Going Postal in Kigali

Post Office in Kigali

There is one post office in Kigali, and it’s straight down the road from the roundabout in front of the UTC, heading down towards Nyabugogo. It’s a big yellow building with IPOSITA written on it so it’s hard to miss. The office was recently moved here from Kacyiru.

Sending Mail

You need to visit the post office to buy stamps and send your letter. Stamps cost a few hundred francs per letter, depending on where you are sending it. The time it takes for the letter to reach its destination varies greatly, from a few days up to a few weeks. It all depends on which flight your letter gets on, and if it gets stuck somewhere in Ethiopia.

For sending bigger packets, the safest option is to use a private postal service such as FedEx or DHL. The FedEx office is located close to Camellia Tea House, along Avenue de la Paix. The DHL office is in Muhima, on the road between the town roundabout and Gitega.

Receiving Mail

There are few street names in Kigali, and even fewer numbered houses. Letters and packages can thus not be sent to your house. To receive mail you need to first get a P.O. Box, and you do this by paying a visit to the IPOSITA office. The price for a P.O. Box is Rwf 11,800 a year. After getting a P.O. Box, your address will simply be: Name, P.O. Box number, Kigali, Rwanda.

Normally it takes a couple of weeks for letters and packages from the US and Europe to arrive, though I’ve had letters arrive a few days after they were mailed, as well as packages arriving two months later. It’s kind of hit and miss.

Collecting a Package

Packages that are too large for the tiny P.O. Boxes will be taken to an area behind the building and stored until you come to collect it. You’ll get a note in your P.O. Box that you’ll need to take to a man sitting at a desk downstairs, behind the building. Give him the note and he’ll yell for someone to come find your package. I’ve never needed to show any ID to collect a package… I guess having the note is proof enough. Assuming they find it, you’ll have to pay some taxes (usually very little) and sign your name in a book and that’s that. It’s a pretty quick and easy process and I’ve never had to spend much time waiting in line.

Mail does occasionally get lost, and if you peek into the storage rooms at the post office it’s easy to understand why. If you come to pick up a package, and they say it’s not there, have them check again. And again. It’s most likely in there somewhere, so just keep nagging them!

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12 thoughts on “Going Postal in Kigali”

  1. patit Seminaire Baptist de Butare est mal situé sur la carte. Vous l’avait marqué dans un endroit qi n’est pas le sien. Il fallait la mettre là ou vous avez marqué CEFOTEC

  2. Thanks for the post Inga,

    I am meaning to get myself a P.0. Box, but can’t get away long enough during the day to do it, does anyone know if the postoffice is open on saturdays or through lunch on weekdays, and the average time it take to actually get your new number from the time of application?

    Thanks,

    P

    1. 5-7 working days.

      But parcels can take much longer (2 weeks to 3 months). From experience, there’s about a 70% chance of things arriving. I once picked up a parcel for a friend who had left the country. It had been in the post for two years!

  3. I’m Didier, I’ve a problem., my friend lives in USA North Calorine, when we met in Kigali I promised him that he will get a gift from me, just today I paid the gift but sending it to him stills a big problem for me cause it is very expensive btn 200Usd and 250usd? so please if you know someone going there let me know call me or emAil me he/she can help my number is and my mail ( +250784706972,, bmwddr@gmail.com )

  4. Can’t find opening times for the post office anywhere – not even on their website. One of the very few service providers in Rwanda not on Twitter.

    Be warned, they charge rental in January, regardless of when you purchase your PO Box. So if you purchase in November, you’ll only get two months before you have to pay the annual subscription again.

  5. Anyone know how much it costs to send a 400gram parcel via postal…nothing fancy…just coffee gifts to an addict in the US? Dhl is 70k rwf.

  6. Hi my name is christine live in Rwanda i want to send a postage of 2 kgs to Brisbane australia i would like to know how much should i pay for that thank you

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