Hangout: Kigali by night

The demand for nightlife entertainment has led to the boom in a number of pubs, nightclubs, live music venues and restaurants.
In the mood for a party. (Photo / G. Barya)
In the mood for a party. (Photo / G. Barya)

The demand for nightlife entertainment has led to the boom in a number of pubs, nightclubs, live music venues and restaurants.

Party animals tend to begin the evening at home with friends and workmates. Drinks are after all pretty pricey once you get out and about.

Alternatively Kigalians save pennies drinking in the local joints by their homes, moving on to more vibrant places once the mood takes hold.

After plenty of rounds, groups shift to more happening destinations where they join friends and the party really gets going.

Hip-hop tends to be the crowd puller. Across town, DJs blast out popular tunes from East Africa and further a field. The MTN Mall, Papyrus Restaurant and H2O are particularly good if you want to get down to some hip-hop tunes.

Reggae nights are also cropping up. Legends Restaurant in Kiyovu and the new Black and White Club at Alpha Palace have recently introduced the theme, joining the old favourite, Cadillac.

Even steep prices in some places don’t seem to be putting people off. The well known B Club charges a hefty Frw5000, but always seems to be bursting with activity. It is particularly popular with the corporate class and government figures.

The music at B Club takes revellers back to ‘the good old days’ when everything was nice, slow, and with a lot of soul. Be wary, even once you’re through the door, drinks prices can really sting.

And whilst dress codes tend to be casual in most places in Kigali, jeans and trainers are strongly discouraged by management, making sure this remains the chicest and most exclusive hangout in town.

Planet Club as usual is pretty much guaranteed to be packed night-in night-out. Entrance is Frw1000 on Thursdays, Frw2000 over the weekend and free the rest of the time.

With two bars, plenty of seating and a rocking dance floor, this place can be as chilled out or as energetic as you like. As for dress, whatever fashion dictates.

Cadillac without doubt draws the biggest crowd. It’s open Thursdays (reggae night) and Friday for Frw1500 and Saturday for Frw2000.

Despite more and more people being out and about until the early hours transport remains limited. Our omnibuses stop 9pm; looks like they too want to enjoy the nightlife. So remember to save some money for what’s likely to be an expensive ride home.

Motor cycles are a better option and they are always available. And the chilly weather might have the welcome effect of sobering you up before bed!

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