A Solo Traveller’s Guide to Rwanda
A Solo Traveller’s Guide to Rwanda : Rwanda is one of the perfect countries in the world to explore independently as a Solo Traveler, Rwanda has a reliable nationwide public transit system, abundance of attractions, magnificent scenery and friendly locals who are very welcoming. Rwanda has a lot to offer to solo travelers, as a traveler get ready to explore and enjoy the winding Rwandan roads.
Here is the a solo traveler’s guide to Rwanda
Where to go
Rwanda is a small country comprising of 30 districts, the country is really well connected which makes it easy for solo travelers to explore the country and visit it’s amazing destinations, here is the list to some of the best and easiest spots for solo travelers in Rwanda thus A Solo Traveller’s Guide to Rwanda.
Kigali city is the capital city of Rwanda and one of the most vibrant cities in East Africa with a multitude of restaurants, art galleries and fascinating neighborhoods which make the city worth visiting during Rwanda safari.
During your visit in Kigali City you will spend your time exploring the Kimironko Market, Nyamirambo which is a colorful neighborhood, the chaotic city center and the Kigali Genocide Memorial Museum where you will get a deeper insight of the Kigali genocide of 1994.
Musanze City is the second largest city in Rwanda and a home to mountain gorillas, the twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo and several gorgeous volcanoes. Musanze city is easily accessed by Bus from The Nyabugogo Bus Terminal in Kigali City, this makes the city a perfect destination for a perfect excursion as a solo traveler outside of Rwanda’s capital Kigali.
Mountain Gorilla trekking is one of the more expensive activities in Musanze City and a very incredibly worthwhile experience offering you an encounter with the endangered mountain gorillas, for solo travelers on a budget opt for hiking Mount Bisoke where you can see mountain gorillas and the crystal clear Lake at the Summit. Outside Musanze City you can visit the twin lakes, go camping on lle de cyuza and a a gorgeous island in the center of Lake Burera, you can relax at the lake shores and spot various water birds such as fish eagles. Musanze is one of the best connected districts in Rwanda and you can get around Musanze using motorcycles, taxis and public buses.
Akagera National Park
Akagera national park is the only savannah national park in Rwanda and the only park to get big five safari experience, the park is the Africa’s largest protected wetland and worth visiting as a solo traveler. However to get to the park is a little trickier as it relies on personal transport, during your visit to the park you will be able to see various species of animals such as rhinos, elephants, lions, cape buffaloes, leopards, antelopes, zebras among others. You can also camp underneath some of the country’s best starts on various campsites available throughout the park, permits for the safari are easily purchased at the park’s Southern gates thus A Solo Traveller’s Guide to Rwanda.
You can book your safari to Akagera national park through email@example.com / Focus East Africa Tours a tour company that operates daily trips from Kigali to Akagera national park.
Lake Kivu is the largest lake in Rwanda located on the country’s western border, the lake is one of the most relaxing spots in the region – the two biggest towns on the Rwanda side of the lake are Kibuye and Gisenyi which are excellent locations for solo excursions.
Gisenyi town is the bigger of the two towns and shares a border with the city of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the town has a larger selection of restaurants, bars and general activities. Activities both in these towns include Kayaking, hikes, boat rides among others. Daily buses from Kigali to Kibuye and Gisenyi are available, the buses leave from the Nyabugogo Bus Terminal from 7 am.
Where to sleep, eat, and drink
Across Rwanda, there are plenty of accommodation options ranging from Budget, Midrange and Luxury. Budget accommodations are ideal for travelers seeking to travel on the cheap, there is also a lot of luxury/up market accommodations catering for luxury travelers. Rwanda is now becoming a luxury destination with a lot to offer to luxury/up-market solo adventurer.
Rwanda is slowly becoming a culinary destination with a variety of local treats and good international restaurants with offerings including fresh sushi, spicy curries, Italian Pizzas and artisanal ice cream.
What to do
Rwanda is dotted with beautiful volcanic peaks of Bisoke, Sabinyo, Gahinga, Muhabura and Karisimbi offering the best day or overnight hikes. You can book for a hike through the Rwandan Development Board website or through Focus East Africa Tours a licensed Tour Operator. Most of the volcanoes in Rwanda and found in Musanze District and so are mountain gorilla. These volcanoes offer spectacular views.
Shop your way through Kigali City
Kigali City has fantastic markets and best shopping spots located in Kigali City where you can spend a day and pick out handwoven baskets, colorful Kitenge fabrics and some handmade candles, jewellery and haute culture.
Visit the lakes
Rwanda is a home to many lakes which offer idyllic retreats and incredible getaways to travelers including solo travelers, during your Rwanda safari you can laze a weekend away on Lake Kivu, Lake Muhazi or the Twin Lakes while enjoying a classic Rwandan Landscape and a selection of hikes, kayaking trips and boat rides.
Rwanda is generally a small country thus making road transport to be one of the major modes of transit in the country, most of the areas of Rwanda are well connected and you can move around using public buses, motorcycles for hire and private taxis. Taxis and Motorcycles rarely go beyond 1,000 Rwanda Francs (USD $ 1.5), however the fare depends on distance and time thus A Solo Traveller’s Guide to Rwanda.
The bus system in Rwanda is pretty reliable and clean, all the buses in Kigali originate at the Nyabugogo Bus Terminal.
English is the widely spoken language in Rwanda, though it less spoken outside of the major cities, other languages spoken in Rwanda include Fresh, Kinyarwanda and Swahili. In Rwanda WiFi is generally unreliable and as a solo traveler you are recommended to purchase and use a local SIM card (Togo, MTN or Airtel) best for data usage.
Health and safety
Health is very paramount as you visit and explore Rwanda, during your trip avoid drinking tap water and ice. Although Kigali is impressively clean and environmentally-friendly, water-borne diseases are still fairly common, before travelling to Rwanda make sure you consult your keep. Also lookout and carry medication for malaria, typhoid and bilharzias prevention.
In regards to pickpockets and muggings, Rwanda is one of the safest countries in the World, the country was recently voted as the World’s 11th safest country by Gallup making Rwanda a place all solo travelers should feel very comfortable traversing.
Note: during your Solo Travel to Rwanda, still pay attention to your surroundings and belongings,
Sole female travelers
As previously mentioned, Rwanda is a very safe country however Solo female travelers might experience a little bit of harassment while walking down on the streets or inside of bars. However, you can overcome this by wearing knees and shoulder covering clothes (avoid revealing clothes).
However, Rwanda is undoubtedly one of the best location for solo travelers in the world.