Gisenyi

Travel Guide Africa Rwanda Gisenyi

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Introduction

Lake Kivu

Lake Kivu

© mohn

Gisenyi is a small town on the northeast shore of Lake Kivu in Rwanda, close to the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Its beaches are a holiday destination for rich Rwandans.

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Sights and Activities

There are some small beaches and you can do a short tour to Goma and the Nyiragongo and/or the Virunga National Park (border crossing visa was available for € 100 in 2018, but the political situation in Congo is not stable).

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Getting There

By Bus

There are several minibuses per day from Musanze (aka Ruhengeri), taking about 1 hour 20 minutes. There are many minibuses per day to Kigali, taking about 3.5 hours. There are also buses from Cyangugu via Kibuye.

Kampala Coach has a bus to Kampala, Uganda, taking 14 hours.

By Boat

There is a ferry going from Gisenyi to Cyangugu via Kibuye every Wednesday and sunday at 7:00am. the one way fare from Gisenyi to Kibuye is Rwf 2,500. and to Cyangugu Rwf 6,000.

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Getting Around

By Public Transport

Shared taxi or motorbike taxi.

By Foot

Gisenyi is a small town and can easily be gotten around on foot, alternatively there are hundreds of motorbike taxis around.

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Eat

Calafia Cafe has quite good California style food, sandwiches, salads, coffees, smooties, cocktails and a very slow wifi (the Musanto Hotel has better wifi), on Avenue de la Revolution close to the border.

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Drink

Bikini Tam-Tam, on the lake shore, is a popular and pleasant place to watch the sunset with a few Primus beers. Food is available too. It's also possible to swim here.

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Sleep

  • Centre d’Accueil de l’Église Presbytérienne, Ave du Marché, ☎ +250 78-5730113, e-mail: eprcagisenyi@yahoo.fr. Looks like the one of the cheapest places in town for travelers to stay. This church-run place is quiet and clean. Local restaurant open workdays serves breakfast (2,500 RWF) as well as buffet dinner (2,500 RWF). Dorm bed Fwf 3,000 Room from 5,000.
  • City Lodge, Rue de Ruhengeric, ☎ +250 78-2686210. room with shared bathroom Rfr 8,000.
  • Auberde de Gisenyi, Ave de Ummuganda (close to the market), ☎ +250 78-2094922. single/double rooms with own bathroom. Rfr 7,000/8,000.
  • Africano Guest House (near the Mosque). double room with own bathroom Rwf 8,000.
  • Methodist Church Centre d Accueil (north of town centre. near the bus station.), ☎ +250 78-8864161. Dorm beds. Single/double rooms. shared hot water bathrooms. Rfr 2,000/5,000/8,000.

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Keep Connected

Internet

You can find internet cafes in Kigali and some smaller cities and towns. Wifi is on the rise in some places as well, although connections outside Kigali are rather erratic at times.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

You can use your own cell phone in Rwanda, but avoid data roaming as it usually means extremely high costs for using the internet. Keep phone calls to a minimum or instead buy a local SIM card which means considerably lower prices for calling and using the internet.

Post

Office national des postes is the company responsible for postal service in Rwanda. Post offices are generally open from 8:00am to noon and 2:00 to 4:00pm, though regional variations apply. The one in Kigali generally keeps longer hours. Check with your accommodation for other options to send letters and postcards, as shops or hotels might sell stamps as well and can help you to post things. Services are fairly reliable though slow and for sending parcels it might be a good idea to check options with companies lik DHL, TNT, UPS or FedEx.

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Gisenyi Travel Helpers

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This is version 11. Last edited at 8:29 on Jun 21, 18 by Utrecht. 4 articles link to this page.

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