Thursday, July 11, 2024

17 Essential Apps for Living in Rwanda

There are a couple of apps in Rwanda that will make your life much easier when you move to Rwanda. Some of these apps have really helped me in the past couple of years, and some I wish I knew about when I moved to Rwanda three years back. 

They range from financial apps to social ones, shopping and travel apps, all of which will help you have an all-around smoother time. 


Money & Finances

Let’s start with apps that can help you keep your money and finances in check.

17 Essential Apps for Living in Rwanda


  • Available on: MTN Mobile number 

Rwanda is fast moving towards becoming a cashless economy. And while you may be used to card payments, you’ll find that their mobile money system (MTN’s MoMo) is more widely used.

I pay for groceries, electricity, wifi and at restaurants through MoMo, simply sending the amount to the business’ unique code. Sometimes when the PoS machines are down (happens quite often) then you can opt for MoMo over carrying loads of cash on you at all times

PS: You only need to have a registered MTN number and you can activate your Momo and start transacting all in a few seconds.

HeptaPay money transfer


Heptapay comes in as a convenient app for sending and receiving money in Rwanda. You can connect your credit or debit card (including a global one) and instantly send or receive cash for really low fees.

It also comes in handy for payments across countries. You can send money to someone’s Momo in Rwanda while in Kenya with an American card.

And what’s more, you also have the option of paying bills with Hepta pay bills like water and electricity through it.

Spenn App

  • Available on: iOS, Android

Spenn app comes in after Heptapay for those who may not fee; as safe connecting their cards to an app for transactions. Spenn lets you send and receive money, as well as pay bills (like water, wifi, and electricity) within Rwanda for no fees.

However, you do need to have a foreigner ID card or a Rwandan National ID card to register on the platform. And it may only be a matter of time before the platform starts charging a fee when more people start to use the app.

  • Available on: iOS, Android comes in handy for bill payments. It connects to Rwanda’s MTN Momo and Spenn app and can be used to pay bills including Pay-TV and RURA fees as well.

Recommended Reading: get around more easily with our guide to transport in Kigali.

Taxi Apps

When it comes to transport in Rwanda, you could decide to walk to the road and hail a moto-taxi. Especially if you live close to the main road. 

But if you want to call a cab or moto-taxi right from where you are, there are some options you can choose from.

17 Essential Apps for Living in Rwanda

Yego Moto

  • Available on: iOS, Android

Yego Moto is a more affordable alternative to VW Move. It has both vehicles and moto-taxis available there. If you don’t want to haggle for transport costs with moto-taxi drivers, Yego Moto gives you an exact amount to pay at the end of your ride. 

It also has a toll-free number that you can call (9191) if the app is down or unavailable to you at the moment. 

VW Move

  • Available on: iOS, Android

VW Move has few yet comfortable VW cars that can be requested through their app.

It does require patience when ordering one. You will most likely need to direct them to your location unless it’s a well-known area. There are also the occasional moments where you may not get a driver nearby.

Google Maps

  • Available on: iOS, Android, desktop.

I genuinely can’t picture what life was like before Google Maps. I have had it on my phone for years and you will find it handy to have in Rwanda as well. Whether you’re looking to take a self-driven road trip or just searching for a local restaurant near you, Google Maps takes you right to your destination.

I also find it exciting that Google Maps in Rwanda sometimes includes small paths that the locals use to get to different places. Makes for some good adventure when you’re out on a walk exploring.

Dating Apps

Life in any new country would be pretty boring without a social life (even for introverts). So here are some dating apps that could help you jumpstart your social life when you’re looking for love, friendship, or a bit of fun.

17 Essential Apps for Living in Rwanda


  • Available on: iOS, Android, desktop.

You can meet new people on Tinder in Rwanda. But, you will have to sort through quite a number of questionable profiles of people who are there for business.

Once you get past those profiles, you are bound to find a couple of people with similar interests, and make a few friends on there.


  • Available on: iOS, Android, desktop.

Bumble doesn’t have as large a selection of people as Tinder, but, it does tend to have better quality options than Tinder in general. 

Out of the few people who use it, you may find a really good friend or potential partner.

Grocery Shopping and Food

When you’re doing your food and grocery shopping, here’s an app you need:

17 Essential Apps for Living in Rwanda

Vuba Vuba

  • Available on: iOS, Android, desktop.

Vuba Vuba is probably my second most used app in Rwanda (After MoMo of course). For those days when you don’t particularly feel like cooking something, you can log onto it and order some food and drink.

There are so many restaurants listed there, you’re likely to find your favorite restaurant also listed. 

It also includes a drinks section to get your party started and grocery store items that you can also order from your home.

Recommended Reading: learn more in our guide to shopping online in Rwanda.


Rwanda may be a small country but it does have some beautiful destinations that you can travel to. Apart from Google Maps, there are a few other apps that will make your travels much smoother.

17 Essential Apps for Living in Rwanda


  • Available on: iOS, Android, desktop.

If you’ve already used Booking before, then you probably want to keep it even when in Rwanda. 

You can search for both homes and hotel rooms to accommodate you when you travel within and outside of Kigali.


  • Available on: iOS, Android, desktop.

Airbnb is another handy app to have for short stays in or outside of Kigali. Before you arrive in Kigali, you can search for and book a home to stay on for prices lower than hotels before you get a more permanent home or travel to your destinations.

You can also book your stay for trips outside of Kigali. Thinking of a trip to Lake Kivu? Find a nice, cozy Airbnb that fits your needs and your budget. Going to Musanze maybe? Or Akagera? They also have Airbnb home listings that you can browse through.


  • Available on: iOS, Android, desktop.

Xe made it to this list specifically for its currency conversion feature. 

Whether you’re just trying to figure out how much that t-shirt actually costs in the currency you are most conversant with or you want to convert your budget to a different currency, Xe provides a quick and easy way to convert currency.



  • Available on: iOS, Android; desktop.

While Tinder and Bumble may be underwhelming compared to what you’re used to, Instagram comes in to help keep your social life going.

Find out about the latest live music shows, karaoke nights, market days and other special deals through Instagram. That’s where most businesses make announcements of such events.

So consider trying it out, and show up to the next live concert by Redrocks Rwanda, for instance. And once you attend these events, who knows, you may just make a few friends.


VPNs make your online activities more secure. So when you’re looking to use VPNs, then you can’t just choose any that you find out there.

We’ll quickly mention the two best ones for this guide to the best apps in RWanda.For a more detailed list, check out our complete guide to the best VPNs in Rwanda

Surfshark VPN for Rwanda


This budget VPN offers high speeds, a user-friendly interface, and an unlimited devices policy. You can use one paid account together with your whole family. 

It also provides great encryption and the ability to stream movies that have been blocked.

NordVPN for Rwanda


At a higher price range than SurfShark, NordVPN offers the best privacy for users. It also unblocks several different platforms you would need to use including Youtube, Netflix and Spotify.

You may have lower speeds with NordVPN than Surfshark, but it makes up for this speed with the military-grade security encryption offered. 

Final Thoughts

These apps make up some of the most useful apps you’ll need in Rwanda. They are not exhaustive as others keep coming up and getting improved. But they give you a place to start from.

Do share with us any other apps you’ve used and liked in the comments so we can add them to the list.

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  1. There is a new app in Rwanda called Safirun app.
    That app appears to combine most services in one place and user friendly.
    They just launched on the 17th of Feb.

  2. Don’t forget RUSH for another restaurant food delivery option. And for grocery shopping, I like Store2Door and I also use my bank’s app to integrate with MoMo, pay bills and transfer funds.


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