FOLLOW US

World Travel Guide > Guides > Africa > Rwanda

Rwanda Food and Drink

The majority of the population in Rwanda live off subsistence farming and so their meals rely heavily on starchy crops such as potato, maize and cassava. This is generally served with kidney beans and cabbage. However, the restaurants of Kigali, and other major towns, will generally serve grilled meat (chicken, beef, goat) with French fries, fish dishes, and sometimes rice with spicy stews.

In Kigali, visitors will also find Japanese, Indian, French, Italian and vegetarian restaurants. Most hotels have restaurants that serve a reasonable choice of European dishes.

Beer and, to a lesser extent, wine is readily available in restaurants and safari lodges throughout the country. Adventurers may also want to try banana wine, a local speciality and brewed in most towns and villages across Rwanda.

Specialities

• Brochettes are widely loved and featured on most menus. These are a skewer of your chosen meat or fish served with rice or chips.

• Tilapia is a white fish found in Lake Kivu and also farmed locally. It often appears on menus.

• Matoke is steamed and mashed plantain.

• Mützig, Primus, and Skol are popular local beers.

• Urwangwa (banana wine), Rwanda's speciality beverage, can be sampled in villages and local bars throughout the country.

Tipping

There is no clear principle on tipping in Rwanda, and, for the most part, tipping is not expected. If you do want to tip, a good rule of thumb is to add 10% to the bill in restaurants, and tip $5 to your guide, tracker and porter after one-day treks, more for multi-day trips.