Sleeping in Airports

Kigali Airport Guide

Whether you have a layover, overnight sleepover or you are just quickly passing through, our Kigali Airport Guide is a great place to start planning your visit.  Here, you’ll find information on services and facilities available inside the airport – including details about airport lounges, WiFi, mobile charging points, lockers, 24-hour food options, nearby hotels, and everything in between.

There is not 24hr access. They only let you in to the airport once check-in has opened. So you have to literally wait outside. There’s nowhere to sit or sleep outside. IT is horrid. I AM THERE NOW.  – a traveller (2020)

KGL Airport Overview

kigali airport guideTo help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, here is a quick run-down about what to expect during your time at Kigali International Airport.

What to Expect

Kigali Airport (code: KGL) has a main terminal that is best described as a work in progress, with ongoing construction and limited, often broken facilities. Travellers warn of slow security processes and dirty bathrooms. It seems the only current dining option is a landside cafe. WiFi is free in the waiting area. For added comfort while you wait, economy class passengers can pay to enter an airport lounge. See Airport Lounges in the guide below for location and access information.

Sleeping in Kigali Airport

Sleeping here doesn’t seem exactly comfortable. Seating is metal and mostly equipped with armrests. Airport staff may move you to a designated area. Complaints include poor air conditioning and loud announcements. Don’t plan on staying here overnight, as the terminal closes at night and there is no seating outside the terminal.  There are nearby hotels offering shuttle service within a 10 minute drive.  See our Airport Hotels section below for more info or read some traveller airport reviews for more tips.

To help us keep this guide up-to-date, you can add or update information or write a review to submit airport tips and photos.  For more airport information continue scrolling down to explore more in our Kigali Airport Guide.

In this guide we may refer to locations as “landside” and “airside”. Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security.  For more information on Europe’s Schengen Area, click here.

Airport Hours

The airport is not open 24 hours. (updated by a reader/February 2020)

Airport Hotels

If sleeping in the airport sounds like a nightmare, there are hotels near Kigali Airport:

  • Martin Aviator Hotel – 50m / 10 minute walk to the airport. » Check Rates
  • Five to Five Hotel – Free airport shuttle is available.  » Check Rates
  • Grand Legacy Hotel – Free airport shuttle is available.» Check Rates

For more options, visit Tripadvisor to see a list of hotels near Kigali Airport that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.

Airport Lounges

Pay-per-use, Single Visit Passes & Lounge Memberships

Regardless of what class of service you are flying, there is a lounge that you can enter through a lounge membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details about the lounge itself and to also find out how you can gain lounge access with just an economy class ticket!

  • Pearl Lounge – Location: Airside, next to Gate 1. Hours: open 24 hours. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Lounge membership programs.

Airline Lounges

If you are a First or Business Class traveller you may have access to the lounges listed below. For more information, check the airline’s website.

  • RwandAir Dream Lounge – Location: Main Terminal, Airside.

Related Pages: Kigali Airport Lounges

Food & Drinks

Bourbon Cafe has a shop both Landside and Airside. Additional bars and restaurants are reportedly available as well as a sandwich shop which is open 24 hours a day.

Mobile Charging

A review (Sept 2019) mentioned charging points located Airside, near the shops. If you know of additional locations, click here to update this airport guide.

Rest & Relaxation Zones

There are no dedicated sleeping areas, quiet areas or rest zones. If this information has changed, click here to update this guide.


A reader tells us that showers are available. “I’ve just walked into the landside toilets (after security, but before pre-boarding) and they are immaculately clean. Furthermore, there’s a shower in the men’s. Obviously I can’t check the women’s.” (February 2024)


Free WiFi is available throughout the Kigali Airport.

More Airport Information

More Services, Facilities & Things To Do On A Layover

ATMs / Cash Machines – Need cash? An ATM is available; however, several travellers have reported that it does not accept international cards. The airport website mentions that Mastercard and Visa cards can be used at the machines. Fees may apply, so be sure to check your bank’s fee schedule and your daily withdrawal limit if you are travelling internationally. You may also want to notify your bank of your travel plans.

Currency Exchange – There is a Express Forex Bureau offering services. Location: Unknown. Hours: 24 hours.

Drinking Water – Information is unavailable. Does the airport have water fountains or water bottle refill stations? Click here to update this guide.

Duty Free and Shopping – Duty Free is offered at 2 Airside locations. Several shops selling newspapers, souvenirs, clothing, stamps, etc., are also available.

Information Desk – An information desk can be found in the main hall of the airport.

Luggage Storage & Lockers – Unavailable. If this is incorrect, click here to update this guide.

Luggage Wrapping – Services are available at 2 stations. Rates: unknown.

Medical Services – Trained medical personnel are available 24 hours a day. Defibrillators are also available.

Postal Services – Drop off your last minute postcards, buy stamps, send money transfers, and more at the airport’s post office. The IPOSITA is open 5:00AM – 10:00AM and 11:00AM – 3:00PM.

SIM Cards – A reader has asked us to include where to buy SIM Cards. If you know, click here to update this airport guide.

Travel Agencies – If you are arriving in Kigali and need local arrangements or help planning a really last minute trip abroad, there Rwandan Tourist Office (open 7 days a week) at the airport that can probably be of assistance.

Kigali airport is served by the following airlines: Brussels Airlines • Egypt Air • Ethiopian Airlines • Kenya Airways • KLM • Qatar Airways • Rwandair • Turkish Airlines • ZanAir.
Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport


KGL airport is connected to the Kigali Central Business District via city bus. The bus stop is 400 Metres from the terminal. At the time of this update, a one way ticket costs RWF 300 or a day pass costs RWF 600. A direct shuttle bus is also available for RWF 1000.

Car Rentals

There are several car rental companies with counters onsite, some of which are open 24 hours. Alternatively, other companies offer “car on arrival” services when planned ahead.

Hotel Shuttles

See also Airport Hotels above.


Travel like the locals do! If your load is light, you can travel at a fraction of the price of a taxi by taking a “matatu” (shared-ride minibus), which pass along a road just a short walk from the airport terminal.


Taxis and moto-taxis are readily available for hire in the ground transportation area. Rates must be negotiated before entering the vehicle.

Last updated: 2024-01-31

This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning.  All information, including rates and hours, is subject to change at any time without notice.   The information in this airport guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airports, lounges, hotels, transportation providers, and their websites. We are not representatives of any of the above-mentioned service providers. To report errors or to add/update any items mentioned in the guide: update the airport guide or  write a review.