Flights, Hotels, etc
This page provides basic information on traveling to the field school, including airlines, insurance, languages, and more. An extensive checklist is provided to enrolled students.
Note that for the field school, all in-country expenses are included (hotel, meals, transportation, insurance).
However if you chose to stay longer or explore the region, you might find useful this information on hotels, visas, etc.
Students will be insured by GEOBlue as part of the program in Rwanda (see below). The cost is included in the program fee. This covers health related issues during the field school. Additional insurance is optional and can be purchased through travel agents. This kind of additional insurance covers things like baggage loss/delay or trip cancellation. Given the significant cost the the flights to the field school, we recommend purchasing trip insurance that allows for trip cancellation due to illness, natural disaster, etc.
Travel Agents in the US we like
STA Travel 1-800-495-5832
Tatum International 1-800-628-5722
Baobab Expeditions 1-516-622-2279
Flights to Rwanda from the US range from ~$2,000 (from the East coast) to ~$2,600 (from the West coast).
Following are some travel routes and airlines from US to Kigali. You have the option of stopping along the way, stay a while and explore, then continue.
- USA (major cities)- Amsterdam- Kigali (This is the most direct route)
- USA (major cities)- Brussels-Entebbe- Kigali
- USA (major cities)- London- Nairobi-Kigali (we try to avoid Nairobi)
- USA (major cities)- Frankfurt- Addis Ababa- Kigali (if possible, avoid this route because Ethiopia Air often leaves luggage behind—eventually it gets to the destination but it is a big hassle)
- USA (major cities)- Frankfurt- Doha-Kigali (Quatar Air has also caused delayed luggage)
- The best time to find cheap seats is Tuesdays 3pm
- Shop for 1 person then buy for more together 4 (eg if you are looking for seats for 4 but 3 cheap seats available, then you pay the high price for all 4, instead of 3 cheap and 1 expensive, as a separate transaction/reservation)
Hotel Chez Lando- $65-100 good food, internet, our favorite place to stay
Hotel des Mille Collines - ~$300 we know it very well, historically significant, good central location, internet, exercise room and pool
Umubano Hotel- $135-200 very pleasant grounds with pool, tennis courts, exercise/weight room and spa facility; often used by locals as a weekend club (daily fee)
Hotel Gorilla- $110 good price, good reviews, good location in town, good food (internet?), no personal experience here
Magnolia B&B $75 no personal experience here
Hotels- Ruhengeri / Musanze
Fatima Hotel- $35 clean and cheap; convenient location; internet
Hotel Muhabura- $45 well-known local hang-out/meeting location, very basic, not very clean, best fish & frites (fish & chips) in Rwanda, good location near Park office and Karisoke Research Center office
Gorilla's Nest - $300 all meals and drinks included, stunning location near Volcanoes National park making it easy to access gorillas
Ishema Hotel (Anglican mission) $80, no personal experience here
Akagera Game Lodge- $150 great pool, baboons everywhere
Ruzizi Tented Lodge- $195 priciy but spectacular luxory tents on the lake
Hotel du Mont Huye- $? lowish, in Butare, clean
Hotel Ibis- $160 ok, know it well but never liked it
Hotel Credo $75
Students participating in UA Faculty-led programs, direct enroll and exchange programs are automatically enrolled by our office into GeoBlue insurance for the dates of their program. Once enrolled, you will receive an email confirmation with your ID card and plan information to your UA email. It is possible to extend your coverage if you plan to travel outside of your study abroad programs dates, for more information please call (520) 626-9211.
Obtaining pre-travel health care and advice from a clinician familiar with travel is an important step in preparing for international travel. Ideally, this visit should take place 4-6 weeks before travel. The pre-travel visit includes a discussion of immunizations, prophylactic medications (such as antimalarial drugs), and specific health advice for preventing and treating Traveler’s diarrhea and other illnesses the traveler may encounter. University of Arizona students are required to make an appointment with the UA Travel Clinic. Non-UA studnets can utilize their own campus health facilities or find a private travel clinic, such as:
In Kigali, King Faisal Hospital is a private facility that offers 24-hour assistance with physicians and nurses on duty in the emergency room. King Faisal Hospital at (250 country code) 078 830 9003
The U.S. Embassy maintains a current list of healthcare providers and facilities in Rwanda on its website.
VISAS / US EMBASSY
- If you enter a country and remain "in transit" in the airport, then you do not need a visa. However, if you stop-over and need to stay the night, you will need a transit visa.
- take 2 passport size photos just in case you need quick visas
Listed below are countries exempted from Visa to Rwanda for visits up to 90 days:
- Hong Kong
- Democratic Republic of Congo
Listed below are countries who can be issued an entry visa ($30) upon arrival without prior application (valid for 30 days):
- United States of America
- United Kingdom
- Republic of South Africa
- New Zealand
Visas (Rwandan Embassy in Washington DC)
Information (Rwandan Embassy in Kigali)
US Embassy in Rwanda
2657 Avenue de la Gendarmerie
mailing address is B.P. 28, Kigali, Rwanda
tel.  (252) 596-400; fax:  (252) 596-591
American Citizens Services hours are Tuesdays from 09:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Fridays from 09:00 a.m. until noon, except for U.S. and Rwandan holidays. For after-hours emergencies, please call  (078)830-0345.
Flights may take you through Ethiopia. You can remain in transit, or take a few days to explore.
Information for Travelers (Ethiopian Embassy in Addis Ababa)
Visas (Ethiopian Embassy in Washington DC)
US DEPARTMENT OF STATE
U.S. citizens may also obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 from the United States and Canada, or 202-501-4444 from overseas.
Rwandans speak English, French, Kinyarwandan, and some Swahili
You can learn some basic conversational Kinyarwandan, Swahili and French through an audio course from your public library or online tutorials.
If you are traveling through other countries, it is worth getting other audio courses as well
- Murakoze (cyane) - Thank you (very much)
- Oya - No
- Yego -Yes (sometimes just eh)
- Tugende! - Lets go!
- Nta kibazo - No problem Sawa -
- Okay (Sw.)
- Urakire - Get better or rich (said when someone sneezes)
- Twese - All of us (expected response to urakire)