The next time you hear "Rwanda", don't let price tags scare you away. You can actually tour this alluring country on a budget, and here's how:
How to visit Rwanda on a budget
Rwanda is an expensive place to visit, yet you can explore this beautiful country without breaking the bank.
1. When to go
If you're trying to save costs, the best time to explore Rwanda is during the low visiting season, which usually runs from April to mid-September.
The weather is fairly warm around this time, and more importantly, the cost of exploring is cheaper because there are less crowds at national parks. If you visit Rwanda on public holidays (like New year's eve) or during peak seasons (like Christmas), then be ready to spend a lot of money.
2. How to get there
If you're traveling to Rwanda and looking for a budget friendly option, consider booking through a tour company. Tour companies can be a great way to save money, and they can also be an avenue to meet people and see places you may not have thought of seeing.
However, if you'd prefer more freedom than a guided tour gives, but still want to navigate the city on a budget, then make sure to book your flight way in advance. The earlier you book your trip, the better prices will be.
3. Where to stay
Stay in cheap hotels. If you're on a tight budget and want to keep costs down, then cheap hotels (not Airbnb) are your best options. It is usually better to stay outside Kigali, the capital city, as it is quite expensive, but even in Kigali, there are some cheap hotels for those who are on a really tight budget.
The best part about these types of accommodations is that they're clean and comfortable, but make sure you book them in advance because they tend to fill up very quickly.
4. What to eat
Food is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in a new culture. To save money on meals while travelling around Rwanda, you want to avoid intercontinental dishes because they can be quite expensive.
The local food instead, is what you should try out. It's delicious, it's cheap and it allows you to experience the country's unique flavors and culture. You can find sumptuous local food like Ugali at family restaurants or street vendors throughout Kigali.
5. Things to do
Since you're on a budget, you most likely wouldn't get a gorilla safari as it is quite expensive (over $1000 USD per person).
However, there are a lot of other spectacular things you can do: You can visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial, hike the volcanoes, go to Nyungwe Forest National Park to see different species of birds and even see the Gisovu tea plantation, go to markets like Nyamirambo Market or Gikondo Market to buy local produce, clothing, and other goods, and finally, you can go for evening strolls to soak up the beauty of this amazing African country.
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