Jambo Guest House: fish at a fee

Jambo Guest House sits astride one of the most popular cobbled stone roads in Kigali; the one that runs from the Ndoli’s joint Supermarket and connects Remera to Sonatubes.

Jambo Guest House sits astride one of the most popular cobbled stone roads in Kigali; the one that runs from the Ndoli’s joint Supermarket and connects Remera to Sonatubes.

It is part of the Jambo Hotel chains that includes such facilities as the Muhazi-based Jambo Beach, and the Jambo Inn Motel, in Kicukiro.

Jambo is the typical homely accommodation, bar and restaurant facility, and don’t come here expecting to see an army of uniformed wait staff.

The single-storey apartment in which it is nested has been well supplemented by an improvised frontal patio that is good for catching the evening news on international TV channels. The modest parking lot is right on the street, and although secure enough, can mean to jam up, especially when the guest wing is fully booked.

The main building is taken by the administrative staff, and once one walks past it, another sitting enclave awaits your sights. This is where almost all the action takes place; the dining, drinking, and private events.

From the three times that I have visited, it would appear that Jambo Guest House’s flagship service is the guest accommodation facility, which boasts a dozen neat little suites that go for between Rwf20,000-30,000 (singles and doubles respectively).

Otherwise, the food here is prepared on order, as opposed to the buffet arrangement I had come expecting on the first occasion. They do the usual familiar dishes; chips, beef, chicken, fish, veggies… The daily specialties are the chicken and fish, and Jambo is one of those few places you can count on to get fresh, deep-fried fish in Kigali.

With this city’s insufficient fish supply, this seems like good news you want to jump upon, until, that is, you are presented with the bill: A plate of sizzling, deep-fried whole fish goes for a staggering Rwf10,000 which, for the mid-range facility that Jambo is, is rather stiff!

And if you opt for the chicken, you will only save Rwf2,000 from that.

One of its strongest points though, is the high level of quietude and anonymity accorded to guests, such that different groups can pitch camp in various nooks without having your conversation eavesdropped on.

They also do facilitate small events on request, thanks to the 80-seater multi-purpose hall. The hall is preferred by people holding wedding meetings, after-parties and seminars, but also doubles as a formal dining facility.

 

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