Rwanda restrictions on plastic bags

Aug 17th, 2011, 12:30 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 105
Rwanda restrictions on plastic bags

We will be visiting Rwanda for gorilla trekking in late September. In reading the information sent to us by our travel agent, we noticed that they do not permit plastic bags to be brought into the country. Since we use many zip-lock type plastic bags for cosmetics, camera cards, etc. we were wondering how strictly they enforce this policy. Also, my rain shield for my camera is essentially a plastic bag fitted for a camera, and I had planned to take this along. Our travel agent said that as long as we acknowledge the ban and explain that we will be using our bags for traveling and will be taking them with us out of the country, we shouldn't meet with any resistance. Has anyone had any experience with this? If it matters, we will be flying into Kigali from Tanzania.
debwarr is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 06:05 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 509
When the ban was first instituted I understand that Rwandan officials confiscated ANY plastic bag carried by travelers entering the country. People had to empty out the contents and hand over the bags.

By the time we visited in 2008, they allowed foreign travelers to bring in a modest number of bags for personal use, particularly if they were part of the packing inside suitcases. What they do NOT want are the flimsy "grocery type" bags that blow about the otherwise pristine countryside. I don't think you'll have any problems with a fitted camera cover that happens to be made of plastic.

Perhaps others can weigh in on whether they've become stricter since then...
skibumette is offline  
Aug 18th, 2011, 07:27 PM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 8,661
Agree with skibumette. I was there in June 2010, with a few ziplocs in my luggage I am sure, and it wasn't an issue. Just don't bring a bunch of plastic takeout bags and throw them out your vehicle window.

Rwanda is remarkably clean. It's a fascinating country. Enjoy your visit.
Leely2 is offline  
Aug 20th, 2011, 06:33 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 105
Thank you both for clarifying this. It's the same that we've heard from our travel agent, but we just wanted to make sure. We're very excited about visiting and know we will love it. No grocery bags for us!
debwarr is offline  
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