+256 704 538 374 info@4x4rwandacarrental.com
+256 704 538 374 info@4x4rwandacarrental.com

Traffic laws in Rwanda

Our comprehensive guide provides insights into traffic laws in Rwanda thus ensuring a hassle-free adventure during your 4×4 car rental experience. Rwanda is a unique and beautiful country to explore for those who love wildlife safari vacations. Lying between some of Africa’s verdant jungles, wide-open savannah, and one of Africa’s largest lakes, like Lake Kivu, can forever change your perspective on travel and adventure.

Rwanda is truly a place unlike any other, which is why it is referred to as the land of a thousand hills. No other place can you walk between the lush trees beside the gentle mountain gorillas and golden monkeys, and on the same day, drive through the open savannah with the gazelles and big cats, and spend the night relaxing at the lakeside beach. This gem of a country is advancing at a rapid rate to catch up to the modern world; Rwanda is a joy to visit. You can enjoy all the creature comforts of modern living in the capital, Kigali, and then indulge in the bounty of nature just a few minutes’ drive out of the city.


There is so much to explore in Rwanda for every tourist who is looking into discovering the country’s rich culture. That’s why it is important for you to start planning your trip upfront to avoid unexpected disappointments. Although Rwanda is the second-safest city in Africa, like any other country, there are rules you will have to follow, especially if you are planning to take country road trips. Driving is one of the most risky things you will ever do, and you’ll probably be ready to encounter whatever happens on the road.

It is important to observe traffic laws and road safety rules and practice good driving habits, which in turn benefit not only you but all road users and help avoid unnecessary road accidents. Here are some traffic laws every driver is responsible for observing while driving.

Speed Limits

In Rwanda, you can hardly miss traffic signs every short distance reminding you of the speed limits. It is important to strictly observe the speed limits while driving to avoid penalties and accidents. The limit must be 40 k/mh (25mph) in Kigali and other cities and 60 k/mph (37mph) in rural Rwanda. There are traffic officers with speed guns monitoring the limits on every section of road in the city, and getting caught will result in a fine of RWF 50,000 ($50). Driving in Kigali city is a relaxed affair, even though certain areas have congestion, and there is no need to drive beyond this limit except in an emergency.

Driving Directions

Traffic in Rwanda moves on the right side of the road. There are quite a number of roundabouts in Kigali, but they are not difficult to navigate, as the driving culture in Rwanda is good enough. Almost every user drives defensively and makes way for other users when entering and exiting roundabouts and merging. It is unlawful to drive or overtake on the right side since the driver may not see you from their blind side.

Traffic signs
Although Rwanda uses multiple languages, a move that’s also calculated to improve its tourist appeal, most of the road signs are in English or are purely symbols. Take caution; these signs are taken seriously. Ignoring a traffic sign in Rwanda could result in an RWF10000 ($10) fine. Yield signs and zebra crossings are specially monitored. You are expected to stop and wait for pedestrians to cross before you drive through.

Mobile phones
Statistics show that many road accidents have happened as a result of using mobile phones while driving. Therefore, using your phone while driving, such as texting or making calls, is illegal in Rwanda. This act attracts a fine of 10,000 RWF paid in cash or a jail term of more than 24 hours if caught. It’s wiser to park aside, receive or make the call, then hit the road again for our own safety and that of other road users.

Valid driving documents
You will need a valid driving license to drive on Rwandan roads. A driver’s license is a document from the traffic authorities that gives you permission to drive around the country. You must have a permit every time you are driving, whether on a sightseeing safari, a city ride, or as a driver for new driving jobs. It must be valid for at least 3 months; likewise, travelers or visitors with international driving permits are allowed to hit the road as long as their driving permits are valid for the period they are to stay in Rwanda. Driving without a valid license is illegal in Rwanda and punishable in accordance with the traffic laws.