Everyone knows that Kigali is one of the cleanest city in Africa. It is mandatory that all Rwandese set aside time every last Saturday of the month to come out and take part in cleaning the community. Amazing right?
What to Expect
Language: Rwanda’s official languages include Kinyarwanda and French although you will meet some speaking English and Swahili.
Currency: Rwandan Franc (amafaranga)
Debit/Credit cards: Most places will accept cards although you will need cash at hand in other places.
Rwandans drive on the right side
Here are some of the things we did when we stayed in Kigali:
Akabenz is a dish unique to Rwanda. It’s pork that is dipped in sweet sauce named after the Mercedes Benz.
These are huge in Rwanda and they come in cheap. It’s the equivalent of mshikaki in Kenya. Brochettes are served with bananas or fried potatoes and they are tasty. You can even accompany it with the Rwandan beer of choice.
Sundowner with views
Kigali has amazing views and you can take it all in while enjoying sundowners. We went to Sun city hotel in Nyamirambo and kLab in Kacyiru and the views did not disappoint.
A motari is basically a motorbike that allows one to get a full view of the hills and the city. I would recommend taking this ride in the evening when the sun is setting.
Visit Inema Arts centre
You cannot live Kigali without visiting this creative centre that was started by two brothers to tap the untapped potential art of Rwanda. I had the chance to interact with the kids who later treated us to the Rwandese traditional dance called the Intore dance. This dance is unique to Rwanda and you are not truly Rwandese unless you can dance the Intore. Kenyans we have the ODI dance. Ama?
Visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial
A visit to the memorial sites will leave you heartbroken. It will then remind you that despite their sad past. Rwanda is in a better place now.
Try Local Beers
Rwanda has a couple of beer brands but my favorite was the Skol. Other brands include the Primus and the Mutzig.
Use public transport
Kigali’s transport system is well organized. We would take bus rides from Nyabugogo to Kacyiru to get a chance to interact with locals and understand their way of life. I found it weird that they do not eat using spoons. Most locals speak Kinyarwanda with a little percentage understanding Swahili. We managed to get around by ourselves thanks to the few Rwandese that could speak Swahili
Rent Rwanda’s Traditional Outfit
I rented the Mushanana although a male equivalent exists.
Catch up: Rocking a Mushanana
If you can, attend a Rwandan wedding, it’s amazing to see how different yet fun their weddings are.
Try Rwanda’s coffee
Rwanda’s coffee is rated as one of the finest in the world. I am not a coffee lover but I had to see what the hype was and the verdict? I am still not a coffee lover. If you are though, Rwanda has several cute coffee shops that you might want to check out.
After spending a couple of nights in Kigali, we were ready to go to Burundi. The next post will be our to Burundi from Rwanda.