Rwanda power adapters - what plugs are used in Rwanda?

Rwandan power outlet

What adapter do I need for Rwanda?

You will need to use a Type J plug adapter [3] for Rwanda if your plug won't fit in a Rwandan power outlet.

The type of plug adapter, power converter or charger that you'll need to use when visiting Rwanda will all depend on the voltage and type of device that you're attempting to power in a Rwandan power outlet. If you do not know which voltage your device uses then please read the section about how to tell the voltage of your device first.

  • Certain parts of Rwanda do not have access to electricity and suffer from regular power outages therefore you should bring a power bank [4] if you want to recharge your phone battery whilst in a region without power or during a power outage.
  • If you're from America travelling to Rwanda then you will need to bring a plug adapter to fit a US plug in a Rwandan power outlet. Because the voltage is different in Rwanda use a power converter if your device isn't dual voltage and check that it will work with a 50hz power outlet.
  • If your device can run on 230 volts or is dual voltage and the plug fits in a Rwandan power outlet then you can use it in Rwanda without needing a plug adapter.
  • If your device can run on 230 volts or is dual voltage but the plug doesn't fit in a Rwandan power outlet then you will need a suitable plug adapter for Rwanda such a Type J plug adapter [3]. A plug adapter for Rwanda (or power adapter) only changes the shape of the plug on your device to fit into a plug outlet found in Rwanda, but doesn't change the voltage from 230 volts to use with another voltage.
  • If your device doesn't run on 230 volts and isn't dual voltage then you will also need a power converter for Rwanda to convert the voltage from 230 volts to the correct voltage on your device. You'll still need to pack a suitable plug adapter for Rwanda if the power converter doesn't have the correct Type J plug adapter.
  • If you want to charge one or more USB devices such as cellphones or tablets then a USB travel power adapter is suitable and it should be dual voltage, however make sure that you bring a USB travel adapter which includes a Type J plug adapter otherwise you'll also need to bring a suitable plug adapter for Rwanda.

Warning: If your device won't handle 230 volts used in Rwanda you run a risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your device. Before using your device in Rwanda check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Rwanda power adapters

Power adapters for Rwanda

Varying different standards and voltages can all be daunting when planning on visiting another country if you've never visited before. With only a handful of different types of plug sockets used in the world this article shows exactly what you'll need in advance to charge your electronics in Rwanda. This page has links to simple instructions demonstrating how to supply power to your devices when visiting Rwanda using their standard J or C type Rwandan 230 volt 50Hz power outlets. You will discover that power adapters vary depending on which area you're in so please read the Wikiconnections world power adapters guide for a complete list showing destinations.

What is the best power adapter for Rwanda?

The best power adapter for Rwanda is a Type J plug adapter [3] which will allow you to use any 230 volt appliance or device.

What is the best power adapter for Rwanda?

What is a power adapter?

Power adapters are small, cheap and lightweight plastic adapters that permit a different shaped power plug from a different region to correctly slot into a wall socket in Rwanda.

Also known as: an electrical adapter, plug adapter, travel adapter, electrical adaptor, mains travel adapter or power adaptor [5].

What does a power adapter for a Rwandan power outlet do?

A power adapter enables visitors travelling from a different location to use their own electrical appliances and devices in Rwanda by changing the shape of the plug from one shape to another.

Do I need a power adapter for Rwanda?

It will depend on the shape of plug you are attempting to use in Rwanda and the location you are travelling from.

Will I need a power adapter if I'm visiting Rwanda from the US?

US plugs won't fit in a Rwandan power outlet so you will need to bring a power adapter for Rwanda, and as the voltage is much higher you will also need to use a power converter for Rwanda if your appliance or charger isn't dual voltage to prevent damage or overheating.

Can a power adapter convert the voltage from a Rwandan power outlet?

Power adapters will only adapt the shape of a plug to fit into a 230 volt Rwandan power outlet and can't convert to a higher voltage. If you need to safely use any 100, 110 or 120 volt device you will also need a more expensive step down power converter for Rwanda along with the right type of adapter.

Rwanda power outlets and plug sockets

What plug sockets are used in Rwanda?

Type C and J power outlets

What plug sockets are used in Rwanda?

There are two different types of power supply used in Rwanda, types J and C with the primary power supply being type J:

  • Plug Type C - You can identify this plug outlet by the two round holes next to each other for live and neutral pins.
  • Plug Type J - The squashed hexagon shaped wall socket, also known as a type J power outlet, looks like three round holes in a flattened triangle shape for live, neutral and earth.

Do US plugs work in Rwanda?

No - a US plug won't work in Rwanda because it won't fit in a Rwandan power outlet without using a power adapter. Also, the voltage is 230 volts therefore use a power converter for Rwanda if your device or appliance isn't dual voltage and check that your appliance will work with a 50hz power outlet.

What is the electrical frequency used in Rwanda?

The frequency of the alternating current from a Rwandan power outlet is 50 Hz.

Is a plug socket in Rwanda the same as in the US?

A US plug won't fit in a Rwandan power outlet so you will need to use a plug adapter for Rwanda. Both the voltage and frequency are different so if your appliance or charger isn't dual voltage use a power converter for Rwanda and check that it works with 50hz.

How do I use a 110 volt appliance in Rwanda?

A step down power converter will allow you to use a 110V appliance in Rwanda.

Is the voltage in Rwanda the same as in the US?

The voltage in Rwanda is 230 volts, however 120 volts is used in the US. If your US appliance or power charger won't handle dual voltage then you will need to use a suitable power converter for a Rwandan power outlet which can change the voltage from a 220-240 volt power outlet to 120 volts.

Are electrical outlets common in Rwanda?

Less than a quarter of the population has access to electricity in Rwanda.

Are there many power outages in Rwanda?

Every week in Rwanda power cuts are reported.

Do I need a portable charger for Rwanda?

As electric isn't available in all areas of Rwanda alongside potential power blackouts, visitors are advised to use alternate charging solutions if they wish to continue using devices such as phones or tablets.

  • During a trip increased use of cell phones for storing itineraries, taking pictures, social network sharing, GPS and web browsing will syphon off power before the end of the day. As well as just missing photo opportunities this can potentially leave you stranded without enough power to make an emergency call or being able to use a satellite navigation app to return to your accommodation or hotel. By packing a power bank [4] for Rwanda eases those concerns as it means you can keep your mobile phone fully powered without using a phone charger, especially when travelling to a country with limited access to power and power cuts in some areas.
  • Use at least a 10,000mAh portable charger [4] which can supply enough energy to power around 3 full charge cycles whilst a 20,000mAh power bank [9] should keep an average smart phone powered for roughly 7 days. The mAh rating (or milli ampere-hours) shows the capacity of the battery and gives an indication of how many cycles the power bank can achieve, so a higher number is better for travellers.
  • Providing that your laptop supports USB-C charging then bringing a portable charger for a laptop [10] marked with PD (power delivery) that supplies 20Wh or more can be used to extend the battery life of that laptop in Rwanda.
  • Please note that some airlines prohibit batteries on an aircraft that supply 100 Wh of power or more and must be kept in hand luggage only.
  • Consumer power banks aren't strong enough for use with high wattage items that generate heat, although a rechargeable hair dryer [7] or gas hair straighteners [8] can be used for travelling to areas with both power cuts and limited access to electricity such as Rwanda.
Do I need a portable charger for Rwanda?
How well do solar chargers work in Rwanda?

Solar backpacks are ideal in hot countries

How well do solar chargers work in Rwanda?

The daylight in Rwanda should be suitable enough to charge solar power bank [12] dependably, but will need to be exposed to strong daylight in order to produce suitable power for a single charge cycle. It might prove inconvenient to constantly unpack a solar power bank and wait whilst it recharges in sunny spells.

  • Instead, the larger solar panels used on a solar backpack [11] give the backpack the ability to create more power within a shorter period of time and might still generate power when overcast, meaning they should perform well in Rwanda.
  • Phones that have been directly plugged into a USB charging port of a backpack will trickle charge the power during sunny periods in Rwanda, but could be inconvenient to have it constantly connected to the bag during the day if it is to be needed frequently. A regular power bank [4] plugged into a solar backpack can be continuously recharged inside the bag during the day, afterwards the phone can be recharged from the power bank without needing the bag.
  • Even though the climate in Rwanda is suitable for solar, a bag should have a solar cell efficiency of 22% or greater, be able to generate a minimum of 6 watts of energy and includes a compatible power bank of 10,000mAH or greater. Unlike normal firm solar cells, the flexible and durable cells used in solar powered bags are made to survive bending and scratching. They are available in laptop messenger, rucksack and backpack styles which makes them ideal for work, travel and domestic use.

Sources

  • International Electrotechnical Commission - World plugs by location (cited August 2014)
  • Wikipedia - Mains electricity by country (cited July 2014)
  • Index Mundi - Power outages in a typical month (cited May 2018, data collected between 2006 to 2017)
  • Index Mundi - Access to electricity (cited May 2018, latest data collected 2010)
  • WikiPedia - List of countries by average yearly temperature (cited May 2018, data averaged between 1961 to 1990)

Rwanda chargers

What is a USB travel power charger?

A USB travel charger is a dual voltage charger with interchangeable plugs and multiple USB ports, suitable for charging multiple USB powered devices when travelling abroad.

What USB charger do I need for Rwanda?

When travelling to more than one country or bringing more than just one device then the best travel charger for Rwanda to buy is a multiple USB port charger which includes compatible plugs like a 4 port USB travel charger [13]. Rwandans use two different types of power outlets (types J and C) and bringing this ensures that you are covered for type C.

Because these types of chargers come with interchangeable pins and can handle 100 volts - 240 volts will mean that you can travel to multiple countries around the world just by switching the included heads. If your device can support Fast Charge (note not all USB devices can) then you will benefit from faster charging times with one of these types of travel chargers, and compatibility with certain power hungry devices.

This means you can recharge multiple devices simultaneously without needing to buy seperate travel chargers on your trip or using up additional power sockets. Because you are only bringing a single international travel charger will also keep the weight and size down, making it ideal to fold up and store in hand baggage. Because of their versatility these types of chargers can be used when you return home not just abroad so when you're not on holiday they can be used under your bedside table charging multiple phones and tablets without needing an additional plug socket.

If you travel often we suggest searching for a multipurpose travel charger of this nature online - the travel charger illustrated here is the 4 Port USB Wall Charger [13] which has been tested successfully with multiple USB devices in numerous foreign countries with good reliably.

What USB charger do I need for Rwanda?

Why use a travel USB charger for Rwanda?

  • Normal travel USB chargers include multiple USB charger ports, this means that you only need to bring a single charger to charge multiple devices. Rather than bring 4 separate power chargers it's now only necessary to pack a single 4 port USB wall charger to power up to 4 individual devices which cuts down on the size and weight of your luggage.
  • Most travel USB power chargers should include interchangeable plug heads for various regions. This is perfect when visiting multiple countries which are likely to use different outlets to Rwanda.
  • A good USB charger is compact, rugged and lightweight; ideal for rigors of travel instead of than risking packing a domestic charger which might be impossible to replace in Rwanda.
  • USB chargers can accept the 230 volts used in Rwanda power outlets plus other voltage standards across the world.
  • There is a possibility that some hotel rooms in Rwanda might only have one wall outlet, by bringing a travel charger with multiple USB ports means you can share the single wall outlet with family or other traveler instead of having to wait to recharge one device at a time.
  • Because of their versatile nature a travel USB charger takes the worry out of visiting an unknown country as they are guaranteed to work practically anywhere on the planet.
  • Power outlets found in airports are often scant and the demand for charging multiple devices from other passengers before a flight can be high, therefore a USB charger with multiple ports and the capability to fast charge is ideal.
  • Sometimes the power grid in a country can be unstable, a quality travel charger allows for unexpected spikes and prevents damage to any devices attached to it. Trying to repair an overloaded cell phone in Rwanda could prove to be problematic and costly.
  • Higher priced USB travel chargers should also incorporate a power outlet strip to plug in low wattage devices such as laptops, but be aware these will be unsuitable for high wattage domestic such as hair dryers or clothes irons. Please read the section on using travel appliances with a Rwandan power outlet for useful guidelines on the most suitable power adapter for using a high wattage appliances with a Rwandan power outlet.
  • Some tablets and cellphones could pull more than the normal 500 mA (milliamps) supplied by a standard 5 volt USB adapter to charge or provide fast charge. Higher priced USB travel chargers will support fast charging should some of your devices draw extra power.
  • On returning home travel USB power chargers can also be used by recharging multiple cellphones and tablets on an overnight basis using a single power outlet.

What is the best USB charger for Rwanda?

The is the most compact option for travellers from any country wanting to charge devices using USB, however for visitors also wishing to use their domestic plugs the following power strips provide larger but more versatile solutions. All 3 power strips offer surge protection which can be useful for visitors of counties with unstable power supplies. These travel adapters are supplied with interchangeable type C, I and G plugs covering both Rwanda and over 150 destinations:

  • BESTEK Portable International Travel Voltage Converter - The BESTEK travel converter has 4 USB charging ports with 3 AC power outlets and is the best selling compact power converter for travellers originating from North America visiting Rwanda.
  • ORICO Traveling Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip - Likewise having 4 USB ports but only 2 AC power outlets the travel adapter from Orico is also aimed at travellers originating from America using type B plugs and gives almost the same functionality as the BESTEK with only one less AC outlet at almost half price.
  • BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip - This power strip has 2 AC outlets but offers a generous 5 USB charging ports. This versatile power strip is compatible with both American plugs and popular plug types A, D,E/F, G, H, I, L and N making it perfect for most travellers from around the world visiting Rwanda.

Power converters for Rwanda

What does a power converter for Rwanda do?

A power converter for Rwanda will allow travellers to use their 100, 110 or 120 volt electric appliance with a 230 volt Rwandan power outlet.

Also known as: electrical converter, electrical transformer, voltage converter, power transformer or voltage transformer.

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a power converter for Rwanda?

A cheap, small and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your device to fit into a power outlet in Rwanda, but an expensive and bulkier power converter [14] converts the voltage of 230 volts from a Rwandan power outlet to work with a non-230 volt device.

Do I need a power converter for Rwanda?

If visiting Rwanda from a different country please check the device can be used with a 230 volt power supply.

  • A step down power converter [15] is needed if you are visiting Rwanda from a country that uses 100-120 volts and your device or appliance is incompatible with 230 volts. Read our list of world power outlets guide to see which voltage is used in your country.
  • You don't need a power converter if you already own either a single voltage appliance that works with 230 volts or one that is dual voltage.
  • Typically, electrical devices designed for a lower voltage (such as 120 volts) and then used with 230 volts run a risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your device unless a step down power converter [15] is used.
  • You won't need a power converter if you wish to charge a smaller electrical device such as a tablet as these are normally designed for international use and support dual voltage, however you should always check the device for dual voltage support first.
  • For supplying power to high wattage appliances or generate heat (for example clothes irons or hair dryers) then you will need to use a much larger higher wattage heavy duty power converter [16] which allows the appliance to be used with a 230 volt Rwandan power outlet.
  • It will be more cost effective to purchase a robust lightweight dual voltage travel appliance than bringing a heavier high wattage power converter to Rwanda simply to use your existing domestic appliance.
  • Read these comprehensive guides on how to use curling irons, clothes irons, hair dryers and hair straighteners in Rwandan power outlets , along with recommendations on some affordable dual voltage alternatives.

Will I need a power converter for Rwanda if I'm visiting from America?

The 230 volts from a power outlet in Rwanda is different to a 110 volt US outlet, therefore you need to use a step down power converter [15] if your charger or appliance doesn't support dual voltage.

What converter do I need for Rwanda?

To use any 100, 110 or 120 volt appliance with a 230 volt Rwandan power outlet you will need to buy a step down power converter [15].

What voltage does Rwanda use?

Rwanda uses 230 volts in their normal power outlets.

What is the difference between a converter and a power transformer?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a converter and a power transformer?

Converters and transformers are both used to change one voltage to another, but this ambiguity can cause confusion as their purposes are different:

  • Power converters are designed for simple electrical appliances which typically generate heat or use motors such as clothes irons, shavers or hair dryers. Transformers are designed for more complex electronic items such as televisions or games consoles.
  • Buying a power converter is cheaper than buying a power transformer.
  • Power transformers are larger and heavier making them more suited for permanent residential use; for example an expat wishing to use an imported television would need to use a transformer for this purpose.
  • Power converters are more suitable for travellers wishing to bring domestic appliances abroad such as hair dryers or flat irons. However, it is more practical and cost effective to purchase a dual voltage appliance designed for travel rather than a heavier power converter.
  • Power converters are suitable for 2 pin ungrounded appliances, it could be harder to find a converter if you want to use a grounded 3 pin appliance.
  • Transformers can be used constantly however it is recommended that converters are used for no longer than a couple of hours at a time.
  • Shops may sell transformers under the name of converters, for the purposes this guide we will be referring to both converters and transformers as converters.

How to convert 230 volts to 110 volts

  1. Use a step down power converter [15] to allow you to use a 110 or 120 volt appliance with a 230 volt Rwandan power outlet.
  2. If the power converter doesn't include the correct shaped plug then it will also be necessary to plug in the power cord from the power converter into a power adapter for Rwanda before plugging that into a Rwandan power outlet.
  3. Some power converters include the ability to perform both step up and step down voltage conversions, therefore it may be necessary to manually switch the converter to output the voltage to the 110-120 volt range.
  4. Plug your appliance into the converter and turn the power on, your 110-120 volt appliance can now be used with a 230 volt Rwandan power outlet.
What voltage is my device?

Single voltage hair straighteners

What voltage is my device?

One method to see if your appliance is either single or dual voltage is to check for numbers printed on the supplied charger, or on the device itself, normally near to where the power cord sits. This location will depend on the make or model of your device but should also be written in the instruction manual or on the box.

  • Single voltage devices might have a specific number - such as 120V.
  • Single voltage devices might also have a small voltage range (around 20 volts) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 220-240V.
  • Dual voltage devices will say a larger voltage range separated with a slash - such as 110/240V.

What can I connect to a Rwandan power outlet?

Travel appliances that can connect to a Rwandan power outlet

Beats Pill speakers which can connect to a Rwandan power outlet

Jabra Bluetooth speakers which are compatible with a Rwandan power outlet

Mobile phones which can be connected to the Rwandan power outlet

Apple iPhones that work with a Rwandan power outlet

Samsung Galaxy phones that work with a Rwandan power outlet

A list of Amazon Kindle tablets which work with a Rwandan power outlet

A list of Apple iPads which are compatible with a Rwandan power outlet

Corrections

We endeavor to ensure all details on this page are correct and relevant to travelers visiting Rwanda, if you wish to contribute any useful information or feedback please email travel@wikiconnections.org. For more comprehensive technical details visit the Wikipedia page on AC power plugs and sockets [17].

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rwanda - Rwanda Wikipedia page.
  2. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/ - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  3. Type J plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type J power outlets without converting voltage.
  4. Portable charger - A power bank is a portable charger which can recharge USB powered devices such as mobile phones and tablets on the go.
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adapter - power adaptor
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  7. Rechargeable hair dryer - Rechargeable battery powered blow dryer suitable for travelling.
  8. Gas hair straighteners - Cordless ceramic hair straighteners powered by gas cartridges.
  9. 20,000mAh portable charger - High capacity 20000mAh high-speed portable USB charger suitable for charging mobile phones and some tablets for several days.
  10. USB-C PD power bank - Power Delivery charger suitable for charging laptops with USB-C support.
  11. Solar backpack - A solar backpack will charge USB devices or an internal power bank when left in sunlight.
  12. Solar power bank - Portable power bank with solar cells which can recharge when placed in sunlight and power any USB powered device.
  13. 4 Port USB Wall Charger - A universal USB charger capable of charging up to 4 USB devices with swappable international adapters.
  14. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts.
  15. Step down power converter - A step down power converter allows a 100-120 volt appliance to be used in a 220-240 volt power outlet.
  16. Heavy duty power converter - A 5000 watt heavy duty step up and step down power converter used to convert voltages for domestic appliances, power tools, televisions, heating appliances and motors.
  17. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_power_plugs_and_sockets - AC power plugs and sockets