Kigali is buzzing! And for good reason – the continent is here! That’s right, eight of the best youth footballs teams have represented different regions of the continent. These are Nigeria, Mali, Ghana, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Egypt, Cameroon and of course our very own Rwanda team.
Kigali is ‘bursting’! In a manner of speaking of course, as all the hotels in the City are filled up. The accommodation capacity has been stretched to the limit.
This is the case, not just specifically because of this tournament, but any time the country hosts international fora. There are not enough hotels in Kigali to cater for large numbers of people.
“We currently have no room, they are all occupied with guests here for the tournament and other here for other conferences,” said Emmanuel Sebagabo, a receptionist at Novotel Hotel.
Top Tower hotel also confirmed that they too had no room until early February. This problem is being addressed by the mushrooming guest houses that some prefer to call small hotels.
These guest houses seem to be coming up in good numbers and as the Pascal Nyagahene proprietor of Sphinx Belair Resort confirms, adding that this was a new concept in this market. These guesthouses are small compared to the hotels but their services are just as good.
The rooms that range from 60 to 80 dollars for a regular room and 70 to 100 dollars for a suite, are much cheaper than the hotels that range from 150 to 180 dollars for a single room and 220 to 250 dollars per suite.
These guest houses are cosy and have fewer rooms but with all the necessities. They are created more for comfort and try to offer their clients all the peace that one hopes to get while visiting a foreign country.
Guests are opting for this as an alternative form of accommodation not only because it is the only option but also because it is comfortable and personal.
Most of these even have small bungalows where one can feel at home yet away from home. Others have a small living room with a kitchen and a balcony.
These come as a welcome development as the country continues to grow into a tourist attraction. Tourists, both foreign and domestic need places to stay that offer the services of the five star hotels but at affordable prices. For now, the guest houses offer exactly that.