Cost of Living and Accommodation

1 min read
01 Jan 2024

Cost of Living

Kigali can offer a very nice standard of living on a monthly budget of FRw 1 million to FRw 1.5 million ($1,065–$1,600). This is plenty for a room in a modern shared house, groceries including imported items, daily transport on motorcycle taxis, gym membership and nights out. A meal and a beer at a local pub can be as low as FRw 5,000 (around $5) but you will pay closer to FRw 20,000 ($19) at a nice restaurant. Monthly membership at a modern gym such as WAKA Fitness starts at around FRw 28,000 ($30) and a 30 GB pay-as-you-go data package is around FRw 9,400 ($10) per month. Private schools range from approx FRw 6.6 million ($7,000) for high school at Green Hills to over FRw 18 million (around $19,000) for the International School of Kigali annually. Buying a car can be expensive and gas usually hovers around FRw 1,000 (just over $1) per liter. The cost of living in Kigali, as anywhere, will depend on your quality of life, but it’s easy to live well here for less than in many other parts of the world.


Most people live in houses rather than apartments in Kigali. Facebook groups, including Expats in Rwanda and Living in Kigali, are great places to start your search for a room in a shared house. Renting a whole house is trickier, but there are property agents to help. Always get personal recommendations before choosing an agent and note that they’ll usually charge a finder’s fee equal to your first month’s rent. Renting a room is often informal and done without a tenancy agreement, but if you’re renting a house make sure to get everything in writing. Generally, you can find a nice room for around FRw 375,000 ($400) per month and a house for an average of about FRw 1 million ($1,065). Foreigners are expected to hire help – usually a guard (or a security agency) and a cleaner at a minimum. This can feel strange, but it’s a part of the culture. Churches here can be very loud, so take this into consideration when choosing where to live.

Main photo by Michael Muli