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Travel to Rwanda

Travel warning is issued for traveling to Rwanda. For more information please visit U.S. Department of State

Last Minute Tips Before you Travel to Rwanda

  • Time Zone: GMT/UTC +2
  • Electricity: 230V, 50 Hz (bring an adapter/transformer for your hair drier, laptop, cellular phone etc.)
  • Currency: Rwandan Franc (RF)
  • Country Dialing Code: 250

Rwanda

Location
Central Africa, east of Democratic Republic of the Congo

Capital
Kigali

Population
8,440,820 note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2005 est.)

Regions
12 provinces (in French - provinces, singular - province; in Kinyarwanda - prefigintara for singular and plural); Butare, Byumba, Cyangugu, Gikongoro, Gisenyi, Gitarama, Kibungo, Kibuye, Kigali Rurale, Kigali-ville, Umutara, Ruhengeri

Climate
temperate; two rainy seasons (February to April, November to January); mild in mountains with frost and snow possible

Ethnic groups
Hutu 84%, Tutsi 15%, Twa (Pygmoid) 1%

Religions
Roman Catholic 56.5%, Protestant 26%, Adventist 11.1%, Muslim 4.6%, indigenous beliefs 0.1%, none 1.7% (2001)

Languages
Kinyarwanda (official) universal Bantu vernacular, French (official), English (official), Kiswahili (Swahili) used in commercial centers

Government type
republic; presidential, multiparty system

Background
In 1959, three years before independence from Belgium, the majority ethnic group, the Hutus, overthrew the ruling Tutsi king. Over the next several years, thousands of Tutsis were killed, and some 150,000 driven into exile in neighboring countries. The children of these exiles later formed a rebel group, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), and began a civil war in 1990. The war, along with several political and economic upheavals, exacerbated ethnic tensions, culminating in April 1994 in the genocide of roughly 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus. The Tutsi rebels defeated the Hutu regime and ended the killing in July 1994, but approximately 2 million Hutu refugees - many fearing Tutsi retribution - fled to neighboring Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, and the former Zaire. Since then, most of the refugees have returned to Rwanda, but about 10,000 remain in neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo and have formed an extremist insurgency bent on retaking Rwanda, much as the RPF tried in 1990. Despite substantial international assistance and political reforms - including Rwanda's first local elections in March 1999 and its first post-genocide presidential and legislative elections in August and September 2003, respectively - the country continues to struggle to boost investment and agricultural output, and ethnic reconciliation is complicated by the real and perceived Tutsi political dominance. Kigali's increasing centralization and intolerance of dissent, the nagging Hutu extremist insurgency across the border, and Rwandan involvement in two wars in recent years in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo continue to hinder Rwanda's efforts to escape its bloody legacy

Rwanda Travel and Accommodation Your Tips for Travelers

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Disclaimer: Although we have tried to make the information on this website as accurate as possible, some of the facts may not be accurate, or may have recently changed. We do not accept any responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience suffered by anyone resulting from this information. You should verify important information with the relevant authorities before traveling.

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