Best Places To Go in Kigali - Page 5

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Best Places To Go in Kigali
Banks and Forex bureaux in Kigali
Cafes and Restaurants in Kigali
Supermakets and Shops in Kigali
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Guesthouses and hostels in Kigali
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Sports and Swimming:

1.   Nyarutarama Tennis Club and Swimming Pool

Billed locally as Olympic Sports Centre, Nyarutarama Club is ideal for fitness related activities in Nyarutarama suburb. The swimming pool is rather short of Olympic-sized but pleasant and confortable.  It costs around FRW 2,000 (£2/$4) for a swim, including towel, which makes it five time cheaper than  swimming at Kigali Serena. The pool with shaded seating and green grass to sprawl out on, is also far nicer than most of the hotels in Kigali. It also hosts a fully-stocked bar and café area with a range of good grub, from burgers to spaghetti, to fill you up after your swim.


The best time to arrive for a swim is after 10:00am as they clean the pool before then.  Alternative swimming pools are at Manor hotel, Hotel des Mille Collines,  Lemigo Hotel and Kigali Serena hotel.


2.   Cercle Sportif de Kigali

The Cercle Sporti in Kiyovu hosts complete facilities for tennis, squash, basketball, volleyball, soccer, swimming, and riding. The Club also provides bar and restaurant service. Anyone can join the club, which offers membership at varying lengths of time and according to the facilities you want to use.


3.   Nyarutarama Golf course

Kigali has a challenging 9-hole golf course complete with club facilities. Membership is US $500 a year. It is also located in Nyarutarama suburb. You need to bring  your own equipment, including balls, tees, gloves, etc.


4.   The Hash House Harriers

The Hash House Harriers is a popular Saturday event, with trails set for runners and walkers . It takes place every Sunday afternoon. The Hash House Harriers began amongst some British in 1938 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as a group of people coming together to run-walk - and make friendships on weekends. It has since become a worldwide phenomenon.  In Kigali, you can send a text and receive instructions on how to join the weekly hash run- walk. The Kigali Hash has routes for runners and walkers so if you’re not up to tackling those Kigali hills at speed, you can still come along for a nice, leisurely stroll. Drinking beer is a definite part of the Hash tradition but not required of course. The Hash will usually finish either at someone’s house or at a local bar where beers and brochettes are consumed. Hashing has a whole ritual thing behind it with some frat party, hazing type elements mixed in with random dirty songs.


Gyms  - Fitness clubs in Kigali:

1.   Amahoro Stadium

Cost: Rwf 15,000 to 20,000 (per month)

There’s an affordable gym in the bowels of Amahoro Stadium. It is probably the best deal in town if you’re in Remera side. It’s Rwf 2000 for a day pass and up 20,000 monthly. . The gym is found inside the stadium entrance nearest to Sports View hotel. Semi-functioning weight equipment and 4 old spinning bikes are jammed into the back corner while most of the space is used for aerobics classes between 5:30 and 8:30 pm. It’s worth going once to see a class in action, with pumping music, hooting and hollering, and sweaty heat in a small space.



2.    Lemigo Hotel

Cost: Rwf 30,000 (per month)

The Lemigo Hotel’s gym is priced pretty competitively but it’s so small and the price doesn’t include the pool or the spa (sauna etc). For those extras you’ll need to pay US$150 per month or if you just want to swim, It would cost you an additionnal $100. The gym itself is a bunch of equipment crammed very close together in a small room right in front of the reception area. 


3.   Manor Hotel

Cost: Rwf 35,000 (per month)


The Manor Hotel gym is well stocked with very shiny and new looking gym equipment. The boxing area complete with punching bag and also a dummy to hit are also a nice touch. The gym was empty when I visited at about 5pm on a Monday except for one guy puttering around on the weights. It feels slightly claustrophobic as it’s located in the basement of the building without any windows to speak of and there are a lot of machines crammed into a reasonably small space.

The Manor has a what looks like a top quality gym at an ok price for Kigali, especially if you buy several months in advance. The monthly price is Rwf 35,000, three-monthly is 100,000, and a year is 380,000. The price is a good one considering it also includes the swimming pool. The pool isn’t huge and you’re probably not going to be able to do laps due to it being filled with hotel patrons, but it’s got probably the best pool view in Kigali and it makes for a great place to relax after a workout.


4.    Laico Umubano Hotel (aka Novotel)


The Novotel gym is also small, but the equipment is of good quality and new. It’s a popular workout spot and may see a lot of people from the expat community if you’ve spent a decent amount of time in Kigali. The changing rooms aren’t as nice as the Serena but they’re adequate and good for the price you pay. There’s also a sauna which is included in the price. 



The main cinema Hall, Planet Cinema is in Kigali Business Centre on Avenue du Lac Muhazi.

International movies are showed every day in afternoons and evenings. The movies are often in English with French subtitles or vice versa.  Alongside the Planet Cinema, the planet snack Bar and Planet nightclub are also in the same building, so you can enjoy a whole afternoon of entertainment at this place.

Saturday night is a movie night at Heaven Restaurant & Bar. You can also watch live sporting events like English premiership football and tennis at this venue.  Heaven is located a few minutes away from the Union Trade Centre in central Kigali and a few streets away from Hotel des Mille Collines.


Music and Dance:

Perfomances of traditional dancing and salsa dancing take place in various locations in Kigali and are normally publicised on local radios. In Kigali, two events stand out:

1.  Pasadena Salsa dancing:

Salsa is big thing in Kigali, whether you are a beginner or experienced salsa dancer, you are welcome at Pasadena building in Gikondo. So get your dancing shoes on and swing by for a free beginners or advanced class. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never salsa- danced before, the first half of the evening takes you through the very basics from scratch whilst the second half is devoted to those who want to flaunt their abilities. Salsa takes place at the Pasadena building in Gikondo every Thursday from 7:00pm.  Food and drink are available, Pasadena Salsa dancing club is a great way to meet new people and other travellers and it is very popular among Kigali expats.


2.   Rwamakondera children dance Troupe:

Rwamakondera is a traditional dancing group formed by Colin Sekajugo, a talented artist who also owns Ivuka arts studios. The group is makes by young children aged between 8 and 12. In 2008, after realising he could help children begging on the streets of Kigali, colin brought them to Ivuka studios and trart teaching them how to dance.

After only a few years training at Ivuka studios Rwamakondera has become hugely successful.  In 2009 the children travelled to Holland where they performed in Via Mondo Festival in Tilburg. they had been selected to represent Africa in the worldwide event.  Rwamakondera Children's Dance Troupe performs Rwandan Traditional Dances and they practice at Ivuka Arts Studios every Saturday and Sunday.  You are welcome to visit and enjoy the group's rehearsals on weekends from 2:00PM until the sun goes down.