My first trip by bus this year was to Kigali, with Gunvor for our collaboration as well as to explore the city for inspiration. I’d have loved to fly there as this would have been much faster, but my budget was limited…but that wasn’t going to stop me!
Our best option was Modern Coast bus. Modern Coast Coaches is a luxury coach company operating within Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda since May 2007. Modern Coast Coaches are one of the most recognized luxury bus companies with several branches in Kenya, 5 branches in Uganda, 7 branches in Tanzania and one branch in Rwanda.
Their main office is on Jomo Kenyatta Avenue in the Coast Total petrol station, next to Aswan restaurant in Kenya. In Kampala, their main office is at Dewington road, opposite the national theatre.
I bought myself a VIP ticket at 60,000 Ugx and we sat in the front section of the bus, on the two right seats behind the driver. We had picked up some banana bread and tea from the Javas at the City oil conveniently nearby. As the bus got filled up, we were finally able to set off at about 8:00pm, but had to take a short cut out of the city as there was traffic!
The Journey and Experience:
The bus seats had seatbelts and there was so much leg room we could stretch the chairs out. There were two conductors that kept checking to on us, and we were offered a bottle of water. As it got dark, we started to dose off, but I kept watching the road anxiously as this was my first trip by bus to Kigali.
We stopped at one supermarket that had toilets which I didn’t use, but there seemed to be a number of other buses there as well.
It took about 8 hours and some people were dropped off along the way in Kabale and Kisoro. I loved that there was no music playing and the large television wasn’tswitched on. Actually, if I were to take the bus back to Kigali, this would be the one I take. I cant wait to take it again with Tasha or Arthur.
When we arrived at the Ugandan border entering Kigali, there was a que as expected. Once our passports were stamped, we had to walk all the way to the Rwandan side. There were large trucks and other buses here and on the Rwanda side, be prepared to wait till every bus has been through a thorough security check.
Tip: For Non East Africans going to Kigali, it’s important to have purchased your visa before coming otherwise you will experience delays.
Overall I was very impressed by the professionalism of Modern Coast and as a first time user can’t wait for my next trip to Kigali! My mind was so fixated on flying to Rwanda but having tried this option I can now way my options.
Have you used Modern coast or driven to Kigali before? What are your preferred modes of transport around East Africa? Let me know your thoughts.
Your travelling friend,