Rwanda has announced that its airports will reopen to commercial flights on 1 August, having shut down to outside visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic. This move follows its 17 June reopening of domestic tourism and international charter flights.

An aerial shot of Downtown Kigali
Kigali has been at the centre of the country's nation-building efforts © Alex Niragira/500px

There are conditions though, including a requirement that all incoming passengers, including those in transit, will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test from a certified laboratory, taken within 72 hours of arriving in Rwanda. For passengers entering the East African country, a second test will be conducted upon arrival, with the results delivered within 24 hours. During this time, travelers will be required to self-quarantine in a designated hotel at their own cost.

Rwanda is known as Le Pays des Mille Collines (Land of a Thousand Hills) thanks to its many mountains, including the majestic Virunga volcanoes in the northwest. Hidden among the bamboo forests are some of the world's last remaining mountain gorillas, and Nyungwe Forest National Park protects extensive tracts of mountain rainforest and is home to many primates. All tourism activities, including primate trekking within Rwanda’s national parks, have now resumed in the country with enhanced COVID-19 prevention measures.

Women carrying firewood along a road beside tea plantaion and rainforest in Nyungwe
A tea plantation and rainforest in Nyungwe © Eric Lafforgue/Lonely Planet

Welcoming visitors back is important to Rwanda as tourism is a key contributor to the economy. The country is stable following the horrific genocide that occurred in 1994, and its capital, Kigali, has been at the centre of the country's nation-building efforts since that time. For more information on the tourism reopening guidelines, please visit here.

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