Various Informations about flights, visas and more
Flight connections to Kigali :
with KLM/Kenian Airways via Amsterdam and Nairobi
Brussels Air via Brussels
Lufthansa/Ethiopian Airlines via Frankfurt Addis Abeba
Turkish Airlines (via Instanbul) (arrival/departure often in the middle of the night!)
Qatar Airways (via Doha); (arrival/departure often in the middle of the night!)
For Rwanda :
Important Information : as per last information by the government in Kigali from 1st January 2018 travellers from all countries are allowed to travel to Ruanda without applying for a visa before. All entry formalities can be done directly at the Kigali airport or at the border (visa valid for 1 month/1 entry). Before that this was possible only for nationals of African and a few other Countries. For travellers who would like to stay longer than one month, it is still possible to apply for a visa at the Embassy of the Republic of Rwanda in your country. A 3 months, mulitple-entry visa or 2-entry-visa costs 60 € and 5 € Porto. For all necessary documents please contact the embassy directly. For more informations on rwandan embassies please got to: www.migration.gov.rw
For Demokratic Republic Congo :
Citizens of all countries need a visa. You can either
1.contact the Embassy of the DRC in your country for informations about the necessary steps/documents.
2. obtain a visa with the payment confirmation of the vulcano trip or the visit to the mountain gorillas. A one-entry-visa (valid for 2 weeks) costs 105 US$ via Internet; but I suggest that I do it for you here.
Please find the communiqué related to this here:
“Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN), the Congolese wildlife authority, has an agreement with Direction Générale de Migration (DGM), the Congolese immigration service, to facilitate obtaining 2-week, single entry tourist visas for people visiting Virunga National Park. The cost of the visa is USD $105. To qualify for a tourist visa, you must first purchase a mountain gorilla trek permit, a Nyiragongo trek permit, or book and pay for accommodation at the Mikeno Lodge.
Mountain Gorilla Trek
Nyiragongo Volcano Trek
Treks or accommodation linked with the purchase of a tourist visa through Virunga National Park are non-refundable.
Once you have a booking and have received confirmation of your payment, you will also receive an order number. Please proceed to the online visa application, enter your order number at the top of the form, fill in the remaining fields, and click submit. Finally, please make sure to secure any other visas that you will need as you make your way to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Countries such as Rwanda require most nationalities to secure visas in advance of arrival.”
Vaccination against yellow fever is mandatory! PLEASE take your vaccination certificate with you. For other vaccinations please contact your general practicioner. Malaria is endemic in the region all over the year, so you should take prophylactic malaria drugs in accordance with your doctors advice. Over here you'll always sleep under a mosquito net and should wear appropriate cloths and use insect repellent spray or ointment in the evening hours. Besides it is important that everyone has a small first-aid kit and if necessary his personal medicines and a travel and repatriation insurance.
dollars. Take 100 and 50 $ notes because they get the better exchange
rate than small notes. Besides they should be from 2006 or even more
recent series. Euros
and Pounds are easely changed at a fair rate in Kigali and Rwanda in
general. In DR Congo the US Dollar is more popular. Money
is usually exchanged in Forex bureaus where it takes less time than
in banks and is safer than on the street! In
the Congo payments can often be made directly in US$. Therefore and
if you intend to bye souvenirs there, you should take some small
dollar notes with you. Visa
and Mastercard credit cards are also more and more used throughout
Ruanda is safe at the moment. Sometimes there are pickpockets in
Kigali as in other big cities in the surrounding of markets and
business centres. The people are very friendly to foreigners in
general. The authorities are not corrupt and bribing is unsusual; in
fact it is harshly punished by the law. Goma and it's surrounding
area are a bit "more colourful" but also safe. Special
attention is put on maximum security during the whole trip and no
risk whatsoever taken.
Light clothes with long trousers (temperatures are between 18-30 degrees celcius all over the year, depending on the time of day and the altitude). Shorts trousers should be worn only at the beach or in the parks. We recommend good walking boots and a light rain jackets for the trip to the gorillas and in the rain forest. For the Nyiragongo tour you need warm clothes and a good sleeping bag! Temperatures at the summit can drop close to 0° !In general the evenings and early morning hours are quiet cool, so you should take a pullover with you.
Kinyarwanda in Rwanda, Suaheli in the east of the Congo. Further used languages are Englisch, French und Suaheli. Most of the people in the cities are able to speak at least in one of these languages, outside this is not always the case. But people are doing their best to communicate with you.
The use of mobil phones is very common in the region. A sim card from a local network/provider can be purchased easely at a good price. If you intend to do that, think of removing first any sim lock on your cellphone at home. A minute to europe/north america costs between 0,25 to 0.5 €. There is also a roaming agreement with some networks from overseas; but it can be quiet expensive to communicate that way.
Generally hotels and lodges are very clean. Which is also the case in the cities and villages throughout Rwanda. In fact there is a ban on plastic bags in Rwanda which helps a lot. Unfortunately this is not the case in Goma, but hotels are in good condition and very nice.
It is strongly advised to avoid taking pictures of bridges, official and military buildings, and of police, soldiers and other security personel. Before taking photos of other people, just ask them. Sometimes a smile can work miracles !