KIGALI – Rwanda on Wednesday announced the reopening of tourism activities, after months of suspension due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The reopening of tourism activities and resumption of international travel for charter flights are effective from June 17, 2020, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) said in a statement.
“Rwanda’s tourism industry is adapting to create a safe environment for travelers and operators, in order to thrive in these unprecedented times,” RDB’s Chief Tourism Officer Belise Kariza said in the statement.
“We encourage all travel enthusiasts and nature explorers to take advantage of this unique opportunity to venture out and experience the beauty and adventure that our country has to offer,” she added.
According to RDB, the permits for tracking endangered mountain gorillas are, from Wednesday until Dec. 31, 2020, available for 200 U.S. dollars to Rwandan nationals and East African Community nationals residing in Rwanda, 500 dollars to foreign residents, a sharp slump from 1,500 dollars for all visitors.
“Special packages are available for groups, families and corporates on other products in Volcanoes and Nyungwe National Parks,” the statement further read.
Africa Tembelea, has however learnt that domestic tourists intending to visit Volcanoes National Park in northern Rwanda and Nyungwe National Park in southwestern Rwanda will be required to take COVID-19 tests within 48 hours prior to visiting either park.
“A private test center has been set up at Petit Stade, Amahoro National Stadium in Kigali, by appointment only. Other test centers outside Kigali will be communicated as demand grows,” RDB said.
The board also noted that all visitors travelling by charter flights will be required to have tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours prior to arrival.
“Tourists will take a second COVID-19 test prior to visiting any tourist attraction,” RDB further stressed.
Rwanda’s three primate-dominated national parks, namely, Volcanoes, Nyungwe and Mukura-Gishwati had been closed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.