The Kigali 10 Must-Do’s Challenge

The Elusive Kigali Elephant

Have you just arrived to this wonderful city, and finding there is absolutely nothing going on? Or have you perhaps lived here for years, and realized… that there’s absolutely nothing going on and, in addition, your five best friends, your ten frenemies, your three lovers, and your cat chose the exact same week to travel, be angry with you, or run away (not necessarily respectively)? Or maybe you have visitors coming, and while you are normally are perfectly content doing nothing at all, you now desperately need suggestions as to what to do while in Kigali.

Regardless of the reason: Voilà! The 10 Kigali Must-Do’s! For those in need of extra motivation: the first five people who successfully complete this To Do list (with proof) will win a ‘Living in Kigali’ t-shirt and/or yoyo. That’s a lie. There are no t-shirts or yoyos but you will win our respect and admiration. If that’s isn’t as good as a yoyo, I don’t know what is!

  1. Wear a big shawl while on a moto, stretch out your arms, and scream at the top of your lungs for the entire trip. You might, for example, scream something like: “Wo0hooo! I’m flying!” or “I’m a bird, I’m a bird, I’M A BIRD!!!” For the best ride, may I suggest one of the smooth highways. Have a buddy take your picture, and submit for this challenge to be counted.
  2. Make out with someone on the giant purple bed at Nakumatt. For the challenge to count either submit a picture or a copy of the fine you received from the Nakumatt staff.
  3. Be a city guide on a matatu bus for at least 4 stops. For this to work, you need to do it during the day when the buses aren’t playing loud music. The proof needed is a picture of you hugging the bus driver, and your ticket.
  4. Take a picture at the wedding roundabout in Kacyiru, dressed up as a tacky bride and a groom. Preferably accompanied by at least five matching bridesmaids. The picture will obviously be proof enough. (If you disturb or in any way offend the couples taking their actual wedding pics here, you shall be disqualified.)
  5. Kiss the elephant statue in the mysterious park in Kimihurura. Bring a picnic lunch, a bottle of wine, and a blanket, and have lunch at the lawn afterwards. One of the few places where no one will tell you to get off the grass, and you can actually spend a wonderful afternoon in a park! For this challenge to count, you must get a picture of yourself actually kissing the statue.
  6. Order 6 chocolate doughnuts from the Papyrus Bakery next to Ogopogo, and eat them right in front of the counter person. For this challenge to count, you can be a maximum of three people ordering (and eating), and a picture is required. This challenge can be done at any time during the day, though stuffing down donuts while drunk might not be the best idea.
  7. Do a drinking game while walking up Mount Kigali. Every time you see a goat or a chicken have a shot of tequila. When you get to the top, rest at the horse-center, and enjoy the view. For this challenge to count, please submit a picture of you hugging a goat while holding a tequila bottle.
  8. Bring your snorkel and swim goggles to the Mille Collinnes pool on a Sunday, and go exploring the deep waters. For the challenge to count, you must snorkel the pool for at least 15 minutes (though not necessarily consecutive). Again, a picture should do as proof.
  9. Ride on the back of a police car, you know, one of those with couches in the back. A picture with you wearing a police hat would be great. Pictures of you holding machine guns will be vomited on, as I am a fierce hater of posing with guns (unless, of course, you are wearing a UN helmet at the same time…)
  10. Complete a Kigali bar-crawl, made easy, or course, with motos (bless this city and its green-vested drivers). Start early enough to make it through the entire list. You need at least 6 bars for the crawl to count, and a picture and/or coaster from each venue. The following is a suggestion, though you are free to do your own: Start with a sundowner at Makumba in Nyamirambo, then to New Cactus in Kiyovu for great views (and cheap wine) while the sun finishes setting. Move to Heaven in Kiyovu for a fancy cocktail, and continue to Downtown Bar in town for a quick shot of something. Moto over to Ogopogo in Kimihurura (feel free to complete the doughnut challenge while you’re there), and as a little fresh air might be a good idea at this point, walk up to Sundowner for a shared bottle of whiskey and Coke. Continue down the road to the new Papyrus to finish the evening. If you’re still standing, you could always go for a last drink at K-Club in Gacuriru, but it might be best to give up the motos now, and get a ride with someone…

Good luck, and have fun!

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.