Normally, majority of travelers on African safari to Rwanda only focus on what tourist attractions to visit or activities to enjoy and they forget to ask themselves what currency is used in that country. Nearly, a few get concerned with this matter but before setting off for your actual trip, it is important that you get to know which currency is accepted in that country otherwise you will end up carrying your home country and when you reach your dream destination it doesn’t serve any purpose. In this era, there is no need for you to be stranded!
As a result, for those of you whose dream is to visit Rwanda for a vacation, it is important to note that this country is largely a cash based country but with wide range of currencies also being used. Compared to developed states in the world, credit cards, visa cards, master cards in Rwanda are accepted but unfortunately, this is limited to certain parts of the country. But many ATM machines are widely distributed in most town areas in Rwanda and you can have access to any of your choice and even those with international visa cards, there banks that accept them.
In most cases, Credit Cards are restricted due to cases of where some employees want to take advantage of some visitors to exploit them in one way or another. Due to this, cash becomes a major priority for visitors on Rwanda safari and in most cases most tour operators or tour companies, hotels, lodges, airlines may ask for US dollars. Besides, most items are usually priced using dollars even when you visit some of the restaurants, lodges and other touristic areas. It is however important to budget for your vacation adequately to avoid any kind of shortages.
Whether your plans are to go trek mountain gorillas, chimpanzees and golden monkeys or go for wildlife viewing, you will need have a US dollar to secure your permit. Gorilla permits in Rwanda costs $1500 per person. Visitors are always advised to at least get a dollar bill which ranges at least 2006 the fact that those with current bills have an upper hand and besides, check and make sure that the dollar bills do not have any kind of tear or marks. However take note of duplicated dollars to avoid challenges while exchanging it to local currency to help you purchase something along the way. The other international currencies that are accepted in this country include the Euros and UK Pound.
If you are exchanging your currency to local currency, it is important that you look for any nearby forex bureau and most importantly, they are widely distributed in and around Kigali capital city. Well one may ask what about if I used banks, yes they do it too but this may require you to be a little bit patient due to long lines. Even hotels offer this service and the challenge here is that most of them offer less exchange rates compared to if you visited a forex bureau outside that hotel facility or those within Kigali International Airport. At the bureau, the denominations should range at least between 50 or 100 dollars and should still be new without any marks.
A part from this, Rwanda Francs is also widely used and largely accepted for most transactions and isn’t in most of the market exchange rate. This usually comes with sign ‘RF’ or RWF and it is subdivided into a hundred centimes. The franc featured as Rwanda’s currency in 1916 at a time when the Belgium took over the German colony and the Belgian Congo franc then replaced the German East African rupie rupee. The RWF was officially issued out in 1964. However, there are plans to introduce a common currency for the East African member states. The franc coins were also introduced ranging from 1 to 100 francs in addition to the banknotes that are used as legal tender in this country and Banque Nationale du Rwanda is responsible of issuing the RWF. Notes on other hand come in various designs and colors with denominations of 500, 1000, 2000 and 5000 francs. As for 2018, the current exchange rate in Rwanda is 1 US dollar=881.3 RWF.
Conclusively, other than using the Rwanda Francs, visitors on Rwanda safari can also use other currencies. And the local and dollar are equally the best to ease your stay in this country.