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Is Rwanda safe? All you need to know about Rwanda safety

by Ana Sofía Teresita | July 23, 2019
Man holding a chameleon in Rwanda

Do you plan to travel to Rwanda? Good choice: it is one of the safest countries in the African continent. However, as no country is perfect, we provide you with some tips to guarantee that your trip will run as smoothly as possible. Continue reading to learn more about how safe is Rwanda and all about Rwanda safety.

Is Rwanda Safe?

Is Rwanda safe to visit? The answer is yes. It is one of the safest destinations in Africa, and the locals are welcoming and hospitable. There are some basic Rwanda safety guidelines that you should follow to make sure you have the best possible experience, but nothing that you haven’t heard before.

Rwanda safety tips

Here are some of the tips surrounding Rwanda safety to ensure you have an amazing holiday:

  • Purchase a health insurance Rwanda policy before traveling as the medical facilities in Rwanda are pretty basic. It's also a mandatory requirement for entering the country.
  • Be careful in crowded spaces such as the markets of most the cities in Rwanda
  • Women are recommended to cover as much skin as possible out of respect for the local values. It is one of the biggest Rwanda travel tips.
  • It is forbidden to photograph military and government buildings, and also border crossing points. 
  • If they catch you talking inappropriately about the country's 1994 genocide, you will most likely be fined.
  • The possession, use and trafficking of drugs are illegal in Rwanda. You could receive a fine, and maybe even be arrested.
  • Do not drive while under the influence or using your cellphone, you could also face fines or jail time.

Is it safe to travel in Rwanda? 

Rwanda has a well established and reliable bus network between the main cities, towns and neighboring countries. Make sure you buy the tickets at the official bus company counters

If you prefer a taxi even though it is more expensive, you should pick it up at the airport or ask the hotel staff to call one for you. They are easily identified by their white colour, orange stripe and roof sign. If you get in a taxi that doesn’t have a meter, negotiate the rate before getting in.

You can also rent a car, although it is better not to drive at night due to poor road conditions and lack of lighting. 

For more information, we recommend that you read this article on how to travel in Rwanda and transport in Rwanda.

Is Rwanda safe? African people on the streets of Rwanda

What do you need to cross the border in Rwanda?

How safe is Rwanda, if I want to cross the border to neighbouring countries? If you intend to explore the surrounding areas of the country, it is better to consult the local authorities because there are certain political conflicts and, therefore, tensions in the surrounding areas.

Always make sure to meet all the Rwanda entry requirements before making your trip.

Is it safe to go gorilla trekking in Rwanda?

Going on a gorilla trekking Rwanda is one of the main tourist attractions of the place. However, the government has taken measures to protect these animals and ensure that tourism is sustainable and safe. In this sense, it is imperative that you book a guided tour.

What are the LGBTI+ rights like in Rwanda?

Homosexuality is not illegal in Rwanda, but it is not widely accepted and is still considered taboo. The country is conservative and has prejudices, therefore, discretion is advised.

Do not carry plastic bags in Rwanda!

In 2008, the government banned all plastic bags made out of non-biodegradable polyethylene. This way, they can register your luggage and fine you if they find any. Be a responsible citizen and reject plastic!