Flights & getting there
The vast majority of travellers arrive in Rwanda by air at Kigali, but it’s also possible to enter Rwanda overland via Uganda, Tanzania and even the DRC. The border with Burundi is unsafe.
Given its small size, Rwanda is well connected to other major transport hubs in Africa, as well as a few European capitals.
Airports & Airlines
Rwanda has one international gateway for arrival by air, Kigali International Airport, which is located at Kanombe, 10km east of Kigali's city centre.
Brussels Airlines Operates six flights a week to/from Brussels (with onward connections to many European cities). Baggage can be checked in here on the day of departure between 10am and 1pm – very convenient as flights to Brussels leave at night.
Ethiopian Airlines Has two daily flights to/from Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) and good connections to elsewhere in Africa.
Kenya Airways Has three daily flights to/from Nairobi.
KLM Has two daily flights to/from Amsterdam (one via Nairobi). KLM bookings are handled by Kenya Airways.
Qatar Airways Daily flights to/from Doha.
RwandAir Rwanda's national carrier flies to/from Accra (Ghana), Brussels (Belgium), Bujumbura (Burundi), Brazzaville (Congo), Cotonou (Benin), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Douala (Cameroon), Dubai (UAE), Entebbe (Uganda), Harare (Zimbabwe), Johannesburg (South Africa), Juba (South Sudan), Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Lagos (Nigeria), Libreville (Gabon), London (UK), Lusaka (Zambia), Mombasa (Kenya), Mumbai (India) and Nairobi (Kenya). It has a good safety record.
Turkish Airlines Daily flights to/from Istanbul.
Taxes are included in the price of your ticket.
Much of Rwanda's western border is taken up by massive Lake Kivu. There is currently, however, no way to cross between the DRC and Rwanda by boat.
Rwanda shares land borders with Burundi, the DRC, Tanzania and Uganda.
Different Express Heads to the Uganda border town of Gatuna every half hour (RFr1400, three hours).
Jaguar Executive Coaches Operates four daily buses from Kigali to Kampala (Uganda; RFr8000 to RFr10,000, nine hours).
Select Express Runs buses from Kigali to the Rwanda–Tanzania border crossing of Rusumo (RFr3200, 3½ hours) every half hour.
Simba Coach Has a 5pm bus to Nairobi (Kenya; RFr27,000, 22 hours).
Trinity Express For the ultimate in long bus rides, this company sends buses to Dar es Salaam (Tanzania; RFr30,000; about 36 hours) at 4am. The bus stops for four hours in the middle of the night near Dodoma. It also operates seven daily buses to Kampala (Uganda; RFr10,000, nine hours).
Rwanda has land borders with all four of its neighbouring countries.
The main border crossing between Rwanda and Burundi is via Huye (Butare) and Kayanza, on the Kigali–Bujumbura road, which is sealed all the way. The border post is called Kayanza Haut. Although the border is open, this crossing is considered risky due to the unstable political situation in Burundi. Check the security situation in Burundi thoroughly beforehand.
Only one bus company, Trinity Express, operates cross-border buses to Tanzania and this goes all the way to Dar es Salaam. But doing it, as most people do, in stages is no great hassle, with a number of companies sending frequent buses to the border, after which you can get another bus to the tiny Tanzanian town of Benako (marked as Kasulo on some maps), about 20km southeast of the frontier. From here get a bus to the town of Biharamulo, where you'll probably have to overnight. The following day catch a bus to Mwanza or Bukoba. From Mwanza you can connect to Arusha.
There are two crossings between Rwanda and the DRC; both are on the shores of Lake Kivu. To the north is the crossing between Gisenyi (Rubavu) and Goma. The southern border is between Cyangugu (Rusizi) and Bukavu. Providing the DRC remains politically stable and you have prearranged visas, the crossings are surprisingly straightforward, and you can walk across the borders directly from town to town.
There are two main crossing points for foreigners: between Kigali and Kabale via Gatuna/Katuna (called Gatuna on the Rwandan side and Katuna on the Ugandan side); and between Musanze (Ruhengeri) and Kisoro via Cyanika.
There are direct buses between Kigali/Musanze and Gisenyi and Kampala. Buses also run between Kigali and the border at Gatuna (RFr1400, three hours) throughout the day. Plenty of shared taxis (USh4000) and special-hire taxis (USh20,000 for the whole car) travel back and forth between Katuna and Kabale.
From Musanze (Ruhengeri) to Kisoro via Cyanika, the road is in excellent shape on the Rwandan side and in rather poor condition on the Ugandan side. Minibuses link either side of the border with Musanze (from RFr480, 25km).
Being landlocked, it is not possible to travel here by sea.