Kigali is the capital of Rwanda.
The city is now world famous for its cleanliness. In 2004, Rwanda was the first African country and among the few first in the World to ban the use of plastic bags, and the city's roads and streets are cleaned daily. It is embellished with several small well-flowered public gardens. The roadsides are also flowered and so are most of the crossroads-roundabouts sections.
It should also be noted that throughout the year the last Saturdays of the month are dedicated to community work “UMUGANDA” which is often used to maintain cleanliness in neighborhoods. If you are there on a tourist trip, keep in mind that this day the shops, markets, transport and other public places will not be open until mid-morning.
Depending on the time you land in Kigali you can schedule your visit to the city on the first day of your arrival, if not the next day if it gives you time to arrive without hurrying too much to your next destination after Kigali. The alternative would be to book this tour for the last day before leaving the country although even a second night might be advised.
For one who has time (and the budget), Kigali has enough to keep one occupied for a couple of days with its museums, its markets, its restaurants, its bars and its cafes.
Anyone who likes to walk will have great fun strolling on the pedestrian pavements along the main roads with flowered edges.
Activities & Special Interest
- The Kigali Convention Centre (KCC) is a landmark and the first and largest Convention Centre in the region, and the leading destination for events in Rwanda. The dome shape Auditorium, represents a hut in the Kings Palace. Its unique design integrates all the facilities and functional technology with a clear reference to the culture and traditions of Rwanda. With a net floor area of 32,200 m2 Kigali Convention Centre, can host more than 5,000 delegates at a time and contains facilities for business, leisure and events.
Kigali Genocide Memorial:
Open since 2004, the Kigali Genocide Memorial serves to educate about genocide and it is also a symbol of commitment on the part of Rwandans to embrace peace and reconciliation.
Divided in to several areas, the memorial is where more than 250,000 victims of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide are buried, the black wall is in memory and honor of those who lost their lives and the memorial gardens offer a quiet environment for the visitor to spend some time in prayer or reflection.
Kandt House Museum:
The Kandt House is the residence of Richard Kandt, the first colonial governor to Rwanda. On a visit to the museum, you will get a picture of life in Rwanda before colonization, learn the effects of colonization on the Rwandan people and get an insight into the history of Kigali and the evolution of Kigali from the colonial era to the time after independence in 1962.
Rwanda Art Museum:
Located in the residence of the former president, the museum explores Rwandan art and creativity from way back to the present day. This is where the presidential jet crashed in 1994 and the debris are kept in remembrance of that day.
Art Galleries, Shopping & Markets:
Caplaki Craft Village :
With its colorful display of handmade, original crafts from Rwanda, this craft village is worth a visit for your souvenir shopping. Look around from the different items on display and you can bargain your way to a good deal.
One of the busiest markets in Kigali, the Kimironko Market is a stop-over for fresh produce sourced from within Rwanda and its neighbours as well as clothing, shoes and general household supplies.
The market comes alive with shoppers, display of goods and the liveliness of the Rwandan people.
Kigali Milk Bar:
Cows hold an important place in the Rwandan economy and culture; and so is milk. The milk bars have found their niche in the predominantly Muslim zones of Nyamirambo & Kimisagara. Stop at one for a glass of cold refreshing milk to quench your thirst and re-energize for the journey ahead during your walking city tour. They also offer other snacks and are a great way to meet the Rwandan people by enjoying a glass of milk.
Leisure, recreation, social contacts:
- The Nyamirambo zone with its hairdressing salons, sewing workshops, colorful clothing displays, bars and cafes, restaurants offering typical Rwandan meals would not fail to interest the visitors who want to immerse themselves in Rwandan city life. A spa session with massage and sauna will certainly relax an aching foot or back.
- Excursion to Mount Kigali from the top of which the visitor has a 360 degrees view of the city.
- Kigali City tour on a double-decker sightseeing bus.