safety

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Sep 1st, 2013, 04:25 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Jun 2006
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safety

We are just starting to think about going to Rwanda to see the gorillas sometime in the next year--probably next summer. I know that the political situation is always changing, so it hardly makes sense to worry about what is happening right now, but I wonder what others think of this info I found on the U.S. State Dept. website:

"U.S. Embassy Kigali alerts U.S. citizens to reports of continued artillery fire from August 22 to the present into the Rubavu district of Rwanda from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). U.S. Embassy Kigali has restricted travel to Rubavu district by official personnel. We urge U.S. citizens to avoid travel to Rubavu district." Is this near the Volcanoes National Park?

I've also heard that the DRC rebels are becoming more active and attacked some rangers in their camp very near the Volcanoes National Park.

Am I being silly to worry about this? My husband and I are 57, and we don't want to wait much longer to go see these beautiful animals, since the treks can be physically demanding. We would prefer not to put off our visit, but these new outbreaks of violence have me wondering.
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Sep 2nd, 2013, 05:13 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Hi Caligirl56

Hard to comment on what is happening right now but can comment on my time in August this year. We overnighted twice in Kigali and drove to and from the Volcanoes National Park. Never did it enter my mind that we were in danger of any description. Felt very safe and my sister who was with me has a daughter doing medicine who wants to do a stint at the end of her degree in South Africa, which I think is dangerous, now we want her to work in Rwanda, though that will be a few years off. Tourism is their second major source of income, and I think they would guard this very carefully.
When you say you have heard about rebels attacking a camp near VNP, where did you hear that and when did it happen?
I would still be booking and if near the time of travel, you then have security warnings about not going, then the decision is made for you and I guess insurance would cover that, but even if it didn't, you would need to put your safety first.
Kind regards
Kaye
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Sep 2nd, 2013, 08:44 AM
  #3
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Kaye,

Thanks for the answer. I read about the attack near VNP on the US State Dept. website. I also read a news article (Aug. 30) that made it sound like there could even be a war between rebels in Rwanda vs. rebels in the Congo. Hopefully none of this will happen.

It is hard to know what will be going on in a year. You are right, I just need to make the reservations and get insurance with cancellation for any reason. Wish we'd gone a few years ago when we first started thinking about it!!
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Sep 2nd, 2013, 10:08 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2009
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I just got home from Rwanda (see my trip report by clicking on my user name) and felt totally safe and comfortable traveling there. Of course anything could happen in a year. I just looked up Rubavu district. It is in the western part of Rwanda, whereas the Parc des Volcans is in the northern part of the country. I hope you decide to go - seeing the gorillas was one of the best experiences of my life. They, and the human inhabitants of Rwanda, need tourists to help them remain safe!
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Sep 3rd, 2013, 04:06 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: May 2012
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If you decide to go, it's a good idea to register your itinerary with the US State Dept's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. https://step.state.gov/step/
We do that routinely when we're going other than Europe.
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Sep 3rd, 2013, 05:49 PM
  #6
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Cateye and Caroline,

Thanks for answering. We really really want to go. Hopefully the unrest that is happening is at a peak and will get better. It's really just in the last few days that things have started to sound a little scary. But, again, I can't really tell, because I don't know if any of the shooting extends into the Parc des Volcans or not.

We are not going for at least a year--at lot can happen (hopefully good) in that time.
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