Thursday, June 20, 2024

Kimihurura Neighbourhood Guide

Kimihurura – or just “Kimi” as it’s affectionately known – is one of the most pleasant neighbourhoods in Kigali. It’s home to many of the city’s most popular bars, restaurants, and cafes. The wide streets and lack of traffic make it great for walking around, day or night. And the central location makes it easy to get to from just about anywhere in Kigali. 

Whether you’re moving to Kigali, just passing through, or you already live here, Kimihurura is a delightful area to live, stay, and catch up with friends over some delicious food, drinks, and entertainment. 


The 5 Best Restaurants in Kimihurura

You’ll be spoilt for choice when eating out in Kimihurura. The neighbourhood is packed full of incredible restaruants, many of them the best in Kigali. Any evening of the week, Kigalians come to Kimi to try out everything from Sushi to East African Rolex – and much more. 

Switch  – Top of the list is Switch, a restaurant with multiple seating options, so you can switch things up depending on the kind of vibe you are looking for. 

From a toned-down, relaxed date restaurant with table cloths and place settings to a more colorful space with multiple colored lights, ideal for a group of friends, and a simple, outdoor area that feels like you’re at your local pub, you’ll be spoilt for choice. They also feature a car set up as a dining area, a popular trend bringing in the younger Kigali crowd. 

Their menu ranges from fast food to Lebanese cuisine, pasta, and some local food options, including brochettes. Make sure you reserve a place in advance as it gets pretty full. 

Borneo – This tiny restaurant serves some of the most affordable and delicious Indonesian food in Kigali. They have a buffet option for 5,500 Rwf and a la carte options. The friendly owner and staff, as well as the quick service, make you want to go back again and again.

Poivre Noir – The place to go for a fancy date. Its intimate setting, tasteful decor, and sumptuous meals will earn you bonus points with your significant other. And the food will not disappoint, giving you a list of Belgian cuisines to choose from.

Poivre Noir is higher priced than most of the other restaurants in Kimihurura. But, what’re a few more francs for a great experience?

Repub Lounge – This Afro-centric restaurant is the place to go for a taste of local Rwandan cuisine and a magnificent view of the city. The staff at Repub are also kind and ready to help you choose a meal if you are unsure what to go for.

Soy Asian Table – The authentic Asian food plug with a healthy selection of soups and Dum Sums will excite your tastebuds. Its dark-colored walls, artfully displayed plants, and the tiny buddhas on the tables give the place a relaxing feel for its patrons to enjoy. 

Read More: The Best Restaurants in Kigali

Coffee Shops in Kimihurura

Rubia Coffee Roasters – As the name suggests, Rubia roasts its own specialty coffee, sourced from local farmers. When you enter the cafe, you’ll be greeted by a sumptuous roasted coffee aroma.

With a modern industrial design, Rubia has both an indoor and outdoor space that’s great for a meeting or a solo date, preferably with a book to read (you can borrow one of the books they have in their mini-library).

Just remember, it’s right next to a major road, so consider bringing some headphones if such noises would distract you.

Java KH – The Java at Kigali Heights is super convenient for when you want to run errands and get some work done. Located right above Simba supermarket, you can grab a drink or lunch, get some work done and buy supplies all in the same space.

Remember that it gets pretty full and noisy, especially over the weekends. So perhaps leave the weekends for meeting up with friends, and work from there only on weekdays.

Nightlife in Kimihurura

Kimi has some excellent bars and nightclubs that you can check out when you’re in the mood for some dancing and a few drinks.

Cocobean – Situated just 500 meters from Kigali Heights, Cocobean doesn’t look like much of a club from the outside. Once you go in and through a pretty long hallway that masks the loud music blasting from inside you’ll walk right into the club.

It features sitting spaces around a fenced swimming pool and a small enclosed dance floor. I should warn you. The dancefloor gets quite stuffy when it’s full. You’ll need to go to the pool area periodically for fresh air. But, you can dance till late in the night to the multiple genres of music played by live DJs.

Envy – Envy’s disco lights that light up the dance floor will beckon you off your seat and onto the lit floor to move to their rhythm. 

Go with a group of friends so you can enjoy the night whether there’s a crowd or not.

Sundowner – Restaurant by day turned club by night, Sundowner is best known for its nyama choma. The place starts to come alive after 9 pm as the crowd gets livelier. Occasionally, the space next to the bar area is turned from a seating area into a makeshift dancefloor, especially over the weekends.

Hotels in Kimihurura

For the traveler who prefers to stay at a hotel, you also have a couple of options to choose from.

The Nest, Kimihurura, Kigali

The Nest Kimi – Bright and airy, the Nest Kimi offers a more laid back, affordable stay. With their African inspired themes that feature ankara fabrics and potted plants adding a touch of nature, it will almost feel like home. 

The friendly staff will help you get situated, and give you recommendations on what’s available around the area. The Nest is close to some of the amenities we’ve mentioned here including gyms, restaurants like Repub and clubs like Envy, leaving you spoilt for choice on what to do when staying there.

Radisson Blu Hotel – This elegant hotel features modern, spacious rooms with unbeatable views of the city. Your stay here will be made even more comfortable by the friendly, professional staff members. You will also have access to the various amenities including a gym, spa and swimming pool. And you can have your meals at Filini, an Italian restaurant within the hotel. 

Get to witness upclose the light work that highlights the night views at the Kigali Convention Centre from your room at Radisson Blu. 

Onomo Hotel – Located on a hillside, Onomo hotel treats you to a majestic view of Kigali’s hilly landscape. Their standard-sized rooms may feel a bit towards the smaller size but they make up for this with the affordable prices and access to amenities including an infinity pool and a gym area.

The hotel infuses contemporary interior designs with some African touches in the patterned couches and cultural wall paintings. Featuring a bar and restaurant, Onomo gives a great, aesthetic place to relax over a drink or two. The service may sometimes take quite a while so order early, and ask for your bill early too, to avoid delays.

Lemigo Hotel – Lemigo hotel is especially suitable for business persons attending a conference or convention, it features conference rooms and is just minutes away from Kigali Convention Centre. The hotel’s spacious rooms include dark wood furniture that give it an elegant feel.

It’s also ideally located, a walking distance from some of Kigali’s best restaurants like Sole Luna and Filini, close to supermarkets like Simba Gishushu. If you’re only in Kigali for a few days, Lemigo hotel makes a great place to discover Kigali from. 

Shopping in Kimihurura

Supermarkets & Groceries

Simba Kigali Heights – The Simba supermarket at Kigali Heights is probably the largest store in Kigali. You can get multiple items here, from electronics to groceries, stationery, cutlery and household items, and quite a large selection of children’s toys. 

New Frulep – Frulep is popular for stocking imported items from Europe, so you will likely find brands you may be used to if you’re coming from there. However, they are much more expensive than what you’d find at your neighborhood store back home. The import fees they pay for items forces them to hike their prices. 

Try out Frulep for items ranging from electronics (they usually have Neoflame electronics, among others); to foodstuff such as sweetened cranberries and skin care products from brands like Garnier.

Sawa Citi – Like New Frulep, Sawa Citi is not quite in Kimihurura, but it is close enough that you can walk there or drive there in a few minutes if you were at Rubia, for instance. 

Located in a more commercial area, Sawa Citi stocks both local items and some select brands from Europe and US. You may find a brand you know on electronics, foodstuffs, and body care products like hair products and body washes. For instance, you can occasionally find Twizzlers at Sawa Citi, coffee capsules, and pesto, items you would struggle to find in other stores in Kigali.

Sawa Citi also stocks bread from the Netherlands brand, Brood, a favorite among people in Kigali. You can get a selection of white or brown loaves of bread, buns, and other pastries here. 

Patel Supermarket, Kimihurura, Kigali

Patel Grocers – Apart from everyday items like salt, flour, and cooking oil, Patel Grocers also stocks many spices to excite your palate. Patel’s is a great place to go when looking for Indian food items, like chapati wraps and other Asian items like fruit jelly (Agar Agar).

Gift Shops, Souvenirs, and Decor

Kicirwanda – Just two roads down from Mamba Club is Kicirwanda, a lovely spot where you can get decor items for your house. 

Kicirwanda has some stunning cultural items ranging from woven storage baskets to wall hangings and the traditional Rwandan Agaseke. Whether you want extra storage for household items or a potted plant holder, you’ll find items that can help you add that Rwandan style to your home. 

Azizi Life Studio – I discovered Azizi Life Studio while looking for beeswax for a friend. Located right behind the KBC building on the same street as Cocobean and Ikirezi Bookstore, Azizi stocks up on quite a variety of items. 

The perfect place to go gift and souvenir shopping, you will get jewelry, candles, bags and purses, baskets, and a few toys, all handmade by artisans from rural Rwanda.

6 Things to in Kimihurura

There are a couple of fun activities you can take part in without having to go too far from Kimihurura. Let’s look at some of them.

Create Your Own Craft Item at Azizi Life Studio

Tap into your artistic side by joining a workshop over at Azizi. 

They hold a mix of workshops and classes where you can learn how to create candles, weave baskets, or paint the Rwandan Imigongo, just like the Rwandans do it. 

Spoiler alert – the Imigongo are made from cow dung. So get ready to get down and dirty.

Go Bowling at Mamba Club

Mamba club features a bowling alley that you can enjoy with friends. Do call to book in advance, especially over the weekend, as it gets quite full.

Apart from bowling, you can also play volleyball at Mamba’s Courtyard and pool table over a couple of beers by Mamba’s bar.

Attend a Live Music Event at Lavana

Friday nights at Lavana often feature a live music performance from talented musicians in Rwanda and beyond. 

Apart from live music shows, Lavana hosts several other events throughout the week, including movie screenings on Tuesdays and karaoke nights on Wednesdays. You can find out what movie they are screening each week on their Instagram.

Play Board Games at Now Now Rolex

For the board game enthusiasts, Now Now Rolex, next to Rubia, has you covered. Enjoy a Rolex (chapati sandwich with egg and a filling of your choice) with cocktails, and ask the staff for a board game to play with your friends.

Attend a Host of Live Events at Kigali Soul

Kigali Soul Creative Hub hosts multiple live events, from dance classes to live music performances and art exhibitions. Check out their Instagram page to keep updated on new events to attend.

Gyms & Fitness in Kimihurura

Waka Kimi – Located in a residential area of Kimihurura, Waka Kimi is one of the best gyms in Kigali – it’s well-equipped, and the friendly staff will help you have a smooth gym experience.

The gym is pretty affordable, giving you a choice to pay per day or monthly. The daily rate is about 5,000 Rwf, while you can pay between 25,000 Rwf to 60,000 Rwf ($25 – 60) per month depending on the monthly plan you choose.

It does get quite crowded in the evenings at around 5 pm, when people leave the office and want to get a quick workout in before they go home. You may want to consider going there either early or mid-morning to around 3:30 pm to avoid the crowds.

FitnessPoint – FitnessPoint gym is much less crowded than Waka Kimi, and more spacious. They are pretty well equipped with treadmills, bikes, weights, and multiple other equipment. 

They also have yoga classes hosted within the gym.

FitnessPoint’s prices are slightly higher than Waka Kimi’s, with a monthly membership plan of 70,000 Rwf ($70). 

Read More: read our guide to the best gms in Kigali.

Coworking Spaces in Kimihurura

Waka Kimi – Apart from a gym, Waka Kimi also offers co-working spaces for those days you don’t feel like lounging at home in your pajamas as you work.

Starting from 8,000 Rwf ($8) per day, you can get a shared workspace or pay a monthly subscription to get more private workspaces. 

Rubia – Rubia also makes it in this list because of how convenient it is to work from there. You get pretty fast internet and a quiet space to work from. Working from Rubia also gives you access to a selection of meals besides your coffee in-house, which you often don’t get with actual co-working spaces.

Inzora Rooftop Cafe – Tucked behind the Ikirezi Library just next to Cocobean, Inzora Rooftop Cafe is another favorite place to work from as you enjoy your coffee. The shelves of books in Ikirezi give Inzora a library vibe that has people silent enough to get work done.

Inzora also features a tiny upstairs sitting area with a stunning view of Kigali.

Read More: The best coworking spaces in Kigali.

Renting in Kimihurura

If you’re tired of living in an apartment, then you will love living in Kimihurura’s leafy streets. 

Its filled with standalone homes with grassy backyards and high fences covered in greenery, and, if you’re lucky, you’ll get a nice vegetable garden, or a patch of land that you can turn into one at least.

However, the influx of foreigners in the area has driven the rents up compared to other neighborhoods in Kigali. Expect to pay as much as 2.6 million Rwf ($2,515), or sometimes higher, for a fully furnished 3-bedroom house. If you don’t mind sharing a house with a roommate or two, then you could pay between 312,000 Rwf ($300) and 520,000 Rwf ($500) for a room in a shared house. Houses up for rent are shared periodically in the Living in Kigali FB group, so do join to get updated when there’s a vacant house available. 

Alternatively, you can check out housing agents to help you find a place to stay. A walk down some streets in Kimihurura, towards the east area, will have you seeing ‘House for Rent’ signs where you can walk in and ask a guard or housekeeper for details.

Healthcare in Kimihurura

Mediheal Diagnostics and Fertility Centre – Mediheal provides X-ray services which are sometimes a problem in many hospitals across Kigali. And as the name suggests, Mediheal also provides fertility treatments.

Read More: check out our guide to the best hospitals in Kigali.

Bottom Line

Kimihurura is a great place to stay, especially as you get acclimatized to Rwanda. Whether you’re just visiting for a short while or moving to Rwanda for a longer period, Kimi has everything you need.

Map of Kimihurura

Other Neigborhoods



      • hi Nisha, I am planning to moving to Kigali next month..Can you give an idea of rental and other expenses for a family four (two kids) will be very helpful for me to finalise the offer.

        Thanks / Prasad

      • hi Nisha, I am planning to moving to Kigali next month..Can you give an idea of rental and the are where we can find our community more and other expenses for a family four (two kids) will be very helpful for me to finalise the offer.

        Thanks / Prasad

  1. Hi everyone!! I am an italian freelance photographer, I’m looking for a cheap accomodation, an apartment or a room in a shared house from May to July/August, Kimihurura sounds good to me, any tips??

  2. Hello! I would be very grateful if you could direct me to a reliable Real estate agent who could guide me to a rented separate house of three to four bed rooms where I would be able to live and also set up a Medical Polyclinic as my wife ( Pediatrician) and me (Surgeon Gynecologist) and I are arriving Kigali on the 19th Jan and will be in town for a weeks stay so as to make this long term dream to come true! I find rentals very exorbitant but hope the rent will not scare away this dream- as I have used lot of my savings on equipments etc! I look forward to your positive reply, Warm regards, Ashley Minas(Dr)


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