Living in Remera

Living in Remera

Remera’s got a lot going for it. Greeting you when you arrive from the airport with cheap guests houses and plenty of variety in eating and drinking establishments, the home of Amahoro Stadium and Kigali’s “red light district” is full of brochettes, beer, sports and local entertainment.

Remera is the node between Kimironko, Nyutarama, Kanombe and Kicukiro. It serves as the corridor to the Eastern Province.

You can find all the banks you need in Gisimente, and you pass the Parliament Building along the road to Kacyiru. Look for the bombed façade on the wall facing West, a reminder of Kigali’s recent socio-political history.

Accommodation

Less than 5 minutes drive from the airport, Remera has numerous guests houses, from popular and pricey Chez Lando and Landstar Hotel, to reasonable guest houses like Fame (formerly Faith), Chez Rose and Jambo Guesthouse (approx 15,000 RWF/night).

Housing is affordable in Remera, probably proportionally related to the number of expats living around. Shared houses full of expats are around, but not too many. Renting local is an affordable option too. Just be careful around Amahoro Stadium as thefts and break-ins have been reported.

Shopping

Most of your basic shopping is available here, whether you’re looking to fill your kitchen or your closet. Ndoli’s is a well-known supermarket in Kisimenti that’s expensive for the area, but many times it carries items you can’t find elsewhere. A new supermarket , called Viva, just opened across from the bus park too. Plus, tons of smaller shops are all around with well-stocked shelves. If the produce selection leaves something to be desired, you can hop on a bus to Kimironko Market, a mere 5 minutes away, or a 30 minute walk if you’d like to take a gander.

The German Butchery looms nearby between Kisimenti and Amahoro Stadium, and it’s known for, well, meat. But it’s also one of the few places offering vegetable sambusas – some of the best in Kigali, I daresay.

Tons of clothing shops litter the area, especially near Kisimenti and the bus park. Beware of “special” mzungu prices.

Be warned though that all shops close by 10p at the latest. Unless your looking for beer, brochette or dancing, you won’t find it here late at night.

Transportation

This area is great for public transportation. You can get to Town, Kimironko, Kicukiro, Kacyiru, Kimihurura, Nyabugogo, and Nyamirambo (via town) on public transport from Remera. That’s Rwf 200 max. The main stops are in front of Chez Lando and near Bank of Kigali 2.  Otherwise motos and taxicabs are always around.

Restaurants

So many to choose from, so little time. If you’re looking for a decent and inexpensive lunch buffet, this is where you should come. Joy Time, Rosty and so many others offer Rwandan lunch buffet from Rwf 1,500 to 2,500from Monday to Friday.

Here are some of the main Remera eating spots:

  • New Fiesta - Serving you complementary chips (errr, crisps) and salsa before your meal, New Fiesta has pretty fast service, reasonable prices and good burgers. Their “15 minute service” sign is somewhat misleading, but they are still more expedient than most.
  • Chez Lando - On the higher end, Chez Lando has a lot of variety on the menu, including a special tapas happy hour during the week. Their reliable WiFi could keep you there for hours at a time. Try their fresh juice selection and passionfruit Cheesecake but beware of the pizza.
  • Sol e Luna - Boasting a wide variety of pizzas, Sole Luna is an Italian restaurant known for Quiz Night on Mondays starting at roughly 7:30pm. It’s a great way to meet people while enjoying good food. If your team wins, they cover your dinner. Runners-up get drinks on the house.
  • Tangren Restaurant - Better than decent Chinese fare, Tangren has an extensive menu of classic Chinese dishes. It’s best to go with a group and order family-style.

Entertainment & Nightlife

Remera has a surprising variety of nightlife and entertainment venues for sports enthusiasts, dancers and drinkers alike.

  • ‘Red Light District’ - Opposite Amahoro Stadium’s main gate, the street is lined with bars overflowing with loud music, beer and Waragi. It’s a great spot to mingle and people watch.
  • The Dugout - As its name suggests, Dugout is a sports watching place with a big-screen projector for viewing around the clock. Wednesday night is “rock night,” although it’s unclear if the DJ is familiar with the genre.
  • Olympiade - You don’t have to venture to Nyamirambo to catch of glimpse of Rwandan “karaoke.” Near Gate 5 entrance to Amahoro Stadium, Olympiade hosts live dance, lip-synching and comedy performances on Friday and Saturday nights for Rwf 2,000. Two beers are included in the cover charge.
  • Rosty Club - Mainly Thursday through Sunday, Rosty thumps loud music (a mix of R&B, dancehall, African pop, Reggae, Rwandan hits and American rap) until dawn. For reasons unknown, they keep the dinner tables and chairs scattered around the dance floor, but that doesn’t stop anyone.
  • Landstar Hotel - Local bands play music live in the patio area every Friday night from around 8pm to 2am.

About Inga

Born and raised in Norway, culturally transformed in the US, and now residing in Rwanda. Studied biology, but teaching English in Kigali while finishing up my Master's, and debating future career options. At the moment starting up a cocoa plantation is at the top of my list, closely followed by founding an improv society. Severely technologically challenged, but somewhat creatively gifted. A great lover of the Universe, as well as cakes and salt. A passionate hater of small concrete rooms. Email me at inga@livinginkigali.com.