Money Information for Tourists
Money tips and Advice for travelers planning a visit to Rwanda
This article, will guide you through and clearly understand the basic of Rwandan money Information for tourists and the visitors in Rwanda. Rwanda just like any other East and Central African country is mostly a cash- based society. The Rwandan Franc, is official currency but many Rwandan citizens, especially those in the Tourism industry, use the US Dollar as the currency of choice.
While in Rwanda, the use of credit cards, master cards are accepted, for the tourists using American Express, this is accepted in few spots and usually, 5% charge is imposed on every transaction made. Visa master cards, are too accepted here. Many places for example, hotels, safari companies and airlines will ask for payments in US Dollars. Rwandan Franc will be needed in other places which is possible for you to find exchange the currency. Travellers checks, are usually herder to cash here since it may require extra fees in banks and only few banks may accept the use of checks. The forex Bureau, does not allow use of checks. You can only use master cards, credit cards for your payments in Rwanda. Therefore, you do not need to carry bulky cash while travelling to Rwanda due to some incidences that may occur for instance, the cash being stollen which may disorganise your visit in Rwanda.
Below are some of the Rwanda -money information that you may find useful during your visit in Rwanda, its always good to know before you make that journey.
The US Dollar is the preferred currency charged from tourists visiting Rwanda
The Rwandan Franc id an official currency in Rwanda but for places like the tourism companies, they basically use US Dollars for the tourists in Rwanda as the currency of choice. also you can use the EURO, UK Pound for the money changing in to Rwandan currency in case you need to purchase products or use it in various places like the bars, restaurants, souvenirs strictly use Rwandan currency since you may get cheated in case you se the US Dollars direct.
For the money exchange, is best to always a bit higher bills like 50 and 100 for the best exchange rates, but in case you the smaller bills, you may end getting less in return, also note that, you should obtain dollar bills newer than 2003 and no tears or any marks on them , the money should be new and clean so that its accepted at the forex Bureau.
For the case of Tips, while on the safari in Rwanda, any you need to Tip the guides, potters among others, do not use the US Dollars but only use the Rwandan Franc, since this can immediately be used by the person you are tipping to. Sometimes changing small rates, may be a bit challenging for the people.
The Banks in Kigali and other towns in Rwanda
While using banks in Rwanda to get the money, you can use your credit cards since its quite better since less are imposed on the transactions you make and also it reduces hustle when it comes to identification, also for money exchange, I recommend you use the banks although it may consume much of your time, but you get reasonable rates so it best to use the banks for your transactions.
While using the traveller’s checks, you will; be required to show proof of purchase and the traveller’s passport to prove that the check belongs to you. Using the banks also means that you will receive a lower rate than cash but this process is quite a hassle and time-consuming process but it will require you be a little patient here.
Using credit cards while on your visit to Rwanda
The use of credit cards in Rwanda, may not possible, the government suggest not to use the credit cards reason being that its always possible for some one to steal your credit card information which may lead to your money being stolen. These cases happen in almost all the countries therefore, you need to be very vigilant while making withdraws with the Credit card in case you do not have any other choice. But the first choice in the use of the Credit cards, is the Visa or the mater card.
Travellers who have always booked their safaris with at Adventure in the wild safaris, we have always recommended them to use pesapal which is much easier when using the credit cards, the services are low, quicker and sufficient compared to the use of Banks while in Rwanda.
The Forex Bureaus in Kigali and other towns in Rwanda
There forest Bureaus situated throughout Rwanda, the use of the Forex Bureaus, usually is recommended since they give you the best exchange rates and the services are faster and accurate compared to the banks that may require you to wait much longer and the process can be quite longer. Whereas the forest Bureaus are situated in and outside the city you just walk in, and the money is changed for you.
You may as well opt to exchange money at the hotel you are staying at, but the exchange rate might be lower compared to the Forex Bureaus at the city centres. for the best and for the value of your money, always use an official forest Bureau to change your money. Do not use Us Dollars or exchange the money while in the restaurants, you will lose your money since the exchange rate is usually low.
ATM’s in Rwanda
Besides carrying huge sums of money in Rwanda, the best way to keep your money safe, is to have a visa card, while here, you can use the ATN Machine at any time you need to withdraw the money. Its also easy as you get the best rates from your countries currency while changing it to Rwandan Franc, its quite convenient since it does not require you to have a lot of cash on you which may even be unsafe to move around with it.
Whereas everything as a disadvantage and advantages, using ATM Machines, may also be a bit challenging because there are extra fees that you have to pay during the withdrawals. Also at times to use the card in Rwanda, just like Uganda, Rwanda or any other African country can be challenging, you will need to notify your bank when travelling to any country in east Africa or Africa, for the case of here now we are looking at Rwanda, you will need to inform your bank that you will be travelling in Rwanda and you will need to be using your card while making withdraws in Rwanda so it may not cause challenged when the transactions are not made.
Also some times while your making payments, or withdraws, you bank may block the transaction, but you can a rectify this by going online to your account to make some verifications that the account belongs to you and you were making attempts to withdraw the cash. So that your bank accepts your request and make that transaction for you.
Travelers Cheque use in Rwanda
The Use of travellers’ cheques in Rwanda, is limited and only few banks may consider this, but it’s also challenging since some time, you may not get the cash and may also require along process before you can get the cash. It might also be some old fashion way since its time consuming and a hassle but the best and easier way is to use the ATM card for you to get the Rwandan Franc.
While in Rwanda, instead of using cheques, the best and convenient way for your currency, is the use American Express only, others impose much charges on every transaction and when changing the currency, it may also be at a lower rate, others, you may encounter challenges in getting the cash. When using American express, you will only need proof and the passport to prove ownership of the cheque and the exchange rate is also low compared to using direct cash when changing to Rwandan Currency.
How to Keep your money safe in Rwanda
Rwanda is safe but there some small problems you may encounter but still you can avoid them such as the pick potters, robbers, petty thieves among others just like any other country even in the USA there such problems. But you can avoid these by being conscious. To keep your money safe, you can wear a money belt around your waist to hide your cash while in public places. Also, do not flash money in public, restaurants, bars, markets, do not pull large sums of money out it will attract attention and you will be potential target and you will be followed which you do not want, these may cause problems to you.
In the hotels, there is always safe, use the safe to hide your money in your room or at the official Hotel safe, also keep vital documents such as passports, air ticket and the money together to prevent some misfortunes from happing when the document get stolen or misplaced.
Also, when travelling, make other copies of your documents such as passports, airline tickets and all documents that are important to you and you will be needing them while in Rwanda or any country you will be travelling to. Besides all these, Rwanda is sae for visitors and all the citizens in Rwanda.
Buying things in Rwanda
While purchasing items such as craft and Souvenirs, avoid using US Dollars this may cause you to lose the money, also try to use the Rwandan Franc. You can change your money to Rwandan currency from any forex Bureau before you purchase any products in your currency. Also, there some hotels that the charges are made in Rwandan Franc, always try to make payments in Rwandan Franc do not use US Dollars you will lose your money due to the exchange rates you will be using at that hotel.
When buying local foods, buying lunch, or dinner in restaurants or stick, use Rwandan Franc.
The Rwanda Money Changers:
For the proper way to change your money while in Rwanda or any country you have travelled to in Africa, avoid money changers, mostly at the boarder crossings, many are corn- artists, they will robe you in the blink of an eye. They will deceive you that it’s the full amount while in actual sense, its less. Some even have fake notes, they will deceive you and robe you off your money.
Avoid using money changers if you need safety and a peaceful safari trip in Rwanda, they are often at boarder crossings they will surround you, confuse you and later you will realise they have robbed you off your money.
The best way to change your money, is to wait, cross the border until when you reach the town or the city and look for the forex Bureau in Kigali or use an ATM Machine to change your money to avoid losing junks of money to the corn. Men and thief planting them selves in many parts of the city.
Money transfers in Rwanda
It might cost you a lot to send money overseas, in particular if your secret fees are not identified. Transfer businesses and banks earn money not just with a transfer fee, but often also with a secret premium exchange rate. Through calculating exchange rates and transfer fees in real time, you could save a lot of money. The best way to transfer money is using the World Remit, western Union or Money Gram this way you will get the money. This usually costs less than western Union.
For the US Dollars, you get them at the Forex Bureau although it may cause you to lose some little money.
There is also possibility of sending and receiving money through western union or world Remit directly in to your phone using MTN Phone and you will and receive your money from any authorised agent in Rwanda. This is easy and convenient faster and tome saving does not cause much charges imposed on the transactions. It also the best way to get money in case you run out of cash and the Credit Card may have failed to Work in Rwanda.
Rwanda is a safe country you do not need to worry about your cash while in Rwanda all you need is to be conscious and enjoy your stay in Rwanda, for more information on Rwanda -money information for the tourists, reach to us at adventure in the wild safaris, and we will be glad to respond to you and offer you all the information you will need.