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About Rwanda

About Rwanda

Rwanda, also known as the ‘Land of a Thousand Hills’ due to its intensely mountainous terrain, is a located in the heart of Africa. It is rated as the safest country in Africa, and Kigali is ranked as the cleanest city in Africa. Rwanda experienced one of the worst tragedies of the 20th century during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Rwanda has emerged from this tragedy that cost more than a million lives to become of one the most dynamic African countries, with a low crime rate and a sustained growth rate between 6-8% (since 2003).

Rwanda has made a tremendous progress from a shattered nation to a business and touristic hub. As Africa’s most densely populated country of 11 million, it has implemented policies that lifted 1 million people out of extreme poverty. According to the World Bank Global Competitive Index Report, Rwanda is ranked as 2nd in Africa in doing business. Rwanda is also leading in the gender equality,  having the highest female representation in Parliament (64%) in the world. In 2016 Rwanda hosted the annual summit of the African Union and Louise Mushikiwabo of Rwanda is the current secretary general of the Organisation internationale de  la Francophonie.

As a pan-African leader, Rwanda rolled out a visa on arrival policy to all Africans. Starting 1 January 2018, the visa on arrival will apply to all travelers worldwide. Rwanda is also home to the Next Einstein Forum Secretariat.


Temperatures average around 24°C (75°F), except for in the higher mountain areas where it ranges from 10°C to 15°C (50°F to 60°F). The end of March is end of the dry season.

Getting to Rwanda: Immigration/VISA Requirements

Starting 1 January 2018, citizens of all countries can receive visa on arrival without prior application. A visa costs $30 USD dollars that can be paid in cash or credit card. Rwanda will grant a 90-day visa free of charge to nationals of Benin, Central African Republic, Chad, DRC, Ghana, Guinea, Indonesia, Haiti, Mauritius, Philippines, Senegal, Seychelles, Sao Tome and Principe and Singapore EAC Partner states citizens shall be issued with 6 month visitors pass (renewable) upon arrival with no fee.

Things to do in Rwanda

Rwanda has a thriving tourism economy that offers something for every taste. We recommend you visit Kigali Genocide Memorial before you embark on other touristic activities.

Kigali Genocide Memorial: The memorials found throughout the country are moving testimonies in memory of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and the people who lost their lives. Inaugurated on the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, the Kigali Genocide Memorial at Gisozi is where 259,000 victims have been buried. This memorial also serves to educate about how the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi took shape and examines other genocides in the 20th century.

Kigali City Tour: Peacefully nestled along picturesque hilltops, Kigali is a thriving African city immediately notable for its cleanliness, orderliness, and hospitality. Kigali is a great place to begin or end any Rwanda journey as it’s conveniently located in the geographic center of the country. The city is clean and safe, with extremely welcoming people. Travelers will enjoy exploring the great cultural activities – including several award-winning museums, burgeoning music scene, and some of East Africa’s most memorable dining experiences.

Gorilla Tracking is often described as “life changing”. With only an estimated 880 gorillas left in the wild, to see these gentle creatures in their natural habitat is a truly unique moment. The gorillas make their home on the slopes of the Virunga Mountains in the Volcanoes National Park.

Akagera National Park: Akagera National Park is located in the north east of Rwanda along the border with Tanzania. Due to its wide variety of habitats, Akagera is an important ornithological site with nearly 500 bird species. It is home to many large plains game species as well as species restricted to the papyrus swamps such as the Sitatunga and the sought-after Shoebill Stork. Notable plains game include elephant, buffalo, topi, zebra, waterbuck, roan antelope and eland. Other antelopes are duiker, oribi, bohor reedbuck, klipspringer, bushbuck and impala. Of the primates, olive baboons, vervets and the secretive blue monkey are seen during the day, with bushbabies often seen on night drives. Of the larger predators; leopard, hyena, side-striped jackal and lion, which was re-introduced last year are present.

Nyungwe National Park: Located in the South West corner of Rwanda, Nyungwe National Park is untouched natural rainforest that is filled with exciting biodiversity. Nyungwe is surely one of the world’s most beautiful and pristine mountain rainforests. It’s believed to be one of Africa’s oldest forests, staying green even through the Ice Age, which explains its diversity. Home to habituated chimpanzees and 12 other primates species (including a 400-strong troop of habituated Ruwenzori Black & White Colobus), it’s also a birder’s paradise with over 300 species, including 16 endemics, and is home to 75 different species of mammal. This majestic rain forest is filled with nature and wildlife experiences for you to emerge yourself in. Hiking or even biking the beautiful terrain, tracking the famous chimpanzees, experiencing the canopy walk, witnessing beautiful birds, relaxing by waterfalls are just a glimpse of activities that Nyungwe offers.

Cultural experiences: Centuries of music, dance, history and hospitality are all on display through live performances, pottery & crafts, and museums including the Ethnographic Museum in Huye, the Presidential Palace Museum and the Natural History Museum in Kigali, and the Museum of the Environment in Karongi.

For more information go to: www.rwandatourism.com

Other important information

Plugs and Voltage
Electricity in Rwanda is 230 Volts. If you have a device that does not accept 230 Volts at 50 Hertz, you will need a voltage converter. Plugs have two round pins. Please be sure to carry with you a multiple travel adaptor.

Telephone and SIM cards:
Rwanda has various phone service providers and the process to acquire a SIM card is quick and easy. You will need:
Valid Passport or proof of identification, Address in Kigali, Rwf 1500 + funds for desired amount of airtime.
Plastic free Country
Rwanda is a polythene-free country. For environmental reasons, plastic bags have been banned, the customary plastic duty-free bags included. You will be asked to give up all plastic bags at the airport.
Drinking water
It is NOT advisable to drink water from the taps. You will be able to buy bottled water wherever you go. Recommended brands are: Inyange, Nile or Huye water.

Our Sponsors and Partners

This conference has been made possible thanks to generous support of David Coulson and Margaret Holen; Yang Wu and Yong Zhu; Perimeter Institute; Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi); Kavli Institute for Cosmology and Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge; African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS); International Center of Theoretical Physics (UNESCO, IAEA); Cambridge in America