Rwanda Travel Guide

GETTING THERE

Arriving by plane

The national airline is called Rwandair Express (Internet: www.rwandair.com).

Lufthansa (LH) flies codeshare with Brussels Airlines (SN) (Internet: www.flysn.com) from Brussels to Kigali.

Rwanda is also served by Kenya Airways (KQ) and Ethiopian Airlines (ET).

Flight times

No.

Arrival by car

Roads lead to Rwanda from the neighboring states of Uganda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo can be closed at any time. Because of the politically unstable situation and the sometimes poor road conditions, cross-country trips, especially night trips, are not recommended.

Buses run daily from Kampala (Uganda) and Bujumbura (Burundi) to Kigali.

ON THE GO

Traveling by plane

There are charter planes, but they are expensive.

On the way by car / bus

The road network is not that extensive and has suffered greatly from the civil war; important bridges have also been damaged. Only the main routes in the country are in relatively good condition. After heavy rains in spring and summer, landslides occur. Driving at night is not recommended.

Buses
are operated by L’Office National des Transports en Commun and are divided into three classes: city buses (labeled A, B or C); Suburban buses (D) and long-distance buses go to all cities in the country. Timetables and fares are available in Rwanda.

Taxis
are available in Kigali and the other major cities and the fare should be agreed in advance.

Rental carsĀ 
are available in Kigali. All-wheel drive cars are recommended.

Documentation:
International driver’s license.

On the go by train

There is no rail traffic in Rwanda.

Out and about by ship

Ferries connect Cyangugu, Kibuye and Gisenyi on Lake Kivu.

TRAVEL WARNING

Country-specific safety instructions

Due to the current political situation in the neighboring country, we advise against traveling to the immediate border area with Burundi and continuing to Burundi. Travelers should follow the travel and safety information on Burundi and find out about the security situation there.

Travel to the immediate border area to the Democratic Republic of the Congo is not recommended due to the location in Eastern Congo. Travelers should observe the travel and safety information of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (external link, opens in new window Partial travel warning).

Before traveling to Burundi, it is strongly recommended that you read the travel and safety information for Burundi to find out about the security situation there.

Before traveling on to Uganda and Tanzania, it is recommended that you read the current travel and safety information for these countries.

Terrorism

In view of the possible activities of terrorist groups, as in other countries in the region, greater caution is advised in Rwanda, a country located in Africa according to topschoolsoflaw. Particular caution and increased vigilance are advisable, especially in larger cities – especially in public places such as markets or bus stations. It is recommended to avoid large crowds.

MONEY

Currency

1 Rwanda Franc = 100 Centimes. Currency abbreviation: FRw, RWF (ISO code). Banknotes are available in denominations of 5,000, 2,000, 1,000 and 500 FRW; Coins in denominations of 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 FRW. In the larger cities of the country, US dollars are usually used as well.

Credit cards

MasterCard and sometimes Diners Club are only accepted in the capital and only in some of the larger hotels. Details from the issuer of the credit card in question.
ATMs

ec / Maestro card / Sparcard

Attention: Travelers who pay with their bank customer card abroad and want to withdraw money should find out about the options for using their card from their bank prior to departure.

Paying with an ec card is not possible in Rwanda. Some ATMs can be found in major cities such as Kigali, Butare Ruhengeri, and Gisenyi. As a rule, however, ATMs do not accept EC cards.

Bank opening times

Mo-Fr 8.30 a.m.-12.30 p.m. and 2.00 p.m.-5.00 p.m., Sa 8.30 a.m.-11.30 a.m.

Foreign exchange regulations

The import and export of the local currency is limited to 5,000 FRw. Unrestricted import of foreign currencies; Obligation to declare. Export of foreign currencies up to the amount declared on entry, minus the exchange amounts.

Currency Exchange

It is possible to exchange cash in local currency, it is recommended to bring US dollars and euros with you (new bills only). When traveling inland, only cash payment in local currency is usual. Exchange options are available in banks, hotels and foreign exchange offices.

Rwanda Travel Guide