Getting there & away
Make sure you check the latest security situation carefully before crossing by land into Burundi. The main crossing point between Rwanda and Burundi is via Butare (Rwanda) and Kayanza (Burundi), on the very well-maintained Kigali–Bujumbura road. The border post is called Kayanza Haut. Yahoo Car, New Yahoo Coach and Gaso Bus run daily buses between Kigali and Bujumbura (RFr4000/5000 for a small/big bus, about six hours), departing about 7am.
There is also a direct road from Cyangugu to Bujumbura, but this is not in such good shape.
Do as much homework as possible before crossing by land into the DRC, as the security situation remains potentially volatile after almost a decade of civil war. There are two main crossings between Rwanda and the DRC, both on the shores of Lake Kivu. Crossing between Gisenyi (Rwanda) and Goma (DRC) was considered safe at the time of research, although only for day trips to Goma, climbing Nyiragongo volcano or visiting the mountain gorillas. Longer trips into the DRC or overland trips through the country were inadvisable at the time of research. The southern border between Cyangugu (Rwanda) and Bukavu (DRC) is also open, but the security situation around Bukavu is a little more volatile than it is around Goma.
From Kigali, take a minibus to the border town of Rusumo (RFr1500, three hours). Once across the border, jump on any form of public transport – often a pick-up – to Ngara. From Ngara, catch a bus (US$10, 12 hours) to Mwanza. The road to Mwanza is mostly good but has some rough sections. Hitching is sometimes possible along this way, as plenty of aid vehicles use the road.
The main border crossing is located between Kigali and Kabale, via Gatuna (Rwanda) and Katuna (Uganda). Those travelling direct between Kigali and Kampala can travel with Jaguar Executive Coaches (086 14838), which has a VIP bus (RFr7000) and a standard service (RFr5000), both departing at 5.45am, 6.15am and 9am from Kigali’s Nyabugogo Bus Station and taking nine hours.
Between Kigali and Kabale there are lots of minibuses, but a change of vehicle at the border is involved. There are regular minibuses from Kigali to Gatuna (RFr1500, 1½ hours). Across the border in Katuna there are minibuses (US$0.50) and special hire taxis (US$8 for the car) to Kabale.
There is also a second crossing between Ruhengeri (Rwanda) and Kisoro (Uganda), via Cyanika. The road is in excellent shape on the Rwandan side however, it’s in poor condition on the Ugandan side. Frequent minibuses link either side of the border with Ruhengeri (RFr500, 25km) and Kisoro (US$0.60, 12km).
Gregoire Kayibanda International Airport is located at Kanombe, 10km east of Kigali centre. Airlines connect Kigali with Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Bujumbura (Burundi), Entebbe (Uganda), Nairobi (Kenya), Johannesburg (South Africa) and Brussels (Belgium).
The following airlines have offices in Kigali:
Air Burundi (572113; Ave des Milles Collines)
Ethiopian Airlines (575045; www.flyethiopian.com)
Kenya Airways (577972; www.kenya-airways.com ; Ave des Milles Collines)
Rwandair Express (503687; www.rwandair.com)
SN Brussels Airline (575290; www.brusselsairlines.com ; Ave de la République)
South African Airways (577777; www.flysaa.com ; Blvd de la Revolution)