Blogs from Ville de Kigali, Rwanda, Africa

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Africa » Rwanda » Ville de Kigali » Kigali January 8th 2013

Hello! So this is going to be quick, I apologize that it's not going to be my best writing. It's been an exhausting few days traveling. I was supposed to get to Kigali at 1:30 am but didn't get in until 4, and then my baggage never arrived so I had to make a claim. I was met by Emma, an employee of Big Beyond, and was brought back to a hotel in Rwanda. I had to pay $50 for a room to sleep in for 3 hours, and now I'm waiting for them to come get me again. I got maybe an hour of sleep in that 3 hour span. There were so many birdschirping and dogs barking and other unknown animals making their noises. There was also a guy playing a folk guitar or ... read more
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Africa » Rwanda » Ville de Kigali » Kigali December 9th 2012

So after 24 hours of travel (which isn't as bad as some of the horror stories I've heard) we are in our hotel in Kigali. Luckily both flights were relatively calm - keeping Anne's white knuckle moments to a minimum. The most excitement we encountered was when a lady collapsed from exhaustion in the Montreal airport. I felt quite important when we came out of the baggage claim area to see a gentleman with our names on a sheet of paper. The feeling quickly disappeared however when both our Visa cards were declined and we were forced to use our spending cash for the room. Our moods sunk even lower when we were given a speech on using 'small bills' to pay for purchases - apparently the exchange rate is horrible on anything below 50 dollar ... read more

Africa » Rwanda » Ville de Kigali » Kigali July 17th 2012

The first association most "westerners" make upon hearing the word "Rwanda" is the 1994 genocide, and the collective guilt of the whole world for not stopping it. Many nations sent troops to evacuate their own citizens. These troop numbers would have been sufficient to stop the slaughter - had they been given that mandate. Or, if the UN higher ups had not stopped the UN Peace Keeping commander on the ground, who having learnt about a large weapons cache intended for use in the upcoming planned massacre, requested authorization for him to go and confiscate those weapons... or if the Belgium government had refused to be pawns in the game when they pulled their paratroopers out of the UN forces after 10 of them were killed at the start of the slaughter ... or ... the ... read more
Genocide Memorial Display
The Hotel Rwanda
Street Banner

Africa » Rwanda » Ville de Kigali » Kigali July 16th 2012

I'd reserved a seat on the VIP bus from Kampala to Kigali, which was to take between 8 or 9 hours with a slow border crossing. Good thing I'd checked an updatded guide book and confirmed at the bus station. The Kigali bound buses did not leave at 01:00 in the morning as my guide book said, but at a more reasonable 09:00. A German researching the kenyarwanda language I was talking to at the Backpackers' Hostel in Kamapala told me that most people need a visa for Rwanda, and that I could apply for it online. I showed him my guide book that said a select few nationals, including Canadians, did not need visas. But, if visas were required, they were issued at the border for US$60. He said he'd travelled with someone who'd been ... read more

Africa » Rwanda » Ville de Kigali » Kigali July 3rd 2012

Today is my final day in Rwanda, so what have I learnt about the place? Travel-wise, the North - Musanze and the Parc National des Volcans are well geraed towards the independent traveller, it is easy to get to by bus and easy to get around, although it is expensive by African standards, Kigali is alos an easy place to get around although it can be confusing as it lacks street signs and the roads wind back and forth around the hills. There is a big push on to improve the roading and singposting in Kigali. The south of the country is much harder to travel independently although with time and patience it can be done, expect to pay the same price (5200 Rwf) for a bus from Gisakura to Butare as you would from Gisakura ... read more

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Africa » Rwanda » Ville de Kigali » Kigali July 2nd 2012

Met up with Innocent, was invited back to have a look at his Mother's friend's house where he stay in Musanze. Its a simple 3 room house consisting of 2 bedrooms and a central living area. The cookhouse and bathroom are separate. It has everything they need. Then its a mad rush to get tickets and jump on the bus back to Kigali - why do Africans insist on closing all the windows on the bus? I'm about ready to expire when we get back. Innocent's sister Isembe is at the bus station to meet us, a very pretty and studious 18 year old. We went to Cafe Bourbon and spent a couple of hours talking about life in Kigali then Innocent went back to Musanze to get more work, Isembe back to campus and I ... read more

Africa » Rwanda » Ville de Kigali » Kigali June 29th 2012

This time it was only a 4.5 hour bum-numbing journey back to Kigali with the driver making good time on the newly paved road through the forest. The road is being ealed courtesy of the Chinese Government and there are a number of Chinese Engineers overseeing the work. Can't believe how hot it is in Kigali now. I booked my ticket to Musanze as soon as I got in. I had a coice of a 5.30am bus of midday, which was a little puzzling given how often buses usually run until the lady at the bus station explained that tomorrow is Umuganda. In Rwanda, there is a mandatory community service day from 8:00am to 11:00am, on the last Saturday of each month called Umuganda meaning community service. The day is called umunsi w’umuganda, meaning “contribution made ... read more

Africa » Rwanda » Ville de Kigali » Kigali June 26th 2012

Went down to the bus station this morning to figure out how to get to Gisakura tomorrow. What a manic place. There must be 20 different outfits operating out of the one station. Eventually found that Omega Buses are the guys I need, buses leave from about 6.30am and cost Rwf 5200 to Gisakura. Took a mototaxi back up the hill to the Auberge just in time to meet Benjamin, my driver for the trip to Nyamata & Ntarama to see the genocide memorials. Almost became a statistic when we were cut up by a Toyota 4WD but Benjamin's lghtening reflexes saved the day. I wouldn't want to drive in Kigali! Got out to the Church at Nyamata but there was no guide avialable at that point so went on to Ntarama. The bent up iron ... read more

Africa » Rwanda » Ville de Kigali » Kigali June 25th 2012

It's an awful long flight from Auckland to Kigali but it all passed without incident and I landed about 11.00am this morning. Kigali airport is small, almost quaint, but it all runs well. My pack had been checked right through from Auckland and it came trundling off the conveyor like it hadn't been gone more than a minute. I grabbed some Rwandan francs from an ATM at the airport but after 25 hours in transit my brain wasn't up to much so got 30,000 RwF. sounds like a lot, but is only about US$60. Got a taxi from the stand outside the gate for the standard fare of 10,000 Rwf. The guy drove like an absolute lunatic but so does everyone else around here so got his number so he can take me out to the ... read more

Africa » Rwanda » Ville de Kigali » Kigali June 1st 2012

They call Rwanda the land of a Thousand hills, but as I travelled from the border to Kigali, I couldn’t help but think about the hundreds of thousands who had been brutally hacked to death on these very roads only 18 years previously. Rwanda will evoke memories of some sort of atrocity in most peoples’ minds, but a lot don’t realise that atrocity doesn’t even begin to explain what occurred between April and June 1994 in this country. The exact number of people killed will never be known, but it is estimated that 1.2 million were massacred, mostly by machetes. Many were tortured, raped or had limbs amputated before death. Neither women nor children were spared, no infant too young to be hacked to death. To put it into some kind of perspective, approximately 3 times ... read more
Nyamata Genocide Memorial
Clean Kigali Streets & Boda Driver with Helmet
Pool & View from Hotel des Milles Collines




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