Fascinating Cities & Towns


Kigali 🇷🇼

altitude: 1,567 m/ 5,141 ft
estimated population: 1,200,000

Kigali by night; photo by David Esteban

Rwanda’s Kigali is a sparklingly-clean and highly organised city that few international visitors expect to find in the centre of the African continent. Smooth tarmac with countdown traffic lights connects brand-new buildings here.

The must-see attraction is the beautiful memorial museum that bears witness to the genocide against the Tutsis that shook the country in 1994. While it also features similar crimes against humanity elsewhere in the world, its primary message is the power of Rwanda’s reconciliation, resilience and potential.

red line = Kigali Walking Tour (see the details here)
orange dots = advertisers in the GH Pocket Guide (also see below)


Hill Crest Hotel

Every hotel can accommodate you but few can please your taste buds like Hill Crest Hotel: our local and international dishes are prepared from the freshest ingredients. Pizzas, sizzlers and veggie specialties, combined with our dedication to your comfort, are the reasons you should book your stay with us. We are located on Kigali’s KG 628 Street and our rates start at USD 50 B&B.
+250 788 304 800, +250 788 952 534



CasaKeza’s relaxed-chic design, hispanic flair and beautiful bamboo garden, delicious coffee, breakfasts, lunches, tapas, sangria and cocktails, fast internet, a children’s play room, curated gift shop and on site tailor make this the place to relax in Kigali’s Kacyiru (KG573). Open all day every day, live music from Thu to Fri!
+250 788 382 581

Khana Khazana

Signature Lounge is the latest addition to the Khana Khazana empire in Kigali City. An exclusive VIP experience, it provides an extra touch of class to the Kiyovu restaurant famous for authentic Indian cuisine.
The same excellent food is served at the Nyarutarama restaurant as well, where the boutique Khana Khazana villas are situated.

NYARUTARAMA KG 9 Ave; +250 781 849 797
KIYOVU 9 KN 31 St; +250 788 499 600

Preet Fast Food

The only purely vegetarian restaurant in Rwanda, quickly preparing delicious fresh Indian food at very reasonable prices (from 50 cents). Full meals (thali) and fast food (samosa, dabeli, vada pav). Photo Musa Compound behind Bank of Kigali HQ. Open 8am-8:30pm, Sun 8am-2pm.
+250 783 115 997

Rukira Wine & Liquor Garage

The best source of perfect beverages for your meal, party or special occasion. With our large selection of local and hard-to-find drinks, we have something for all. Visit us on KG 9, Kebab House, Nyarutarama. We are open 9am-5pm and can deliver your bottled delight to any part of Kigali.
+250 788 221 722, +250 788 302 821


Maisha Mind Body & Spirit Spa

Does your body ache for some relaxation? Disappear into a Moroccan-style oasis at Kigali Serena Hotel, where contemporary science blends with ancient therapies… A landscaped pool in tropical gardens, a state-of-the-art gymnasium, cardio, yoga, sculpture complete the picture — for as little as USD 40, and that includes steam and sauna!
+250 788 184 500, +250 252 597 100



Kampala 🇺🇬

altitude: 1,190 m/ 3,900 ft
estimated population: 1,500,000

Kampala by night; photo by Ciril Jazbec

The city also known as “crazy crazy” Kampala is the party capital of East Africa. An urban sprawl touching Lake Victoria, Uganda’s capital is a bustling, freedom-loving city.

Be it a weekend, a holiday or the middle of the night, enterprising Kampalans are ready to feed your stomach with cheap roadside food and your soul with bumping Afrobeat. Mushrooming shopping centres and second-hand markets are two dimensions of a place that sells anything from anywhere, at any price.

But not so far from the organised chaos of the Old Taxi Park — an actual attraction — there is serenity in Kampala’s green areas and religious sites. The only Baha’i temple in Africa, the Kampala Central Mosque and the Makerere University campus are three sites you should definitely consider visiting.

Uganda’s international airport lies 40km/26mi from Kampala, next to Entebbe.

red line = Kampala Walking Tour (see the details here)
orange dots = advertisers in the GH Pocket Guide (also see below)


Biyem, a Kampala Hotel with an Eritrean Touch

Tucked away in a green oasis in Bulange Mengo, to the west of Namirembe Cathedral, Biyem Hotel is your ideal Kampala getaway; it is close to the northern bypass and the Entebbe highway. From peaceful corners to playground fun, its big plot delivers.

Building on the Eritrean culinary and coffee traditions it delights with special touches like Thursday night guitar music and BBQ. Wine, cocktails and mocktails will add to your pleasure.

Self-contained rooms range from USD 30 to 100, there’s a jacuzzi, sauna, spacious fitness centre and, of course, wifi. With Biyem Hotel, you just cannot miss!

+256 414 697 218, +256 704 329 608

Bushpig Backpackers

Eat, drink and sleep in the heart of Kampala – the city’s finest budget accommodation, with beds starting at USD 12. We also serve draught beer, wood-fire pizza and gourmet burgers.
+256 772 285 234

Namirembe Guest House

An ideal home away from home located atop Namirembe Hill, with gorgeous million dollar views of Kampala.This historic guest house has quiet relaxing private balconies accompanying each room as well as warm and friendly service, conference facilities, executive accommodation with hot showers, wifi and DSTV. Delicious meals, teas and coffee. Room rates start at USD 40.
+256 312 109 937, +256 759 717 889

Red Chilli Hideaway

We have run budget lodges and tours in Uganda since 1999. Our 5-acre camp in Kampala sleeps 100+ in tents, dorms and rooms with shared/ private bathrooms. Facilities: 16m pool, bars and restaurants, TV room, self-catering laundry/kitchen, free wifi with communal computers. A free shuttle service to town runs 3 times daily. Prices USD 8-50.

+256 772 509 150, +256 772 709 151



For generous, affordable platters and other fantastic meals, cool drinks, live sports and simply everything that says “topnotch entertainment”, Legends is your place in Kampala. Tucked away behind Forest Mall (Lugogo) it operates around the clock — a sports bar with sports grounds and a restaurant. Event management and catering included!
+256 754 954 788


Bukavu 🇨🇩

altitude: 1,498 m/ 4,915 ft
estimated population: 900,000

Bukavu; photo by Miha Logar

Bukavu is the intellectual and cultural capital of Easten Congo. Architecture buffs can admire over 100 buildings of the Art Deco style here. Today, a different building style prevails, colourful and with elaborate soaring rooflines.

Just like Goma, Bukavu has a sister city on the other side of the Rwandan border and a national park, Kahuzi-Biega, nearby. The Lwiro primate sanctuary and scientific research centre is another highlight in the Bukavu neighbourhood.

red dotted line = Congo Nile Trail
orange dot = advertiser in the GH Pocket Guide (also see below)


Angel Hotel

Imagine waking up to an incredible vista like this one… Your room at Angel Hotel will provide you with a special vantage point right above one of the city’s most picturesque bays.

We are conveniently located in the centre of the city of Bukavu, only a couple of kilometres away from the Rusizi border crossing between DR Congo and southern Rwanda.

You will find our comfortable, clean and affordable hotel on the main street, Patrick Lumumba Avenue, just opposite Alliance Française – close to regular events and a good multimedia library.You will be able to pick from 10 rooms (USD 50) or 3 apartments (USD 80) with 24-hour wifi connectivity and cable TV.

Our restaurant serves local and international cuisine and you would be missing out without trying some fish specialties, with fresh ingredients coming straight from the nearby waters of Lake Kivu.

+243 997 134 037, +243 892 017 617 guymujabusa@gmail.com


Goma 🇨🇩/ Gisenyi🇷🇼

altitude: 1,481 m/4,859 ft
estimated population: 2,000,000 (Goma); 90,000 (Gisenyi)

Gisenyi (Rubavu); photo by Marcus Westberg

Goma and Gisenyi on the northern shore of Lake Kivu are practically one city, the former on the Congolese and the latter on the Rwandan side of the boundary.

Beach life is more pronounced in Gisenyi (also known as Rubavu) while Goma is louder, bigger and more expensive.

red dotted lines = Thriving Countryside trek and the Congo Nile Trail
orange dots = advertisers in the GH Pocket Guide (also see below)


Discover Rwanda Gisenyi Beach Hostel

Few hostels in the world have such a prime location: Discover Rwanda Gisenyi Beach is set in a colonial building with unique architectural touches merely 20 m away from the sandy beaches. Dorm USD 17, rooms USD 38-60.
+250 781 586 272

Palm Beach Resort

Beautifully set in exotic gardens located on picturesque Rubona peninsula. Private beach provided, a boat for hire. Modern bungalows from USD 80 B&B, African bungalows from USD 100 B&B.
+250 785 695 577



Musanze 🇷🇼

altitude: 1,850 m/6,070 ft
estimated population: 90,000

Musanze; photo by Marcus Westberg

If you are visiting Volcanoes National Park and prefer urban environments, Musanze (formerly known as Ruhengeri) is your choice. This is the capital city of the Gorilla Highlands region, a tidy town surrounded by volcanoes and blessed with Musanze Caves.

It offers accommodation solutions for all budgets, good eating and international banks. Kinigi village (northwest of the town, 12km/7.5mi) features the park HQ, and many more lodges.

red line = town walking tour (see the details here)
orange dots = advertisers in the GH Pocket Guide (also see below)


East Africa Amazon Guesthouse

East Africa Amazon Guesthouse provides concierge services, non-smoking rooms, a garden, free wifi and a shared lounge. The property has a 24-hour front desk, a shared kitchen and ticket service for guests. Accommodation from USD 20.
+250 781 264 586, +256 784 116 309 eastafricaamazonguesthouse@gmail. com

Fatima Hotel

In central Musanze Fatima Hotel boasts 65 spacious rooms, extensive views of the Virungas, swimming till 8pm in a beautifully lit pool, conference rooms for up to 200 persons, a bakery and a gym. Rates from USD 70.
+250 252 546 650, +250 252 546 651


Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel

Allow yourself a treat… Upgrade your gorilla rendezvous or volcano expedition with a couple of nights at Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel in Musanze…
Choose your perfect refuge, to relax and rejuvenate, among 11 bedrooms, a family suite or a private manor. Full-board prices start at USD 400.
+250 789 924 969

Tourist Rest House

An inexpensive guest house with tasty food and camping facilities in the very centre of Musanze Town. Self-contained rooms with hot water at USD 14, camping at USD 7.
+250 788 890 967, +250 785 227 990

Virunga Hotel

If you wish to be accommodated right in the business centre of Musanze, and do that in style, Virunga Hotel is your place! We have 50 self-contained modern rooms with satellite TV, wifi, a fridge for your refreshments and an external phone line. Starting at USD 50 B&B.
+250 788 301 462, +250 788 346 391 info@virungahotel.com




A specialty coffee shop in the heart of Musanze offering the best coffee in Rwanda (Question Coffee), fresh bagels and baked goods, soups, salads and more in a cozy atmosphere. Located at the junction of the Uganda/Kigali/Gisenyi road, open 11am-6pm on Sunday and 6am-6 pm every other day. Burger Nights till 8pm on Wednesdays!
+250 786 399 471



Lava Bike Tours

Looking for a leisurely or slightly intimidating bike tour? Our Musanze- based eco tour company helps you explore Rwanda for one to seven days, guided or by yourself, from USD 40.
+250 788 991 619, +250 786 067 159


Kisoro 🇺🇬

altitude: 1,890 m/6,200 ft
estimated population: 15,000

Kisoro; photo by Blasio Byekwaso

Kisoro, the region’s prettiest town, is in an idyllic setting below the Virunga volcanoes. It hosts colourful cross-border markets on Mondays and Thursdays and has a strong beekeeping community.

It is a handy base for adventures in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and can be a useful point for gorilla permit purchases for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park due to the Uganda Wildlife Authority office in town.

There is an airport at an entrance to Kisoro, with regular internal flights.

red line = Coffee Walking Tour (see the details here)
orange dots = advertisers in the GH Pocket Guide (also see below)


Sawasawa Guest House

The friendliest accommodation in Kisoro town, a great place for backpackers and budget travellers. Self-contained and non-self-contained rooms from USD 15 to 35 BB. Hot water and great cooking!
+256 785 642 114, +256 774 472 926


Coffee Pot Cafe

A place of coffee, snacks and meals so good that it can be your reason to visit Kisoro! Our blend of German and local cuisine is served at a superb location with a craft shop and wifi available. Sun closed.
+256 772 625 493

Kisoro Supermarket

Your best option for when you want to stock up before you head for the gorilla national parks of both Uganda & Rwanda. Everything from flash cards to post cards, friendly customer service and long hours of operation – this is the shop you need!
+256 752 058 271 (call/WhatsApp)


Kabale 🇺🇬

altitude: 1,863 m/ 6,115 ft
estimated population: 50,000

Kabale Town is the biggest urban centre of the Ugandan Gorilla Highlands, nestled in impressive green hills at 1,863m (6,115ft) above sea level. Among the people from other parts of Uganda, Kabale has a reputation as a very cold place. Elders can tell you how they couldn’t write at school in winter (June–July) since their hands were shaking too much. The temperatures today are higher, but not much above 20°C (68°F) during the day or 10°C (50°F) at night.

Kabale; photo by Shay Stevenson

Tarmac has covered most of its roads and single-story buildings are being replaced by high-rises but its rural soul remains untouched. Tradition and modernity bump into each other constantly, most remarkably in the Bakiga Museum, the heritage centre of the biggest ethnic group of southwestern Uganda. It is an astonishing replica of a traditional grass-thatched homestead — but hidden in a brick building.

Bakiga museum in Kabale Town; photo by Marcus Westberg

A challenging 9-hole golf course can be found above the town. Eager golfers are advised to check beforehand at White Horse Inn as the grass might need to cut the first.

About 8km/5mi from Kabale in a small muddy grove on 
the road to Rwanda are some hot springs. Do not expect 
too much—but it can be fun to share with local people, 
especially for them.

red line = Kabale Walking Tour (see the details here)
orange dots = advertisers in the GH Pocket Guide (also see below)


Cepha’s Inn

Situated on top of Makanga Hill just minutes from the centre of Kabale Town, our newly expanded hotel boasts the finest amenities around. Relax and enjoy our swimming pool, sauna, steam bath, game room, bouncing castle, fully stocked bar, DSTV, and continental cuisine. Accommodation from USD 30 to 250 with breakfast included; camping USD 7 ppn. Free wifi for residents.
+256 392 821 667, +256 773 240 946


Skyline Hotel

An affordable hotel very close to the bus and taxi park, on the roundabout connecting Kigali, Kisoro and Kampala. USD 6 for self-contained rooms. Whole-day buffet at up to USD 6.
+256 772 389 030, +256 702 236 407

Victoria Guest House

A peaceful, green place away from the hustle and bustle of Kabale but within the walking distance of its centre. Camping USD 3, single room USD 7, double USD 12 (all self-contained).
+256 772 389 030, +256 702 236 407


Other RW Towns

Other Rwandan Towns 🇷🇼

Huye (Butare)

Huye is where the main campus of the national university lies, and many other schools, therefore the town is full of students. It’s main attraction is the National Ethnographic Museum, an impressive presentation of Rwanda’s cultural history.


Wisdom Village Isangano

Popularly known as Convention, a social place appreciated for tasty and inexpen- sive meals, Wisdom Village Isangano is more than that; a stand-alone house has been converted into an accommodation facility. Prices range from USD 9 to 28.
+250 783 184 956, +250 725 750 235


The closest town to Akagera National Park can serve as a decent base for exploring the park.


Destella Guest House

A converted family house with a garden and en-suite rooms. Free wifi. Continental or gluten-free breakfast. From USD 25.
+250 788 825 220
info@destellaguesthouse.com www.destellaguesthouse.com

Rusizi (Cyangugu)

The sister town of Bukavu, with Kamembe Airport offering daily Kigali flights.


Bar Resto Lodge Urugwiro

Conveniently positioned at the top of a shopping mall, a short walk to the border and Bukavu, this is the lovely surprise of Bar Resto Lodge Urugwiro. Rooms at USD 11.
+250 788 742 006

Other UG Towns

Other Ugandan Towns 🇺🇬


The former colonial capital, Entebbe is beautifully, lushly set on the shores of Lake Victoria. It does not have any of the hustle and the bustle of Kampala 40 km away, it instead offers beaches and a botanical garden. This is the site of Uganda’s main airport. If you wish to avoid going through Kampala, there’s a regular free ferry allowing you to join the Gorilla Highlands highway in Mpigi.


Karibu BB Suites

10 min from the airport and walking distance from the golf course we offer 14 fully furnished apartments, each with 2 bedrooms, sitting room, balcony and well-quipped kitchen. Rates from USD 80.
+256 758 376 384, +256 792 409 510 welcome@karibuentebbe.com www.karibuentebbe.com

Saffron Beach

We will impress you with a splendid beach view, 5 executive rooms, 6 cottages and 2 honeymoon suites with a private jacuzzi, sea food, Italian cuisine, organic treats & 200-bottle wine list. Rates from USD 65.
+256 751 123 450


Ntungamo represents a handy connection between Akagera NP and Queen Elizabeth NP. You can start in the south of Akagera, make it through the park, exit in the north and then sleep in this little, peaceful town before proceeding to Queen Elizabeth. (The opposite direction will not work as the northern gate of Akagera is for exiting only.)


Trek Savannah Hotel

A green, peaceful and friendly hotel, with great food and self-contained cottages (USD 30) or camping in your tent (USD 3). Located 300m from the main road; branch off opposite Total.
+256 754 943 196, +256 701 840 387