How to survive Bujumbura

I was talking to a friend who lives abroad the other day, trying to convince her that she should come home, but she was telling me she isn’t ready… not ready to deal with the life and especially the people here (hah).
It had me thinking and wondering how (apart from missing a few ‘first world’ luxuries), I’ve made it to almost six years here with (almost) no complaints at all. And so I came up with some ‘tips’ for any Murundi out there who has the same ‘problem’ but doesn’t really have any other choice than to return home (sort of like me when I came back).

1. It’s really a question of personality

Before you read any further, you should know that I’m one of those boring types, as far as “having fun” is concerned (the livability of a city depends heavily on available entertainment right?)

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My Rwandan experience

The Kigali City Tower

The Kigali City Tower. Source:

Figuratively speaking, last weekend was my first time in Rwanda; considering that I had only ever been there (multiple times) for “business”. This time, I boarded the bus that took me to Kigali with nothing else on my mind than to enjoy myself… The best part is that I was with 4 of my boys… Best (though short) break ever!

So below are the most notable points of my 3 day Rwandan experience…

It’s flippin expensive!

All the other times I had been to Kigali before, I had been rolling on my parents’ or taxpayers’ (don’t shoot me!) money – meaning that I cared less about my spending patterns. I never actually realised how expensive the city is until last weekend. The cheapest meal (drinks not included) I think we had (excluding breakfasts) cost 3000 FRW – and it wasn’t even in a posh place (I didn’t set foot in a Bourbon) – which is equivalent to 7,800 FBU, and that’s quite high! Overall, I survived a Friday night, a Saturday and a Sunday morning on a budget of about 100,000 FRW (260,000 FBU), return bus ticket included – although using the term “survived” may not be appropriate, as I indulged myself in few luxuries like renting a car for two days (30,000 FRW, fuel included), and the 3D and 5D Cinema experiences (9,500 FRW, just for the tickets). Please note that I shared my 15,000 FRW (without breakfast) room with a friend, that I did not do any shopping and that I did not engage in any (excessive) consumption of alcohol activity.

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