Five Things Tourists Can Never Do in Rwanda
Rwanda is a landlocked country in East Africa with perfect destinations for a vacation in which most tourists from all corners of the world explore her. It has gorgeous museums, national parks and the Kigali Genocide Memorial. It is essential for tourists who desire to visit this country to learn and understand a few things that are illegal to avoid confrontation with authorities.
In order to have a perfect trip to Rwanda, check out the following things that are not allowed.
To begin with, tourists are not allowed to enter the country with plastic bags. The Rwandan government outlawed the use of plastic bags to promote cleanliness and safeguard their environment against pollution. According to research by Quartz Africa, Rwanda is the cleanest country in Africa. Whether it is local or foreign tourists, using plastic bags at any city within Rwanda amounts to breaking environmental laws that can land the culprit in jail or lead to a huge fine.
According to their culture, they dislike eating in public. Although a few tourists and the people of Rwanda tend to eat snacks such as sweets and cookies within the cities, it is considered very unethical and disrespectful in remote areas. They value and prefer privacy hence enjoying food and drinks in hotels is a suitable decision. However, it’s not clear why they avoid eating in public as there are no laws that ban it but some historians argue that traditionally, they highly value table manners.
Further, the government prohibits hate speeches or casually speaking about the 1994 genocide that killed over 800,000 people in 100 days.
The massacre left deep pain in the hearts of Rwandans and it is for this reason that the public and tourists are discouraged about speaking negative words that could cause tribal clashes. The country has worked hard to progress and achieve national unity and a middle-income level economy. Also, many tourists like to visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial to learn what exactly happened about the genocide and put her history in perspective.
The country has set aside Genocide Memorial Day where they remember the victims who lost their lives during that period and also use the chance to spread peace.
Some tourists visit Rwanda’s capital cities but they fail to move to the other attractive sights. This could be due to a lack of information and adequate awareness about tourist sites in Rwanda. Apart from cities and neighboring regions like Kacyiru and Kiyovu, there are other amazing places like Kimiroko, Nyamirambo and the kimisagara. Tourists cannot afford to miss visiting Volcanoes National Park, King’s Palace Museum, Gorilla Guardians Village and Lake Kivu.
Additionally, when you enter the border of Tanzania all transport rules and regulations are strictly obeyed by everybody regardless of status in the society. When a citizen or a tourist breaks the laws they are enforced according to the constitution. For example, if people decide to ride a motorbike, unlike in the other countries in East Africa, both the taxi driver and passenger must wear a helmet failure to which the perpetrator meets with the full force of the law.
Although homosexuality is not illegal in Rwanda, this practice is considered a serious taboo in all the counties. Since the country has remained conservative, tourists who are
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) cannot display their ‘strange’ behavior in public places. To sum up, Rwanda has great places for adventure including national parks among others. It is advisable to note that as a tourist, plastic bags are illegal, and hate speech is extremely punishable. Finally, eating food in public as well as well as gay and bisexual relationships is discouraged.