Are you traveling to Rwanda and flying into Kigali Airport then this is your ultimate guide with all info you need to know about buying a sim card for Rwanda at Kigali International Airport. Find out where to buy a sim card at Kigali Airport, up to date prices as per August 2023, info about e-sim cards for Rwanda, a vlog about my experiences arriving at Kigali Airport and more.

Rwanda counted as country no. 126 on my journey to visit every country in the world! Being a full time nomadic world traveler since 2012 I have made it to many countries and cities and everywhere I go I either buy a local prepaid sim card or order an e-sim card online to stay connected.

Therefore on Traveltomtom you can find almost 200 local prepaid sim card guides from all over the world: UK, London, Amsterdam, Europe, Dubai, Istanbul, Turkey, USA, New York, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Gabon, Douala and many more.

Next time you are planning an adventure abroad come check out Traveltomtom for the latest prepaid and e-sim card advice. Bookmark this me and I will help you save money!

My recommendation

There is only one sim card store at Kigali Airport so it is an easy recommendation: MTN. For around $9 USD you can get 10 GB data for 1 week.

A great alternative for buying a local prepaid sim card is getting a travel sim card with worldwide coverage. Check out my comparison of the best international sim cards for traveling abroad in 2023 and find the one that fits your upcoming trip.

Best e-sim cards for Rwanda

Without a doubt the most convenient way to get data on your phone when traveling to Rwanda in 2023 is an e-sim card. No need to visit a store or swap physical sim cards anymore! 

You can order a Rwanda e-sim card online, you will receive a QR code, scan it, follow the instructions and you are good to go. Check out the following Rwanda e-sim card deals:

  • 1 GB data for 7 days = $9 USD
  • 3 GB data for 30 days = $24 USD

Click here to directly order an e-sim card for Rwanda or get more info in the link.

Where to buy a sim card at Kigali Airport

This is the international hub for visiting Rwanda yet Kigali International Airport is a very small airport and easy to navigate. There is no sim card store inside the airport itself. So you pick up your luggage and walk through the customs check first.

You then arrive outside and follow the covered pathway for 50 meter until you hit the parking lot. Right in front of you will see a couple shops: a tour agency, a money exchange that is open 24h, several atm's, EuropCar and an MTN shop.

MTN store Kigali Airport

rwanda sim card kigali airport

The store is very small but great thing is that it is almost open 24h. The opening hours for the MTN Kigali Airport are 06.00 am till 01.00 am. That means it is open for 19 hours a day.

Unfortunately you can not pay by credit card as they only accept cash payments. However, The door next to you is an ATM. I withdrew money from the Ecobank ATM and with my European bank card they did NOT charge an extra ATM fee. WINNER!

Prices for an MTN Rwanda sim card at Kigali Airport

mtn rwanda sim card kigali airport

The MTN sim card itself costs 500 RWF which is just $0.5 USD. This fee you pay for the registration basically, so there is no credit on the sim card. Meaning you can not make any calls or use data until you top up.

For calls and data you will have to add credit on your account and then convert it into a package. See the above photo for all the MTN Rwanda prepaid data packages. Below are mentioned the most common ones: 

  • 5 GB data for 1 week = 5,000 RWF ($5)
  • 7.5 GB data for 1 week = 7,000 RWF ($5)
  • 3 GB data for 30 days = 5,000 RWF ($5)
  • 10 GB data for 30 days = 10,000 RWF ($10)

My experience buying a sim card for Rwanda at Kigali Airport 

After a Rwandair flight that felt like a sauna I touched down in Rwanda for the first time. Traveltomtom made it to country no. 126 and after almost 5 weeks in French speaking Central Africa it felt good to be easily understood in the English speaking part of Africa.

When I located the MTN shop just opposite the airport building I made my way over to buy a sim card for Rwanda. The girl was very helpful and friendly and answered all my questions politely. Thanks again for that, so I could put everything in this blog post to help you in return.

I had to use the ATM first before I could pay for my sim card, but the lady was already processing my Rwanda sim card in the meantime. It was pretty late in the evening and she warned me before buying the sim card that the registration process would take around 10-15 minutes. I had no problem waiting a little bit while she copied my passport and filled out the necessary information in her system and took a photo of me with her webcam.

About 10 minutes later we put my new Rwanda sim card in my phone and it instantly connected to the MTN Rwanda network. The lady added 10,000 RWF credit to my account as requested and activated my data bundle of 10 GB data for 7 days.

mtn sim card kigali airport

When everything was confirmed 2 minutes later she also smiled and said that she arranged me an extra 6 GB data bonus! Well, MTN Rwanda, your employee at Kigali Airport is a legend!

Before I left I quickly asked what the code was for checking my remaining data balance: *345*5#

Below you can see all my experiences buying a sim card for Rwanda at Kigali Airport in a vlog.

I hope all these tips for buying a sim card for Rwanda at Kigali Airport were helpful. Let me know if you have any further questions and I am more than happy to help you in the comments below.

If you are interested what it looks like traveling to every country in the world then check out my Instagram profile @traveltomtom for some serious wanderlust. As of August 2023 I have visited more than 155 countries around the world, so many more to go in the next years.

Enjoy your trip to Rwanda!