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The US Department of State says yes, but as far as the Rwandan government is concerned, the US Department of State is a secondary source. Oddly, they say

Yellow fever vaccination required upon entry

This is odd because the vaccination requires 10 days before it is effective. Source: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/rwanda.html

TIMATIC says no:

 Rwanda (RW)
Vaccinations not required.
Recommended:
- Vaccination against yellow fever for all passengers over 1 year of age.

(Retrieved via klm.com)

But what does the Rwandan government say? The best I could find, via the Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration, is

Health Requirements:

A vaccination certificate may be required at the border post. In the event of a major disease outbreak, specific requirements could be set and put to the knowledge of the public.

(emphasis added; source: https://www.migration.gov.rw/index.php?id=13)

Is there any authoritative (and unambiguous) source indicating the requirements for entering Rwanda as a tourist?

  • Could it depend on the airport/region? I flew to Lima without the yellow fever vaccination and it never came up. But when I flew into Puerto Maldonado a few days later, they had me go to the nurse to get the shot before they would let me leave the terminal. – choster Mar 4 '16 at 0:46
  • @choster AFAIK Rwanda has only one international airport, in Kigali. Perhaps the rules are different there as compared to the land borders. But still there should be a source explaining that. – phoog Mar 4 '16 at 0:48
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A general rule of thumb for Africa travel, if you have been visiting or transiting through a country with a current outbreak of yellow fever or history of outbreaks of yellow fever, then you will usually need to show that you have been vaccinated against yellow fever.

Compounding the uncertainty is the fact that new outbreaks are not always publicly announced right away, but neighboring governments have been informed. So you maybe leaving a country that has an new outbreak without knowing it and then getting unexpectedly asked for proof at your next stop.

Easiest solution make sure all of your inoculations are up to date, including the "may" be required ones

  • Interesting, what other "may be required" ones are there? When I was doing my research I think I saw something that said that yellow fever is the only one that can be required as a condition of entry. – phoog Mar 4 '16 at 4:12
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    @phoog - Yellow Fever is the only routinely required one, but occasionally others are temporarily required due to outbreaks, such as Cholera. But in my statement I was referring to YF as the "may be required ones". – user13044 Mar 4 '16 at 7:04
  • I've just returned from Rwanda. Nobody there looked at my vaccination certificate. However, I spent a week in Dakar, Senegal and traveled to Rwanda from there. When I left Dakar, Kenya Airways examined my vaccination certificate in a manner that suggested they would have denied boarding if it had not been in order. – phoog Apr 11 '16 at 15:58
  • @pnuts I'd heard similar stories and looked for the possibility, but I didn't see any indication that an on-the-spot vaccination would be forthcoming; apparently the vaccine takes 10 days to become effective. In the end I decided not to risk being refused entry and got the vaccine before I left NYC. I would have planned to get the vaccine in Dakar (as it's much cheaper) had my stay there been longer than 10 days. – phoog Nov 4 '16 at 5:24

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