Kigali & the Uganda border

Hi Philip

Just returned from Rwanda. Some little snippets of information from this trip:

1. If you are crossing the Uganda/Rwanda border at Katuna (this probably applies to other land borders as well), you should really sort out a visa before you go there, or at least apply for one online (http://www.migration.gov.rw/singleform.php) before you go. I did manage to blag my way through, but it was a lot of hassle (I was also first given a fake US$100 bill by the money changers, but they changed it without any trouble).

2. If you do go to Kigali, the Banque de Kigali are apparently in the process of changing their atm’s to allow withdrawals using credit cards at their atms. Not sure when that will be completed.

3. The exchange rate at the border for Rwandan Francs is probably better than it is in Kampala (the bus company guy on the bus also offered me what was actually a good rate, but I turned him down). If you change in Kampala, the currency exchange places in Garden City and the Oasis are rip-offs – they originally offered me to exchange on a 2:1 basis, before moving to 2.5:1. In town I saw 3:1 in many places (the mid-market rate was 3.85:1).

4. I got Jaguar Coaches from Kampala to Kigali. 9 hours travel there, 9.5 hours back. The VIP bus is comfortable enough and very cheap (UGS25,000 each way, dearer if you pay in RwF) but I’d consider flying the next time.

10. I used Capital Coaches between Kigali and Kibuye (not much in Kibuye to be honest, road trip was probably the best part). RwF2200 each way. And no you do not have to pay the guy for putting your bag on the bus (limited space for rucksacks to be honest). They were decent enough, punctual and not over-crowded. I get the impression that Okapi coaches and their hotel have disappeared.

Kind regards,

Aengus

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