When seeking an authentic experience in Kigali, Rwanda, look no further than the city’s milk bars, and Kuruhimbi is a shining example. These milk bars offer a unique glimpse into Rwandan culture and are an essential stop for those wanting to savor a taste of local life. As you traverse the country, whether on your way to Akagera or the gorilla parks, you’ll often encounter locals transporting milk on the back of their bicycles. Their destination? The Milk Bar, where pasteurization transforms fresh milk into a delectable treat.
In Rwanda, milk holds tremendous importance, as do the cows you’ll encounter throughout the country. Cows are highly regarded as dowry and serve as a vital source of livelihood for many Rwandans. In Kigali, you can discover these milk bars tucked away in the Nyamirambo or Kimisagara neighborhoods. Spotting them is easy, either by observing the steady stream of locals delivering their milk or by identifying the charming cow images adorning their facades. Alternatively, keep an eye out for the phrase “Amata Meza” (fresh milk in Kinyarwanda).
Kuruhimbi stands as one of Kigali’s most renowned establishments, yet it doesn’t serve a drop of liquor. Instead, it’s a milk bar, and it’s a cherished Rwandan institution. Nestled in the vibrant Kimisagara neighborhood, just a stone’s throw away from a bustling market, Kuruhimbi is a beacon of tradition amidst a changing landscape. While Inyange Milk Zone, a corporate milk bar chain, has risen in prominence, local milk bars like Kuruhimbi represent a vanishing facet of Rwanda’s history.
Finding Kuruhimbi may not be the simplest task—it doesn’t appear on Google Maps, lacks a website or official phone number, but its inviting atmosphere is unmistakable. Look for the colorful sign above the entrance, the pristine white interiors, and the vibrant red-and-yellow patterned plastic tablecloths that beckon you inside.