Budget tips: What did we spend travelling in Rwanda?

Last Updated on by Charlotte van de Sande

How much does a trip through Rwanda cost? The answer to this question depends on the type of traveler you are, the activities you do and how long you travel. But I can tell something about what we have spent in Rwanda. So in this blog: how expensive was our trip through Rwanda and how much does food cost in Rwanda?


How much money did we spend in Rwanda?

First a disclaimer: Everyone travels in his or her way and has different priorities. That is completely fine, but keep this in mind when you read our costs. It can always be more expensive or cheaper.

We made a road trip through Rwanda where we camped every night and also cooked almost every meal ourselves. Our accommodation and food costs were therefore relatively low. We were fairly critical when it comes to activities because they are often very expensive in Rwanda. We travelled by car from Uganda to Rwanda which we rented in Uganda. The car we rented the car cost 55 euros per day (we rented it from Roadtrip Uganda).Rwanda


What were our total spendings for Rwanda?

Number of days: 7
Total spent: Fr973,524 / € 954.61 / $ 1,057.68
Expenditures pp: Fr486.737 / € 477.31 / $ 528.85
Avg expenditures per day: Fr139.063 / € 136.37 / $ 151.09

Our budget: Fr130,528 / € 128 / $ 141.82
Days on or under budget: 4
Days above budget: 3

All expenses are for two people and are calculated based on exchange rates during the trip. This does not include our airline tickets. The currencies displayed are: Rwandan Franc (Fr), Euro (€) and USA Dollar ($).What did we spend traveling in Rwanda?


Accommodations: 17.7% of total

Total spent: Fr172,654 / € 169.31 / $ 187.59
Number of nights: 7
Average overnight stay for 2 people: Fr24,668 / € 24.19 / $ 26.80
Including camping gear per day: Fr10,197 / € 10 / $ 11.08
Including camping costs per day: Fr14,470 / € 14.19 / $ 15.72

You can make it as expensive or cheap in Rwanda as you want. Because we had rented camping gear for 10 euros a day, we camped every day. Many accommodations in Rwanda offer the possibility to set up your own tent, there are often good facilities such as showers and in many places, there is even WiFi. On average, a camping pitch for two people costs 14 euros.

Where did we sleep in Rwanda?
Click on the place name below and then you will go directly to the accommodations where we slept!
Kigali (VIA VIA Gueshouse)Nyungwe National Park (Uwinka Campsite)Kibuye (Macheo Ecolodge)Gisenyi (INZU Lodge)

Camping Rwanda


Transport: 56.3% of total

Total spent: Fr548,299 / € 537.68 / $ 595.73
Car rental: Fr392.604 / € 385 / $ 426.57
Gasoline: Fr84.0707 / € 82.38 / $ 91.27
Insurance crossing Uganda to Rwanda: Fr71.382 / € 70 / $ 77.56
Other: Fr306 / € 0.30 / $ 0.33

Yes, transport is by far our largest cost item! We rented a car in Uganda for 18 days and bought a special insurance certificate to cross the border with Rwanda. Our four-wheel drive per day cost 55 euros and then ofcourse we still had to buy petrol.

Initially we did not intend to rent a car, so our budget was lower. But after a few weeks in Kenya by public transport, we decided to opt for the convenience of a car. Ries, being as tall as 1.93 meter, was pretty tired of the little Matatu’s and wanted to have more freedom again.

Traveling by public transport is much cheaper, but it takes more time and requires more flexibility. In addition, we now had the space to bring a tent, sleeping gear, groceries and cooking utensils. Had we not done that, we would probably have spend more money on accommodation and food.


Food: 7.7% of total

Total spent: Fr75,125 / € 73.67 / $ 81.62
Expenditure per day (2 people): Fr10,728 / € 10.52 / $ 11.67
Of which expenses on restaurants: Fr27.982 / € 27.44 / $ 30.40
Of which groceries: Fr47,143 / € 46.23 / $ 51.22

We spent little money on food, on average only € 10.50 per day for two people. Our camping gear also included a gas burner, pots, pans and cutlery and after months of little cooking, we cooked almost every day. Costwise and also healthy.

Because Rwanda used to be a colony of Belgium, many Belgians still live and work here. This is something you see reflected in the product at for instance the supermarkets. There is a wide range of Belgian products. Funny to see Dutch words in the supermarket after so many months of travelling. Most foods are cheaper than in the Netherlands but slightly more expensive than in neighbouring country Uganda.

By the way, bread is so much tastier than in Uganda and Kenya where people mainly eat sweet, long-life bread. We often bought fruit and vegetables on the market, where prices are very low. For example, for a kilo of bananas, you pay 60 cents, for a large avocado on average 30 cents. We went out for dinner twice, meals were on average around 5 euros per person without drinks.


Activities: 17.4% of the total

Total spent: Fr168,942 / € 165.67 / $ 183.55
Chimpanzees trekking: Fr163,986 / € 160.81 / $ 180
Gift Genocide museum: Fr5000 / € 4.86 / $ 3.55

Rwanda is known for its focus on wealthy tourists. Most activities are therefore not too cheap. We have not done a lot of activities due to the costs. Below I list a selection of things that we would like to have done but left out because it did not fit into our budget.

On our first day in Rwanda, in the capital Kigali, we visited the Genocide Memorial Museum. An impressive and intense visit, but really a must when you go to Rwanda. Admission is free, but you can contribute to the preservation of the museum. If you want to do an audio tour, it costs 20USD per person.

A more expensive activity was spotting chimpanzees. These monkeys live in the vicinity of Nyungwe National Park. They are more than worth the entry fee of 90 USD per person! An extensive blog about our visit to Nyungwe National Park and the chimpanzees will follow shortly.

What activities did we not do?

  • Tea plantation visit and tour (20 USD per person): We would have liked to have done this but it simply did not happen. In retrospect, the tea plantation at Kitabi Tea Factory seems to be the nicest. Note: book a visit and tour at the tea plantation itself, you can easily pay four times through a tour operator.
  • Gorilla trekking (1500 USD per person): Rwanda is one of the last countries in the world where you can see the mountain gorilla. However, at a decent price. We found this far too expensive, while you can do a gorilla landing just over the border in Uganda for 600 USD and in the Democratic Republic of Congo it is even cheaper (400USD), but it is not safe there at the moment.
  • Volcano tour (75 USD per person): At the three-country point with Uganda and DRC you will find eight large volcanoes. Two of them are still active. It’s possible to climb one or more volcanoes in the Vulcano National Park in Rwanda. We decided not to do this because we already climbed a beautiful volcano in Kenya. Tip: Are you visiting both Uganda and Rwanda? Then the volcano tours in Rwanda are just a little cheaper than in Uganda.
  • Boat trip on Lake Kivu (45 USD for three hours): There are several boat trips to do from both Gisenyi and Kibuye. Those from Kibuye seem to be the most beautiful, especially Napoleon Island.

Tea plantation Rwanda


Other: 0.9% of total

Total spent: Fr8500 / € 8.27 / $ 9.16
Laundry: Fr5000 / € 4.87 / $ 5.39
Telephone subscription: Fr3500 / € 3.40 / $ 3.77
A SIM card with internet and calling credit is really super cheap in Rwanda. We paid for seven days, with 3GB internet and 450 minutes calling only € 3.4! And of course the laundry also had to be done. For a large shopping bag, completely full, we paid just under five euros.


What does food cost in Rwanda?

  • 1 Kilo of apples: Fr3200 / €3.16/ $3.48
  • 150 ml of olive oil: Fr1200 / €1.20 / $1.33
  • Bag of chips: Fr2000 / €1.18 / $1.31
  • Kilo bananas: Fr 600 / €0.59 / $0.65
  • Yoghurt(0.5 L): Fr 600 / €0.59 / $0.651
  • Bread: Fr1000 / €0.98 / $1,09
  • Avocado: Fr250 / €0.25 / $0.28
  • Pack of milk (1L): Fr800 / €0.78/ $0.87
  • Bottle of cola (0.5 L): Fr600 / €0.59 / $0.65 [/ red_one_half]
  • Bottle of water (1.5 L): Fr600 / €0.59 / $0.65
  • Bottle of wine in supermarket (750 ml): Fr10,000 / €9.80 / $10.85
  • Bottle of beer in the supermarket: Fr900 / €0.88/ $0.98
  • Bottle of shampoo: Fr5000 / €4.94/ $5.44
  • Cappuccino: Fr2000 / €1.18 / $1.31
  • Glass of wine in restaurant: Fr3000 / €2.94 / $3.26
  • Local beer in a restaurant: Fr1000 / €0.98 / $1.09
  • Simple lunch / evening meal (1 person): Fr5000 / €4.90 / $5.43
  • Liter of gasoline: Fr1090 / €1.07 / $1.19
  • 500 grams of Nutella: Fr7200 / €7.1/ $7.83 [/ red_one_half_last]


Conclusion: is Rwanda expensive?

Rwanda can be as expensive and as cheap as you want it to be. We have seen lodges where you sleep for €750 per person per night, but have also slept in places where we only spend €6 per person per night.

Activities make Rwanda an expensive country, it’s up to you if you do them all. If Rwanda is the only place you visit, chances are that your costs for activities will be a lot higher than ours. We deliberately chose to leave certain activities out because we would do them in neighboring countries or because we found them too expensive.

Eating and drinking is relatively cheap in Rwanda, a simple but tasty lunch is often available from 5 euros per person.

We have paid a lot of attention to our budget during this trip and yet we have considerably exceeded our daily budget of 128 euros per day. This is mainly due to the transport costs. If you travel by public transport through Rwanda, then your costs will probably be a lot lower!


All my travel blogs on RwandaClick hier for more blogs on Rwanda!


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What did we spend travelling through Rwanda


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