Flights to Rwanda – The Land of a Thousand Hills
Rwanda is called ‘Le Pays des Mille Collines’, meaning ‘The Land of a Thousand Hills’, because of its spectacular landscape of rolling hills and lush greenery. It is a small, landlocked country, located in Central and East Africa, in the African Great Lakes region. Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, is a pleasant city, spread across many hills. Get a glimpse into Rwanda’s friendly natives, the cultural dance forms, myriad nature parks, endangered mountain gorillas, scenic landscapes, serene lakes, fascinating museums, and beautiful art centers. It is truly a nature lover’s paradise.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Rwanda is during the dry seasons, from December to March and June to September, when gorilla spotting, Kwita Izina (naming ceremony of baby gorillas), and Rwanda Film Festival are the major highlights. It is ideal for trekking, hiking, and other exciting activities. This is the peak season, so you must plan your trip well in advance. Gorillas are best spotted during the onset of rains, from March to May. Note that Yellow Fever vaccination is mandatory while traveling to this destination.
How to get there
Rwanda is a dream destination for many, and flying there is very easy thanks to major domestic and international airlines such as Air India, Etihad Airways, Vistara, Air France, Jet Airways, Qatar Airways, etc. They ply several connecting flights from India to Kigali every week. Kigali International Airport is the primary airport of Rwanda, located in Kanombe, about 10 km from the city of Kigali. Conveyance within the city is via express taxis and buses.
Places to stay
Kigali’s major areas like Nyarutarama, Airport Road, Nyarugenge District, Kimihurura, Remera, and Kiyovo offer excellent accommodation options for all kinds of travelers. These include budget hotels, luxury hotels, guesthouses, forest lodges, cottages, youth hostels, etc. The per-night accommodation costs range from INR 1,000 to INR 22,000, approximately.
Visit the top ones in Kigali, such as Kigali Genocide Memorial, Niyo Art Gallery, Nyamata Church, Ntarama Church, Presidential Palace Museum, Kandt House Natural History Museum, and Kigali City Tower. Virunga National Park is known for its excellent biodiversity and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Lake Kivu is an extremely beautiful Great African Lake, surrounded by green terraced hills. The hills further lead to inlets, beaches, and popular tourist towns of Gisenyi, Cyangugu, and Kibuye. Gisenyi takes you past the gateway to the gorillas, a.k.a. the Musanze District, and is an idyllic resort town. It offers various lakeside activities, serene beaches, and is known for the locally produced beer- Primus. The National Museum of Rwanda in Butare has East Africa’s finest ethnographic collection, exhibiting Rwanda’s unique cultural history.
Gorilla trekking and tracking of golden monkeys in the Volcanoes National Park is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for every tourist. Akagera National Park’s safari is a treat for all wildlife lovers, offering captivating views of a plethora of wild animals and birds in their natural habitats. You can also enjoy night drives in the park and boat trips alongside the second largest lake of Rwanda, Lake lhema. Nyungwe Forest National Park is a heavenly picture, with tall mahoganies, ferns, and orchids all around, vibrant butterflies and birds, and a vast variety of African primates and animals. The park also conducts activities like photography, primate trekking, excursions to Gisakura Tea Factory and Lake Kivu, bird walks, etc.
Shopping in Rwanda
Check out Rwandan raffia work jewelry and baskets, wood carvings, scarves, batik prints, hand-woven textiles, recycled metal jewelry, Gatagara pottery, Rwandan tea, etc. Kigali has several places and markets where you can find these unique items, among which ‘Caplaki Co-operative’ is the most popular.
Rwandan cuisine is based on its staple foods, such as plantains, beans, bananas, pulses, cassava, and sweet potatoes. The most popular dishes of Rwanda include Michopo (a pork dish), Brochette (meat on stick), Nyama Choma (roasted goat meat), Ugali (made of water and maize flour), Mizuzu (fried plantains), Isombe (cassava leaves with spinach and eggplant), and Ibirayi (a side dish made of fried potato).
•Which are the budget airlines to Rwanda?
Ethiopian Airlines, Jet Airways, and Vistara are the budget airlines to Rwanda.
•What is the time difference between India and Rwanda?
Rwanda is 3 hours and 30 minutes behind India.
•What is the average flight duration from major Indian metros to Kigali?
Bangalore to Kigali – 13 hours and 40 minutes
Chennai to Kigali – 13 hours
Delhi to Kigali – 12 hours
Hyderabad to Kigali – 12 hours and 20 minutes
•What are the major layover airports for connecting flights to Rwanda?
Amsterdam, Delhi, Dubai, and Paris are the major layover airports for connecting flights to Rwanda.
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