Traveling to Rwanda May 2021. Advice?

Old May 4th, 2021, 04:14 AM
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Traveling to Rwanda May 2021. Advice?

Hello! Traveling to Rwanda from US via Amsterdam in three weeks to help start a well project. Not going to see national parks. Will quarantine in Kigali (Kimironko) for 24 hours at a hotel (maybe the Olympic), then must find a place nearby to stay for a week or so whilst adapting. Fully vaccinated.
Have never been to Rwanda, nor to Central Africa. Most of our travel was in Europe or in Central and South America.
Advice?
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Old May 4th, 2021, 08:00 AM
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I've been to Rwanda and have plenty of advice, but I'm not sure what you're looking for. Place to stay? It would be a crime to spend any time there and not see the holocaust-related sites in Kigali or gorilla trek, but that's just MHO.
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Old May 4th, 2021, 12:26 PM
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We will go to the genocide museum but no gorilla trek. After our time in Kigali, we will be in a somewhat remote village near the Tanzania border. Not sure how much we will be able to move around in Kigali . We won't have a car. Basic questions: clothes for women, public transportation, things to do in the city, how to avoid "stupid American" mistakes.
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Old May 4th, 2021, 05:41 PM
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Hi Zedlanier - sounds like you may be helping out in some charitable work with the well project - if so - good for you.

Not sure what you mean by 'whilst adapting' - Rwanda is a pretty easy country to visit - but if you are not visiting the gorillas I would spend your week or so in Kigali with a few day (or overnight trips) thrown in.

Kigali is a pleasant small city with a few sights in addition to the Genocide Memorial. Look at nearby Mount Kigali for an easy hike (or you can drive up as we did), a wander around the city centre including the Belgian Peacekeepers Memorial and the nearby Nyamirambo District, the Inema Arts Centre and the nearby Genocide Resistance Museum at the Parliament Building and the National Art Museum in the Old Presidential Palace (somewhat far from the city centre - but close to the Olympic Hotel). There are also tourist and local markets that are fun to visit.

For day trips I would suggest the Genocide Memorials at Ntarama and Nyamata south of Kigali - (Tripadvisor reviews have plenty of tips about how to visit these on public transport) or you could hire a taxi for half a day and/or the King's Palace Museum in Nyanza - easily reached by frequent buses from Kigali. Overnight trips could include Gisenyi/Rubavu on Lake Kivu (laidback little town with lake front bars and restaurants) or the nearby Rubona Peninsular - you could even return to Kigali via Kibuye - or do that trip in reverse and/or Akagera National Park - (can also be visited as a longish day trip) though you would want a private vehicle for that.

Do not know your budget, but if it does not extend to the Serena or Marriott in Kigali - I can recommend the Hotel Le Garni in the centre - had a very pleasant few days there a couple of years ago - and across the road from the Hotel Mille Collines (the infamous Hotel Rwanda) which is good for a drink but I wouldn't stay there.

Lots of good restaurants in Kigali too - we had great meals in beautiful settings at Brachetto, Repub Longe and Heaven (which is part of a lovely central boutique hotel and would be a good place to stay).

I don't recall anything specific for how to dress - Rwanda is pretty chill and sees (or did) lots of tourists - but of course modest is usually best in any city. Did not use public transport in Kigali but there is plenty of it as there is to most other places in Rwanda. We found vehicle taxis pretty hard to come by on the street (easy for your hotel to arrange though) - so often used motorbike taxis - they are everywhere and very inexpensive.

Hope this is of some assisstance.
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