Traveling in Rwanda is generally much more expensive than traveling throughout the rest of East Africa. Luxury tourism is on the rise, and elaborate lodges are springing up around the country. However, though it might not be as cheap as neighboring Uganda, Rwanda still has many fantastic budget accommodation options located in beautiful parts of the country. Read our guide to 11 of Rwanda’s cheapest hotels and hostels, and start planning your trip to the land of a thousand hills today.
Ile de Cyuza
Camping on Lake Burera | Courtesy of Leah Feiger
Though not exactly a hotel or hostel, this camping ground on Ile de Cyuza – an island in the middle of Lake Burera – is quickly becoming one of Rwanda’s most beautiful destinations. Several double rooms are in the process of being built, but for now guests can camp in large tents on the lapping shores of Lake Burera in the foothills of volcanoes. Food can be ordered in advance, and tents start at $12 USD per person.
Located in the Musanze area of Northwest Rwanda, Red Rocks Rwanda provides accommodation, food, and an assortment of activities in an artistic and campfire-filled setting. Twin lake visits, volcanic hikes, gorilla and golden monkey treks, and more are on offer at this vibrant property. Travelers come for a night, and end up staying for a week, enjoying the tranquil setting and easy rhythm. Camping is just $7 USD a night, with a double room coming in at $45 USD.
Rushel Kivu Lodge, Kinunu | Courtesy of Rushel Kivu Lodge
Rushel Kivu Lodge, located on the shore of Lake Kivu in Kinunu, is the perfect place to stay for travelers on the Congo Nile Trail. Excellent food and attentive service make this budget option so much more. Rushel is located right on the beach, so swimming, kayaking, and sunset views are all available. Pricy double rooms start at $60 USD, but budget camping is also available starting at $15 USD.
Gisakura Guesthouse | Courtesy of Gisakura Guesthouse
Gisakura Guesthouse is the place to stay for midrange travelers looking to visit Nyungwe National Forest. The forest, one of Rwanda’s most beautiful places, is home to many chimpanzee families that tourists can track and see in the wild. Gisakura Guesthouse, with their excellent customer service and cosy offerings, is very helpful at procuring chimpanzee permits and directing visitors towards everything else the park has to offer. Double rooms start at $40 USD a night.
Yambi Guesthouse, located in the hilly Gikondo neighborhood of Kigali, is a casual guesthouse with colorful decorations and kind staff. Local bars are within walking distance, and the center of town is a quick seven-minute taxi or motorcycle ride away. It is $15 USD for a bed in a four-person dorm room.
La Paillotte Gorilla Place, Kinigi | Courtesy of La Paillote Gorilla Place
The La Paillotte Gorilla Place is definitely a budget offering, but is perfectly located in Kinigi for gorilla trekkers. Travelers will find clean and bright rooms with good service in the center of Kinigi. Doubles start at $40 USD.
The Crested Crane, located right in the center of Musanze town, is a simple and budget guesthouse perfect for travelers on the go. It is near Musanze’s restaurants and bars, and offers single rooms for $10 USD. The pleasant guesthouse staff can assist in arranging transportation and activities in the area.
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Mamba, Kigali | Courtesy of Mamba, Kigali
Mamba Club is the epicenter of fun and games in Kigali. Not only a hostel, Mamba also has an active volleyball court, pool, and bowling alley. Their beers are cold, the brochettes and chips are well-priced and delicious, and it is located in Kigali’s Kimihurura neighborhood. Single rooms start at $12 USD.
Home Saint Jean is the kind of place you head to when you’re in need of a city escape. This stunning hotel overlooks Lake Kivu and is located on the outskirts of Kibuye. The rooms are bare bone, but consistently clean. Hang out on their scenic porch for drinks, and order brochettes (grilled meat or fish on a stick) for dinner. Double rooms start at $30 USD, and hotel offers stellar views of both the sunrise and sunset.
Discover Rwanda Gisenyi Beach, Gisenyi | Courtesy of Discover Rwanda
Discover Rwanda numbers as one of the cheapest lodging options among a horde of expensive hotels in Gisenyi, a lively beach town on the coast of Lake Kivu. Clean, well-located, and right on the beach, Discover offers camping grounds, double rooms, and family suites, starting at $12 USD for a basic tent, and $17 USD for a bed in an eight-person dorm room.
Mijo Hostel has quickly become the premier budget option for travelers in Kigali. Located in the buzzing Kimihurura neighborhood next to the city’s hottest bars and restaurants, Mijo Hostel is well-designed, clean, and features a lovely city view. A bed in a dorm room is $12 USD.