Rwanda in detail

Getting Around

  • Rwanda has a good road system, due mostly to its small size and a large dose of foreign assistance.
  • The privately run buses and minibuses are more organised than elsewhere in East Africa, with regular, scheduled departures.
  • Buy bus tickets at bus offices prior to travelling; every passenger is guaranteed a seat.
  • Most towns are small enough to negotiate by foot, but both Kigali and Huye (Butare) sprawl over several steep hills – you’ll need to catch a minibus or a taxi to get around.
  • Taxis are plentiful in Kigali although moto-taxis are cheaper and faster.


RwandAir operates domestic flights between Kigali and Cyangugu (Rusizi; US$175). There are no other services within the country.


Rwanda is an exceptionally hilly country, but it's also unusually scenic and has a very good road network by African standards. Cycling is certainly possible here, and for many locals it's their main way of getting around. Do expect lots of challenging hills, however (locals often hang on to the back of trucks to make it up to the top – not a very safe practice!), and also many freewheeling descents.


Ferries on Lake Kivu connect the Rwandan ports of Cyangugu (Rusizi), Kibuye (Karongi) and Gisenyi (Rubavu) on a twice-weekly basis. Each leg costs RFr2500. Speedboat charters are another option between these ports, but they are prohibitively expensive.

Bus & Minibus

Rwanda has efficient and reliable public transport. Privately run buses cover the entire country and, with scheduled departure times, you won’t find yourself waiting for hours while the driver scouts for more passengers. Tickets are bought in advance from a ticket office, which is usually the point of departure.

You will also find plenty of well-maintained, modern minibuses serving all the main routes. Head to the bus stand in any town between dawn and about 3pm and it is quite easy to find one heading to Kigali and nearby towns. Destinations are displayed in the front window and the fares are fixed. Neither buses nor minibuses are supposed to charge extra for baggage.

Car & Motorcycle

Cars are suitable for most of the country’s main roads, but those planning to explore Akagera National Park will need a 4WD.

Car hire isn’t well established in Rwanda, but there are plenty of small local agencies in Kigali that can organise something. Prices start at around US$50 per day if you're driving around the capital. If you prefer to have a car and driver, Beyond Transport is a very reputable operator that has excellent cars at competitive prices. A 4WD with driver and fuel will set you back US$150. For a small 4WD, such as a RAV4 (which is fine for anywhere in Rwanda), you'll pay between US$60 and US$80, including driver and fuel. Prices are negotiable. You can also contact Jean-Paul Birasa, who can organise no-frills car and jeep rental with drivers.


There is no train network in Rwanda.