand, and water, sun exposure may be increased during activities like skiing, swimming, and sailing.
  • Very cold temperatures can be dangerous. Dress in layers and cover heads, hands, and feet properly if you are visiting a cold location.

Stay safe around water

  • Swim only in designated swimming areas. Obey lifeguards and warning flags on beaches.
  • Practice safe boating—follow all boating safety laws, do not drink alcohol if driving a boat, and always wear a life jacket.
  • Do not dive into shallow water.
  • Do not swim in freshwater in developing areas or where sanitation is poor.
  • Avoid swallowing water when swimming. Untreated water can carry germs that make you sick.
  • To prevent infections, wear shoes on beaches where there may be animal waste.

Schistosomiasis, a parasitic infection that can be spread in fresh water, is found in Uganda. Avoid swimming in fresh, unchlorinated water, such as lakes, ponds, or rivers.

Keep away from animals

Most animals avoid people, but they may attack if they feel threatened, are protecting their young or territory, or if they are injured or ill. Animal bites and scratches can lead to serious diseases such as rabies.

Follow these tips to protect yourself:

  • Do not touch or feed any animals you do not know.
  • Do not allow animals to lick open wounds, and do not get animal saliva in your eyes or mouth.
  • Avoid rodents and their urine and feces.
  • Traveling pets should be supervised closely and not allowed to come in contact with local animals.
  • If you wake in a room with a bat, seek medical care immediately. Bat bites may be hard to see.

All animals can pose a threat, but be extra careful around dogs, bats, monkeys, sea animals such as jellyfish, and snakes. If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, immediately:

  • Wash the wound with soap and clean water.
  • Go to a doctor right away.
  • Tell your doctor about your injury when you get back to the United States.

Consider buying medical evacuation insurance. Rabies is a deadly disease that must be treated quickly, and treatment may not be available in some countries.

Reduce your exposure to germs

Follow these tips to avoid getting sick or spreading illness to others while traveling:

  • Wash your hands often, especially before eating.
  • If soap and water aren’t available, clean hands with hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol).
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you need to touch your face, make sure your hands are clean.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Try to avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home or in your hotel room, unless you need medical care.

Avoid sharing body fluids

Diseases can be spread through body fluids, such as saliva, blood, vomit, and semen.

Protect yourself:

  • Use latex condoms correctly.
  • Do not inject drugs.
  • Limit alcohol consumption. People take more risks when intoxicated.
  • Do not share needles or any devices that can break the skin. That includes needles for tattoos, piercings, and acupuncture.
  • If you receive medical or dental care, make sure the equipment is disinfected or sanitized.

Know how to get medical care while traveling

Plan for how you will get health care during your trip, should the need arise:

  • Carry a list of local doctors and hospitals at your destination.
  • Review your health insurance plan to determine what medical services it would cover during your trip. Consider purchasing travel health and medical evacuation insurance.
  • Carry a card that identifies, in the local language, your blood type, chronic conditions or serious allergies, and the generic names of any medications you take.
  • Some prescription drugs may be illegal in other countries. Call Uganda’s embassy to verify that all of your prescription(s) are legal to bring with you.
  • Bring all the medicines (including over-the-counter medicines) you think you might need during your trip, including extra in case of travel delays. Ask your doctor to help you get prescriptions filled early if you need to.

Many foreign hospitals and clinics are accredited by the Joint Commission International. A list of accredited facilities is available at their website ( ).

In some countries, medicine (prescription and over-the-counter) may be substandard or counterfeit. Bring the medicines you will need from the United States to avoid having to buy them at your destination.

Malaria is a risk in Uganda. Fill your malaria prescription before you leave and take enough with you for the entire length of your trip. Follow your doctor’s instructions for taking the pills; some need to be started before you leave.

Select safe transportation

Motor vehicle crashes are the #1 killer of healthy US citizens in foreign countries.

In many places cars, buses, large trucks, rickshaws, bikes, people on foot, and even animals share the same lanes of traffic, increasing the risk for crashes.

Be smart when you are traveling on foot.

  • Use sidewalks and marked crosswalks.
  • Pay attention to the traffic around you, especially in crowded areas.
  • Remember, people on foot do not always have the right of way in other countries.


Choose a safe vehicle.

  • Choose official taxis or public transportation, such as trains and buses.
  • Ride only in cars that have seatbelts.
  • Avoid overcrowded, overloaded, top-heavy buses and minivans.
  • Avoid riding on motorcycles or motorbikes, especially motorbike taxis. (Many crashes are caused by inexperienced motorbike drivers.)
  • Choose newer vehicles—they may have more safety features, such as airbags, and be more reliable.
  • Choose larger vehicles, which may provide more protection in crashes.

Think about the driver.

  • Do not drive after drinking alcohol or ride with someone who has been drinking.
  • Consider hiring a licensed, trained driver familiar with the area.
  • Arrange payment before departing.

Follow basic safety tips.

  • Wear a seatbelt at all times.
  • Sit in the back seat of cars and taxis.
  • When on motorbikes or bicycles, always wear a helmet. (Bring a helmet from home, if needed.)
  • Avoid driving at night; street lighting in certain parts of Uganda may be poor.
  • Do not use a cell phone or text while driving (illegal in many countries).
  • Travel during daylight hours only, especially in rural areas.
  • If you choose to drive a vehicle in Uganda, learn the local traffic laws and have the proper paperwork.
  • Get any driving permits and insurance you may need. Get an International Driving Permit (IDP). Carry the IDP and a US-issued driver's license at all times.
  • Check with your auto insurance policy's international coverage, and get more coverage if needed. Make sure you have liability insurance.
  • Avoid using local, unscheduled aircraft.
  • If possible, fly on larger planes (more than 30 seats); larger airplanes are more likely to have regular safety inspections.
  • Try to schedule flights during daylight hours and in good weather.

Medical Evacuation Insurance

If you are seriously injured, emergency care may not be available or may not meet US standards. Trauma care centers are uncommon outside urban areas. Having medical evacuation insurance can be helpful for these reasons.

Helpful Resources

Road Safety Overseas (Information from the US Department of State): Includes tips on driving in other countries, International Driving Permits, auto insurance, and other resources.

The Association for International Road Travel has country-specific Road Travel Reports available for most countries for a minimal fee.

Traffic flows on the left side of the road in Uganda.

  • Always pay close attention to the flow of traffic, especially when crossing the street.
  • LOOK RIGHT for approaching traffic.

Maintain personal security

Use the same common sense traveling overseas that you would at home, and always stay alert and aware of your surroundings.

Before you leave

  • Research your destination(s), including local laws, customs, and culture.
  • Monitor travel advisories and alerts and read travel tips from the US Department of State.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) .
  • Leave a copy of your itinerary, contact information, credit cards, and passport with someone at home.
  • Pack as light as possible, and leave at home any item you could not replace.

While at your destination(s)

  • Carry contact information for the nearest US embassy or consulate .
  • Carry a photocopy of your passport and entry stamp; leave the actual passport securely in your hotel.
  • Follow all local laws and social customs.
  • Do not wear expensive clothing or jewelry.
  • Always keep hotel doors locked, and store valuables in secure areas.
  • If possible, choose hotel rooms between the 2nd and 6th floors.

Healthy Travel Packing List

Use the Healthy Travel Packing List for Uganda for a list of health-related items to consider packing for your trip. Talk to your doctor about which items are most important for you.

Why does CDC recommend packing these health-related items?

It’s best to be prepared to prevent and treat common illnesses and injuries. Some supplies and medicines may be difficult to find at your destination, may have different names, or may have different ingredients than what you normally use.

If you are not feeling well after your trip, you may need to see a doctor. If you need help finding a travel medicine specialist, see Find a Clinic . Be sure to tell your doctor about your travel, including where you went and what you did on your trip. Also tell your doctor if you were bitten or scratched by an animal while traveling.

If your doctor prescribed antimalarial medicine for your trip, keep taking the rest of your pills after you return home. If you stop taking your medicine too soon, you could still get sick.

Malaria is always a serious disease and may be a deadly illness. If you become ill with a fever either while traveling in a malaria-risk area or after you return home (for up to 1 year), you should seek immediate medical attention and should tell the doctor about your travel history.

For more information on what to do if you are sick after your trip, see Getting Sick after Travel .

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COVID-19: travel health notice for all travellers

Uganda travel advice

Latest updates: Natural disasters and climate – removed information on floods

Last updated: May 17, 2024 16:03 ET

On this page

Safety and security, entry and exit requirements, laws and culture, natural disasters and climate, uganda - exercise a high degree of caution.

Exercise a high degree of caution in Uganda due to the threat of terrorism and a high crime rate.

Border with South Sudan - Avoid all travel

Avoid all travel to areas within 50 km of the border with South Sudan due to banditry and cross-border attacks by rebel groups. This advisory excludes visits to national parks when accompanied by a reputable guide and using well-travelled roads.

Border with the Democratic Republic of Congo - Avoid non-essential travel

Avoid non-essential travel to areas within 50 km of the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo due to joint military operations. This advisory excludes visits to national parks when accompanied by a reputable guide and using well-travelled roads.

Karamoja Province - Avoid non-essential travel

Avoid non-essential travel to Karamoja Province due to inter-communal violence and banditry. This advisory excludes visits to national parks when accompanied by a reputable guide and using well-travelled roads.

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Border with the Democratic Republic of Congo

The volatile security situation in the eastern part of neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) could lead to possible incursions into western Uganda by armed rebel groups from the DRC.

At the end of November 2021, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo started a joint military operation against the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in North Kivu and Ituri provinces of the DRC, near Virunga National Park.

Ugandan military troops are present on both sides of the border. There is also a risk of banditry in this area.

Border with South Sudan

The border with South Sudan is porous and banditry and criminality are a concern. Inter-communal tensions and clashes are common in this area. Given the security situation in South Sudan, we recommend that you avoid travelling to areas within 50 km from the border.

Karamoja Province

Clashes between tribal groups occur, especially in districts north of Kate Kyoga. There is also a risk of banditry.

Western Uganda

Western Uganda has a history of inter-ethnic violence.

Due to political tensions between Uganda and Rwanda, the land border may be closed without notice. Be sure to check that it’s open before trying to cross.

There is a threat of terrorism in Uganda. On October 17, 2023, an attack occurred near the Queen Elizabeth National Park in south-west Uganda and resulted in three casualties. On October 15, 2023, the Ugandan police foiled a bomb attack on churches in the central Butambala district, west of Kampala. The Ugandan police also located and disabled improvised explosive devices (IED) in three locations in Kampala and on its outskirts in September 2023.

Terrorists have previously carried out attacks, including in June 2023 on a school in Mpondwe, near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, resulting in several casualties.

Further attacks cannot be ruled out. While the attacks do not appear to have targeted foreigners, exercise increased caution in and around Kampala.

Targets could include:

  • public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
  • government buildings, including schools
  • places of worship
  • airports and other transportation hubs and networks

Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places. Expect a heightened presence of security forces in Kampala. They may conduct increased security checks in public areas.

National Parks

There are several national parks in Uganda, including near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Local authorities have enhanced security measures in these areas; however, tourists have been involved in security incidents in the past.

If you are visiting a national park:

  • only use reputable and professional guides or tour operators
  • don’t take any tours that will bring you into the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • closely follow park regulations and rangers’ advice
  • stay informed of recent developments in the security situation in the area before travelling as it can change quickly

Uganda’s National Parks and Reserves - Ugandan Wildlife Authority

Armed banditry, car thefts, muggings and kidnappings occur throughout Uganda and foreigners have been targeted.

Petty crime, including pickpocketing, purse and jewellery snatching and theft from hotel rooms and vehicles, occurs regularly.

If attacked, don’t resist, as offering resistance may result in violence.

  • Maintain a high level of personal security awareness at all times and in all places
  • Take appropriate security measures, particularly on roads linking a city centre to residential areas
  • Refrain from travelling at night
  • Never leave your bags unsupervised at a ticket office or a registration desk
  • Ensure that your personal belongings, including passports and other travel documents, are secure at all times, and that your credit and debit cards, cash and any other financial resources are not all kept in the same place
  • Don’t show signs of affluence
  • Don’t carry large sums of money
  • Travel in groups if possible

Armed robberies

Armed robberies are perpetrated against pedestrians, even during day time.

Armed robberies also occur along roadways, particularly at night.

Keep your vehicle doors locked at all times, windows closed and personal belongings, including handbags, safely stored.

  • Don’t leave items such as laptops and briefcases in unattended vehicles
  • Don’t display jewellery or electronics when walking
  • Remain vigilant when using public transportation or walking along deserted streets
  • Avoid walking and driving at night

Taxi and matatu (minibus) operators have robbed their passengers and stranded them far from their destination. Avoid taking taxis or matatus that have only one or two passengers, and ensure that your personal belongings are secure at all times when using public transportation.


Demonstrations may occur. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

2SLGBTQI+ travellers

2SLGBTQI+ persons have been attacked and harassed based on their identity and sexual orientation. Violent incidents have increased since the Parliament passed an “anti-homosexuality” bill in March 2023.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Uganda.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

Women’s safety

Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse.

Advice for women travellers

Spiked food and drinks

Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances. These items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.


Carry a photocopy of your passport’s identification page and the page containing your visa, and keep the original in a secure place.

Tourist facilities and infrastructure are adequate in Kampala, Jinja and larger national parks, but limited elsewhere in the country.

Wildlife viewing

Wildlife viewing poses risks, particularly on foot or at close range.

  • Only visit game parks and reserves with a reputable tour company
  • Always maintain a safe distance when observing wildlife
  • Only exit a vehicle when a professional guide or warden says it’s safe to do so
  • Only use reputable and professional guides or tour operators
  • Closely follow park regulations and wardens’ advice

Park information  - Uganda Wildlife Authority

Road safety

A lack of traffic signs, reckless driving habits, wandering animals, pedestrians and poor road conditions pose risks. Pedestrians should exercise caution when crossing roads. There are many fatal road accidents in Uganda. The Jinja–Kampala and Maska–Kampala roads are of particular concern. Alcohol is often a contributing factor to accidents, particularly at night. Highway travel is dangerous, especially after dark, because of banditry and poor visibility. Avoid driving outside major cities after dark.

If travelling to Uganda by road, you should get information from the appropriate border police station regarding the security situation at your next destination.

Public transportation

Avoid intercity buses (especially overnight long-distance buses) and vans. Fatal accidents caused by reckless driving, excessive speed and poor vehicle maintenance have occurred in the past.

Exercise caution when using other forms of public transportation, such as matatus and boda-bodas (moped taxis), and ensure that the vehicle is in good condition before departure. If you opt to travel by boda-boda, wear a helmet at all times.

Ferry accidents are not uncommon, due to overloading and poor maintenance of some vessels. Do not board vessels that appear overloaded or unseaworthy.

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the Ugandan authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the  Foreign Representatives in Canada .

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Uganda.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Useful links

  • Foreign Representatives in Canada
  • Canadian passports

Tourist visa: required Business visa: required Work permit: required Transit visa: required

While you can obtain a visa on arrival, you should first attempt to get a visa online. Apply as far in advance of your trip as possible, as delays could occur. You may need proof that you first attempted to apply online, before being granted a visa on arrival.

Some travellers without an e-visa have been refused entry, even though they technically qualified for visa on arrival.

Canadians intending to work in Uganda should insist that the employer ascertain what type of permit will be required from Uganda’s Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control.

Apply for an electronic visa - Uganda’s e-immigration system

Children and travel

Learn more about travelling with children .

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

Relevant Travel Health Notices

  • Global Measles Notice - 13 March, 2024
  • Zika virus: Advice for travellers - 31 August, 2023
  • COVID-19 and International Travel - 13 March, 2024

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your  routine vaccinations , as per your province or territory , are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.

Practise  safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.

Yellow fever   is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

  • There is a risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of yellow fever vaccination for travellers from all countries.


  • Vaccination is recommended.
  • Contact a designated  Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre  well in advance of their trip to arrange for vaccination.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites .

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada * It is important to note that  country entry requirements  may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest  diplomatic or consular office  of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

This destination is in the African Meningitis Belt, an area which has the highest rates of meningococcal disease in the world. Meningococcal disease is a serious and sometimes fatal infection. 

Travellers who are at higher risk should discuss vaccination with a health care provider. High-risk travellers include those living or working with the local population (e.g., health care workers) or those travelling to crowded areas or taking part in large gatherings.

  Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

 The best way to protect yourself from seasonal influenza (flu) is to get vaccinated every year. Get the flu shot at least 2 weeks before travelling.  

 The flu occurs worldwide. 

  •  In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to   April.
  •  In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and   October.
  •  In the tropics, there is flu activity year round. 

The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.

The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.

Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease that is caused by parasites spread through the bites of mosquitoes.

Malaria is a risk to travellers to this destination.   Antimalarial medication is recommended for most travellers to this destination and should be taken as recommended. Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic before travelling to discuss your options. It is recommended to do this 6 weeks before travel, however, it is still a good idea any time before leaving.    Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times: 

  • Cover your skin and use an approved insect repellent on uncovered skin.
  • Exclude mosquitoes from your living area with screening and/or closed, well-sealed doors and windows.
  • Use insecticide-treated bed nets if mosquitoes cannot be excluded from your living area.
  • Wear permethrin-treated clothing. 

 If you develop symptoms similar to malaria when you are travelling or up to a year after you return home, see a health care professional immediately. Tell them where you have been travelling or living. 

In this destination, rabies is commonly carried by dogs and some wildlife, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. While travelling, take precautions , including keeping your distance from animals (including free-roaming dogs), and closely supervising children.

If you are bitten or scratched by a dog or other animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. In this destination, rabies treatment may be limited or may not be available, therefore you may need to return to Canada for treatment.  

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who are at high risk of exposure (e.g., occupational risk such as veterinarians and wildlife workers, children, adventure travellers and spelunkers, and others in close contact with animals). 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified this country as no longer poliovirus-infected but at high risk of an outbreak . Polio can be prevented by vaccination.


  • Be sure that your polio vaccinations are up to date before travelling. Polio is part of the routine vaccine schedule for children in Canada.
  • One booster dose of the polio vaccine is recommended as an adult .

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Cholera is a risk in parts of this country. Most travellers are at very low risk.

To protect against cholera, all travellers should practise safe food and water precautions .

Travellers at higher risk of getting cholera include those:

  • visiting, working or living in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation
  • visiting areas where outbreaks are occurring

Vaccination may be recommended for high-risk travellers, and should be discussed with a health care professional.

Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.

The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Typhoid   is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.  

There is a risk of schistosomiasis in this destination. Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease caused by tiny worms (blood flukes) which can be found in freshwater (lakes, rivers, ponds, and wetlands). The worms can break the skin, and their eggs can cause stomach pain, diarrhea, flu-like symptoms, or urinary problems. Schistosomiasis mostly affects underdeveloped and r ural communities, particularly agricultural and fishing communities.

Most travellers are at low risk. Travellers should avoid contact with untreated freshwater such as lakes, rivers, and ponds (e.g., swimming, bathing, wading, ingesting). There is no vaccine or medication available to prevent infection.

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

There is a risk of chikungunya in this country.  The risk may vary between regions of a country.  Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever is a viral disease that can cause fever, pain and bleeding under the skin.  In some cases, it can be fatal.  It spreads to humans through contact with infected animal blood or tissues, or from the bite of an infected tick.  Risk is generally low for most travellers.  Protect yourself from tick bites and avoid animals, particularly livestock.  There is no vaccine available for Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever.

  • In this country, risk of  dengue  is sporadic. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites . There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.

Rift Valley fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can be fatal. It is spread to humans through contact with infected animal blood or tissues, from the bite of an infected mosquito, or eating or drinking unpasteurized dairy. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from insect bites and avoid animals, particularly livestock, and unpasteurized dairy. There is no vaccine available for Rift Valley fever.

Onchocerciasis (river blindness)   is an eye and skin disease caused by a parasite spread through the bite of an infected female blackfly.  Onchocerciasis often leads to blindness if left untreated. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from blackfly bites, which are most common close to fast-flowing rivers and streams. There is no vaccine available for onchocerciasis although drug treatments exist.

Zika virus is a risk in this country. 

Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects.

During your trip:

  • Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
  • Use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact, particularly if you are pregnant.

If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, you should discuss the potential risks of travelling to this destination with your health care provider. You may choose to avoid or postpone travel. 

For more information, see Zika virus: Pregnant or planning a pregnancy.

African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness)  is caused by a parasite spread through the bite of a tsetse fly. Tsetse flies usually bite during the day and the bites are usually painful. If untreated, the disease is eventually fatal. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from bites especially in game parks and rural areas. Avoid wearing bright or dark-coloured clothing as these colours attract tsetse flies. There is no vaccine available for this disease.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

There is a risk of   plague   in this country. Plague is a bacterial disease that can cause serious illness, and if left untreated, death.

The occurrence of cases in areas where the plague bacteria are known to circulate can be influenced by weather and environmental conditions. In some countries, this results in seasonal outbreaks. Travellers to areas where plague routinely occurs may be at risk if they are camping, hunting, or in contact with rodents.

Plague is spread by:

  • bites from fleas infected with the plague
  • direct contact with body fluids or tissues from an animal or person who is sick with or has died from plague

Overall risk to travellers is low.   Protect yourself   by   reducing contact with fleas  and potentially infected rodents and other wildlife.

Anthrax is a serious infectious disease caused by bacteria. People can get sick with anthrax if they come into contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products. Anthrax can cause severe illness in both humans and animals. Travellers to areas where anthrax is common or where an outbreak is occurring in animals can get sick with anthrax if:

  • they have contact with infected animal carcasses or eat meat from animals that were sick when slaughtered
  • they handle animal parts, such as hides, wool or hair, or products made from those animal parts, such as animal hide drums.

If you are visiting these areas, do not eat raw or undercooked meat and avoid contact with livestock, wildlife, animal products, and animal carcasses.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette , which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •   washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) , HIV , and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.

For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.

Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.

High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)   is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). 

High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.

Sporadic outbreaks of Ebola disease occur in this country.

Ebola disease can be caused by 6 different viruses, including Sudan virus and Ebola virus, which spread through contact with infected bodily fluids (from people or animals). It is very serious and often fatal.

Practise good hygiene (frequent and proper hand washing) and avoid contact with the body fluids of people with Ebola disease or unknown illnesses. Avoid contact with wild animals.

Of the different viruses that cause Ebola disease, there is only a vaccine to prevent disease caused by Ebola virus. It is available under certain circumstances; however, it is not authorized for sale in Canada. There are currently no approved vaccines or effective treatments for Ebola disease caused by the other viruses, including Sudan virus.

Medical services and facilities

Medical facilities are extremely limited outside Kampala. Serious illness or emergencies may require evacuation by air ambulance at the patient’s expense. 

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety


Ensure you have sufficient prescription medicine and medical supplies for the duration of your trip.

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a   travel health kit , especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad .

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.

Drugs, alcohol and travel


Photography of security forces, diplomatic sites, government installations, airports and the Owen Falls Dam (at the source of the Nile River, near Jinja) is prohibited. Always ask for permission before photographing individuals.

Camouflage clothing

Wearing military-style or camouflage clothing is prohibited and may result in a jail sentence.

The laws of Uganda prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. In May 2023, the President of Uganda approved the 2023 Anti-Homosexuality Bill. If enforced, it would increase penalties for convicted offenders up to the death penalty for certain cases. It would also impose:

  • up to 20 years’ imprisonment for recruitment, promotion and funding of same-sex activities
  • 14 years’ imprisonment for those convicted of “attempted aggravated homosexuality”

Societal discrimination based on identity and sexual orientation is widespread. 2SLGBTQI+ persons are routinely harassed by the police. Incidences of blackmail and extortion directed against 2SLGBTQI+ persons and their families are common.

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Uganda.

If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Uganda, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements .

Travellers with dual citizenship

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Uganda.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Uganda by an abducting parent:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Uganda to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.

  • International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
  • Travelling with children
  • Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
  • Emergency Watch and Response Centre

Traffic drives on the left.

An International Driving Permit is recommended.

Drivers must always carry:

  • a valid driver’s license in English or with a certified translation
  • vehicle registration documents
  • proof of valid insurance
  • a valid vehicle inspection certificate

These documents must be produced on demand by a police officer.

You must be at least 18 years old to drive a private motor vehicle in Uganda.

If you are over 18, you may drive using a Canadian driver’s licence for up to 90 days from the date of entry into Uganda.

In the event of an accident, Ugandan law requires drivers to stop and exchange information and assistance. There is a possibility of mob anger if the accident has caused serious injury. In such cases, remain in your vehicle and drive to the nearest police station to report the accident.

Penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol include immediate imprisonment.

International Driving Permit

Traffic violations

If you are stopped for a traffic violation, the police officer may ask you to pay an on-the spot fine. Police, however, are not permitted to accept cash on the spot without issuing an official receipt. If you disagree with the traffic ticket, you have the right to ask for due process. The officer should provide you with information on when and where you can go to be properly charged, and then you may pursue that process.

The currency is the Uganda shilling (UGX).

Credit cards are accepted only by major hotels, airlines and some car rental agencies. You will find a foreign exchange (forex) bureau at most border posts and in all major cities. Most shops, banks and forex bureaus do not accept or exchange U.S. dollars printed before 2007.

Seismic activity

Uganda is located in a seismic zone.

Monsoon seasons

The rainy (or monsoon) seasons extend from March to May and from October to November. Weather-related events such as floods and landslides occur throughout the country during these months. Stay informed of regional weather forecasts and pay careful attention to all warnings issued.

Local services

Dial 999 for emergency assistance.

Consular assistance

Burundi, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda

For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada in Kenya, in Nairobi, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services .

Risk Levels

  take normal security precautions.

Take similar precautions to those you would take in Canada.

  Exercise a high degree of caution

There are certain safety and security concerns or the situation could change quickly. Be very cautious at all times, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.

IMPORTANT: The two levels below are official Government of Canada Travel Advisories and are issued when the safety and security of Canadians travelling or living in the country or region may be at risk.

  Avoid non-essential travel

Your safety and security could be at risk. You should think about your need to travel to this country, territory or region based on family or business requirements, knowledge of or familiarity with the region, and other factors. If you are already there, think about whether you really need to be there. If you do not need to be there, you should think about leaving.

  Avoid all travel

You should not travel to this country, territory or region. Your personal safety and security are at great risk. If you are already there, you should think about leaving if it is safe to do so.

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travel from uganda to rwanda

  • Passports, travel and living abroad
  • Travel abroad
  • Foreign travel advice

Warnings and insurance

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office ( FCDO ) provides advice about risks of travel to help British nationals make informed decisions. Find out more about FCDO travel advice .

Before you travel

No travel can be guaranteed safe. Read all the advice in this guide and any specific travel advice that applies to you:

  • women travellers
  • disabled travellers
  • LGBT+ travellers

Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter , Facebook and Instagram . You can also sign up to get email notifications when this advice is updated.

Travel insurance

If you choose to travel, research your destinations and get appropriate travel insurance . Insurance should cover your itinerary, planned activities and expenses in an emergency.

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Jewel Safaris Limited

Social media channels

Primary organisation type

Activity Provider

Jewel safaris is a Ugandan locally and Women owned safari company offering tailor-made safaris to the different East African countries including Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania. The company was established in 2007 and has over the years been offering safaris and delivering quality satisfaction with reliable skillful experienced tour guides, the best safari vehicles and authentic cultural experiences at each destination. We create the perfect balance of sightseeing, free time and optional excursions to further enhance our commitment to offering a first-class guided travel experience at a great value. At Jewel Safaris, we are committed to offering sustainable forms of travel that not only provide unforgettable experiences for our clients but also prioritize the preservation of our planet’s precious ecosystems. Our eco-conscious approach to travel includes carefully planned itineraries that minimize environmental impact, such as supporting responsible wildlife viewing and promoting eco-friendly accommodations. We believe in the power of sustainable tourism to protect and conserve the natural wonders we showcase, ensuring that future generations can also enjoy the beauty of the world’s most breathtaking destinations. When you choose Jewel Safaris, you’re not just embarking on a journey; you’re participating in a responsible and ethical adventure that contributes to the conservation of our planet’s biodiversity.

Activities offered

  • Photographic Safaris
  • Mountain Climbing
  • Accommodation
  • Mobile Safaris
  • Self-Drive Holidays
  • Honeymoon safaris
  • Family Safaris
  • Riding Safaris
  • Guided flying safaris
  • Walking Safaris
  • In Person Events
  • Eco tourism
  • Big 5 Safaris
  • Adventure tourism
  • Consultation
  • Flying Safaris
  • Camel Safaris
  • Safaris - Fixed Camp
  • Music tours
  • Cultural activities
  • Gorilla Safaris
  • Bird Watching
  • Beach Holidays

Where we operate

  • South Africa

Where we’re based

News see all news.

Jewel Safaris Limited logo.jpeg

New Member - Jewel Safaris Limited

Welcome to Jewel Safaris Limited, to find out more click on the logo

Mr Dona Tindyebwa

  • [email protected]


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    Bus Times. Trinity and Jaguar have buses leaving at 7 am and 9 am. Night buses are also available leaving in the evening and arriving in Kigali early in the morning. Between all of the bus companies operating this route, there is a bus leaving from Kampala to Kigali every hour or two. The journey takes about 9 hours.

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  10. Rwanda

    If your travel plans in Rwanda include outdoor activities, take these steps to stay safe and healthy during your trip. Stay alert to changing weather conditions and adjust your plans if conditions become unsafe. Prepare for activities by wearing the right clothes and packing protective items, such as bug spray, sunscreen, and a basic first aid ...

  11. Rwanda to Uganda

    Rome2Rio makes travelling from Rwanda to Uganda easy. Rome2Rio is a door-to-door travel information and booking engine, helping you get to and from any location in the world. Find all the transport options for your trip from Rwanda to Uganda right here. Rome2Rio displays up to date schedules, route maps, journey times and estimated fares from relevant transport operators, ensuring you can make ...

  12. Rwanda travel

    Africa. Rwanda is known as Le Pays des Mille Collines (Land of a Thousand Hills) thanks to the endless mountains in this scenically stunning little country. Nowhere are the mountains more majestic than the Virunga volcanoes in the northwest, and hidden among the bamboo forests are some of the world's last remaining mountain gorillas.

  13. Cheap flights from Uganda to Rwanda from $362

    The cheapest flight deals from Uganda to Rwanda. Kigali.$362 per passenger.Departing Thu, Aug 1, returning Tue, Aug 6.Round-trip flight with RwandAir.Outbound direct flight with RwandAir departing from Entebbe on Thu, Aug 1, arriving in Kigali.Inbound direct flight with RwandAir departing from Kigali on Tue, Aug 6, arriving in Entebbe.Price ...

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  22. ATTA :: Jewel Safaris Limited

    Jewel safaris is a Ugandan locally and Women owned safari company offering tailor-made safaris to the different East African countries including Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania. The company was established in 2007 and has over the years been offering safaris and delivering quality satisfaction with reliable skillful experienced tour guides ...