Readers discretion advised!!
Try to purchase your ticket here if you really want to continue reading this because you may be jealous and be forced to take a holiday break to Rwanda. Lol!
If anyone had told us this trip would be a blast and a half, we would have strongly disagreed. Our expectation was so different from what we actually got. Why? We didn’t get the expected number of Nomads we wanted on the trip; We had planned for at least 12 Nomads, including one of the Naija Nomads team members. The group was way lower than what we have always been having on the nomad movement. But guess what, it was the best trip ever! Being a small group which we thought would have been super boring, we were proved all wrong. All what we had expected if we had a larger group happened.
As perfect as the trip seemed to be, there was a bit of challenges we got to learn something then. While you read the lessons we learnt from the trip, take note of each and every one of them so you don’t make the same mistake.
NEVER UNDERRATE ANY AFRICAN COUNTRY
Most of the time, we usually take some small countries for granted. Because of how small they are or how we perceive them to be; undeveloped/underdeveloped, we usually think some things can be waived. It’s not the case for Rwanda. Though small, but they stand by their policies. When they mean you should have at least 6 months passport validity, they mean YOU SHOULD! else you would not be allowed to pass through.
This happened to one of our Nomads. He was refused to proceed with the journey because he had just 2 WEEKS validity on his passport. The manager of the airline tried his best to help. He made so many calls to them at Kigali airport still failed.
Nomad Tip: If you do not have up to 6 months validity but you have up to 2 months, you might still be allowed to fly. And yes, if you could be considered from Nigeria, then you are mostly likely going to make it through at the Kigali airport because they do not check passports, just a few questions and you are good to go. But most importantly, always ensure your passport has 6 months validity before you travel, not just to Rwanda but to other countries.
YES! TO SMALLER GROUP
We have always been having not less than 18 Nomads on our previous trips but this short trip turned out to be the “bestest of the best”. The group of 6 Nomads was very easy to manage. Everyone was able to fit in the same accommodation, time management was key, ease of transportation was on point and there was little or no argument. The smaller the group, the better the experience. It’s not bad to have a large number of people in a group trip, but having a smaller group is so easy.
Nomad tip: it is very easy to manage a small group (less than 10). Always try as much as possible to stick to a smaller group. This will make management and coordination very easy for you.
WEATHER PREDICTION ISSA SCAM!
We never thought of Rwanda to be as cold as it was during our stay. Thank God everyone had something thick to cover up. All the predictions we got turned out to be different from what we actually got in Rwanda. Out of the 6 days, it rained for 4 days and the weather was so cold that we would not go out a day without our sweaters.
Nomad tip: Don’t trust whatever you get from the weather predictions. No matter how hot you think a destination would be, always travel with thick clothing and vice versa. Also try to get information about the weather from a local before you go. That will also help.
KNOW ALL NATIONAL ACTIVITIES THAT WILL HOLD DURING YOUR STAY PRIOR TO DEPARTURE
To you, 1-2 hours behind schedule may have just little effect on your itinerary but in our case, it was not just little. The 2 hours we missed really messed up our itinerary for that day, BIG TIME.
We totally forgot about UMUGANDA, a community service that takes place throughout Rwanda every last Saturday of the month and we fixed our second road trip for that day.
The service did not end till 11:00am, cutting short our itinerary for the day. We already planned to start our 3 and half hour road trip to Gisenyi at 9:00am so we could catch up with all the activities of the day at the new city but we could not leave until 1:00pm.
Although, the day (later in the evening) turned out to be the best day during our stay but if we hadn’t missed the 2 hours, we would have had more than enough time to enjoy our day.
Nomad Tip: always ask the tour guide planning your trip or whoever you know at that destination to give you the list of national events that will take place during your stay at the place so you know how to plan your itinerary.
SUNDAY IS NOT THE BEST TIME TO FREESTYLE
Our team has the habit of giving Nomads a free day to freestyle. On this day, no activity is usually on the itinerary. Nomads are at liberty to go wherever and do whatever they like. A lot of Nomads use this day to shop for souvenirs for their friends and family.
Our freestyle was on a Sunday but many Nomads who wanted to get gifts could not get to visit a lot of stores because most of them were closed, Just a few of them were opened.
Nomad Tip: It’s preferable to fix the freestyle on weekday or a Saturday when a lot of stores will be opened. Sunday is a NO NO.
So those are the few lessons we learnt from our remarkable trip to Rwanda. Very soon, we’ll put up our daily chronicles so you can catch up with the full gist of our trip.
If you have been considering Rwanda, I think it is time you make a remarkable trip to the country. And if you think you have been missing all these while for not joining our nomad movement, then it is time for you to join our next movement to Tanzania here.