Rwanda has officially reopened for tourism as of June 17, 2020 and is allowing tourists from all countries to visit.
Rwanda, a gorgeous country located in east-central Africa, has seen an increase in international tourism over the past few years, up to about 15% of the country’s total GDP. Local government has expressed how important tourism is to the nation and their need to resume international travel, all while keeping citizens safe.
Rwanda Reopening Tourist Guidelines
Even though Rwanda is open to all nations, there are some important requirements and things to know before you book your trip.
Can all countries visit Rwanda?
Yes. Rwanda is one of the most relaxed countries in the world in terms of reopening, allowing tourists from all nations. They also clarify that there are no restrictions based on either nationality OR country of departure.
Does Rwanda Have Mandatory Testing?
Yes. Testing is required before arrival and again upon arrival. In order to gain entry into Rwanda as a tourist, you must take a PCR test in your own country within 120 hours of departure and have the negative results as proof. The negative test must be uploaded to the online Passenger Locator Form before your departure and a copy of the results brought with you to show customs upon entry into Rwanda.
At the airport upon arrival, travelers will be tested again with the results available in around 12-24 hours. The test is $50 USD and arrivals will wait in a designated hotel for results.
Rwanda does mention that if it’s impossible to get tested in your home country before your flight, they do have an option to be tested on arrival. There would be one test at the airport, plus another 48 hours after arrival, both at the cost of the traveler.
Do I have to quarantine upon arriving into Rwanda?
No. Any traveler who has their negative-PCR test in hand, and is showing no symptoms, will not have to quarantine upon arrival into Rwanda.
However, a ‘quarantine’ of sorts will be required for all travelers for 12-24 hours in a designated hotel while they await their results from the PCR test they took upon arrival at the airport.
Testing before visiting tourist attractions
A unique regulation for tourists in Rwanda is this: All tourists must be tested before visiting any tourist attraction or embarking on any tour/trek. (Yes, even if you brought in your negative-PCR test.) If you will be touring outside your hotel, visiting any attractions, or going on any tours, you will be tested again upon arrival at the airport and will await results in your hotel for around 8 hours. The cost of this second test will be included in tour prices.
- All countries can visit
- All countries must fill out a pre-arrival form
- All countries must bring a negative PCR test within 72 hours of boarding
- Another test will be done upon arrival
- No quarantine for arrivals
- Re-Testing may be done before going on in-country tours or treks
What’s Open in Rwanda?
Hotels, restaurants, shops, tour operators and many other businesses have all reopened in Rwanda.
Popular parks such as Volcanos National Park, Nyungwe Natinal Park and Akagera National Park have all reopened to international tourists, but some protocols need to be followed. Click on the name of each park to see the visitor guidelines.
The tourism board of Rwanda has also been putting together special offers for incoming tourists.
Important Update August 26:
On August 26, the Government of Rwanda announced updated COVID-19 prevention measures, after a surge in cases.
- Movements are prohibited from 7:00 PM to 5:00 AM.
- Limits on mass gatherings continue.
- Bars inside of hotels and restaurants remain closed. Hotels and restaurants are permitted to operate.
- Land borders remain closed, except for cargo and returning Rwandan citizens and legal residents.
- The Kigali International Airport remains open with a limited flight schedule.
- Public transport between Kigali and other districts is prohibited. Private transport between Kigali and other districts (except for Rusizi District) will continue.
Have Flights Resumed to Rwanda?
Flights are just starting to resume to Rwanda, with more expected to resume as demand climbs. RwandAir usually flies directly into Kigali from: Brussels, Dubai, Tel Aviv, and were hoping to launch a direct flight from NYC before the pandemic hit. These flights have not yet resumed, but are expected to soon.
Cool tip about Rwanda:
Tourists love the temperate tropical highland climate that you wouldn’t expect to see so close to the equator. Since Rwanda is so high in elevation, the daily high averages around 26°c and the low around 16°c, all year round. This makes a perfect environment for trekking and other outdoor adventure activities, of which Rwanda has plenty.
Read More: Want to see what other countries are open? Read our complete list of countries now reopen for tourism
Disclaimer: Rwanda’s reopening news is ever-changing and being updated constantly. We do our best to keep this article up to date with all the latest information, but the decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.
Originally published June 24, 2020 with updates