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What do you need to travel to Rwanda?

by Luz Prada | Tue 04 Oct 2022
map of Rwanda

Rwanda has incredible biodiversity and stunning views. The rolling hills, volcanoes and gorillas will offer you an unimaginable natural experience. 

If you´re planning on traveling to this magnificent land and you´re not sure what documents you need, this article will tell you everything you need to know. 

Requirements to visit Rwanda  


All travelers must have a valid passport with at least 6 months validity and a blank page.


Most travelers need a visa to enter Rwanda. The visa can be applied for online and can help you with your application. The tourist visa for Rwanda is valid for 30 days. 

If you are a member of the Commonwealth or African Union you can get a thirty-day visa for free on arrival at the airport. 

If you´re planning a trip around East Africa, there is a visa which includes Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda which is valid for 3 months. 

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory to enter the country, make sure you book some insurance as it covers a lot of unexpected events that could occur while you are traveling. 


The currency in Rwanda is Rwandan Franc (RWf) but USD are also accepted in many places. The exchange rate is 0.95 USD. Although the use of credit and debit cards are increasingly accepted, most places will only take cash. In Kigali and bigger cities you can find ATMs, so make sure you get cash when you are in bigger cities. 

villages in green mountains

Things you need to know when traveling to Rwanda

Vaccines, health and Covid-19 restrictions  

Malaria and Dengue are risks if you travel to Rwanda. You can ask your doctor about malaria prophylaxis before your trip. Rwanda requires you to be vaccinated against yellow fever, so make sure you have your vaccine certificates up to date. 

Is Rwanda open for tourists? 

Rwanda is now open for tourists after Covid-19  and you no longer need to show proof of your status, although you might be subject to a Covid-19 test randomly when entering the country.

Do you need a transit visa in Rwanda? 

If you need to transfer or make a stopover in Rwanda and your journey is going on to another country you will need a transit visa. The visa is valid for 72 hours. You can process the visa online with

How to travel around Rwanda 

It is easy enough to travel around Rwanda as major roads are well paved, but smaller roads can sometimes get muddy during the rainy season as they are sometimes unpaved. If you want to travel to remote areas and national parks it might be easier to rent a 4x4 with a driver. In Kigali and bigger cities you can travel by taxi, motorbike taxi or public bus. 

african people driving motorcycles and cars on the street

Best time to travel to Rwanda

Rwanda is just south of the equator but is also mountainous so it has a temperate tropical climate. There are two seasons, dry, from June to September and rainy from February to May and September to December. If you are planning a trip to Rwanda, you might want to check out our article on what time of year is best to travel to this beautiful country.


Although Rwanda is a relatively safe country, if you are in big cities there may be a slight danger of theft or mugging. It is best to take precautions such as not going out at night alone, or carrying valuables. 

Take extra precautions if you are going anywhere near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo and stay up to date on events in that area.

Travel tips 

  • It might be difficult to cash in travellers checks in Rwanda outside the capital, so make sure you make allowances for that. 
  • Plastic bags have been banned in Rwanda since 2008, so if you are carrying any in your luggage, they will be confiscated. 
  • If you are going to Akagera National Park try to avoid wearing blue as it can attract tsetse flies which can be dangerous. 
  • Evenings can be cooler than daytime temperatures, so make sure you pack layers. 

About the author
Luz Prada

Luz Prada
My name is Luz, of Greek origin, and meaning laurel. Maybe that's why I love Greek mythology. My passion is music, 30 years of piano and singing guarantee it. Traveling is my other passion. I love being imbued with sounds from different parts of the planet. I work traveling from my computer, which, although not the same, makes me enjoy it too. Sometimes I compose songs, sometimes I compose stories ...

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