Tour operator introduces city sightseeing bus

The new double decker sightseeing bus. / Courtesy

Visitors to Kigali as well as fun loving locals are in for a rare treat after a Rwandan entrepreneur introduced a city tour on a double decker bus.

The man behind the novel idea, Augustin Munyandamutsa, told Sunday Times that they brought one double decker bus this month. Another one is expected before the end of August.

They will officially launch, he said, on March 21 and start operation the next day.

The plan is to start in Kigali with a city sightseeing tour taking tourists to some of the city’s most treasured old and new destinations.

Munyandamutsa said: “We will provide more [buses] depending on the market. We have the capacity to satisfy the market with sightseeing tours.

“We observed that our city hosts many meetings and this [city tour on a double decker bus] a good means for visitors to see the city in a short time.”

Officials at the Rwanda Convention Bureau (RCB) recently indicated that the year 2019 looks brighter for the country’s conference tourism sector.

A number of events are listed with numerous notable international conferences, including the Africa CEO Forum scheduled for March 25 to 26 bringing together top CEOs from across Africa.

Munyandamutsa’s new tour company, Kigali City Tour Ltd, he said, was registered last year.

They will be offering three-hour city tours in three shifts. The first is in the morning, from 9am to 12 o’clock. This first trip will mainly cover “old Kigali,” – areas such as Nyamirambo, Kimisagara, Nyabugogo and other old parts of town.

From 2pm to 5pm, another city tour will take tourists to what Munyandamutsa called “the new developments in Kigali.” The afternoon city tour will go to areas such as Nyarutarama, parts of Kacyiru, and Kibagabaga.

At night, from 7pm till 11pm, the bus will take tourists to areas such as Kicukiro and Rebero, where they can have a “good night view of Kigali.”

“This last shift will also take them to different places where they can see Kigali’s night life.”

Locals are being encouraged to spend some money discovering fascinating sights of their city.

A new report has indicated that domestic tourism remains the leading form of tourism.

A foreigner will pay $50 for any of the three-hour rides while locals and citizens of the East African Community (EAC) pay Rwf25, 000 for the same duration.

City of Kigali mayor, Marie-Chantal Rwakazina, commended the new enterprise for the creativity.

The new project is seen as the best way of getting to know the city’s most fascinating sights.

She said it is a project that will, among others, keep tourists in Kigali sometimes “instead of all of them heading to Musanze for gorillas.”

Rwakazina said: “Kigali has some interesting sites for recent, Genocide [memorials] and ancestral Rwanda history.

“We are promoting some interesting routes to explore these three periods of Rwanda history as they make a good comparative advantage in tourism for the City of Kigali. These routes will be used by these buses.”

So far, in the 208/19 fiscal year the country’s conference tourism sector generated $52 million in accommodation revenue from 35,000 international delegates.

In the 2019/2020, RCB targets $88 million.

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