About

Hello, I’m Kirsty, and I started this website as an attempt to fill the giant, gaping hole in online information about living in Kigali as foreigner. When I arrived as a backpacker in July 2010, the only source I could find for online information was a Yahoo group called Kigali Life. It was great for buying and selling items and for finding accommodation, but it didn’t offer much else for the confused foreigner.

I wasn’t planning on staying in Kigali for long but I thought that I’d start a small website with a bit more info for new arrivals – restaurant reviews, information on transportation and supermarkets, and stuff like that. I soon discovered how wonderful Kigali is and my stay of one month here as a traveller stretched out to eight years.

Since then, Living in Kigali has grown into a gigantic (and hopefully helpful) resource for new arrivals, long time residents, and Rwandans alike!

Living in Kigali

The work on this website inspired me to try to tell Kigali’s story in a different format and I released my first map of Kigali in 2015 after three years of learning about cartography and design, researching the city in-depth, and designing everything on the map right down to the cartoons. It was a mission and a great lesson in persistence. Since then I’ve also made maps of Kampala, Addis Ababa, and Nairobi and these maps have sort of taken over and become my main work and I love it!

I try to keep Living in Kigali as updated as possible but it can be a bit of a struggle since I live in Portugal these days. I’m in Kigali for around four months a year though and I try to cram in as many new articles and updates as possible during these trips. I realise parts of the site are outdated and I appreciate any feedback so please get in touch if you can help fix any errors. The site is a monster of info, but I’m doing my best to stay on top of things.

If you’re interested in maps, please check out my Africa Guide Maps website. Or if you want to see what I’m up to in Portugal you can check out my blog, Portugal from Scratch.

Please feel free to email me at kirsty@livinginkigali.com with any questions, comments, suggestions… whatever! However if you have questions you’re probably better off starting by asking in the Living in Kigali Facebook group where people are super helpful and have information on a wide variety of things that I won’t know.

Thanks for visiting my website, I hope it’s helpful as you plan a trip or a move to this wonderful city!