Is health and safety a concern in Rwanda? In reality, Rwanda is generally a safe destination for tourists, and access to medical assistance is readily available. Major towns boast hospitals, while pharmacies are present in towns of varying sizes, albeit with a potential limitation in the range of available medicines.
The primary health risk for travelers in Rwanda is malaria, particularly in high-risk malarial zones like Akagera National Park and other low-lying areas, especially during the rainy season.
While sanitation-related diseases such as cholera, giardia, dysentery, and typhoid are less common, they still pose genuine threats associated with tropical regions. Bilharzia, contracted by swimming in freshwater habitats inhabited by disease-carrying snails, is another concern.
Contrary to popular perception, Rwanda is one of East Africa’s safest countries for travel. Instances of serious crime or targeted hostility towards travelers are rare. Kigali, often considered one of Africa’s safest capitals, is generally secure, but common-sense precautions, especially at night, are advisable in any large city.
The risk of theft is higher in busy markets and bus stations, so it’s essential to keep a close eye on your belongings. Avoid displaying valuables or carrying large sums of money openly in your daypack or pocket. Additionally, refrain from photographing government or military-related sites, as this can lead to confiscation by vigilant police or security services.
In essence, by keeping these considerations in mind, health and safety concerns in Rwanda should not deter you from planning a visit to this beautiful country.