Go Go-karting in Kigali at Pili pili

Saturday June 8 2019

Go kart in Kigali

Racers battling to finish first at Pili Pili Go-kart in Kigali, Rwanda. PHOTO | JEFFERSON RUMANYIKA | NMG 

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Go-karting is the latest activity on the Kigali’s list of enjoyable outdoor activities, and residents were treated to an experience last weekend at Pili Pili.

Pili Pili, located in the Kibagabaga suburbs, is a bistro/lounge. It has panoramic views of the city from where you can see the Kigali Convention Centre and the Kigali City Tower.

The roads around Pili Pili were closed to set up the racing track. It started at noon and went on until evening. I arrived there an hour early because I did not want to miss out on any of the action.

The event attracted lots of adults and children. A children’s and adults racing competition revealed some clear potential in the young ones.

Having never tried the sport before, I was keen to get on one of the go-karts. It was my only chance to live my Formula One dreams, even just for 10 minutes. After all, this is how some of world’s greatest Formula One drivers started.

The go–karts have low suspension and open cabs. They were brought to the country courtesy of the Rwanda Automobile Club, which has go karts for both adults and children, and aims to grow the sport in the country.


I had an exhilarating time cruising through the circuit, racing against people I did not know. It brought out my competitive nature. The only thought in my mind was winning.

The go-karts were in good condition, and the racing suits and helmets were relatively new and clean.

Go-kart racing costs Rwf10,000 ($11) per person for a 10-minute ride. Competition charges were Rwf20,000 ($22) per person and it was worth every cent.

Go-kart racing is one of the best ways to spend a weekend, with the high-pitched whine of a fleet of go-karts cruising down the straight or taking a bend on a banked turn with people on the sidelines waiting to get behind the wheel.

Budding Formula One stars can get ahead on their careers whatever their age. Speed bonding. Why not get together with a friend to double the fun?