Gikongoro Journals

Life in a Rwandan village

A September 2000 trip to Gikongoro by heidif

Murambi Genocide Memorial Center Photo, Rwanda, Africa More Photos
Quote: Daily life in a small Rwandan village, plus the highlights when visiting.

Life in a Rwandan village

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Land of 1000 Hills Photo,
Quote:
Gikongoro offers the amazing Rwandan landscape and laid-back lifestyle, having been relatively undiscovered by tourists.It is a quiet market town where you can really experience the daily life away from the capital and the usual tourist spots.The altitude means that the climate is mild and not too dry, plus there are few mosquitoes.People are extremely friendly and curious so Gikongoro is a real chance to meet local people and see what life is like outside of Kigali. Highlights include walking the many paths snaking in and out of the hills, leading to some amazing waterfalls like Mushishito near Kigeme, and the 'Source of the Nile' between Kigeme and Gasarenda. The town has a trad...Read More
Quote:
Pretty much the only place to stay in Gikongoro, this is called simple 'The Guest House' and can be found by walking down the hill from the taxi park, toward World Vision and SOS, then taking the first mud road on the right, up a hill. About five minutes walk from the taxi park, this is a place for Rwandan businessmen and NGOs. It is quite clean and does a mix of Rwandan and Western food.
Usually it's fine to just turn up and ask for a room.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 28, 2006

The Guesthouse
Gikongoro
Gikongoro, Rwanda

Kigeme Diocese Guesthouse

Hotel | "Kigeme Guesthouse"

Quote:
The Kigeme Guesthouse is church-run and is a good place to stay if you're travelling in a group.
Kigeme is a small village about ten minutes bus ride from Gikongoro town, and a lovely quiet place to stay. It's on the main road from Butare to Cyangugu so has good transport links.
The rooms are like small dorms and it is clean and tidy but has few facilities.
Unless in an organised group through Kigeme church, food is probably only available in the village centre. However Kigeme do the best goat brochettes in the country (agreed after an extensive survey involving several people!).

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 28, 2006

Kigeme Diocese Guesthouse
Gikongoro
Gikongoro, Rwanda

Esperance's Bar

Attraction | "Esperances"

Esperance's Bar Photo, Gikongoro, Rwanda
Quote:
Esperance offers the most friendly local bar in the area, though a way from Gikongoro town centre. The famous brochettes can be ordered across from Gafirimbi's bar over the road. No need for directions, these are practically the only bars in Kigeme and you'll stumble across them automatically from the village centre main road.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 28, 2006

Esperance's Bar
Kigeme
Gikongoro, Rwanda

Safari Club

Attraction

Quote:
If not the only nightclub in Butare, the best at the time. Looks dingy but plays a good mix of Congolese, Ugandan and Western music. Friendly place if you watch the drink prices don't creep up as they assume you're getting drunker!
Open from about 10pm but doesn't get going until at least 12pm.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 28, 2006

Safari Club
Near Butare Market
Butare, Gikongoro, Rwanda

Ndamukunda Fish Restaurant

Attraction | "Ndamukunda"

Quote:
In the heart of Gasarenda village (about 20 minute bus ride from Gikongoro) is the best fish restaurant in Rwanda (or possibly the world!). Head along the only road until you reach the town centre. Ndamukunda's restaurant is on the right, opposite the market buildings.
Have grilled tilapia stuffed with chillies and tomatoes, and toasted green bananas on the side. Eat it with your hands—yum!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 28, 2006

Ndamukunda Fish Restaurant
Gasarenda Village
Gikongoro, Rwanda

Murambi Genocide Memorial Center

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Murambi Genocide Memorial Site"

Murambi Genocide Memorial Center Photo, Rwanda, Africa
Quote:
Well sign-posted from Gikongoro town centre, about a 2km walk along the hillside, is Murambi Memorial Site.Murambi was a technical school in 1994 and used to amass and murder tens of thousands of Tutsi and moderate Hutu. Men, women and children were killed here in 1994 and the population are determined that it never be forgotten. For this reason, while many are buried in mass graves at the front of the site, hundreds more bodies have been preserved and layed out in the old classrooms for visitors to see. On the eerily quiet, windy hillside of Murambi the site has a visitor centre with a film and exhibits, room upon room of bodies laid out on tables, and one classroom at the top with cloth...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 28, 2006

Murambi Genocide Memorial Center
Near town of Gikongoro
Murambi, Rwanda, Africa

About the Writer

heidif

heidif
Bournemouth, United Kingdom