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Crossing the Rusumo Border from Rwanda to Tanzania

The Netherlands
Level Contributor
13 posts
21 reviews
13 helpful votes
Crossing the Rusumo Border from Rwanda to Tanzania

Hello there,

We have had difficulties finding advice on how to cross from Kigali, Rwanda into Tanzania to the nearest proper city. Even de guidebook of Rwanda and the guidebook of Tanzania have both very limited information on how to do this trip, as it will take a minimum of 2 days. Because of this reason we would like to share our experience traveling overland from Kigali, via the border of Rusumo to Tanzania.

We arranged our Tanzanian visa at the Tanzanian embassy in Kigali as we were not sure if for Dutchees it was possible to get it on arrival at the border. Check the openingtimes carefully as they are never open when we expected it. Visa requires are officially between 9 and 12.30, but if you stay friendly they also let you in at 1400. The guard of the embassy did not want to let us in because we were wearing flipflops and shorts.. however, eventually we managed to get in and inside nobody made a problem of it. The visa process takes 24 hours so you can pick up the visa the next day. We paid 50 each for a tourism visa of 30 days.

We left Kigali during the afternoon (because of different reasons, we advice to leave in the morning :P ). You can get several busses from Nabugogo busstation in town to Rusumo, they also leave from Remero Busstation (close to the airport). Tickets were 2950 Rwandan Francs. Buy an extra seat for your luggage, as we had to share 3 chairs with 4 people and take our backpack and daypack on our leps.. very uncomfortable for the 3/4 hour ride.....

Once in Rusumo you can easily walk to the exit-border post of Rwanda. You will already see lots of trucks passing by here. The border crossing was very convenient and people were incredibly friendly. At the Rwanda border post we got in contact with one of the truck drivers who offered us a ride to Benako (about 20 km from the Tanzanian immigration). Beneko is the first village where you can find several guesthouses, where many trucks are parked. We have not seen any busses or other transportation possibilities from the border of Tanzania, but there are very many trucks going to Dar es Salaam. Just get in contact with one of the trucks and they are happy to take you along. People were very friendly and our truckdriver was very happy with the 3$ we gave him for the ride to Beneko.

We stayed the night in Beneko at the first guesthouse on the right side of the road (something with VIP). There are several local eateries where you can have dinner/breakfast for 1 dollar. You just got to eat the local food with the ajoining flies. The guesthouse had a double room with self contained bathroom for 15.000 Tanzanian Shillings.

We did not find any busstation and did not see any busses pass by. We were asked by our same truck driver to come along the whole day and he drove us all the way to Singida. For this ride we gave him 10 Dollars. All the truck drivers are already passing by these cities and they can earn a little more money when you ride with them. Just ask for a price before you get in, we were lucky that ours did not really care about the amount.

We drove the whole way to Singida where the truck driver dropped us off in the city. There we took a tuktuk to a guesthouse and stayed the night again. From Singida you can get several busses to Arusha or directly to Dar es Salaam. You can also ask the driver to drop you of in Tinde (earlier stop) where you can get the bus to Mwanza. In Singida we bought the bustickets for 13.000 Shillings to Arusha and the ride only took 5 hours.

Level Contributor
1 post
13 reviews
11 helpful votes
1. Re: Crossing the Rusumo Border from Rwanda to Tanzania

If you get up very early (before dawn) in Beneko there is a bus into at least Kahama and maybe farther. My biggest advice to add to this is to bring plenty of cash if you do this crossing, preferably already changed into Shillings, since the first ATM you'll come to is in Kahama, 300km from the border.

2. Re: Crossing the Rusumo Border from Rwanda to Tanzania

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