Places to go in Rwanda?
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Jan 11, 2012 2:25 AM Last Post By: kigalilongwe
Dec 31, 2011 3:54 AM
Places to go in Rwanda?Hello everyone,
My boyfriend and I will get to Kigali on the 10th of February and have booked Gorilla permits for the 19th, so we will need to be in Ruhengeri (Musanze) on the 18th. We therefore have a week in Rwanda and are looking for tips on where to go, where to stay and what to do during this week?
Every recommendation would be highly appreciated!
Dec 31, 2011 4:52 AM
Dec 31, 2011 6:31 AM
Jan 4, 2012 1:50 PM
3I'm sure it's in all the guidebooks so not really off the beaten track but if you're interested to see one of the genocide memorials I'd recommend Murambi in the south. I was there at the end of 2010 and the place was very quiet, for me a better atmosphere to take it all in than the busy memorial centre in Kigali.
If you want to stay somewhere on the lake I preferred Kibuye to Gisenyi.
Jan 9, 2012 6:35 PM
4If you're interested in Rwanda's history and the genocide, I'd make the following recommendations:
Gisozi Genocide Memorial: In Kigali, the best museum I've ever visited.
Ex-State House: The former home of dictator Habyarimana, whose plane was shot down in 1994, sparking the genocide. The plane wreckage is there to view. The inside has been turned into an exhibition of Rwandan cultural history.
Murambi Memorial: In Gikongoro (Nyamagabe), which you can reach by going through Butare. Amazing views and very nice staff at the memorial.
Ntarama and Nyamata Memorials: A short drive south of Kigali.
Nyarubuye Memorial: Pretty far off the beaten track compared to the others. I had to take a twegerane (public transport) to an outpost on the road to the Rusumo border with Tanzania and then take a half-hour motorbike ride through the winding dirt roads of the countryside before I could get there. If it interests you, it's definitely worth it though.
Amahoro Stadium: In eastern Kigali. Interesting stuff happens here, but you can really only find out the day of an event unless you catch talk of something. Sometimes President Kagame even shows up for ceremonies, which are open to the public and free of charge.
Nyungwe Forest: Supposed to be some great scenery, in the south of Rwanda, but I've never personally been there myself. Apparently the source of the Nile is buried somewhere inside. Expect to spend a night outside of Kigali (most other parts of the country can be day trips).
Lake Ruhondo: Not far from Ruhengeri (Musanze), amazing views with Mt Sabyinyo towering in the distance. You can go for a dugout boat ride too. Makes for an excellent day hike.
Murindi Tea Factory: A bit off the beaten track, Murindi Tea Factory is at the top of a hill in northern Rwanda (bit of a hike getting to the top) surrounded by tea fields. The hills are a lot higher as you go north, and so you may encounter a cool breeze. At the top, you can see how the tea factory works, as well as President Kagame's wartime bunker (the factory was the base of operations for the Rwandan Patriotic Front for much of the civil war). It's free of charge, but don't go on weekends, as they're supposed to be closed. Took me a good 15 minutes of negotiating in Kinyarwanda to work around that when I went.
Camp Kigali: A memorial to the 10 Belgian soldiers killed by the extremists during the opening days of the genocide. Near Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), not far from the city centre of Muhima.
Kibuye: A quiet lakeside town. Makes for a nice walk. Some seafood markets, several genocide memorials, etc.
Nyagatare and Kagitumba: Characteristically un-Rwandan areas in the northeast of the country. Very flat, and a lot of former exiles who speak English. The northernmost point is Kagitumba, at the three-way Ugandan-Rwandan-Tanzanian border, where the RPF invasion was launched in 1990. May be some interesting wildlife as well.
If you have any questions on transport, lodging, language, logistics, etc, I'd be glad to give you some input. Enjoy your stay in the Land of a Thousand Hills.
Jan 10, 2012 7:16 AM
Amahoro Stadium: In eastern Kigali. Interesting stuff happens here, but you can really only find out the day of an event
2013 African Cup of Nations qualifier:
- 15/01/12: Rayon Sports v Police FC
- 11/02/12: APR FC v Police FC
Armée Patriotique Rwandaise FC (APR) is the biggest team, and gathers a huge crowd, Rayon Sports is the most popular team though
Jan 10, 2012 1:36 PM
Jan 11, 2012 2:25 AM
7Right, then you can be sure of 2 dates this year, as last year and the years before...:
- 07/04/12: 18th commemoration of the genocide
- 04/07/12: Liberation day
Unfortunately, it does not stick with the OP schedule, but may be helpful for other travellers. At the Little Amahoro there are often some great concerts
PS: cheers for the compilation of first hand and great infos
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