Moving to Rwanda
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A comprehensive guide to moving to Rwanda
Have you made plans to move to Rwanda? This country in the heart of Africa is an increasingly prosperous expat destination. Read the InterNations GO! Guide on moving to Rwanda for information on the climate, transportation, the land, its people and more!
Relocating to Rwanda
The Land and Its People
The Republic of Rwanda is a landlocked sovereign state at the confluence of Central and East Africa. With an estimated population of 12.4 million people in 2014 and a land mass of 26,338 square kilometers, it has one of the highest population densities on the continent, as well as one of the youngest and most rural populations. Compared with the surrounding nations, Rwanda also has low levels of governmental corruption and the highest number of females in governmental positions in relation to population.
The indigenous population is divided into three main groups; the Hutu (85% of the population), the Tutsis (10–14%), and the Twa (around 1%). The three official languages are Kinyarwanda, French, and English, all of which are taught in schools, with the emphasis on English. The majority of its population are Catholic (around 55%), but there are also large communities of Muslims, Protestants, and followers of the traditional Rwandan religions.
The Climate in Rwanda
Rwanda has a unique climate. Situated in an area where a traditional topical climate is the norm, its high elevation above sea level means that it experiences lower temperatures than many of the countries surrounding it.
This temperate tropical highland climate also means that temperatures aren’t seasonal — in fact, many regions experience the same temperature all year round. On average, those that live in Rwanda can expect daily temperatures anywhere between 12 and 27°C.
Instead, Rwanda’s seasons are divided into two dry and two rainy periods: the dry seasons occur between June and September and December and February; the wet seasons are from February to June and September to December. The amount of rain varies geographically, with more in the west and northwest of the country.
Getting to Rwanda
Although Rwanda is a developing nation with a growing economy; it lacks the transport infrastructure of larger African nations. Currently, it has only one international airport; Kigali International Airport, based just outside the capital city, which serves flights across Africa, Europe, and parts of the Middle East and Asia.
It also has intercity flights to Kamembe Airport, the small domestic Rwandan airport at Cyangugu. If you’re moving to Rwanda but not to the capital city, you will most likely need to fly in to Kigali International and continue your journey by road or by plane to Kamembe, as there is no train system.
There are talks being held over a new international airport at Nyamata, which would improve transport for those moving to Rwanda. There are no major ports, as Rwanda is landlocked, but there is water transport available on Lake Kivu.