Fun Non-Boozy Things to Do in Kigali

I’ll be the first to admit that after work in Kigali, and when the sun goes down, I’m always ready for a cold Skol or cocktail. Drinks at Papyrus, Choma’d, Trophy’s are the most fun, beers on the porch are the best, and carafes of wine at Repub Lounge are my favorite. That being said, I’ve been noticing recently that so many of my Kigali activities involve alcohol. Social gatherings or hang outs with friends are often focused on bars, clubs, or general drinks, and I’ve made it my mission to (at least sometimes!) start taking advantage of the fun and booze-free activities Kigali has to offer. After talking to a few friends that were feeling similarly, I decided to create a list! Because I love lists, and hopefully you do too. Next time it’s Saturday afternoon or Tuesday evening and I want to hang out, this list is going to be the first thing I consult! Without further ado, 25 fun activities to do in Kigali (minus the alcohol)!

1. Hike Mt. Kigali! The views are beautiful, especially at sunset.

2. Hang out by the pool at the Marriott, Park Inn, or Mille Collines. There’s nothing like a pool day, especially as the dry season heats up.

3. Picnic at Juru Park. This park, located in Gikondo, is a lovely spot to settle down for a picnic. Head to the nearby Deli Shop or Pane Olio and Pomodoro for some snacks, and enjoy!

4. Grab a gelato (Rwf 3,000 for two big scoops!) at Delizia Italiana, and walk around the wedding roundabout lamenting the days you could drive around the circle (or just enjoy the walk and ice cream).

5. Get a manicure or massage at Soothing Corner or Sunset Spa. Well worth it for the price, and a great way to spend the day relaxing.

6. Head to Kimironko Market to buy limes, avocado, garlic, onions, and tomatoes. Walk next door to the Kimironko Simba supermarket, and pick up a bag of tortilla chips. Head home, make some guacamole with friends, and enjoy!

7. Netflix. Say it with me, NETFLIX! Take advantage of the fact we can access Netflix in Kigali (in addition to the fairly decent internet – fibre optic, anyone?), and spend a good afternoon binge watching the newest show.

8. Horseback riding at Fazenda Sengha. Though this has now been around Kigali for a while, it feels like I now have friends going every other week! The horses are friendly, the views are delightful, and it’s a great afternoon out. You can also ZIP LINE there (what the what!) as well as enjoy archery, badminton, and a wide range of activities.

9. Work out at Waka Fitness. You can get a 5 punch card for Rwf 30,000 to just use the gym, or you can pay a bit extra for their wide ranges of classes (including warrior, boot camp, boxing, zumba, aerobics, and more).

10. Catch a move at the Century Cinemas at KCT. It was closed for a while, but now it’s back and better than ever. I love going to movies, and with reasonable prices (Rwf 4,000 for a ticket!), I think I’m going to be there a lot in the coming months.

11. Go on a shopping spree at Abraham Konga, Sonia Mugabo, Haute Baso, Inzuki, or House of Tayo. All about these beautiful and vibrant designs.

12. Attend a yoga or pilates class (Rwf 5,000) with Yego Yoga. Happening all over town and at all hours of the day, there’s something in there for everyone.

13. Study a language. Learn Kinyarwanda at Inzora, Spanish at Casa Keza, and French or Kinyarwanda through Institut Francais at the Kigali Public Library.

14. Try and track down a Moto Polo game. Yes, this crazy sport is real! Though it doesn’t happen regularly, it’s amazing when it does. Head to a game to play (yikes!) or watch.

15. Learn how to box at Amahoro Stadium with the boxing club.

16. Check out the wood market in Gisozi. Full of different kinds of wood and talented artisans, consider designing a new shelf or home accent.

Milk Bars

17. Find a milk bar in Kacyiru or Nyamirambo for the freshest milk of your dang life.

18. Visit Habyarimana’s residences in Kicukiru and Kanombe for a bit of historical perspective. Admission to the Presidential Palace (located in Kanombe) is Rwf 6,000 for tourists, and Rwf 5,000 for residents.

19. See who can pile the largest plate at a lunch buffet in town, and then walk through the car-free zone as you try and feel slightly less full.

20. Time for a pastry tasting! Eat the vanilla, chocolate, AND hazelnut eclairs from Baso Patissier. Compare and contrast. Possibly share with friends. Enjoy!

21. Get lost in Quartier Matheus (located around Nyarugenge Market behind La Galette in town) as you try and find fabric, vegetables, and an assortment of items.

22. Find the remnants of the old amusement park in Nyarutarama. Abandoned pieces of slides, carousel rides, and unicorns are rumored to still be out there and it’s a surreal experience if you’re  up for the possibly illegal adventure!

23. Play a round of pool at the rooftop bar next to the post office in Muhima. We know those aren’t super specific directions, but it should be enough to get you to the game!

24. Play golf at the golf club in Nyarutarama. I always see people playing, but have never ventured over myself. Can’t wait to check it out!

25. Take tennis classes at Cercle Sportif. Their tennis courts have all the professionals there to guide you, and there’s also a lovely pool in the compound you can cool off in afterwards.

What do you think? Any of those activities call your name? Any other activities you think should undoubtedly be on this list? Let us know in the comments section, and if they sound really fun we’ll add them! Have a great summer, and do all the activities for us!

About Leah Feiger

Though Leah is originally from Chicago, she grew up abroad in Hong Kong and London and has had the travel bug ever since. Perpetually on the road or planning imminent travels, she loves short layovers, mangoes, mountains, and lakeside naps.