The capital of eternal spring… In such a way you can most accurately characterize Kigali, comfortably nestled among the velvet green hills of central Rwanda. This is a clean, beautiful and soulful city. Once you arrive, you definitely want to stay, if not forever, then at least for a while. There are also a very good choice of hotels, restaurants and nightclubs. Admirers of the contemplative holiday will be attracted by the picturesque surroundings of Kigali, while eco-tourism enthusiasts will be delighted with the proximity of national parks with exclusive mountain gorillas and other African wildlife.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN KIGALI
• Kivu is a lake in Central Africa, on the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the East African Rift Valley, one of the Great African Lakes. LakeKivuinlengthstretchesfor 89 km, width 48 km.
• Akagira National Park
• Nyungve National Park is the largest complex of mountainous forests in East and Central Africa. It is also one of the most ancient forests, formed long before the last ice age. This is a unique biocomplex in the diversity of tropical plants.
• Gorilla Trekking – The world’s most endangered ape is found only in small portions of protected afro Montane forests in northwest Rwanda. The mountain gorilla is one of many species unique to these forests. The forests are also home to many wonderful birds, primates, large mammals, reptiles, insects, plants and also ensure continued water and medical plant resources for the local communities.
TYPICAL COSTS WHEN TRAVELLING
Accommodation – There are great hotels in the capital. These include, for example, Lemigo Hotel, which has four stars. The hotel has a swimming pool and restaurant, the rooms have free Wi-Fi. What else does a traveler need for a comfortable life? There are also other options of accommodation in Kigali, particularly, private rooms not in the center 142 USD,
private room in the center 165 USD, 1 bedroom apartment not in the center 196 USD, 1 bedroom apartment in the center 338 USD. You can rent a room in an Airbnb for as cheap as 25 USD per night.
Food – Kigali has many eateries, bars, buffets and restaurants serving international cuisine for any requests and finances. You can taste national fast food in “melange” (variety) – establishments offering visitors a “buffet” of various salads, potatoes, cassava, bananas, rice, as well as fish, meat and chicken. Lunch will cost between 700 ($0.79) and 7,000 ($7.85) RWF, depending on the pathos of the melange.
Fans of more variety of meals will find a large selection of restaurants of Rwandan, African, Indian, Chinese and Mediterranean cuisines. Count on the cost of a meal starting at 7,000 RWF.
Transportation – The most popular form of transport in Kigali is mototaxi. A guy in a green vest and a helmet on a moped will pick you up and speed to your destination, taking mere pennies from a trip – from 300 ($0.34) to 600 ($0.67) RWF within the city.
Another option is bus, scurrying through the streets of the city. Destinations are marked on the windshield, but it is better to check with the driver once onboarding. To stop the car, just get up. Minibuses will also be useful when traveling outside Kigali, they run throughout the country. The cost is slightly lower than in a mototaxi.
Suggested daily budget – Of course, for the “European” way of life and a rich excursion program you have to pay a lot. Visiting a national park, for example, can cost 300-400 USD, nice hotels with a high level of service and tourist restaurants will be quite expensive. Fashionable supermarkets with European cheeses and sausages, too, of course, are very expensive. Otherwise, everything is much more simple: a plate of hot food in any village will cost a dollar or two, and this will be a rather large portion. A bottle of soda is about a quarter of a dollar. Certainly, souvenirs could be taken home for little money.
MONEY SAVING TIPS
1 Use microbuses. Old minibuses are painted in the same color. Nothing is written on them, the route should be checked with the driver.Such transport is, of course, cheaper than anything else, but it may be less comfortable, because, first, it is always packed to capacity, second, it is extremely difficult to understand exactly where it goes, third, because of the
2 Ask bikers about the price. The guys on motorcycles, often in bright vests, are on duty at almost every corner and call you if you pass by. You can negotiate with them and bargain if the price they called seems to be too high. Most often, it can be reduced by a third, but on average a bike ride will cost you 1-3 USD depending on the distance.
3 Be attentive while choosing cars. Car rentals exist in the form of small local offices, mainly in Kigali, but I would not recommend using them, since it is extremely difficult to trust the technical condition of the cars – it is impossible to control this. There is no guarantee that you will not be deceived when returning the vehicle. No offices of major international rental companies like Hertz can be found.
4 Find the guesthouses. There are good hotels in quantity not only in Kigali, but also near national parks, but guesthouses are plentiful. You will recognize them by the handicraft lettering “Hotel”, which can be displayed even on the wall of an ordinary-looking shack.Most guesthouses are clean and very decent. Almost all of them cost about 10 USD per night for two. Meals are usually not provided. You will have a separate room, even with a TV, a double bed with linens and old towels, a separate bathroom, where there is a tap or even a shower with cold water and a slightly tarry-dark green soap. Over the bed in any hotel there is a mosquito net. Take care to carefully open it at night, because mosquitoes are active at night.
ON THE SCENE?
The capital of Rwanda, Kigali, is a modern city by African standards. Nightlife is most active on weekends. Kigali is not a bad choice for nightclubs, they are very lively, and there are many attractive girls. Club hours run until early mornings around 7am so come prepared for an all-nighter.