Hamaji Magazine met Charlotte Candolfi and Francine Kabutura who run the Boutique Hotel “Amata n’Ubuki”. They took us to the discovery of their country and its capital, Kigali.
There is a Kinyarwanda expression that goes ‘Whoever has a precious wife has a precious home’.
Owner of the ‘Amata n’Ubuki’ Boutique Hotel, Charlotte answered Hamaji Magazine’s travel questionnaire. She told us about her country, Rwanda, the life in Kigali, its capital city and the very beautiful place she runs with friend Francine Kabutura.
Modern but gentle as a mother, the cradle of humanity, birthplace, land of men, land of nature, but also land of culture, traditions and hospitality. Rwanda is a prosperous and secure country, which also tops the global list of countries with the most female political parliamentarians. Welcome to the country of a thousand hills in the heart of Africa!
Kigali, the capital city, is full of memories that take us back to childhood years, often tumultuous, and sometimes nostalgic. It is a beautiful mixture of tradition and modernity. Kigali is that, and much more.
The city has overtaken Casablanca, which ranked second among the best African cities for conferences that are attended by the whole world. It must be said that the visa granted on arrival to any citizen of the world, the favourable business climate, as well as the national airline Rwandair serving more and more cities across the globe are making things better.
The “Kigalese” are perfectly educated to discretion, warm when necessary, but respectful of privacy. The city is hospitable. It is also common to meet a global superstar walking down the clean and quiet streets, or dining in one of Kigali’s trendy restaurants. Visitors usually feel at home in Kigali.
They rediscover a lost Africa. The city pays tribute to the founding fathers, the heroes of independence, but also to the young people who innovate in high-tech, the connection to fibre optic covering the whole country.
Kigali is a city that evolves with its time but that also carries a strong African, cultural and traditional history. The establishment Amata n’Ubuki is part of this register. It is a peaceful and sophisticated space, with a name that refers to Rwanda’s ancient tales as the ‘country of milk and honey’. In terms of comfort, its rooms are comparable to the five-star alternatives offered across the capital city.
Welcome to our home in Rwanda.
Where do you like to spend most of your time when on holiday?
On the beach where I can relax and meditate. I live on the shores of Lake Neuchâtel in Switzerland. For me, living by the water is like taking an indoor shower: the water soothes me.
What is your best definition of ‘trip’ in three words?
Discovery, meeting and culture.
Your dream trip
I do not know many African countries; my dream is to drive around Africa.
Your favourite place in the world?
At my friend Odette’s house, Hotel Paradis Kivu. The hotel is on the shores of Lake Kivu. Opposite you can see the volcanoes of the DRC. It is the exceptional place for meditation.
Hotel Mille Collines in Kigali (for its history). The best restaurant in the world At my friend John’s, Black Pepper restaurant in Kigali.
On an island, what would you take with you?
My iPhone and my Megaboom speaker to be able to communicate with my husband and listen to some good music.
A trip back in time?
The 1960s, a revolutionary period in all areas.
Your last trip
I recently went to Ruhengeri to observe the mountain gorillas. To please my husband, I accompanied him for an hour and a half walk at 3000 meters altitude and I found myself facing a majestic male gorilla. What an exceptional experience! I thanked my husband and I want to thank the Rwanda Development Board, for having set up this project. The organization was impeccable.
Your next trip
Botswana. Thanks to your article, you made me want to discover this country. Thank you to Hamaji Magazine’s team!
What would you ask if the answer was “Yes”?
Will Rwanda ever be the Switzerland of Africa? A Rwandan native, Switzerland is my adopted country. Today I live between the two countries. Rwanda is slowly becoming the
Switzerland of Africa, it is incredible but true.