Irish citizens require a visa to enter Rwanda. For detailed entry requirements for Rwanda, please contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate for Rwanda. You may be asked for your yellow fever vaccination certificate when you are checking in for your flight to Rwanda and/or on arrival at Kigali International Airport.
We advise against all travel to rural areas bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC], due to insecurity in DRC's Kivu provinces.
You should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners. Random grenade attacks occur in Rwanda.
Safety and Security
You should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
We advise against all travel to rural areas bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC], due to insecurity in DRC's Kivu provinces. The only exception to this is within the town of Bukavu, where we currently advise against all but essential travel. The security situation in Bukavu remains volatile and we advise against travel at night and to avoid travelling alone at all times.
The border crossings between Rwanda and the DRC at Gisenyi/Goma and Cyangugu/Bukavu are currently open between 06:00 and 18:00. Both borders are liable to short notice closure and should not be relied upon as a point of exit from DRC.
We advise against all but essential travel to the rural border areas of Burundi as banditry and incursions by cross border rebel groups remain a problem.
It is still safe to visit gorillas or climb volcanoes in Parc National des Volcans as long as you are part of an organised tour.
Random grenade attacks occur in Rwanda. On 30 March 2012 there were two grenade attacks in Kigali, one outside a market in the city centre, Nyarurgenge, and one in a market area of Kibagabaga. On 23 March 2012 there was a grenade attack at a bus station in Musanze. Previous attacks occurred on 24 January 2012, 3 January 2012 and there were three attacks in 2011. Further indiscriminate attacks cannot be ruled out, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.
While levels of crime are relatively low in Rwanda, there has been an increase in petty theft. You are advised to take the usual sensible precautions with your personal belongings and do not walk in the streets after dark. Do not carry all of your money at once and please ensure that your passport is secure at all times.
The road infrastructure from Kigali to all major towns is generally good but roads can be narrow and winding. Please note that driving is on the right side. There can be landslides on some of the major roads during the annual rains in late spring and autumn. Road travel after dark should be avoided as roads are unlit and driving standards are poor. We strongly advise against taking shared taxis or motorbike taxis due to the high rate of accidents.
Local Laws and Customs
Plastic bags are banned in Rwanda and any visible bags may be confiscated on arrival.
Photography of public buildings is prohibited.
Natural Disasters and Climate
The last recorded earthquakes in Bukavu (eastern DRC) and Cyangugu in South-West Rwanda were on 3 February 2008. Both caused a number of fatalities.
During the two rainy seasons (February to May and September to December), intense thunderstorms are frequent. Roads may become impassable to all but four-wheel-drive vehicles. Landslides and floods are common during these seasons. Travellers should keep informed of regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly.
Additional Country Info
Emergency treatment and/or evacuation are very expensive in Rwanda. It is therefore strongly recommended that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance (including medical evacuation) before travelling.Top