Anyone who has driven a car within East Africa will concede that Rwanda offers the best road experience in the region. The roads are nearly flawless. Potholes would sound like a new vocabulary if mentioned to a car owner in Kigali. Save for a few speed bumps that allow pedestrians to cross some roads the ride on roads here is often so smooth.
The drivers are quite decent with many sticking to their lanes and not obsessed with checking if the horn works. Cars with loud blaring music from cheap speakers are quite rare to find on Rwandan roads. Old rickety cars are condemned to garages and scrapyards thanks to regular car inspections by the traffic police department.
Once you drive out of town then you have to be ready to be tortured amazing sights that bring out the real curves of this country Rwanda. Yes I know you were thinking of the curves on the beautiful Rwandan ladies but I am talking about topography here. Driving along the countryside makes one feel like they are in a car ad without knowing who to invoice once the pictures are taken.
The commercial motorcycles commonly known as boda bodas in most parts of East Africa but Motos in Rwanda have even been added to must do things by several travel blogs. This is because of the comfort and safety that comes with using these ‘naturally air conditioned’ bikes. With a helmet for both driver and passenger you can dash off to any destination and ogle at either the new buildings that keep coming up or use your boredom to count palm trees as go along.
In Rwanda the traffic police are always visible and professional. If you are thinking of even bribing any of them just send the money to me. Trust me it is a much wiser decision. At the end of the day, they do a remarkable job in ensuring that our road experiences don’t turn into hospital or cemetery experiences. (feel free to clap for them and then continue reading)
As if all that road awesomeness is not enough, something else has been added to the mix to take the experience to a whole new level.
In short; you no longer need cash in your pockets to get fuel in your tank. You just need a Visa card. And if it is one issued by a Rwandan bank you could be rewarded with some free fuel. A total of 30 fuel stations in Rwanda belonging to 5 brands (SP, Engen, Mt. Meru, Source Oil and Hashi) are part of this smart initiative.
To be honest driving a car is cool. Having cash for fuel is cooler…but fueling with a Visa card is way too cool… I even feel my fingers freezing as I type this. These cards offer unprecedented security, control and convenience compared to transacting with cash.
The cool people have been flashing these cards at restaurants and supermarkets and now they can do the same at 30 different fuel stations. The secret behind this awesomeness is the fact that these Visa cards are so easy to get. Just walk into your bank and ask. The government of Rwanda and Visa want you to experience convenience at its finest.