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Information on Rwanda Travel
RWANDA TRAVEL FACTS
President: Paul Kagame (2000)
Prime Minister: Anastase Murekezi (2014)
Land area: 9,633 sq. mi (24,949 sq. km); total area: 10,169 sq. mi (26,338 sq. km)
Population (2014 est.): 12,337,138 (growth rate: 2.63%); birth rate: 34.61/1000; infant mortality rate: 59.59/1000; life expectancy: 59.26
Capital and largest city (2011 est.): Kigali, 1.004 million
Monetary unit: Rwanda franc
Languages: Kinyarwanda, French, and English (all official); Kiswahili in commercial centers
Ethnicity/race: Hutu 84%, Tutsi 15%, Twa (Pygmoid) 1%
Religions: Roman Catholic 49.5%, Protestant 39.4%, Islam 1.8%, indigenous beliefs 0.1%, none 3.6%, other 0.6% (2002)
Literacy rate: 71.1% (2010 est.
You need a visa to enter Rwanda. 30 day tourist visas are available on arrival for £20 or $30. You can pay in cash (sterling or US dollars) or by Visa/ MasterCard. Payment by credit card may not be available at all land border crossings.
You can also choose to get a visa in advance at any Rwandan diplomatic mission or online. www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/rwanda/entry-requirements
Further information about visa requirements is available from the Rwandan High Commission.
If you are planning to apply for resident/business or missionary multiple entry visas on entry to Rwanda you will need to get UK police clearance before you travel. This usually takes a minimum of 10 working days to process.
Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry into Rwanda.
Yellow fever vaccination is required for travellers arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission.
Contact your GP around 8 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre, and useful information about healthcare abroad, including a country-by-country guide of reciprocal health care agreements with the UK, is available from NHS Choices.
Only limited medical facilities are available in Rwanda. In the event of serious accident or illness evacuation by air ambulance to Kenya or South Africa may be required. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
Malaria is common to Rwanda.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 112 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.
Republic of Rwanda (Kinyarwanda: Repubulika y'u Rwanda; French: République du Rwanda), is a sovereign state in central and east Africa. Located a few degrees south of the Equator, Rwanda is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Rwanda is in the African Great Lakes region and is highly elevated; its geography dominated by mountains in the west and savanna to the east, with numerous lakes throughout the country. The climate of the country is temperate to subtropical, with two rainy seasons and two dry seasons each year.
The population is young and predominantly rural, with a density among the highest in Africa. Rwandans are composed of three ethnic groups: the Hutu, Tutsi and Twa. The Twa are a forest-dwelling pygmy people descended from Rwanda's earliest inhabitants. Scholars disagree on the origins of and differences between the Hutu and Tutsi; some believe differences are derived from former social castes, while others view them as being ethnicities or tribes. Christianity is the largest religion in the country; the principal language is Kinyarwanda, spoken by most Rwandans, with French and English serving as official languages. Rwanda has a presidential system of government. The president is Paul Kagame of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), who took office in 2000. Rwanda today has low corruption compared with neighbouring countries, although human rights organisations report suppression of opposition groups, intimidation and restrictions on freedom of speech. The country has been governed by a strict administrative hierarchy since precolonial times; there are five provinces delineated by borders drawn in 2006. Rwanda has the world's highest proportion of females in government positions in proportion to the population.
Economy of Rwanda
Rwanda's economy suffered heavily during the 1994 Genocide, with widespread loss of life, failure to maintain the infrastructure, looting, and neglect of important cash crops. This caused a large drop in GDP and destroyed the country's ability to attract private and external investment The economy has since strengthened, with per-capita GDP estimated at $1,592 in 2013compared with $416 in 1994. Major export markets include China, Germany, and the United States. The economy is managed by the central National Bank of Rwanda and the currency is the Rwandan franc; in June 2010, the exchange rate was 588 francs to the United States dollar Rwanda joined the East African Community in 2007 and there are plans for a common East African shilling, which could be in place by 2015. In addition, the Rwandan economy was ranked second in the world in terms of green investment facilitation according to the 2014 Global Green Economy Index.
Rwanda is a country of few natural resources and the economy is based mostly on subsistence agriculture by local farmers using simple tools .An estimated 90% of the working population farms, and agriculture constituted an estimated 42.1% of GDP in 2010. Since the mid-1980s, farm sizes and food production have been decreasing, due in part to the resettlement of displaced people. Despite Rwanda's fertile ecosystem, food production often does not keep pace with population growth, and food imports are required.
Crops grown in the country include coffee, tea, pyrethrum, bananas, beans, sorghum and potatoes. Coffee and tea are the major cash crops for export, with the high altitudes, steep slopes and volcanic soils providing favorable conditions. Reliance on agricultural exports makes Rwanda vulnerable to shifts in their prices. Animals raised in Rwanda include cows, goats, sheep, pigs, chicken, and rabbits, with geographical variation in the numbers of each. Production systems are mostly traditional, although there are a few intensive dairy farms around Kigali Shortages of land and water, insufficient and poor-quality feed, and regular disease epidemics with insufficient veterinary services are major constraints that restrict output. Fishing takes place on the country's lakes, but stocks are very depleted, and live fish are being imported in an attempt to revive the industry
Music and dance are an integral part of Rwandan ceremonies, festivals, social gatherings and storytelling. The most famous traditional dance is a highly choreographed routine consisting of three components: the umushagiriro, or cow dance, performed by women the intore, or dance of heroes, performed by men. And the drumming, also traditionally performed by men, on drums known as ingoma. The best known dance group is the National Ballet. It was established by President Habyarimana in 1974, and performs nationally and internationally traditionally, music is transmitted orally, with styles varying between the social groups. Drums are of great importance; the royal drummers enjoyed high status within the court of the King (Mwami) Drummers play together in groups of varying sizes, usually between seven and nine in number. The country has a growing popular music industry, influenced by African Great Lakes, Congolese, and American music. The most popular genre is hip hop, with a blend of rap, ragga, R&B and dance-pop.
Traditional arts and crafts are produced throughout the country, although most originated as functional items rather than purely for decoration. Woven baskets and bowls are especially common. a unique cow dung art, is produced in the southeast of Rwanda, with a history dating back to when the region was part of the independent Gisaka kingdom. The dung is mixed with natural soils of various colors and painted into patterned ridges to form geometric shapes. Other crafts include pottery and wood carving. Traditional housing styles make use of locally available materials; circular or rectangular mud homes with grass-thatched roofs (known as nyakatsi) are the most common. The government has initiated a programme to replace these with more modern materials such as corrugated iron.