Rwanda is a hilly, lush land of a thousand hills, a country that has shown hope and renewal after a turbulent past. Twenty years after the genocide, Rwanda is the child of Africa’s resurrection, cleaning the streets, welcoming peace, promoting prosperity and great success, and fostering the respected natural beauty of the country. With breathtaking views, stunning wildlife, and breathtaking lush greenery everywhere, those seeking scenery will not be disappointed here. So tour yourself around this scenic country in a car, but before that, you should know what to carry while driving abroad.
What is the difference between an international driver’s license and permit?
The International driver’s license is also known as the International Driving Document (IDD). It provides the same information as the IDP. We translate your driver’s license information into other languages, but many countries do not recognize the international driver’s license as an appropriate document for driving.
International driving licenses are formal documents that verify your driving license in other nations. In order for your verification of an international driver’s permit, your driver’s license must be valid. International driving permits are mandatory to rent cars in over 140 nations. If you do not think you are gambling, get yourself an IDP. An IDP is generally a multi-lingual translation of your driving license and it may be slightly larger than the one on your passport.
How can you get an IDP?
The procedure differs in different countries so please check the official website of your country first. Typically, it’s an online process. Find out the driving license from our website and it might be useful to look up an IDP. You should also have a British driving license. When you apply for a permit you will need a current driving license, photographs, and ID.
Why should I carry an international driver’s license?
An international driver’s license is a booklet that can translate your national driver’s license to several languages — making the process easy. You can use International Drivers License to transfer your Domestic Drivers License into rental companies in Rwanda or elsewhere. We respect the International Drivers License booklet specifications detailed within the UN conventions. 1949.
Benefits of carrying an IDP
Acts as an identity
IDP can also replace a valid Hong Kong ID card. The IDP is translated into many languages and understood by the transportation authorities, so it can be used as an ID card for foreigners. IDP guarantees that law enforcement officers can quickly write down your details and send you along the way. This is especially useful in emergencies and car accidents.
Rent and overseas drive
In many countries, you need to carry an IDP to drive a vehicle. Most countries do not accept international driver’s licenses and can be subject to heavy fines. Car rental companies may also refuse to rent a car without a driver’s license.
United Nations Agreements on Road Traffic
The Convention was prepared and opened for signature by the UNs Conference on Road and Motor Transport held in Geneva from 23 August to 19 September 1949. The Conference also prepared and opened for the signing of the Decree. Letters concerning the presently occupied countries or territories and the Protocol on Road Signaling and certain other decisions are contained in the Final. Actions of the Conference. A description of the driving license and international driving license under the 1949 Convention can be found in Annexes 9 and 10. The 1949 Geneva Convention provides that the IDP is valid for 1 year from the date of issue.
Driving requirements in Rwanda
Foreign visitors must have a driver’s license from their home country and an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in Rwanda. Vehicle registration certificates and insurance are also required by law. Driving without a license is considered very serious in Rwanda and carries hefty fines.
Insurance will be provided to you by local rental car companies. If you are staying to work as a driver in Rwanda, you will also be asked to provide a logbook, which you can obtain from the police.
Rwanda’s law on driver documentation requirements is practically enforced across the country, including in rural areas. One could even say that having your IDP equipped in the countryside is even more important, because driving there is much more aggressive and the roads are in poorer condition. Poor nighttime lighting, as well as higher speed limits, can lead to accidents.
Applying for a driver’s license in Rwanda through the Rwanda National Police requires quite a bit of paperwork as well as a long wait time. You will need to write the Road Safety Commissioner a letter of request, along with a copy of your driver’s license and visa, and then pay a fee. Signing up through our website is faster and easier, requiring you to fill out forms and upload photos of your documents.
Can you renew an international driving permit and license?
Internationally a driving license is issued for you for a maximum period of a year, depending on where you are. Different nations have licenses that differ in their validity. Upon its expiration, it will be mandatory for a new IDP. An international driver’s license cannot be renewed. It’s a requirement to pay the fee if you want to renew your license as soon as you have a photo. If your online application cannot be completed in your home country, your application will not get renewed.
If your license expires while you are abroad, you will be required to renew it to keep driving in that country. The procedure for renewing a license varies widely by country. License renewal may include a vision test that cannot be done online, which may mean that you need to return to your foreign country to renew your license. However, you may be able to renew it online as well.
You can purchase a new international driving permit and re-apply for it online by filling a completed application form. Getting an email of your IDP takes up to 2 hours. If you choose Express Order, we will process your application within 20 minutes. A printed international driver’s license will be sent to your postal address, and delivery will vary based on the selected delivery method.
Car rental in Rwanda
In a small country, the best way to maximize your travel time is to drive. Many facilities offer free parking. You might have trouble asking for directions in English if you’re walking, but locators and rental cars will make getting around easy.
Rwanda has many car rental companies for a variety of purposes. From the cheapest and most popular self-driving services to premium chauffeur packages. Most of these companies offer 24/7 roadside assistance, as well as insurance. The first step is to contact these online companies to make sure that there is no problem when you get there. These rental companies are also affiliated with tour operators, so you can also book tours with them. A car rental agreement is a contract between you and the company. Therefore, you need some documents to ensure that the agreement is valid. Renting a car is easy, especially if you have these documents prepared in advance. Most of them are documents that you should have when you go there. When booking, please prepare the following documents:
- Native driving license
- International Driving Permit
- Another ID verification.
The average daily cost of renting a car in Kigali is USD 70 per day, which goes up or down depending on vehicle type and preference.
There are six types of driver’s licenses in Rwanda. The minimum driving age in Rwanda is 18 for class A and B vehicles. If you choose to drive in Rwanda for a living, you must have a driving age of 20 for classes C, D, E, and F. If you are under 26 and are renting a car, the rental company will charge you as a “young driver“. The surcharge is around $12 to $15 daily.
The most important driving rules in Rwanda
In most parts of the state, safety on the highway is an issue and there will be many traffic police stations and speeding stations. If a police officer stops you should show them a driver’s license. Today the police use the idea that tourists have an IDP and expect you have one for them.
Observe the speed limit
Kigali does not have an average speed limit due to the past vehicular accidents it experienced. This limitation was considered serious and if it was violated it would cost the taxpayer Rwf50,000 ($50). There will not always be any speed restrictions at Kigali. A road can change its speed limit according to its daylight hours so police officers may change its sign accordingly. It was done in order to reduce congestion as much as possible while maintaining the safety of pedestrians. Some people love speed limits, believing that 50 dollars are manageable. However, in Rwanda police have the ability to increase the fine if there are more than two violations.
Drunk Driving is not allowed
A Rwandan driver with an alcohol impairment has not been seen as sane. If drunk drivers demonstrate alcoholism they will be sent to jail. Even if you had been able to drink several liters, a person who saw you driving could see that you had been negatively regarded as a motorist. It is also forbidden for drivers to drive if they have blood alcohol levels below 1. Whenever you are drinking, ensure that you are driving with an international driver’s permit. Occasionally, officers conduct alcohol checks. Here they ask you for an alcohol screening to see your blood alcohol concentrations.
Always carry your papers with you
A driver should always have all documentation when traveling. You will be required to obtain an international driving license as an adult or a driver. It’s strictly enforced by the police and they will require your international driver’s license for verification of your identity. You can get your driver’s license back immediately from Rwanda. Update shipping details to get quicker delivery for Rwanda drivers who have been issued a license abroad from Rwanda.
Always keep right
Due to its small population and its capital, Rwanda is mostly a road in two directions. Drivers should always keep their lane left in the right direction. Basically, this helps drivers prevent blocking or getting a bit aggressive during their attempts at driving. This will also make a more efficient exit from numerous roundabouts.
Legal driving age
There are two types of driving licenses in Rwanda, a temporary license and a permanent license. You can apply for a provisional driving license in Rwanda when you reach the age of 18 to drive A, B, and F vehicles as long as you are accompanied by a permanent license holder over the age of 25. You can apply for a valid driver’s license at age 20 that allows you to drive C, D, and E class vehicles.
A temporary driver’s license is only valid for two years. You can get the results of your provisional Rwanda driver’s license the same day. The final driving license will have a validity period depending on the age of the registrant. For those under 45 years old, it is valid for ten years. 45 to 50 years old, valid until the owner reaches 55 years of age. 50-68 is valid for five years – four years for those aged 68 to 70 and three years for those over 70.
The importance of your International Driver’s Permit
Even though you do not drive, IDPs are important to interaction in Rwanda. If your international driver’s license is not valid, the police can verify the authenticity of the vehicle. Never travel without an international driver’s license. In Rwanda, driving without the proper license may cause penalties. It’s easy to obtain the IDP through the International Driver’s Application page.
Top destinations in Rwanda
Rwanda lies in East-West Africa, with Kigalis capital. In fact, it has a population of endangered species and a spectacular landscape. The city has an impressive landscape and earned the nickname Land of Thousand Hills. Rwanda has a connection with Kivu Lake a “great lake of African countries”. The whole region can be reached by motorized transportation. Keep an International Driving License wherever you are going. If you have international driving licenses you have to use them in Rwanda. You can obtain a driving permit online in a quick time. You can print it for free.
Generally, most quality hotels in Rwanda are located near Lake Kivu. Most offer great views of serene waters. Enjoy a relaxing evening at the beach in a straw umbrella while enjoying your meal and beverage at the bar or restaurant. You can also go for watersport activities such as windsurfing, kayaking, canoeing, or boating tours. Boat tours on Lake Kivus take you across a number of different islands along the lake. Each island offers its own uniqueness and land dedicated to coffee-growing and macadamia nuts. Or an island with great swimming spots on the lake.
Volcanoes National Park
Volcano National Park has become an absolute favorite tourist spot in Rwanda. The forest surrounding you is surrounded and you get to observe the incredible mountain gorillas. It is truly an incredible experience. The parks offer various activities you may enjoy and interesting places you can visit. Most wildlife parks are the most photo-friendly. Photographing a gorilla habitat is welcome, however, you should follow the guidelines. All the tourist money helped support conservation efforts aimed to save these majestic gorillas.
Nyungwe Forest National Park
One of the most important forest reserves in Africa, Nyungwe Forest National Park has a spectacular array of biodiversity, including 1,068 species of plants, 322 species of birds, and 75 types of mammals. Most tourists come to this rain forest to track the chimpanzees, which are inhabited by humans by rangers. This animal encounter is a fraction of the cost of a gorilla hike, but no less memorable.
The park is also home to East Africa’s only covered boardwalk, about a 90-minute walk from the Uwinka Visitor Center. You’ll cross a 91-meter suspension bridge that hovers more than 50 meters above the verdant rain forest, offering breathtaking views of the treetops and mountains behind.
One of the finest collections of ethnographic and archaeological artifacts in Africa can be found at the Ethnographic Museum of Rwanda, located about 130 kilometers south of Kigali in the Huye District. Belgium donated the museum to the city in 1989 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Rwanda’s independence. The Ethnographic museum has seven galleries. You’ll see an impressive collection of woven baskets, traditional clothing made from animal skins and woven grass, spears and bows, musical drums from hundreds of years ago, and ancient agricultural tools.
There was a time when Rwandan royalty roamed the dusty streets and lanes of remote Nyanza; as ancestral kings wandered beneath the massive, bulbous domes of the ancient thatched-roofed king’s palace. One of the last capitals of the pre-colonial kingdom of Rwanda, this place in the south of the country is steeped in history and tradition. Come and retrace the history of the nation’s former leaders, unravel the sobering and emotional episodes of the Rwandan genocide, and tour the museum’s collections tucked away in courtrooms before. Nyanza is also home to the Rwesero Art Museum; perhaps the most prestigious and wealthiest in the country.
Explore Kigali, Rwanda
Many visitors spend just one night in Kigali before a gorilla hike, missing out on vibrant culture, food, and visits to Rwanda’s capital. Plan to spend at least a few days here at the start or end of your trip.
Shop for custom-made clothes from swirling textiles and experience the energetic atmosphere of Kimironko Market, Kigali’s largest market. The warehouse space is like a maze, with surprises around every corner.
Afterward, explore Kigali’s creative scene at the Inema Art Center, a gallery showcasing works by up to 10 resident local artists. Make your way to the Rwanda Art Museum in the former presidential palace. It features some of the best contemporary pieces from Rwanda and the surrounding regions. You can also see the wreckage of the presidential plane that crashed in 1994.
Frequently asked questions
How do I get an international driving Licence in Rwanda?
It is possible to apply only to the Police Traffic Division at Rwandan National Police Headquarters. The applicant must send a letter to the Deputy Commissioner for Transport and Highway Safety requesting the transfer to a Rwanda permanent driver’s license.
Can foreigners drive in Rwanda?
The driver’s license of your home state is mandatory for any foreigner driving in Rwanda. A car registration certificate is also mandatory under the law. Driving without obtaining the required permit can cause severe penalties and a fine.
How much does an International Driving Permit cost?
You may obtain an IDP through our website via email and postal delivery. A yearly permit will cost $49.
How can I get my IDL?
Our software simplifies application processing, making our application incredibly simple to use and will help you complete the form in only seconds. All you need is your current driver’s license details, photographs, and ID verification.
What side of the road to drive in Rwanda?
Most economically dominant countries like Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya drive on the left side of the road. On the other hand, smaller economies like Rwanda and Burundi drive on the right side of the road
Is it safe to drive vehicles in Rwanda?
Driving in Rwanda is safe and enjoyable. Because the country is so small and there is so much to see outside the capital Kigali
I’m in active duty military service and my U.S. license expires. Can I apply for an IDP?
Almost all states have laws that require state drivers to renew their licenses. While valid in their home country, a valid U.S. military license cannot remain valid or acceptable in any international country. Consult the State website on renewal, and remember that IDPs are only valid for driver’s licenses, not driver’s licenses.