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
To 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.
Where to Sleep
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.
Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, all services and times listed below are subject to change. Some services and facilities may remain closed or operate with reduced hours. Airport tips and suggestions in this guide and elsewhere on the site were written before March 2020 and may no longer be valid. If you are planning to sleep in the public area of the terminal overnight, have a back-up plan! We’ve heard from a few travellers at other airports and they were not permitted to stay overnight. We’re not sure if that will apply to this airport, until a reader lets us know the current situation. If you have some time to spare please write a review, send a tip or share photos to help future travellers.
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.
If sleeping in Kigali Airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels near the airport:
- Havugimana Israel Guest Centre – (5 minutes from the airport) Airport transfers are available. ($) » Check Rates
- Civitas Hotel – (5 minutes from the airport) Airport pick-up available upon request ($). » Check Rates
- Chez Lando – (5 minutes from the airport) Free roundtrip airport shuttle is available upon request. » Check Rates
To see more options there is a list of hotels near Kigali Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.
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.
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.
Free WiFi is available throughout the Kigali Airport.
More Services, Facilities & Things To Do On A Layover At The Airport
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.
Duty Free and Shopping – Duty Free is offered at 2 Airside locations. Several shops selling newspapers, souvenirs, clothing, stamps, etc., are also available.
Food & Drink – 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.
Information Desk – An information desk can be found in the main hall of the airport.
Luggage Storage & Lockers – Not available.
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.
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.
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.
Rest Zones – There are no dedicated sleeping areas, quiet areas or rest zones. If this information has changed, click here to update this guide.
Showers – Not available.
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.
The airport is not open 24 hours. (updated by a reader/February 2020)
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.
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.
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: 2020-10-21
This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning. All information, including rates and hours, are 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 web sites. 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.