Is Rwanda safe for Americans -and anyone else?

Posted by on July 26, 2018

Each day several  people Google “Is Rwanda Safe for Americans?”

Is Rwanda safe for Americans -and anyone else? Safer than the US – Rwanda ranks 9th Safest Country in the World

Is Rwanda safe for Americans -and anyone else -Rwanda is one of Africa’s most stable – safe – secure and friendliest countries, in 2017 it was named the 9th Safest Country in the World.

 Each day the query “Is Rwanda Safe for Americans?”  shows up in our Blog analytical statistics.  You do not find the query “Is Rwanda safe for Brits, Germans, Danes, Belgians, Canadians, Russians, Chinese, Indians?”  Yet each day Americans query whether Rwanda is safe for Americans?

Rwanda is one of the safest and most secure countries in Africa, especially for visitors to Rwanda and even more so if certain Safety and Security guidelines and tips are followed during your visit to the Land of a Thousand Hills.  Kigaku one of the safest capitals in Africa and over 99%  of visitors come and leave Rwanda without an incident.  Rarely do you read anything in the local newspapers about a visitor to Rwanda having safety and security problems during their stay in Rwanda.  Things such as petty theft, credit card fraud, overcharging all can be avoided by common sense steps and read some of the Safety and Security Advice and Tips found on our site.

Hotels, Guest Houses, Backpacker Places, for the most part, use security personnel to make sure your stay with them is undisturbed.  Shops, Banks, Stores, Offices, Restaurants, Bars have security personnel stationed both outside and  at times inside of them.  If you are an American wanting to enter your Embassy you will find it like a fortress, with layers and layers of security and once inside be speaking to an embassy official you will do so through a bulletproof window in most cases.

The Rwandan government fully realizes that it is its sacred duty to ensure the safety of visitors to Rwanda and its own citizens.  The presence of police is found almost everywhere, ranging from traffic police to tourism police all there to make sure that Tourists and Visitors are safe.

Since most of our clients are tourists going on safari from around we realize that their well-being, their safety, and security are also part of as to how we plan their stay, their safari in Rwanda.  One of the reasons one finds search terms such as “is Rwanda safe for Americans?” is because of the volume of misinformation and outdated information about safety and security in Rwanda for visitors.

Is Rwanda safe for Americans -and anyone else? Rwanda is safe for visitors and tourists including Americans.  Rwanda is home to some of the friendliest people on the African Continent and I as an American feel quite safe in Rwanda probably safer than I would in some places in the USA.

Question by an American for Americans who want to come and visit Rwanda- Why Do Americans feel that Rwanda is not safe?  Take a look at the reality.

  • You cannot purchase a concealed weapon here – most of the population has no weapon in their home as in the USA
  • There are no weekly mass shootings like in the USA.
  • There are no continuous acts of violence such as killings by a vehicle as sadly happened in NYC just recently.
  • There are no massacres at Public Concerts, no killings of Church-Goers.
  • There is no organization that promotes weapon use.
  • Gun Permits are rarely issued.
  • You have armed security outside of every larger supermarket, bank, hospitals, larger hotels, vehicles are searched when you enter into a larger shopping center.
  • In Rwanda he Minority Muslim Population and Christians live in relative Harmony here.  Islam in the past has been declared a religion favorable to Rwanda since most Muslims did not partake in the Genocide of 1994.
  • There have been no Terrorist Attacks in Rwanda as in the USA and in parts of Europe.
  • There is no US Embassy Travel Alert for Rwanda presently.

Is Rwanda safe for Americans -and anyone else? The answer is a resounding yes, I feel a lot safer in either Rwanda or Uganda than I would in many areas of the USA. In 2017 Rwanda was declared the 9th safest country in the World by the World Economic Forum. Rwanda was placed ahead of Qatar, Luxembourg, Portugal, New Zealand, Austria, Estonia, Sweden, Slovenia, Spain, Netherlands, and Morocco. The USA did not make the top 20 on the list.

Rwanda is safe and secure for Gorilla Trekkers, Safari Goers, Women Solo Travelers, Gays, Rwanda is a safe and secure Tourist Destination.

July 2018 – Reports and Claims of Rebel Activity in and around Nyungwe Forest:

The online news media organizations based in Uganda during the first two weeks of July of 2018 have been reporting Rebel Activity within Rwanda

A more measured and less hyped realistic assessment is found in the East African Newspaper which is based in Nairobi but has reporters in Rwanda.  Rwandan news media has been relatively quiet regarding such reports but a military presence in Nyungwe Forest has increased especially along the border with Burundi.  The two countries have much in common and are culturally and historically linked but the relationship has been soured in recent years with accusations and counter-accusations being tossed about.

Excerpt from East African Newspaper:

 On July 16, the National Liberation Forces (NLF), an armed group of the Rwanda Movement for Democratic Change (RMDC), which is an opposition grouping linked to Paul Rusesabagina, has claimed responsibility for the attacks in Nyabimata and Kivu Sectors in Nyaruguru District.

Mr Rusesabagina’s claim to fame is the film Hotel Rwanda, a Hollywood production based on his heroic saving of civilians hiding in the Hotel des Mille Collines in Kigali during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Over the past couple of weeks, a gang armed with guns and machetes attacked villages in Nyabimata and Kivu Sectors in Nyaruguru District bordering the Nyungwe Forest, killing two people, kidnapping several others and injuring dozens, including a local leader.

The National Police said the group looted shops, burnt a vehicle belonging to a local official and forced some people to carry their loot.

“The gang stole livestock and foodstuff like beans, rice and Irish potatoes. They forced residents to carry the items, but released them following pressure from the army, which intervened immediately,” said a police statement.

Paul Rusesabagina, the hero of Hotel Rwanda that Rwanda and those that stayed inside of Hotel Rwanda – des Mille Collines Hotel call a fictional rendition of what actually took place.  Paul Rusesabagina, the decorated with honors ex-assistant manager of the Hotel has a dislike for the present Rwandan Government which now seems to be moving beyond blogs, beyond interviews into some actions.  The Rebels even have been using Social Media to spread words of their so-called struggle to overthrow the Rwandan Government.

The government of Rwanda will act quickly and with force eliminating the rebel upstarts if they are actually within the country or coming in from Burundi or the Democratic Republic of Congo. There will be no political correctness but tough action that Rwanda is known for in this region.  One might have forgotten that it was primarily Rwandan led forces that overthrew the Mobutu Government of then Zaire with lightning speed.  Rwanda is not a country to be messed with internally or externally and that is widely known and recognized in the region.  President Kagame, now in his third term is a no-nonsense man leading a country that is on the cutting edge of what African countries can become.

No tourists have been harmed, attacked.  We feel that this is a temporary situation and will soon be over.  We will update this page here.  Kigali, Volcanoes National Park, Lake Kivu have had no rebel activities.  The Word Rebel might be ill-advised and giving the group too much credit, presently they a are simply thugs and thieves, a small group that has garnered some press coverage in mostly Uganda and East  Africa and not in the international press.

Government Response to all this

Enjoy Safe and Secure Rwanda – the Land of a Thousand Hills and a Million Smiles – no wonder it is called Remarkable Rwanda.