Kabuga town, located 20 minutes from Kigali on the Rwamagana highway, is a pleasant and scenic town of quaint Imidugudu settlements, hillside terrace farms, cattle paddocks, fishponds and water logged valleys and swamps. It is a contrast from Kigali’s hustle and bustle.
The first thing that you notice when you enter town is the recently constructed Kabuga Hillside Estate. The swanky 79-unit estate, located on the towns outskirts boasts of entertainment facilities and a supermarket.
Just opposite the estate you find Bambino Super City. Sitting on about 20 acres of land and boasting a bar, restaurant, a conference hall, swimming pool, an expansive children’s fun park and a mammoth garden, this place is famous for hosting functions like weddings. At Rwf 1,500 a plate of French Fries is the cheapest food offered here. However, not all is rosy in this ‘City’.
The walkways are poorly paved, certain sections of gardens unkempt and getting the atten¬tion of one of the many waiters or waitresses is nearly impossible. Just imagine how long it takes to get some food! Adjacent to Bambino is City Garden Motel. Go there if you want to try the popular ‘Gisafuriya’ a blend of boiled Irish potatoes, matooke and chicken.
A stroll through town is a delight. Every commercial building here seems to be branded in the colors of the Coca-Cola, MTN, SONARWA, Primus and Airtel.
While this town centre looks relatively flashy, its suburbs tell a different story. The market street is dotted with filthy, water logged, potholes and trenches and it’s challenging for the motorcycles and bicycles to maneuver between them. Rubbish is littered almost everywhere.
“I have lived in Kabuga town for the last 20 years. I have watched it grow from a small trading centre in the 80’s and 90’s to the kind of buzzing town it is now,” remarks Edrick Muneza, a shop owner in the area.
If you are looking for a deal then Kabuga Market is the place to go. You will find second hand clothes, electronic and shoe traders pitched under tents and umbrellas doing all they can to attract customers.
“This place, which has over 1000 traders, is an epitome of activity not only because it attracts traders from around Kabuga town, but also farmers from neighboring districts seeking market for their produce”, reveals Uwangye Jackson, a shoe salesman at the market.
In the outskirts of town stands a recently established state of the art health centre, the Masaka Referral Hospital. Perched on about 10 acres of land, the Chinese built centre sees long queues of patients awaiting medical treatment. Nurses moving from office to office, or quietly wheeling around patients are common sights.