US lifts Travel Restrictions on Americans in Rwanda
Travel to northern parts of Rwanda and the Volcanoes National Park for gorillas “is no longer restricted” for Americans, the US Embassy in Kigali has announced in a message to American nationals.
The embassy late last month released a travel advisory urging Americans to avoid non-essential travel to areas bordering DRC – mainly Rubavu. The US embassy had wanted Americans to stay away from those areas following two negligible attacks by Rwandan FDLR rebels on Rwandan soil.
But in a December 06 statement, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) dismissed the concerns. “We would like to reassure visitors that it is business as usual at all our tourism destinations,” said Clare Akamanzi, acting CEO of RDB, in the statement.
Now, in a new development, the US Embassy says all is fine for its nationals to travel to any part of the country.
“The U.S. Embassy alerts U.S. citizens that travel by official U.S. citizen personnel to the Rubavu district, Volcanoes National Park, the town of Kinigi, or the area to the north and west of Kinigi that abuts Volcanoes National park is no longer restricted,” said the Embassy in a December 10 advisory.
“U.S. citizens are no longer advised to avoid the aforementioned areas. There are currently no daytime travel restrictions in place for official U.S. citizens within Rwanda.”
Despite the conflict in eastern DRC that does not seem to go away for years, tourists have flocked to Rwanda year-in-year-out. The country received more than 680,000 visitors last year. A much bigger number is expected to be recorded by end of this year.Read More
Rwanda : Tourists speak out on Gallup research findings
Tourists in Rwanda also confirmed that their stay in Kigali city and the countryside is mainly marked with a sense of safety and feeling welcomed in the community despite the cultural differences.
“everywhere you go, you find there are security personnel and one of the biggest experiences of safety was one our truck had mechanical problems- the police and residents were there to help” one Mark O’Connell says, “even while walking on the streets of Kigali, I have never had a thought that someone would rob me, unlike in other cities in Africa.
A research report codenamed “‘Global States of Mind’ released by Gallup on October 31, 2012, indicated that Rwanda ranked top of the list of African countries where citizens are least likely to feel safe according to a research report conducted and
Rwanda scored 92percent followed by Georgia 91percent, and Qatar 91percent, while in Africa Niger was the second ranked country at 84 per cent
Responding to the outcomes of the Director General of Rwanda Governance Board, Prof. Anastase Shyaka, on December 4, 2012, expressed satisfaction that the governance approach the country has chosen to apply is working for its people, as reported in the influential Gallup’s World Poll of 2012.
Prof. Shyaka said Rwanda would continue to build on the successes mentioned above in the effort to take good governance to even higher levels.
The research also highlighted issues of widespread corruption in government indicators, in which Rwanda ranked as the second, scoring 12percent, next to Singapore which scores 5percent, in terms of least widespread of corruption.Read More