Vegan In Gisenyi – Travel Tips

I’m taking the summer to show a friend around Rwanda and eating vegan can be difficult while traveling.

There are a lot more options in the city, as vegan-ism is better understood, and you know your go-to spots. Luckily, I found a lot of great places with vegan options in Gisenyi, one of my favorite places to visit outside of Kigali!

The most surprising was my dinner at Sun n Sand, a small beach bar. I thought I’d end up with a dinner of chips and beer, as is typical at bars around Rwanda, but they had a delicious lentil curry with chapati. The lentils were spiced amazingly and the chapati was true Indian chapati. It was so delicious I almost went back for it again the next day.

Calafia Café has many good options, from the salad to sandwich to avocado toast and smoothies. I like to get the half sandwich and salad for lunch, or a smoothie and avocado toast for breakfast.

Nirvana hotel has the best view in Gisenyi and some good vegetable samosas. We honestly just stopped here to have a drink and take in the view, but ordered some appetizers before heading down to Inzu for dinner. The samosas weren’t the best I’ve had, but I liked them and you get four with your order, so it’s a nice big appetizer for one or a good size to share. 

Inzu hotel has a vegan curry and the tacos can be made vegan by removing the cheese. I also love their cocktail in a pineapple! It has a nice view to watch the sun go down while sipping out of a pineapple waiting for your dinner (it takes a while, so order early!).

Serena hotel has a veggie burger that can be vegan without mayo, a lentil curry that’s vegan and a grilled vegetable sandwich which can be made vegan (again, without mayo). It’s a beautiful spot to spend the day on the beach or by the pool and their breakfast buffet has lots of vegan options.

I heard about One Degree South and have always meant to go, but still have yet to eat there. They have middle eastern food like hummus, falafel and tabbouleh which are vegan staples in my mind!

An easy option while on the road is any buffet. There are almost always vegan options in the line-up and it’s quick, if you don’t want to stop for long or if you’re just driving in and are hungry.

Grabbing some bananas and peanuts is a great on-the-road snack and some mandazi are an easy, fast breakfast if you’re trying to get on the road.

I’ll be traveling Rwanda for the next two weeks, so check out my Instagram for some great vegan eats across the country! And don’t forget to get out of Kigali and #VisitRwanda ?

About the Author

Ali Kimbrel is a public health professional interested in improving health domestically and internationally, and is lead columnist for WEEKENDER’s “#MeatlessMonday” series. A self-described vegan, she is passionate about inspiring and educating people about plant-based diets and lifestyle.

Follow her for on Instagram for more tips and inspiration on being vegan in Rwanda.

{Featured image: Paradise Malahide on the shores of Lake Kivu courtesy of David Toovey)

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