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Etiquette

Rwanda is a welcoming country, but following a few rules of etiquette will make your travels smoother.

  • Greetings Rwandans are generally very polite and somewhat formal on first meetings. It's extremely common to exchange quite stilted pleasantries and greetings before moving into conversation, in the French style. Otherwise, Rwandans are rather relaxed and far more outgoing than their Ugandan cousins. Most are delighted to meet travellers visiting their country and so you can expect to feel extremely welcome wherever you go.

  • African time Impatience will get you nowhere in Rwanda, where nothing is hurried.

  • Photographing people Ask permission to photograph if a candid shot can't be made and don't insist or snap a picture anyway if permission is denied.

  • Ethnicity It is considered inappropriate to ask if someone is Hutu or Tutsi. Most people identify themselves as Rwandan, keen to put the tribal divisions of the past behind them.