I was in Rwanda between the 14 August 2018 and the 23 August 2018. The information and prices were correct at the time of writing
For daily distances and a brief description of each day follow this link
All prices are in Rwandan francs except when the charge was in USD.
When I was there the exchange rate was as follows:
1 GBP = 1,141 UGX
1 USD = 878.46 RWF
1 EUR = 1,022 RWF
I already had an East African visa covering Rwanda which I had obtained as I entered Kenya from Ethiopia.
Entering the country
Entering the country was quick and very straight forward.
I changed my leftover Ugandan shillings at the border. I was quite assertive in my negotiating and got the exchange very close to the one online
In the country I used the ATMs of Spik Bank, they have a reasonable flat charge. Barclays charges were much higher.
Credit cards are widely accepted both Visa and Mastercard
Rwanda SIM card
I got MTN and it had pretty good coverage. The SIM was 1000 francs, 1 Gb for 30 days was 2000 francs.
Food and drink
I was in Rwanda only 10 days and half of them in Kigali so this is only a snapshot.
Fruit and vegetables are plentiful and at very reasonable prices. Around 100 to 200 francs for a huge avocado and 100 for a chapatti in a village, considerable more in Kigali.
A decent meal could cost 3, 500 francs and in Kigali you can seriously splash out if you fancy it and can afford it.
On the Road
The bicycle is one of the main means of transport in Rwanda, more so than in Uganda. You will see people with impossible loads on their bikes and bike taxis everywhere.
Like in other countries in the continent you need to be aware of the hierarchy of the road and be ready to get out of the way of any vehicle bigger than you, including motorbikes.
I was mainly on main roads which were good and not very busy.
Please note what follows is the personal experience of one individual and it does not intend to provide any authoritative account with regards to safety in the coutry or account to recommendation to travel there. We are all different, our attitude to risk and our perception of safety is different too.
Always check your government’s travel advice for Rwanda before making your decision.
As a solo older female I never felt unsafe during my time in Rwanda. I found people to be really warm, welcoming and friendly.
However, I got asked for money here much more often than in other countries mainly by children which if they were on bikes followed me for some distance repeating “give me your money”. I ignore them until they got tired and/or an adult told them off and they left me alone. They were persistent but not aggressive.
I have listed where I spent the night at each location and the cost. For the exact coordinates check here.
Kimirimo – Asked permission to stay in a village. A bit of an adventure as one villager informed the police and they turned up after 9pm wanting me to move me to a ‘safer’ place. After a fair amount of discussion they agreed that I could stay and got the 5 men that constituted the village security to sit all night by my tent looking after me.
Kigali – Mamba House -A nice place to stay. Well used by the locals so noise goes on until around midnight. 10000 for a dorm bed with breakfast. Friendly staff and very clean – nice hot showers and fast WIFI. The food is not brilliant but Africa Bite round the corder has a buffett at lunchtime and evening for 3500 francs – delicious and good value for money.
Nr Kayonza – Urungo Women’s Opportunity Centre Nice campsite -hot power shower and WIFI – 8500 without Bfast or 15USD with bfast. Beautiful views over the valley. The restaurant does good food reasonably priced.
Nyakarambi – Kirehe Guesthouse – Popular with the staff of local NGOs – Cold water but they give you a bucket of warm water evening and morning. Clean and comfortable beds. 10000 francs inc bfast. The food at the restaurant is excellent and the portions huge.