The good news: Rwanda was clean, beautiful, organized and safe! What an awesome country that has a lot to be proud of.
The bad news…I didn’t get to see much of Rwanda. At all.
I flew into Kigali and immediately headed south for Burundi for the night. By the time I arrived back in Rwanda the next day (to spend my one and only night there), I was mentally and physically exhausted, sore and the food poisoning I acquired in Burundi was kicking in and would soon put me on my deathbed. I wish I had more stories about Rwanda for you. I feel like I’ve failed you!
I was able to get over to the number one radio station in Kigali. I met with the Program Director there–John Wilkins–who gave me a tour and introduced me to the staff. It was really cool for a radio nerd like me. I work in radio full-time, so I love to see radio stations in different countries. Thanks John!
>>> RELATED ARTICLE: RAMBLIN ON THE RADIO(S) – RADIO STATIONS AROUND THE WORLD <<<
After the station visit, I grabbed a coffee downtown and then explored the city center on foot. I was on a quest to get a massage; all that driving and multiple planes had me hurting. I found my way over to Kigali City Center, which was Rwanda’s version of a mall. It was five or six stories and pretty interesting: an old building, nothing like the malls we know. It was in the shape of a square; the middle was open and the storefronts framed the inside of building (picture the inside of an Embassy Suites, where all the rooms open up to the center).
I wandered around the shopping center for at least a half-hour, looking for this massage place, but had trouble finding it. That was okay though, I enjoyed exploring the City Center. I made my way up to the sixth floor, which turned out to be nothing but stalls and rooms with hundreds of people making clothes: tailors, sewing, stitching, cutting and making dresses, pants and shirts. I had no idea what was happening, but it looked cool. Something the average tourist would never see. I caught a great view of the city streets below through an open window.
I finally found the massage parlor, although it wasn’t the one I was looking for. Add to my disappointment, my masseuse was a dude. Grrr, I can’t win! To be fair, it was a damn good massage. If he had been a she, it would’ve been a 10! And it was cheap…I think it was something ridiculous like $15 for an hour Swedish massage. I tipped the guy $40 and he seemed super appreciative.
Last stop was a meet up with a friend of a friend. One of my travel buddies introduced me to his good friend Dadi. Dadi and I met for dinner at a restaurant right there at the City Center and exchanged some good travel stories. Unfortunately, by this time my stomach was really rumbling–like, majorly…something awful was about to happen, I could tell. I had to wrap up dinner quickly and race back to my hotel room before all hell broke loose. I arrived at my room without a second to spare and spent the next 16 hours getting rid of whatever it was that got me sick in Burundi. It was a rough night.
Luckily my flight didn’t leave until early afternoon the next day, so I had a little bit of time to try and nurse myself back to a condition to get on a plane. I’ll spare you the details, but I made it out without sh*tting myself. Thanks Rwanda.
If you go:
There’s so much I missed, and I’m actually embarrassed with this article. There’s lots to do in Rwanda including checking out the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre. If you have a little time, take a trip outta town to find and watch gorillas in the wild. So much cool stuff to do, and Rwanda is a beautiful country with great people. By the way, I stayed at the 5 Swiss Hotel, and I recommend. It’s a nice place for a good price.
10 thoughts on “Rwanda”
Pingback: Burundi – Ramblin Randy
Glad you enjoyed your stay in my country;
please come back to Kigali.
Thank you so much! Beautiful country!!!
Come back Randy,Rwanda is great. We will be happy to take you to lake Kivu,to volcano park a home of gorillas, national memorial center,museum,akagera national park,Nyungwe national park and you will enjoy our best services with beautiful people.
Thanks so much Laura! I’m embarrassed that I left with so much to see. You have a beautiful country!
I’m glad you mentioned the Genocide Memorial and Gorilla Trekking as two suggestions for Rwanda. Those are actually my two reasons to check out Rwanda to begin with. Fascinating to see how much this country has grown in the past 20+ years since the Genocide.
Sad that you didn’t get to see more of the country as you wanted to. Do you foresee yourself using Kigali as a future stopover in your next few trips to Africa? Or will you hold off until you’ve visited all 193 countries before you go back for a proper visit?
I’ll probably hold off. So much else to see!!!
Pingback: Will You Need a Visa? – Ramblin Randy
Pingback: Kenya – Ramblin Randy
Pingback: Where I’ve Been – Ramblin' Randy