Rwanda travel guide

Rwanda Tourism | Rwanda Guide

You're Going to Love Rwanda

Rwanda is a country that has fought back after a devastating history and is now a popular tourist destination with its forested mountains, abundance of wildlife in the protected conservation areas, a cosmopolitan capital (which is completely plastic-free) and a friendly, welcoming atmosphere.

What to do in Rwanda

1. Wander Around Kigali

Stroll along the tree-lined avenues or pop into the Kigali Cultural Village to browse the products made by local artisans and sample some of the food on sale. A trip to the Kigali Genocide Memorial is essential.

2. Go Game Viewing

Akagera National Park is a wide expanse of protected woodland and savannah plains in the east of Rwanda that is home to a wide variety of wildlife, such as zebra, giraffe, antelope and elephant, to name a few.

3. Visit the Volcanoes National Park

Take a guided walking tour through this mountainous park, which consists of a group of dormant volcanoes in the north-west of Rwanda and is home to the now-endangered mountain gorilla.

4. Relax at Lake Kivu

This vast body of water is part of the Great Rift Valley system that runs through the west of Rwanda. Go kayaking or relax at one of the beach resorts at Karongi or Rubavu, which are located on the shores of the lake.

5. Explore the Ethnographic Museum

Find out about Rwanda's culture with a visit to this museum in Butare, which consists of several different galleries that boast displays of historical and archaeological relevance as well as artistic artifacts from Rwanda's past.

When to visit Rwanda

Rwanda in November
Estimated hotel price
C$ 50
1 night at 3-star hotel
Rwanda in November
Estimated hotel price
C$ 50
1 night at 3-star hotel

Rwanda enjoys a tropical highland climate and the average daily temperature in Kigali is around 70°F while annual highs across Rwanda rarely exceed 86°F. The dry season runs from June to September and it is easier to travel through the country during these months.

How to Get to Rwanda

Entry requirements

Visas can be obtained upon arrival, or before travel either at a Rwandan Embassy or online and cost around 27,595 RWF (30 USD). Some African and Asian countries are waived the cost of the fee.

Plane

Kigali International Airport is the main port of entry into Rwanda and operates flights from airlines, such as the national carrier RwandAir, and various international airlines, such as KLM, Brussels Airlines, Kenya Airways and Qatar Airways.

Bus

There are daily international coach trips that run between Rwanda and the neighboring countries. Jaguar Executive Coaches operates between Uganda and Rwanda and Trinity Express, which is a Rwandan-owned company, operates on routes from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.

Popular airports in Rwanda

Popular airlines serving Rwanda

Lufthansa
Good (2,579 reviews)
KLM
Good (403 reviews)
British Airways
Good (1,750 reviews)
SWISS
Good (535 reviews)
Delta
Good (3,384 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,512 reviews)
Air France
Good (498 reviews)
United Airlines
Good (3,207 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (1,450 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (2,057 reviews)
Brussels Airlines
Good (131 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (479 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (398 reviews)
Ethiopian Air
Good (189 reviews)
Egypt Air
Good (134 reviews)
SAUDIA
Good (203 reviews)
Kenya Airways
Good (53 reviews)
RwandAir
Good (5 reviews)
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Where to stay in Rwanda

International hotel brands, such as Marriott and Radisson, exist in the main cities along with various local hotel chains, and there are luxury eco-lodges in the various national parks around the country (such as Virunga Lodge and Bisate Lodge). Budget accommodation also exists in the main cities and tends to be very basic.

Where to stay in popular areas of Rwanda

Most booked hotels in Rwanda

Kigali Serena Hotel
Excellent (8.3, Excellent reviews)
C$ 230+
2000 Hotel Downtown Kigali
Excellent (8.1, Excellent reviews)
C$ 115+
Hotel des Mille Collines
Excellent (8.1, Excellent reviews)
C$ 205+
Ubumwe Grande Hotel
Excellent (8.1, Excellent reviews)
C$ 138+
Lake Kivu Serena Hotel
Excellent (8.1, Excellent reviews)
C$ 257+
Heaven Restaurant & Boutique Hotel
Excellent (8, Excellent reviews)
C$ 123+
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How to Get Around Rwanda

Public Transportation

In the main cities there are privately owned Express buses, which have their fares controlled by the government. Another popular form of public transport is shared minibuses, which have no particular schedule or stopping places in between the bus terminals. Moto-taxis are also popular, but make sure to check that there is a helmet available for passengers.

Bus

Intercity routes within regions in Rwanda are operated by the Express buses, which have designated bus stops and run on designated routes. There are also coach services, operated by the government bus company, which have stops throughout the country.

Car

Car rental is possible around Kigali and at the airport, and Europcar provides the option to rent either a self-drive car or a car with a driver. There are other local car rental companies, such as Kigali Car Rentals, that have offices at the airport and in Kigali.

Plane

There is one domestic flight operated by RwandAir that flies between Kigali and Kamembe International Airport, which serves the cities of Cyangugu and Kamembe in the west of Rwanda.

The Cost of Living in Rwanda

Visiting Rwanda can be relatively inexpensive. For grocery shopping, expect to pay around 4,174 RWF (4.50 USD) for a gallon of milk and a dozen eggs. Eating at restaurants can often be cheaper than cooking at home with prices of less than 1,200 RWF (2.10 USD) per person to eat in a less expensive restaurant. While Rwanda is still very much a cash economy for local services (with USD being accepted for larger payments, such as hotels), credit cards are increasingly accepted and Visa is the most popular card type.