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Planning a visit to Rwanda?

Travel Tips

We’ve got you covered with essential travel tips to make your journey a breeze. From visa information to money matters, plastic bans to weather insights, and tips on staying connected, our travel tips ensure you’re well-prepared for your adventure in the ‘Land of a Thousand Hills.’ Discover all you need to know for a smooth and unforgettable trip to Rwanda.


As of 1st January 2018, nationals of all countries receive visas on arrival at Kigali International Airport and all land borders.


  • A single-entry tourist visa costs $50 (exclusions apply for select countries and are valid for 30 days.
  • A single-entry conference visa costs $30 and is valid for 30 days.
  • A multiple-entry business visa costs $50 and is suitable for one year.
  • The East African Tourist Visa(EATV) covers Rwanda, Kenya, and Uganda costs $100 and is valid for 90 days.

For further information on visas or work permits, please consult the Rwanda Directorate of Immigration and Emigration.

Applicants should have a valid passport or another acceptable travel document. The document must have a validity of at least six months on the day of entry into Rwanda.

Visas can be applied for before departure by using online, with the option to pay online or upon arrival. Alternatively, applications can be submitted at the Rwanda Diplomatic Missions of the country of residence.

Visa extension applications should be submitted to the Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration offices. Details on each class of Visa are set out in the Information section. Visa extensions should be applied for while the initial Visa remains valid.


Although US dollars are widely accepted, the Rwandan franc (Rfw) is the principal currency.

Expect to pay for local services in cash, in Rwandan francs. The greater the amount, the more likely US dollars or other hard currencies are preferred, such as gorilla tracking and upmarket hotels.

A growing number of places accept credit and debit cards, with Visa being more widely accepted than Mastercard. It’s best to check when making a booking.

The ATM machines can be found in Kigali and nearly all major cities.

The Cash can be exchanged at banks and private forex bureaus (bureau de change). Both are closed on Sundays and public holidays.

It may be impossible to exchange traveller’s cheques away from the capital. Western Union facilities are standard.
Tipping is discretionary and appreciated. Cash is usually preferred.

Plastic Ban

Please refrain from bringing plastic bags to Rwanda. Banned by law since 2008, any plastic bags in your luggage will be confiscated at the airport or other point of entry.

As a country, we strive to protect, safeguard, and promote the environment – a matter written into our constitution and carefully observed by our citizens, who all participate in a community service called Umuganda on the last Saturday of every month.

We respectfully request that all visitors help us keep Rwanda the cleanest country in Africa and dispose of all litter responsibly.


Fractionally south of the Equator and much of the country lying at altitude, Rwanda enjoys an agreeable tropical highland climate.

Temperatures vary considerably between locations but very little from month to month.

Peak temperatures rarely exceed 30°C (86°F) in the daytime or drop below 15°C (59°F) at night. Akagera is generally the warmest, and the Virunga mountains are the coolest.

The average daily temperature in Kigali is 21°C (70°F).

There are two rainy seasons a year, from mid-February to May and mid-September to mid-December.

From June to mid-September, the dry season sees light cloud cover and occasional light rainfall. The roads and paths tend to be easier to navigate in this period.


Rwanda has five volcanoes, 23 lakes, and numerous rivers known as the land of a thousand hills. The country covers 10,169 square miles or 26,338 square kilometres.
Much of the country lies at elevations between 1,500m and 2,500m. The highest peak is Mount Karisimbi at 4,507m, and the lowest point is the Rusizi River at 950m above sea level.

The terrain is often uneven and sensible shoes are essential.


Rwanda has an excellent mobile phone network covering almost the entire country, and people can make international phone calls quickly.

The country has an ever-growing fiber optic network among the top three African countries in internet connectivity.

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