Are you planning to travel to the land of a thousand Hills and still confused about what currencies to use in Rwanda ? Worry not because with this information, you will know what to do or not to do when it comes to money matters.

First of all, the country’s currency is Rwandan Francs (Rwf), which is mostly used within local restaurants, supermarkets and souvenir shops within Rwanda. You will also need to use the local currency for tipping although you can still use foreign currencies. Therefore, tourists planning safaris to this remarkable country are advised to convert some of the money to the local currency so as to easily purchase some of these small things you need during the Rwanda safari.

However, US Dollars are also used, by mainly Safari Lodges, big Hotels, Tour and Travel companies and airlines. Not only that but also gorilla, Golden monkey, Chimpanzee and Volcano climbing permits from the Rwanda Development Board are purchased in Dollars. Please note that the dollars notes should be newer than 2003 and not torn, washed or blemished because they will be rejected. Notes that are older than 2003 will be accepted but attract lesser exchange rates. Nonetheless, tourists travelling with Euros and Pounds should not be discouraged because their currency can be converted to the local currency (Rwandan francs) so as to easily go by with expenses.

For foreign exchange, there are a number of Forex Bureaus within Kigali City although banks also serve the same purpose. The disadvantage with the latter is that they take longer compared to the former. Besides that, Forex bureaus provide relatively attractive exchange rates for larger denominations and don’t require a lot of paperwork than it is with Banks.

There are currently several payment modes in Rwanda and these include Credit cards. Although not widely used, some cash machines accept foreign cards. In this country, MasterCards are widely used especially in luxury Hotels within Kigali than Visas. Tourists are therefore advised to first find out what cards the Safari Lodges or Hotels accept during booking. More so, the Head office of the Rwandan Development Board accepts MasterCards when booking for gorilla permits and not Visas. However, foreign embassies usually advise travelers not to use credit cards while on Rwanda safaris because of the high risk of strangers or even employees of Lodges and Hotels stealing the card information.

Traveler Cheques of mostly American Express (and should be mainly in US Dollars and Euros) can also be used during Rwanda safaris. Traveler cheques can be cashed from I&M Bank Rwanda Limited (former Banque Commercial du Rwanda) as well as few Banks within Kigali although their use is relatively slower.  Due to this, using this mode of payment is often ignored by tourists on Rwanda safaris hence is a waste of time.

You can also use ATM machines. Interestingly, Banks like Ecobank and Bank of Kigali accept International Visa Cards. If you possess a Visa card, it becomes easier to get better conversion rates from the foreign currency to Rwandan francs, thus more convenient because you don’t have excess currency on you. However, the challenge is that extra fees will be charged and sometimes it may not be possible to use the Visa card in some parts of the country.

In conclusion, the Rwandan francs is the local currency used with the land of a thousand Hills and the most preferred foreign currencies are US Dollars or Euros yet other currencies can also be exchanged within Kigali City. However, most Hotels, Safari Lodges and the Rwanda Development Board accept US Dollars. There are several Forex bureaus and banks throughout the country to allow travelers convert money to the local currency.