Rwandan Laws to Know Before Booking a Rwanda Safari

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Rwanda is a lovely destination worth spending a holiday in as a couple, an individual, or a group. But there are a number of Rwanda laws that anyone traveling or nationals must respect. Before you book any safari in Rwanda, we bring to your notice some of the laws you should expect to observe.

  • Taking pictures of some government buildings isn’t allowed.
  • Use of plastic bags is banned in Rwanda for environmental reasons. The authorities at the airport have the right to confiscate any plastic bags they will find with you on arrival.
  • Take note that every week following genocide memorial day on 7th April is considered an official week of mourning.
  • Every last Saturday of every month is Umuganda- also better understood as a national day of community service. During this day, most normal services close down from 11:00 am to 11:00 am. The 1st & 3rd Sunday of the month, there is a car free morning starting from 7:00 am to 10:00 am as a way to promote healthy living & reduce emissions from cars.
  • LGBT matters- please take note that homosexuality isn’t illegal in Rwanda however; it remains frowned on by many. Any individual that engages in the act can experience discrimination and abuse even from local authorities. NB. Rwanda has no specific anti-discrimination laws which protect LGBT individuals.
  • Traffic flow –be aware that like any country, Rwanda too has its own system of controlling the traffic flow and this is done considering the available number of roads and that of the natives. When driving in Rwanda, please keep right –it is every regulation that every driver from the foreign nation must take into consideration. The traffic flow in Rwanda is in a such a way that all motorcyclists & car drivers keep right. If you are planning to go on self-drive in Rwanda, make sure that you familiarize yourself with the country’s traffic law/rule.
  • Driving license and insurance –the acceptable minimum age for one to drive in Rwanda is 18 years and the elderly drivers can be allowed on the road up to 75 years. To drive on Rwandan road as foreign visitor, you should have a valid international driving permit. For the case of insurance, most tour operators or car hire agencies do provide comprehensive insurance that covers the vehicle and property only. The travelers on self-drive should obtain life insurance for themselves prior to departing their home countries for Rwanda safari.
  • The kind of vehicles- where you plan to visit or activities to be done should determine the type of vehicle that you should hire for your road trip. In case the driving license you have does favor only class B vehicles, and then rent exactly that category. For Rwanda road trips, most tour operators have Mini Vans, Land Cruiser, Coaster Buses, Super Customs and more.
  • Respect traffic signs- when driving, always bear in the mind that you aren’t alone and always respect the road signs. The road signs back in your home country could be similar to the ones in Rwanda.
  • Driving when drunk is not allowed and if found, you can be imprisoned for 24 hours.

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