Traveling To

Rwanda: Health Guide

Majestic rainforests and heartwarming culture. Indulge yourself in the local customs and wildlife experiences of the country, from Kigali to the magnificent Silverback Gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park. Use this guide as your travel wellness advisor to stay healthy in Rwanda.

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Travel Vaccines and Health Tips for Traveling to Rwanda

If you’re traveling directly from the US, Rwanda does not require any vaccines to enter.

This changes if your itinerary includes a visit to or a 12+ hour layover in another country before you make it to Rwanda. A Yellow Fever vaccine and proof of vaccination may be required to enter. Check here to see if you are traveling from a Yellow Fever endemic area. 

*Note that Kenya and Uganda are considered to be a Yellow Fever Endemic country and are often combined with Rwanda. If you are stopping in either country before Rwanda, you will need proof of Yellow Fever vaccination or a Yellow Fever exemption certificate to enter the Rwanda.

Always recommended:

  • Chickenpox
  • Diphtheria – Tetanus – Pertussis
  • Measles – Mumps – Rubella (MMR)
  • Polio
  • Shingles
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • COVID-19

Excluding COVID-19, these vaccines are all recommended during childhood. If you received them as a child, you are all set.

Conditionally recommended:

    • Yellow Fever – Only required if you are entering Rwanda from a Yellow Fever endemic country. Check here
    • TyphoidRecommended if you are visiting villages and rural areas outside usual tourist routes or enjoying an extended stay with loved ones. Learn more.
    • Rabies – Recommended if you are planning activities that may involve physical contact with domestic animals or wildlife (e.g. veterinary work, farm visits). Learn more. This does not include safari, where you will be observing animals from a distance.

Rwanda has too many adventures and places to explore for sickness to ruin your plans. Runway can prescribe these trip-saving medications in minutes:

Malaria Medication

is recommended for all travelers visiting Rwanda. Malaria is a risk throughout the country, including Kigali, Volcanoes National Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park, Lake Kivu, Akagera National Park and beyond.

Altitude Sickness Medication

is recommended for locations 8000 ft above sea level to prevent headaches, dizziness, and dehydration. For those planning to visit the Virunga Mountains (spanning from Volcanoes National Park to Nyungwe National Park), we advise keeping medication on hand as symptoms set in within the first 6-24 hours.

Traveler’s Diarrhea Antibiotics

help alleviate an intestinal infection that occurs as a result of eating or drinking contaminated food or water. Traveler’s Diarrhea is common, so it’s a good idea to have medication on hand just in case.

Motion Sickness Medication

is recommended for all the bumps and curves along your journey. Whether traveling by land or water, your safari game drive or cross country road trips will be more enjoyable without nausea and dizziness tagging along.

Add medication to your treatment plan in the section below.

(Required to enter country)

Medical Entry Requirements For Rwanda

If you’re traveling directly from the US, Rwanda does not require any vaccines to enter.

This changes if your itinerary includes a visit to or a 12+ hour layover in another country before you make it to Rwanda. A Yellow Fever vaccine and proof of vaccination may be required to enter. Check here to see if you are traveling from a Yellow Fever endemic area. 

*Note that Kenya and Uganda are considered to be a Yellow Fever Endemic country and are often combined with Rwanda. If you are stopping in either country before Rwanda, you will need proof of Yellow Fever vaccination or a Yellow Fever exemption certificate to enter the Rwanda.

Recommended Medications for Rwanda

Rwanda has too many adventures and places to explore for sickness to ruin your plans. Runway can prescribe these trip-saving medications in minutes:

Malaria Medication

is recommended for all travelers visiting Rwanda. Malaria is a risk throughout the country, including Kigali, Volcanoes National Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park, Lake Kivu, Akagera National Park and beyond.

Altitude Sickness Medication

is recommended for locations 8000 ft above sea level to prevent headaches, dizziness, and dehydration. For those planning to visit the Virunga Mountains (spanning from Volcanoes National Park to Nyungwe National Park), we advise keeping medication on hand as symptoms set in within the first 6-24 hours.

Traveler’s Diarrhea Antibiotics

help alleviate an intestinal infection that occurs as a result of eating or drinking contaminated food or water. Traveler’s Diarrhea is common, so it’s a good idea to have medication on hand just in case.

Motion Sickness Medication

is recommended for all the bumps and curves along your journey. Whether traveling by land or water, your safari game drive or cross country road trips will be more enjoyable without nausea and dizziness tagging along.

Add medication to your treatment plan in the section below.

Recommended Vaccines For Rwanda

Always recommended:

  • Chickenpox
  • Diphtheria – Tetanus – Pertussis
  • Measles – Mumps – Rubella (MMR)
  • Polio
  • Shingles
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • COVID-19

Excluding COVID-19, these vaccines are all recommended during childhood. If you received them as a child, you are all set.

Conditionally recommended:

    • Yellow Fever – Only required if you are entering Rwanda from a Yellow Fever endemic country. Check here
    • TyphoidRecommended if you are visiting villages and rural areas outside usual tourist routes or enjoying an extended stay with loved ones. Learn more.
    • Rabies – Recommended if you are planning activities that may involve physical contact with domestic animals or wildlife (e.g. veterinary work, farm visits). Learn more. This does not include safari, where you will be observing animals from a distance.

Medical Entry Requirements

Medications To Bring

Buying Medications In Rwanda

Vaccinations For Rwanda

Healthcare In Rwanda

How To Avoid Illness In Rwanda

Vaccinations For Rwanda

Buying Medications In Rwanda

Explore More

Build Your Plan

Everything You Need To Know

From vaccination requirements to best health practices, all your Rwanda travel questions answered.

Rwanda does not currently require any vaccines for travel from the United States.

 

A yellow fever vaccination is required at least 10 days prior to arrival in Rwanda if traveling (including passing through an airport for greater than 12 hours) from a yellow fever risk country designated by the World Health Organization (WHO): 

  • African Continent: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of Cono, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, SIerra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Togo, Uganda 
  • South & Central America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela

 

Travel with your proof of vaccination card to enter Rwanda. 

 

*Note that Kenya and Uganda are considered to be a Yellow Fever Endemic country and are often combined with Rwanda. If you are stopping in either country before Rwanda, you will need proof of Yellow Fever vaccination or a Yellow Fever exemption certificate to enter the Rwanda.

 

Source: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Rwanda.html

There are several common health conditions to consider when traveling to Rwanda. Runway can help you prepare by prescribing the medication you need before you depart, so you can worry less and explore more while you’re away.

 

  • Malaria Medication: Malaria in Rwanda is present throughout the country and most travelers visiting Rwanda will travel with malaria medication. Malaria is contracted through mosquito bites, so it is always smart to be thorough with insect repellent – especially around dawn and dusk.  Runway can prescribe malaria medication, listed in the medication options above, to be taken during your trip. 

 

  • Traveler’s Diarrhea Antibiotics: Traveler’s diarrhea is an intestinal infection that occurs as a result of eating or drinking contaminated food or water. It’s best to avoid non-bottled water as much as possible. Runway can prescribe anti-diarrhea antibiotics, listed in the medication options above, to pack with you in case you find yourself experiencing discomfort.  

 

  • Motion Sickness Medication: Whether cruising by boat or traveling by car, motion sickness can ruin the journey with dizziness, nausea, and fatigue. This is especially common while on safari game drives, with long drives on bumpy roads. Runway can prescribe motion sickness patches, listed in the medication options above, to alleviate queasiness during your trip and allow you to soak in the scenery.

 

  • Altitude Sickness Medication: The average altitude of Rwanda is 5,000 feet above seal level, but the Virunga Mountains, spanning from Volcanoes National Park to Nyungwe National Park sit at varying high altitude. The starting height for most cases of altitude sickness is 8,000 ft above sea level. However, people who are more susceptible to altitude sickness can experience symptoms at elevations of 5,000 ft and above. The peak of Mount Karisimbi sits at +14,000 ft above sea level, but altitude sickness can be experienced at any point of the journey.  Runway can prescribe altitude sickness medication, listed in the medication options above, to be brought with you as a preventative measure. We also provide chat support while you are traveling, should you have questions about your symptoms or when to take the medication. We always recommended understanding common symptoms prior to travel, in case cell service is unavailable. 

 

  • Sleep Aids: We’re no strangers to the perils of jet lag. This common condition, due to a disruption of the body’s natural circadian rhythm, can lead to symptoms like sleeplessness, fatigue, and digestive issues. While we recommend working to sync up your sleep-wake time to your current destination as soon as possible, Runway can also prescribe a non-habit-forming antihistamine jet lag medication to help maintain a healthy sleep routine while you travel.

 

Can I carry medicines on international flights?

 

Medications in pill or solid form are approved for international flights. Keep them in your carry-on for convenient access. For liquid medications that exceed 3.4 ounces, you may be asked to pack these in your checked luggage, so plan accordingly.

Medications you procure in Rwanda may not always be manufactured in an FDA approved facility and pharmacies may not always be in close proximity while on safari. Planning in advance with Runway allows you peace of mind of having the medications you need so you can enjoy your trip to the fullest.

Make sure you’re up to date on any routine and recommended vaccinations weeks in advance of your trip to Rwanda. 

 

What vaccines should I have when traveling to Rwanda?

While there are no required vaccines for Rwanda for those traveling from the US, the lists below include recommended vaccines that you might need based on your personal history and trip activities. 

Recommended Vaccines for Traveling to Rwanda

The list below includes the routine childhood vaccinations that are recommended for traveling to Rwanda. If you received vaccines as a child, you likely received the following and are ready to go:

  • Chickenpox
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis
  • Measles-Mumps-Rebella (MMR)
  • Polio
  • Shingles
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B

 

Other Vaccine Considerations for Travel To Rwanda

 

Here is a list of additional vaccines for preventable diseases that you may want to consider based on your trip itinerary:

 

  • Yellow Fever: Only required if traveling from a country considered high risk for Yellow Fever in Rwanda as designated by WHO. This includes airport layovers greater than 12 hours in the listed areas throughout Africa and Central and South America. 

 

  • COVID-19: Recommended for all travelers headed to Rwanda.

 

  • Rabies: Recommended for travelers planning to be in physical contact with dogs or wildlife–as rabid dogs are common in Rwanda and local rabies treatment may be limited. Most travelers will not need a preventative Rabies vaccination unless they plan to do any of the following: wild camping, cave exploring, handling animals (veterinary work, field biology, handling specimens in a lab), and visiting rural areas.  As a rule, we recommend avoiding interaction with animals – even domestic pets may carry diseases. 

  • Typhoid: Recommended for travelers visiting rural or remote areas, enjoying an extended stay with loved ones, or traveling extensively in the interior of Rwanda (e.g. hikers or trekkers). Travelers who use antacid therapy should also consider Typhoid vaccination. Typhoid is contracted through contaminated water, but most safari lodges have their own filtration system or provide filtered water, which leads to very low risk of Typhoid. 

        

        

Sources: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2020/travel-related-infectious-diseases/yellow-fever

Proper preventative and proactive care can reduce the need to find healthcare in Rwanda. However, we recommend making a list of local doctors and hospitals near the destination you’re staying, in advance of your trip. If you are going on safari in Rwanda, you may not always have quick access to hospitals.

 

Because of this, we strongly advise you to purchase travel insurance with emergency medical evacuations coverage. Also, most traditional healthcare coverage doesn’t extend internationally, but travel insurance will keep you covered. Fill all prescriptions prior to embarking on your trip to ensure you have enough with you for the duration of your travels plus a few extra days in case of delays.

 

How do I search for Rwanda hospitals?

 

While Rwanda has the most prized nationalized healthcare system for citizens on the continent, Rwanda requires all visitors to carry travelers insurance with medical coverage. As a small country, medical help is rarely far away. For basic treatment most towns of any size have pharmacies with a limited range of medicines, while larger towns have hospitals. King Faisal Hospital in Kigali is the most advanced in Rwanda. The Joint Commission International website and the U.S. Embassy can also be resources to locate healthcare organizations in or near the city where you’re staying.

 

What should I know about Rwanda healthcare for tourists?

 

Depending on your condition and location, access to appropriate care may vary. We suggest you procure travel insurance which can provide you with additional information and support about costs of services, coverage, and areas of available care. Check your emergency medical evacuation coverage to understand your options of getting you from remote areas to a doctor in the most efficient way possible, in case of emergency. 

 

What is the average cost of hospital stay in Rwanda?

 

A hospital stay in Rwanda can vary in costs, especially as economic environments change. However, costs are low when compared to medical costs in the US. There is no set intake fee, so it’s best to confirm costs in advance to avoid unexpected expenses. Keep in mind, there are several factors that will contribute to the hospital cost, such as emergency services, x-rays, hospital location, and the duration of the stay.

Prevention is key. Be aware of certain high-risk areas and environments and take proper precautions for each. Take heed of destination updates with regards to weather, vaccination recommendations, and other safety advisories. If you are prone to jet lag, motion sickness, or traveler’s diarrhea get preventative medication from Runway to help keep symptoms at bay. 

 

Are there common conditions I’m susceptible to when traveling to Rwanda?

 

Warm temperatures, time zone differences, and varying levels of activity can all result in health conditions when traveling to Rwanda. Here are common ones to be aware of and prepare for to ensure an optimal trip experience.

 

  • Heat Exhaustion: Weather in Rwanda can be warm year round, with the hottest month being between September and February. Note that most safari lodges do not have air conditioning. Pack loose, lightweight clothing that provides breathable coverage on the arms and legs. Also, stay hydrated with sealed filtered water bottles and well-nourished with salty snacks. Since the body’s salt content can be quickly depleted from excessive sweating, you may also want to take salt pills and/or electrolyte-based drinks with you along on your adventures.

 

  • Hyperthermia: Higher humidity levels can be found in the tropical climate of Rwanda. Though temperatures may not be as high as the desert regions, dense humidity can lead to the body overheating (hyperthermia) and result in muscle cramps, dizziness, and fatigue, and other symptoms. Consider the climate and level of activity day to day to prevent overexertion and carry enough supplies to stay hydrated and cool.

 

Here are a few other things to be mindful of as you plan your trip.

 

  • Regularly reapply bug repellent: In addition to preventing mosquito bites, especially Malaria,Chikungunya and Dengue in Rwanda, certain areas of the country have a prominent tick population. When exploring the landscape of your destination, check your head and neck for ticks at the end of each day. Prevent African Tick-Bite Fever, as well as mosquito-carrying diseases, by using bug repellents with active ingredients, such as DEET and Picaridin, in high percentages for extended protection. Note that mosquitoes are most commonly active at dawn and dusk and tend to bite ankles, wrists and necklines. Spray up all exposed areas before each game drive or activity, refreshing throughout the day. 

 

  • Avoid tap water: Drinking tap water in Rwanda may result in travelers’ diarrhea and other illnesses due to bacteria found in the source. Stick with sealed, filtered water for hydration and be cautious of fresh produce that may have been affected by contaminated water as well. Most lodges provide filtered water or have their own filtration system, but you can always check in prior to your arrival. 

 

  • Stay alert to changing conditions: Outdoor adventuring is part of the thrill and experience of traveling in Rwanda. Since some locations are more developed than others, research and stay updated on any hazardous landscapes and changing weather conditions. Pack protective gear, including a hat, sunscreen, first aid kit, loose, lightweight layers of clothing, and plenty of water and snacks. 

 

  • Sleeplessness: Time zone changes affect the body in different ways due to disruption to the body’s circadian rhythm. Though easily treatable, jet lag can lead to uncomfortable symptoms like sleeplessness that can affect your travel plans. Runway can prescribe non-habit forming sleep medication to take before bed so you can catch some z’s regardless of what time zone you’re in.

 

  • Steer clear of raw foods: While many hotels and lodges have very sanitary prepping environments, steer clear of street food and avoid eating raw meats, fish, and eggs, as well as unwashed, raw fruits and vegetables. Try not to visit any food markets with live animals. Also, consider ordering drinks without ice to prevent possible contaminated water, with the exception of lodges and hotels that use filtered water.

 

  • Keep wild animals wild: While touching, petting, and feeding wild animals is exciting, remember that most wild animals are not comfortable interacting with humans or have been habituated into doing so for food. No matter if they are domestic pets or wild creatures, animal licks, bites, and scratches can lead to bacterial infections. Be aware of animals being used for financial gain and look into the animal welfare of any wildlife related activity. Protect these animals and yourself by keeping wild animals wild!

 

Prepare for every adventure with trip-saving medications from Runway.

 

Rwanda does not currently require any vaccines for travel from the United States.

 

A yellow fever vaccination is required at least 10 days prior to arrival in Rwanda if traveling (including passing through an airport for greater than 12 hours) from a yellow fever risk country designated by the World Health Organization (WHO): 

  • African Continent: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of Cono, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, SIerra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Togo, Uganda 
  • South & Central America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela

 

Travel with your proof of vaccination card to enter Rwanda. 

 

*Note that Kenya and Uganda are considered to be a Yellow Fever Endemic country and are often combined with Rwanda. If you are stopping in either country before Rwanda, you will need proof of Yellow Fever vaccination or a Yellow Fever exemption certificate to enter the Rwanda.

 

Source: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Rwanda.html

There are several common health conditions to consider when traveling to Rwanda. Runway can help you prepare by prescribing the medication you need before you depart, so you can worry less and explore more while you’re away.

 

  • Malaria Medication: Malaria in Rwanda is present throughout the country and most travelers visiting Rwanda will travel with malaria medication. Malaria is contracted through mosquito bites, so it is always smart to be thorough with insect repellent – especially around dawn and dusk.  Runway can prescribe malaria medication, listed in the medication options above, to be taken during your trip. 

 

  • Traveler’s Diarrhea Antibiotics: Traveler’s diarrhea is an intestinal infection that occurs as a result of eating or drinking contaminated food or water. It’s best to avoid non-bottled water as much as possible. Runway can prescribe anti-diarrhea antibiotics, listed in the medication options above, to pack with you in case you find yourself experiencing discomfort.  

 

  • Motion Sickness Medication: Whether cruising by boat or traveling by car, motion sickness can ruin the journey with dizziness, nausea, and fatigue. This is especially common while on safari game drives, with long drives on bumpy roads. Runway can prescribe motion sickness patches, listed in the medication options above, to alleviate queasiness during your trip and allow you to soak in the scenery.

 

  • Altitude Sickness Medication: The average altitude of Rwanda is 5,000 feet above seal level, but the Virunga Mountains, spanning from Volcanoes National Park to Nyungwe National Park sit at varying high altitude. The starting height for most cases of altitude sickness is 8,000 ft above sea level. However, people who are more susceptible to altitude sickness can experience symptoms at elevations of 5,000 ft and above. The peak of Mount Karisimbi sits at +14,000 ft above sea level, but altitude sickness can be experienced at any point of the journey.  Runway can prescribe altitude sickness medication, listed in the medication options above, to be brought with you as a preventative measure. We also provide chat support while you are traveling, should you have questions about your symptoms or when to take the medication. We always recommended understanding common symptoms prior to travel, in case cell service is unavailable. 

 

  • Sleep Aids: We’re no strangers to the perils of jet lag. This common condition, due to a disruption of the body’s natural circadian rhythm, can lead to symptoms like sleeplessness, fatigue, and digestive issues. While we recommend working to sync up your sleep-wake time to your current destination as soon as possible, Runway can also prescribe a non-habit-forming antihistamine jet lag medication to help maintain a healthy sleep routine while you travel.

 

Can I carry medicines on international flights?

 

Medications in pill or solid form are approved for international flights. Keep them in your carry-on for convenient access. For liquid medications that exceed 3.4 ounces, you may be asked to pack these in your checked luggage, so plan accordingly.

Medications you procure in Rwanda may not always be manufactured in an FDA approved facility and pharmacies may not always be in close proximity while on safari. Planning in advance with Runway allows you peace of mind of having the medications you need so you can enjoy your trip to the fullest.

Make sure you’re up to date on any routine and recommended vaccinations weeks in advance of your trip to Rwanda. 

 

What vaccines should I have when traveling to Rwanda?

While there are no required vaccines for Rwanda for those traveling from the US, the lists below include recommended vaccines that you might need based on your personal history and trip activities. 

Recommended Vaccines for Traveling to Rwanda

The list below includes the routine childhood vaccinations that are recommended for traveling to Rwanda. If you received vaccines as a child, you likely received the following and are ready to go:

  • Chickenpox
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis
  • Measles-Mumps-Rebella (MMR)
  • Polio
  • Shingles
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B

 

Other Vaccine Considerations for Travel To Rwanda

 

Here is a list of additional vaccines for preventable diseases that you may want to consider based on your trip itinerary:

 

  • Yellow Fever: Only required if traveling from a country considered high risk for Yellow Fever in Rwanda as designated by WHO. This includes airport layovers greater than 12 hours in the listed areas throughout Africa and Central and South America. 

 

  • COVID-19: Recommended for all travelers headed to Rwanda.

 

  • Rabies: Recommended for travelers planning to be in physical contact with dogs or wildlife–as rabid dogs are common in Rwanda and local rabies treatment may be limited. Most travelers will not need a preventative Rabies vaccination unless they plan to do any of the following: wild camping, cave exploring, handling animals (veterinary work, field biology, handling specimens in a lab), and visiting rural areas.  As a rule, we recommend avoiding interaction with animals – even domestic pets may carry diseases. 

  • Typhoid: Recommended for travelers visiting rural or remote areas, enjoying an extended stay with loved ones, or traveling extensively in the interior of Rwanda (e.g. hikers or trekkers). Travelers who use antacid therapy should also consider Typhoid vaccination. Typhoid is contracted through contaminated water, but most safari lodges have their own filtration system or provide filtered water, which leads to very low risk of Typhoid. 

        

        

Sources: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2020/travel-related-infectious-diseases/yellow-fever

Proper preventative and proactive care can reduce the need to find healthcare in Rwanda. However, we recommend making a list of local doctors and hospitals near the destination you’re staying, in advance of your trip. If you are going on safari in Rwanda, you may not always have quick access to hospitals.

 

Because of this, we strongly advise you to purchase travel insurance with emergency medical evacuations coverage. Also, most traditional healthcare coverage doesn’t extend internationally, but travel insurance will keep you covered. Fill all prescriptions prior to embarking on your trip to ensure you have enough with you for the duration of your travels plus a few extra days in case of delays.

 

How do I search for Rwanda hospitals?

 

While Rwanda has the most prized nationalized healthcare system for citizens on the continent, Rwanda requires all visitors to carry travelers insurance with medical coverage. As a small country, medical help is rarely far away. For basic treatment most towns of any size have pharmacies with a limited range of medicines, while larger towns have hospitals. King Faisal Hospital in Kigali is the most advanced in Rwanda. The Joint Commission International website and the U.S. Embassy can also be resources to locate healthcare organizations in or near the city where you’re staying.

 

What should I know about Rwanda healthcare for tourists?

 

Depending on your condition and location, access to appropriate care may vary. We suggest you procure travel insurance which can provide you with additional information and support about costs of services, coverage, and areas of available care. Check your emergency medical evacuation coverage to understand your options of getting you from remote areas to a doctor in the most efficient way possible, in case of emergency. 

 

What is the average cost of hospital stay in Rwanda?

 

A hospital stay in Rwanda can vary in costs, especially as economic environments change. However, costs are low when compared to medical costs in the US. There is no set intake fee, so it’s best to confirm costs in advance to avoid unexpected expenses. Keep in mind, there are several factors that will contribute to the hospital cost, such as emergency services, x-rays, hospital location, and the duration of the stay.

Prevention is key. Be aware of certain high-risk areas and environments and take proper precautions for each. Take heed of destination updates with regards to weather, vaccination recommendations, and other safety advisories. If you are prone to jet lag, motion sickness, or traveler’s diarrhea get preventative medication from Runway to help keep symptoms at bay. 

 

Are there common conditions I’m susceptible to when traveling to Rwanda?

 

Warm temperatures, time zone differences, and varying levels of activity can all result in health conditions when traveling to Rwanda. Here are common ones to be aware of and prepare for to ensure an optimal trip experience.

 

  • Heat Exhaustion: Weather in Rwanda can be warm year round, with the hottest month being between September and February. Note that most safari lodges do not have air conditioning. Pack loose, lightweight clothing that provides breathable coverage on the arms and legs. Also, stay hydrated with sealed filtered water bottles and well-nourished with salty snacks. Since the body’s salt content can be quickly depleted from excessive sweating, you may also want to take salt pills and/or electrolyte-based drinks with you along on your adventures.

 

  • Hyperthermia: Higher humidity levels can be found in the tropical climate of Rwanda. Though temperatures may not be as high as the desert regions, dense humidity can lead to the body overheating (hyperthermia) and result in muscle cramps, dizziness, and fatigue, and other symptoms. Consider the climate and level of activity day to day to prevent overexertion and carry enough supplies to stay hydrated and cool.

 

Here are a few other things to be mindful of as you plan your trip.

 

  • Regularly reapply bug repellent: In addition to preventing mosquito bites, especially Malaria,Chikungunya and Dengue in Rwanda, certain areas of the country have a prominent tick population. When exploring the landscape of your destination, check your head and neck for ticks at the end of each day. Prevent African Tick-Bite Fever, as well as mosquito-carrying diseases, by using bug repellents with active ingredients, such as DEET and Picaridin, in high percentages for extended protection. Note that mosquitoes are most commonly active at dawn and dusk and tend to bite ankles, wrists and necklines. Spray up all exposed areas before each game drive or activity, refreshing throughout the day. 

 

  • Avoid tap water: Drinking tap water in Rwanda may result in travelers’ diarrhea and other illnesses due to bacteria found in the source. Stick with sealed, filtered water for hydration and be cautious of fresh produce that may have been affected by contaminated water as well. Most lodges provide filtered water or have their own filtration system, but you can always check in prior to your arrival. 

 

  • Stay alert to changing conditions: Outdoor adventuring is part of the thrill and experience of traveling in Rwanda. Since some locations are more developed than others, research and stay updated on any hazardous landscapes and changing weather conditions. Pack protective gear, including a hat, sunscreen, first aid kit, loose, lightweight layers of clothing, and plenty of water and snacks. 

 

  • Sleeplessness: Time zone changes affect the body in different ways due to disruption to the body’s circadian rhythm. Though easily treatable, jet lag can lead to uncomfortable symptoms like sleeplessness that can affect your travel plans. Runway can prescribe non-habit forming sleep medication to take before bed so you can catch some z’s regardless of what time zone you’re in.

 

  • Steer clear of raw foods: While many hotels and lodges have very sanitary prepping environments, steer clear of street food and avoid eating raw meats, fish, and eggs, as well as unwashed, raw fruits and vegetables. Try not to visit any food markets with live animals. Also, consider ordering drinks without ice to prevent possible contaminated water, with the exception of lodges and hotels that use filtered water.

 

  • Keep wild animals wild: While touching, petting, and feeding wild animals is exciting, remember that most wild animals are not comfortable interacting with humans or have been habituated into doing so for food. No matter if they are domestic pets or wild creatures, animal licks, bites, and scratches can lead to bacterial infections. Be aware of animals being used for financial gain and look into the animal welfare of any wildlife related activity. Protect these animals and yourself by keeping wild animals wild!

 

Prepare for every adventure with trip-saving medications from Runway.

 

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    Start your online visit

    Runway offers travelers like you, the medications you may need before you go.