The events of the bygone year, primed by COVID-19 (alias the novel coronavirus pandemic) gave the world’s travel and tourism industry perhaps the greatest shock in recent times. Countries restricted entry into and out of their boundaries, lockdowns were implemented, airlines grounded, businesses suspended (only sparing the so-called ‘essential services’). The world seemed to stop and pause for a while. In East Africa where Adventure Consults leads bespoke holidays specifically in Uganda and Rwanda, this song was sung in a similar key.
Different players have had to offer virtual safari experiences to keep potential travelers and wildlife enthusiasts in a state of dreaming about the destinations and fundraising for conservation initiatives.
Obviously, with a largely nature-based tourism product, Africa’s tourism and conservation efforts faced a COVID-induced crisis; including our own efforts at Adventure Consults. Uganda and Rwanda’s rural communities were greatly affected as they struggled to cope with the lack of focus and funding which tourism brings to the region and the wildlife therein.
Together with the rest of other tourism partners worldwide, we had to brainstorm about recovery and to run campaigns with messaging like: “do not cancel your trip, travel tomorrow”, “Thank you for postponing your trip”. A message that has since changed to “travel now” as tourism reopens.
The old avowal goes, “…light at the end of the tunnel”.
On the eve of the discovery of a series of COVID-19 vaccines and their eventual distribution around the globe, countries including Uganda and Rwanda have since relaxed many of the restrictions on travel but maintained necessary safeguards to guarantee the safety of both the travelers and the destinations.
In Uganda and Rwanda, tourism was reopened and Adventure Consults is happy to share a list of the different measures implemented. The world is welcome to be at one with nature once again while keeping safe and healthy.
All tourism activities including primate tourism within Rwanda’s national parks, were resumed, but in line with enhanced COVID-19 prevention measures.
What you need to know before traveling to Rwanda in relation to covid protocols;
Arrival: Every traveler entering Rwanda is required to present a negative COVID-19 certificate. The only accepted test is SARS-CoV 2 Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) which must be performed within 120 hours before departing your country of origin.
In addition, the Rwandan Authorities introduced a second PCR test (with the exception of accompanied children below 5 years) which will be conducted upon arrival, with results delivered after 24 hours. All travellers are required to remain in designated hotels at own costs and adventure consults will make necessary reservations to make your travel arrangements smooth.
Guests who are already staying at various hotels around the country are also required to provide a negative certificate for the SARS-CoV 2 Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) or Rapid Antigen Test. However, for our international tourists who would have taken the second test upon arrival in the country, the negative test results would still be valid for 120 hours, after which they would be required to take another rapid test.
SARS-CoV 2 Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) taken within 120 hours will be the only accepted test for visitors to Volcanoes, Nyungwe, and Gishwati-Mukura national parks. A negative Rapid Antigen Test taken within 72 hours will also be allowed for Akagera National Park.
For all the other visitor destinations including the hotel stays, either a Rapid Antigen Test or SARS-CoV 2 Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) taken within 120 hours will be accepted.
The Rwandan Government also now requires that all travelers, including drivers and guides, fill and submit movement requests together with copies of negative COVID-19 test results to the Rwanda Development Board at least 24 hours prior to the travel date.
Tourists to Rwanda’s national parks are now required to complete a guest registration and indemnity form prior to travel and submit the form electronically to the park. Our team of consultants at Adventure Consults is ready to assist with this. Please get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org
Accompanying hotel guests under the age of 12 with a negative test certificate, are not required to undergo COVID-19 testing.
Departure: All travellers departing from Rwanda must test negative for Covid-19. Just like on arrival, the only accepted test is SARS-CoV 2 Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) taken within 120 hours before departure. Other tests such as Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) are not accepted. Please get in touch with our sales team for assistance.
If travellers test positive for Covid-19 (even if asymptomatic) while in Rwanda, they will be treated as indicated in the National Covid-19 management guidelines until they have fully recovered at their own cost. Adventure consults encourages all travellers to have international Travel insurance.
Where to test from: At the time putting this info together, tests can be done at various labs in the main capital Kigali, and also in Musanze near the Volcanoes National Park. Adventure Consults can however make special arrangements for tests to be done at your place of convenience but will be at an extra cost. Please get in touch – email@example.com
Covid test related costs – Rwanda.
Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test is USD 50 for travelers departing Rwanda and USD 60 for arriving visitors.
The Rapid Antigen test is USD 10 and results are typically available within 15 minutes of the test being taken.
Note that the above guidelines are subject to change, so please get in touch with us for regular and more up-to-date info – firstname.lastname@example.org