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Exchange Rwanda Francs for US Dollars

Exchange Rwanda Francs for US Dollars
I am in Butare, Rwanda, I want to go to Burundi, however my money situation baffled me until today. I had about 450,000 Rwanda Francs and wanted to buy 400,000 Francs of U.S. Dollars the other 50,000 in Burundi money.

I loaded up on Rwanda money in Kabale, Uganda with enough money to visit both Rwanda and Burundi. I would have bought Dollars in Uganda, however I would have left 200 dollars on the table because of bad exchange rates.

Butare, Rwanda
East Africa
Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I tried at the Bank of Kagila and Ecobank; I asked my Lebanese friend Tarik who runs the Matar Super Market how to exchange Rwanda for Dollars. Everyone says I must go to the border to buy Dollars; I can exchange Dollars for Rwanda money, but not the other way around.

This is day three of me trying to figure out how to cross the border and not exchange big money at the border crossing. I normally would do about 20 US, just enough to pay for transportation.

I do not want to stop at the border, buy 800 Dollars worth of money, then leave in the Public Transportation. If there are clever thieves or rebels, they can team up with the Forex Exchange worker, who can pick up a cell phone, call ahead and say,
“White guy coming with 700 US dollars.”
“Rob him.”

“This is telegraphing”

I normally go to the closest border city, exchange the day before and leave early the next morning before the thieves wake up. However, nobody in the city of Butare I cannot buy Burundi Money, I must do this at the border. There are no ATM machines in Burundi, the same as Rwanda, this is rare to find, a country with zero ATM machines.

I am fine, Martin the owner of the New Gratia Motel walked me to an Islamic lady by the name of Fatima and she sold me dollars.

400,000 equals 695 US Dollars.

Now, I will go to the border and buy 100,000 Burundi Francs, try to look like a Hobo and fly in under the radar.

I do not like money changers; they make Taxi drivers seem honest. When I enter Burundi, I will have about 900 US, and 100,000 in Burundi money.

Exchange Rwanda Francs for US Dollars


Every move I make has a calculated risk, I wish other backpackers to understand my risk tolerance.

The tourist in the Ibis need to have at least 2000 in cash. Go rob them, they are truly the volunteer targets.



Use this page to exchange money:

100.00 USD = 56,970.00 RWF
United States Dollars Rwanda Francs
1 USD = 569.700 RWF 1 RWF = 0.00175531 USD