Nyagatare: A very hot retreat

Nyagatare is the largest district in Rwanda. Located in the Eastern Province, it occupies the North East boundary of Rwanda. Its capital is Nyagatare, the main town of the now defunct Umutara province. 

Nyagatare is the largest district in Rwanda. Located in the Eastern Province, it occupies the North East boundary of Rwanda. Its capital is Nyagatare, the main town of the now defunct Umutara province. 

It borders Uganda in the North, Tanzania in the East, Gatsibo District of the Eastern Province in the South, and Gicumbi District of the Northern Province in the West. It has an area of 1741 km2, making it the largest district in the country. Getting there by bus will cost you Rwf 2000. 

Nyagatare is one of the most beautiful places in Rwanda; it lies in an area of grassy plains, and gentle hills, with excellent views in all directions, including the hills of southern Uganda and the Virunga Volcano Range. 

The District of Nyagatare contains half of Akagera National Park where there is a vast collection of wildlife including African buffaloes, antelopes and other ruminants.

Like most urban centres in Rwanda, Nyagatare is clean and orderly. People are very friendly and greet each other and visitors with a hug.

The cost of living is a bit low compared to Kigali as they get most of their goods from Uganda. With the Buziba border only 12km away, it costs only Rwf1000 to get there on a motorbike.

Another commodity that is imported from Uganda is kanyanga, a local brew that is illegal. During our visit this week, locals denied its existence and no amount of persuasion could lead us to even a half-litre of the potent drink.

New Blue Sky Hotel, the biggest hotel in the district, is a few metres from the Taxi Park. Here, a single room goes for Rwf15,000 and a double goes for Rwf30,000.

If you are a fish fan, a whole Tilapia will cost you Rwf10,000 and a whole chicken goes for Rwf7,000. Brochette goes for Rwf500 a stick and a bottle of soda costs the same.

Accommodation options vary. Close to New Blue Hotel is Savanna Safari Lodge. At Savanna, a room will cost you Rwf3000 for a single and Rwf5000 for a double.

The town also boasts several bars that turn into semi-night clubs when the sun goes down. The cost of beer and roast meat is on the low end.

If you are planning to visit Nyagatare for the first time, dress lightly because it is one of the hottest places in the country.

 

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