General Tips

Common Kinyarwanda Words

Mwaramutse – Good morning

Mwirirwe – Good afternoon/evening

Muramuke – Good night

Amakuru yawe – How are you?

Ni Meza – Fine

Murakoze – Thank you

Cyane – Very much

Yego – Yes

Oya – No

Amafaranga – Money

Official Holidays

Official holidays in public and private sector shall be determined as follows:

1st January: New Year’s Day

2nd January: Day after New Year’s Day

1st February: National Heroes Day

Good Friday

Easter Monday

7th April: Genocide against the Tutsi Memorial Day

1st May: Labor Day

1st July: Independence Day

4th July: Liberation Day

Friday of first week of August: Umuganura Day

15th August: Assumption Day

25th December: Christmas Day

26th December: Boxing Day

EID EL FITR: the date shall be announced each year by Rwanda Moslems Association

EID AL-ADHA: the date shall be announced each year by Rwanda Moslems Association

Coincidence of official holidays with the days of weekend

Except 7th April, Genocide against the Tutsi Memorial Day, if an official holiday falls on one (1) day of the weekend, the following working day shall be an official holiday. If two (2) consecutive official holidays fall on a day of weekend, the two (2) official holidays shall be compensated in one (1) working day that follows. In case of coincidence of two (2) official holidays, the following working day shall be an official holiday to compensate one (1) of the two (2) coinciding official holidays.

When to Visit

Rwanda can be visited throughout the year. Gorilla trekking and other forest walks are less demanding during the drier months. The European winter is the best time for birds, as Pala arctic migrants supplement resident species.

What to bring

Binoculars greatly enhance game drives, forest walks and bird watching. Bring a camera and an adequate stock of film. Print film is available but transparency film is not. Toiletries and other essentials can be bought in the cities.

What to Wear

Dress codes are informal. Daytime temperatures are generally warm, so bring lots of light clothing, supplemented by light sweaters for the cool evenings and heavier clothing for the Volcanic and Nyungwe National parks. When tracking gorillas, wear sturdier clothing to protect against stinging nettles, and solid walking shoes. A hat and sunglasses provide protection against the sun, and a waterproof jacket may come in handy in the moist mountains.


Rwanda has an excellent cell phone network covering almost the entire country. International phone calls can be made easily. Appropriate SIM cards for the network are readily available everywhere, even in remote towns. Cell phones can be purchased or rented from major shops in Kigali. Most towns have several Internet cafes and computer centres.


Rwanda has strict environmental laws. The use of plastic bags (polythene papers) has been banned. Beware not to carry such since they will not be allowed into the country at the border checkpoints. Kigali is a clean and green city. You are expected to throw your litter in rubbish cans which are fitted all over. Walk along the provided foot paths. Do not step on the grass.

Safety and Health

A certificate of yellow-fever vaccination is required. Much of Rwanda lies at too high an elevation for malaria to be a major concern, but the disease is present and prophylactic drugs are strongly recommended. It is advisable not to drink tap water. Bottled mineral water can be bought in all towns. Hospitals are located in all major towns.