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WHAT TO PACK & WEAR IN RWANDA
General Clothing RecommendationsChoosing the appropriate clothing to wear while on vacation ensures that you can move freely and are comfortable on your hikes and game drives. You will also enjoy your adventures in the parks and reserves of Rwanda. It is advisable that you carry light, informal, and loose-fitting clothing that you can safely get dirty, unless of course you are traveling to attend a formal event or business meeting. You must also bring clothing that you can wear in layers since the highlands can be cool in the evenings. When touring the bush or along mountain trails, it is preferable to avoid colors that are too bright, white, or dark. Opt instead for clothing in neutral safari colors, such as olive and green, beige, mid-tone brown, light bark and khaki. Since you need to watch out for mosquitoes and tsetse flies in Rwanda, make sure you have long-sleeved shirts and pants that cover your legs entirely, along with insect repellant. Be aware that tsetse flies are drawn to dark colors such as dark blue. Wear socks and sturdy shoes or waterproof sneakers with the proper padding that can protect your feet from blistering, stones, pebbles, and thorns when on safari. During the day at your camp or lodge, you can opt for sandals that you can slip off to air out your feet, but make sure they can protect your feet from thorns, stones, and pebbles. Going on Volcanoes’ mountain gorilla treks and Nyungwe chimpanzee viewing walks in the highlands of Rwanda involves hiking over mountain terrain that is rough and may vary greatly in altitude. Wear hiking or walking boots that can help you navigate the uneven trails. Also, make sure they are waterproof, since many of the trails are muddy in the wet seasons. If you intend to trip out to Lake Kivu, beach sandals are appropriate for walking along the sandy shores. You could also pack your swimsuit for going swimming in the lake or indulging in water activities. For use in the showers or in your room, flip-flops are an ideal choice. A guide to quantities: Having planned a 7-day safari vacation in parks such as Volcanoes, Nyungwe and Akagera, and keeping in mind the limited laundry facilities available in Rwandan accommodations, you should bring two long-sleeved shirts and four T-shirts at the very minimum. As for pants, you will need two pairs of cotton trousers, two light cargo pants for outdoor wear, and two pairs of comfortable shorts. Also, carry at least five pairs of socks and five sets of underpants for both men and women. You should carry a couple more pairs if space allows. Women may want to bring four sports bras, for comfort on rough terrain. Since temperatures tend to dip in Rwanda’s highlands during the night, bring warm flannel pajamas, a sweatshirt and a fleece-lined jacket for wearing in the early mornings and evenings. If you have planned your holiday in the wet season, be sure to carry a lightweight raincoat. Also, pack in sunglasses and a hat that you can secure firmly, so you don’t risk losing it in the wind.
All kinds of carrier / grocery plastic bags used for commercial and household packaging have been banned in Rwanda. Please ensure you do not bring them into Rwanda nor purchase them while in Rwanda as there are heavy fines in place. Examples of household plastic bags are disposable, grocery, carrier, sealable, zip locks, packaging, and any kinds of consumer plastic bags.
Recommended Trekking Gear For Gorilla, Golden Monkey & Chimpanzee Safaris In Rwanda:
- Worn-in waterproof lightweight hiking boots separate from your daily regular wear
- Garden gloves to protect from holding thorns, brush and stinging nettles
- Trekking gaiters and lightweight long socks
- Outdoor/waterproof and breathable pant and insulated jacket (preferably Gortex) with hood to wear on top of your quick dry undershirt. Poncho is a good lightweight alternative to a waterproof jacket.
- Lightweight fleece sweater - helps in layering for cool mornings.
- Wet wipes
- Good size bottled water
- Fully-wrapped energy snack bars
- Absorbent towel for sweat and moisture wiping
- Hat, sunblock, and sunglasses with neck strap
- Small and lightweight backpack to carry your gear
Toiletries and Basic Medicines to BringSome camps and lodges are prepared with medical kits to deal with small emergency situations, but it is always advisable that you have along your own supplies. Since malaria is prevalent in Rwanda, take care to carry mosquito repellant and malaria prophylactics. Aspirin, ibuprofen, Panadol, Motrin and Tylenol are some over-the-counter pain medication to bring. Since you are traveling in a tropical country, you should use a sunscreen with a high SPF. Other essentials include anti-diarrhea medication, antiseptic gels, antihistamines for treating insect bites and allergic reactions, and an adequate supply of the prescription medicines you take regularly. For cuts and wounds, bring Band-Aids with antiseptic cream. If you wear contact lenses, make sure you have spare spectacles along on tour. While many camps and lodges in Rwanda provide you with the basic toiletries, such as soap or gel, shampoo, and conditioner, you will need to carry your own toothbrush, toothpaste, and deodorant in travel-sized bottles and containers organized in protective bags. Women must carry the personal hygiene products they may need like panty liners, tampons and pads. Panty liners are essential because drying can be a problem after peeing in the bush. Make sure you bring enough bio-degradable bags in different sizes and capacities to pack dirty clothes and all your supplies. If you go kayaking, boating, or on safari, you will want to protect cameras and other electronics from dust and water, especially rain.
Recommended GadgetsTo capture the stunning beauty of Rwanda's parks, reserves, and their fascinating denizens, you will want to carry devices including cameras, a zoom lens, extra memory cards, and batteries, along with a battery charger. Professional photographers can bring a compact tripod and other essentials for taking beautiful images while on vacation. You can borrow binoculars from the safari guide, but you could bring your own so as to not miss views of the incredible birdlife or maybe even a predatory kill. Cell phones and tablets are great for keeping in touch with friends and family back home, and for taking quick pictures. The camps and lodges where you stay may provide Wi-Fi services but are likely to have cell phone reception. They may also provide flashlights for your use, but you could carry your own, as well as night-vision equipment if you wish. The electric supply in Rwanda is 220 to 240 volts, and 50 hertz supplied through a "type C" Europlug, the "type E" and "type F" Schuko European style sockets. Carry the necessary adaptors and converters so you can keep your gadgets and electronics charged for use on tour.
Important Travel DocumentsBefore arriving in Rwanda, as you would when traveling in any part of the world, you must carry photocopies of your travel documents. Place one set in your checked-in luggage and the other in your hand baggage. Take photos of your documents on your smartphone as a backup. Present your papers to the customs officials on arrival, such as your passport and stamped visa, if you have obtained one beforehand. Also, carry documents such as information about your emergency contacts, return tickets, travel insurance and medical emergency evacuation papers, along with personal and dental insurance cards, and your trip itinerary. Carry enough cash in US currency for tips and any extra purchases needed to pay for your stay in in Rwanda. Make sure the dollar notes you are taking are dated 2004 or later, crisp, and unsoiled, without any tears. You may be able pay by credit cards such as Mastercard and Visa at some hotels in Kigali, though, you may have to pay a steep card processing or bank transaction fee.
Moral Dressing in RwandaThe people of Rwanda are very particular about moral values, dressing modes, and regard for religious locations such as churches, temples and mosques, and other public spaces. It is advisable that you respect their customs, values, and sentiments by dressing appropriately. Even when touring the bazaars, markets, and other places of attraction, take care to avoid clothing that exposes your shoulders and thighs. Choose full-length trousers, knee-length shorts, or loose polo shirts. Guards may bar you from entering religious places if they feel your clothes are too revealing.
Laundry in RwandaPremier Tier 1 accommodations in Rwanda typically offer complimentary laundry services. However, if you are staying in mid-range and economy establishments on your vacation, you will have to pay a charge for getting your laundry done. You can check for information about the washing policy of the camp, hotel, or lodge with the consultant at AfricanMecca Safaris at the time of planning your booking. As a cultural laundry guideline for Rwanda, you should not add your undergarments in the laundry load. You should wash them by hand.
LuggageWhen flying within Rwanda on safari trips, keep in mind that the baggage weight limit is 15kg or 33 pounds, though most of the safaris in Rwanda are done by road. If you know your bags might weigh more than that, it is advisable to pay the excess baggage ahead of time so that it is accommodated on the flight. Keep in mind that most domestic flights are full and baggage allowance is fixed per passenger. You must carry sturdy, soft-backed duffels that are easily stored in the compact luggage compartment of the charter aircraft. If you will not be traveling by air, you can bring baggage up to 20kg or 44 pounds in soft bags. You can also store portions of your luggage, properly locked in the storage room at our Kigali team office or at your hotel.
General Packing SuggestionsYou might want to choose soft-sided bags when touring because they are more convenient to load and store in the baggage compartments of the travel modes you choose in Rwanda. In case you need to handle your bags yourself, for instance at the airport, lighter bags will be easier to manage. Take care to pack valuable and important items like your travel papers, medications, cash, etc., in your carry-on handbag so you can keep an eye on it. It is also advisable to distribute cash you’re carrying into different spots, so you minimize the possibility of losing it. Choose TSA-approved locks to secure your baggage and check them carefully before depositing. Never carry any expensive jewelry, and pack all cameras and other equipment in cover bags to protect them from water and dust while in Rwanda. Bring along only the most essential of supplies, clothing, and toiletries.
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What are our Customers saying about us? READ MORE REVIEWS
I just returned from a month in Africa, specifically Rwanda & Kenya. I am left breathless with my experience. AfricanMecca Safaris coordinated the entire trip for me and left no detail, nothing for me to do.
Carol Bobb - Pennsylvania, United States
Rwanda was amazing. The accommodations, food, and guides AfricanMecca arranged were great. Raza also helped us through the complicated process of getting permits for gorilla trekking. AfricanMecca is a fantastic company to work with.
Stephanie Weir - United States
Jambo Altaf and Raza! We are back on earth now after our fabulous honeymoon. This is to say THANK YOU so much for organising a week in Kenya that we will never forget.....!
Dr Krina Zondervan, Oxford University - United Kingdom
Jambo Raza!!! The safari trip was spectacular! Everything went off without a hitch. We loved the Masai Mara. The migration was awesome. You listened to what I wanted and delivered it perfectly.
Judi & Chaim Platt - Toronto, Canada
I cannot say enough about the quality of AfricanMecca. Their teams in Kenya and Tanzania were top notch. Raza, again thanks to you and your entire organization! We will be repeat customers.
Dan Kobick - Managing Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers - New York, United States
AfricanMecca Safaris offers incredibly knowledgeable and skilled services! Our travel arrangements for 2 months of volunteering with TEACH Rwanda in country were made quickly and economically. Honored to work with Raza!
Janet Brown - TEACH Rwanda Founder - United States
This is to let you know my guests, The Bryant's, had a wonderful time on the trip Samburu, Masai Mara/Kenya, Chobe/Botswana & Victoria Falls/Zambia. Everything was perfect! Thank you..
Christine Milan - MT Carmel Travel - Connecticut, United States
EAST AFRICA SAFARI BOOKING & TOUR HOLIDAY IDEA RWANDA
When visiting Rwanda, we recommend combining your Kigali visit with a gorilla safari in Volcanoes Park, Nyungwe and Akagera. You may optionally extend out to other wilderness areas of Gishwati-Mukura ending with a beach vacation at Lake Kivu or even extending out to the exotic spice island of Zanzibar or Lamu, or even Mombasa.READ MORE
TRAVEL PLANNING GUIDE FOR RWANDA
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