Rwanda
University Teaching Hospital of Kigali

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7 travelers at this place

  • Day17

    A Sunday at the pool in Kigali

    July 16, 2017 in Rwanda ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    Our last day in Rwanda, before our flight to Amman tonight. Qatar Airlines have cancelled all their flights to Kigali, and at the same time cancelled our onward flight to Amman - fortunately our travel agent was onto it quickly and rebooked us a Kenyan Airways flight to Nairobi, then Qatar Airways to Doha, and a new flight to Amman. The net result is that we don't have a 12 hour stopover in Doha and we get to Amman 4 hours earlier, so it's turned out ok.

    Late breakfast - massive smorgasbord of cereal, fruit, hot and cold meats, freshly squeezed juices (bush tomato was the favourite), pastries, cheeses and our favourite new term, active cooking!

    Aloys was available today to take people to the airport, shopping, to museums, church services and caching! A few went to the tail end a local church service (the full service was from 7am - 11am), while Kerry and Ruth visited the Natural History Museum and we went along to attempt the cache nearby.

    The museum staff first told us the cache was inside the museum grounds and we would have to pay $10 USD each to access it. The cache notes indicate it was outside the museum, so we declined her offer and undertook our own search. We found the spot indicated in the spoiler photo, but the cache was gone. The security guard told Aloys she knew the location, but she took us to the previous coordinates, so we went back to the correct spot and found an empty screw top container in the grass that looked like it could have been the cache container. We were carrying a spare log, so we put it in the container and found a more secure hiding spot very nearby.

    We returned to the hotel briefly before heading out again with Kerry and Ruth to the Genocide Memorial - Ruth to check out the souvenir shop, while we took Kerry in search of the cache we missed 2 weeks ago. We had it in hand very quickly this time, while 2 armed guards looked on quizzically - funny how on second look you wonder how you missed it the first time! We can now claim to have competed every cache in one country - I'm sure that won't happen again!

    Back to the hotel for packing, and the atmosphere has hotted up, with a live band playing near the outside bar. Sunday afternoon around this pool was the place to be seen pre-1994 - local families, expats, politicians, military and business people all mingled together and much of the capital's business was done here over a drink.
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  • Day16

    Hotel Rwanda

    July 15, 2017 in Rwanda ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Our last morning in the volcanoes region, breakfast was 8.30 and we chose the "active cooking" option (omlette cooked while you wait).

    The drive back to Kigali is only 80km, but the winding roads and number of hills makes it a multi hour trip, especially when you throw in souvenir stops!

    We departed Kinigi at 9.40am, had a lengthy stop at the local souvenir market, then a stop in Musanze for water. The town was festooned with red, white and blue, the colours of the president's party, RPF - the general election is on August 4 and the current president, Paul Kagame, was due to visit the region this weekend. As part of his election campaign, he offered free petrol to all moto taxis, so there was quite a queue at the local servo.

    We made a stop at the halfway point for some supplies of banana wines and to sample some bbq'd maize.

    We arrived in Kigali at 2.30pm and headed straight to the Hotel des Mille Collines - the "Hotel Rwanda", as depicted in the movie. Lunch was under the verandah near the pool (NY Club sandwich for me, chicken burger for Oliver).

    After we settled into our room, we went for a quick shopping expedition. While we waited for the drivers, we looked for the cache in the hotel car park. It didn't take long with 6 sets if eyes looking! (for the record, muggle Vaal found it)

    Shopping was at a craft market for last minute souvenirs , then the supermarket for food supplies. Tea was in the hotel's outdoor restaurant (pork chops, Nile perch).

    Stayed: Hotel des Mille Collines
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  • Day45

    Kigali

    October 30, 2019 in Rwanda ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

    Today we arrived into Rwanda, after a fairly uneventful overnight bus ride. At the border, the customs guards searched everyone's luggage for plastic bags, which are banned in Rwanda.

    Unfortunately, Katie isn't feeling great, so we book into an empty dorm room at Via Via so she can recuperate. While she's napping, Chris befriends the owners new dog, Boss, which they had just taken in from the street. Boss quickly becomes attached to Chris and wants constant pets (which we happily oblige to give as he's so cute). While Boss is being fed, Chris sneaks away and heads out into the city, and is blown away.

    For starters, Kigali is built on a series of hills, which means that whichever way you go, the views are great. It's also spotlessly clean- cleaner than anywhere I've ever seen. We would later find out that the entire country cleans the streets in shifts, each person allocated a different day. No-one, not even the President, is excluded. It's a great way to increase civic-participation and keep the streets clean. It does, however, mean that whenever we walk down the street with a can of drink, everyone casts a suspicious glance at it, probably thinking "they'd better recycle that!".

    There is no hustle, no bustle, and you can walk the streets at night and be completely safe- there's barely any crime. It's liberating to be able to just walk the peaceful streets.

    Once Katie is better, we're joined by our friends Martyn and Laura, who are travelling with us for the next month. We spend the next couple of days sorting out our plan and walking around Kigali. We participate in a walking tour led by Nyamirambo Women's Center and learn about the history of the neighbourhood and the centre, visit some local shops, and have an amazing homemade lunch. Afterwards we drink the best coffee we've ever had at Question Coffee (which, I'm sure he won't mind me saying, is a little lost on Martyn), and have Rwandan craft beer at Pilli-Pilli, watching the sun go down over the picturesque city.

    We also head to the Genocide Memorial, which is a must for any visitor to the city. It's eye-opening. We knew a little about the genocide beforehand, but had no idea about the extent to which it was caused by colonialism. In fact, the museum argues that the terms Hutu and Tutsi were designed by the Belgian colonial authorities. Another section shows how the world was warned about what was going to happen, but turned a blind eye, allowing the atrocities to happen. The final part of the museum is devoted to the children who died, and each display shows a child's picture, their favourite toy, their best friend, and how they were killed. It's horrific, but it's vital to learn about Rwanda's very recent past, and how it has come to terms with it.
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  • Day43

    Rwanda Genocide Tour

    June 18, 2017 in Rwanda ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    Today I entered my fourth country on this trip and crossed another border by land into Rwanda from Uganda. It's a quick day trip to another country which is mind-blowing for this kiwi girl from little old New Zealand! We drove three hours to Rwanda and the differences between Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda are huge! There is so much nature, crops and hills here in Rwanda - it's absolutely beautiful and so clean! There's still a bit of poverty as with every country but it appears to be a bit more economically stable than Uganda and even more so than Kenya.

    Our first stop was the Nyamata Genocide Memorial:
    - 10,000+ Tutsi's sought refuge in the Catholic Church from the government trained Hutu militia that were trying to kill them
    - The church was bombed with grenades and thousands of rounds of bullets were shot, you can still see the bullet holes through the walls
    - Inside the church the seats are covered in clothes that the victims were wearing when they died plus coffins full of bones of the 10,000+ Tutsi's that died
    - The church has been preserved exactly how it was found to show the magnitude of the killings with mass graves out the back where the bones are being buried after cleaning

    Our second stop was the Kigali Genocide Memorial:
    - 250,000 Tutsi's are buried here in mass graves
    - The memorial shows how the genocide was developed, footage of survivors and photographs from the killings

    Our third stop was Hotel Des Mille Collines:
    - this is the location of Hotel Rwanda where a Hutu man saved thousands of Tutsi's and the UN based themselves during the genocide
    - we had lunch here but the place has very little memories of the genocide

    It was a very humbling experience and by the end of the tour I felt incredibly numb and wasn't able to convey emotions as you'd expect. I'm so glad I went to Rwanda, it was amazing!
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University Teaching Hospital of Kigali