Visit: Rwanda

I visited Rwanda on a work trip for two weeks, mainly based in Kigali, I then travelled to Uganda for a week and returned to Rwanda for a couple of days for a short break before flying back. Many tourists there are going to see the gorillas which isn’t something I could afford ( I think it’s about $1500 for a permit alone) but there are so many other things to do or see.

Stay:

  • Tea House Kigali

So welcoming, beautifully decorated and clean and airy. Very inexpensive and Florence was so sweet. You can get food and hot drinks at the guest house and lovely breakfasts with fresh fruit.

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Eat:

Not many of these are traditional Rwandan food & all are local to where we were staying. I wouldn’t say they were as good as the western equivalents – the pizza is quite doughy. They are huge fans of of a buffet lunch in Rwanda and stack the plates high!

  • Sole Luna (Italian) – nice outdoor space
  • Simba Supermarket (for an average pizza, and the experience of eating at a supermarket)
  • Meze Fresh Burritos, not very traditionally Rwandan or Mexican but still pretty good
  • Great Wall Chinese –  I had some lovely tofu here
  • Flavours Asian Fusion @ the Accord HotelWe stayed here so ate here most night. Fusion food, very spicy. Buffet lunch is good.

Must-eat Rwandan food:

  • Sombe – Cassava leaves, tastes like spinach, healthy & delicious
  • Akabanga hot sauce – made from scotch bonnet, really hot but really tasty

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  • Brochette – meat on a stick
  • Ugali – sort of a large dumpling made from cornstarch. I ddin’t liek it so much but worth a try!
  • Fruit! the fruit we ate was incredible.

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  • Matoke- starchy savoury banana

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  • African Tea – a sort of chai, spices, tea, sugar and ginger in warm milk
  • Avocados – I have never seen avocados so big

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Drinks:

  • The Hut trendy, very nice cocktails and a great atmosphere.

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  • Convention Centre – lots of spots to sit and have a cocktail here and see the Convention Centre at night.

 

Visit:

Really interesting, powerful and moving. This is done very tastefully by a charity called the Aegis Trust.

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See:

  • The Convention Centre, Kigali

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  • The landscapes . everywhere you look you will see Rwanda’s beautiful landscapes.
  • Lake Kivu, North Kivu – bordering DRC, this lake is huge but very beautiful. Locals

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This gives you a great insight into what normal people’s lives are like in the Muslim quarter of Rwanda. You can see traditional shops, hairdressers and learn about the history of the area and the cooperative itself. And the money goes to a great cause!

  • Tea factory
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Buy

  • Imigongo – dung art

Geometric designs traditionally made by women using cow dung. Often in the colors black, white and red.  You will these for sale everywhere. The images are produced using cow dung which is put onto wooden boards in spiral and geometric designs. The dung is left to harden and is then decorated using colours made from organic material.

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  • Woven baskets (Agaseke baskets) Rwandan women are taught how to weave the baskets from their mothers and grandmothers, carrying on a tradition that has been passed down from one generation to another.
  • Jewellery – beautiful
  • Wooden carvings – I bought a Baby Jesus carving to replace one lost in a nativity that my parents bought in Tanzania 30 years prior!
  • Fabric – the best fabrics are from the Congo apparently. Take ballet pumps to get covered or get measured for a dress or skirt in the markets. 
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