St. Paul’s Hostel

St. Pauls

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There is a serious hostel shortage in Kigali. Though there are several project in the works, the cheapest option at the moment is St.Paul’s. Run by francophone nuns as part of a catholic church, this very basic hostel is a popular spot for visiting backpackers and poor volunteers coming into Kigali for the weekend. They have numerous rooms, most of them sharing communal bathrooms and showers (sometimes with hot water!) though private suits are available. The rooms are generally clean, though several people have walked into a cockroach surprise party. Not that a little extra action necessarily is a bad thing…

The hostel is divided into two separate sections; an Lower part and a Upper part, the latter not actually being a part of St. Paul’s church… but we just call it St. Paul’s anyway. The prices between the sections varies, and the nuns are prone to raise the prices at any given time as well. The most recent prices are as follows:

UPPER SECTION (to book call 0252576334)

Single: 7000 RWF (communal bathroom and showers)

Double: 8000 RWF (communal bathrooms and showers)

LOWER SECTION (to book call 078319158)

Double: 8000 RWF (communal bathrooms and showers)

Suite: 10.000 RWF (private bathroom and shower)

You can call to book a room, but there are several issues with this. First of all, the nuns often ask that you pay ahead, which is utterly ridiculous seeing as they only take cash and many people live outside Kigali. Also, they really have a terrible hand-written booking system, and on numerous occasions bookings have been mixed up, rooms have been double booked, or the rooms are not ready when you arrive. It’s a mess, but it’s slowly improving!

As for security issues, there has been incidents where stuff has been stolen from the rooms. A good rule is to always take passports, checkbooks and other valuables with you. The outer gate is closed around 10 pm, and as the night guard is a heavy sleeper you might have to stand banging on the gate for a long time before being let in.

For meals, you have a few options. Dinners and lunch can be pre-ordered and is served in one of the dining halls, prices varying depending on whether you want meat or not. There is also a small alimentation in the Upper part, where they sell stuff like mini-pizzas, cakes, chapati and meatballs, as well as tea coffee, and a bunch of other grocery stuff. If you want fruit, just walk out the backdoor, and you’ll find a small stand across the dirt road.

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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.