The capital of Rwanda is full of history and charm
The capital of Rwanda is different to many other African cities. Whilst it is fast-growing and home to the largest business centre in the country, Kigali is also referred to as a ‘garden city’, with quite a relaxed atmosphere. Instead of skyscrapers shaping an intimidating concrete jungle, Kigali’s low-rise buildings, colourful markets and tree-lined avenues attract tourists from across the world to explore what the city offers.
Compared to many African cities and capitals, the streets of Kigali are unusually clean. This is a result of ‘umuganda’ - a mandatory community service day at the end of every month, where the people of Kigali come together to clean their beloved city by cutting the grass, trimming bushes, repairing public facilities or by simply clearing litter on the streets.
There are quite a few things to do in Kigali that can occupy tourists for a day or two, or even longer. The Genocide Memorial is one of the most visited landmarks in the city, and rightly so! The memorial is there to remind us of the tragic realities that over one million Tutsis and Hutus went through, and as one can imagine, it is often an extremely powerful and moving visit. Another reason to visit is to truly see and appreciate for yourself, just how far the country has moved on together, and how important educating future generations in Rwanda is.
Other things to do during a stay in the colourful city include visiting the museum of national history, hotel Milles des Collines and the state house museum. Exploring the streets of Kigali during the day is deemed safe and enjoyable, especially as you will pass a variety of churches, art galleries, restaurants and cafes to wander in and out!
At a glance... Kigali
- Size 730 square kilometres
- Location Central Rwanda
- Recommended time 2 nights
- Time to visit Year round
- Things to do Guided tour of Kigali, genocide museum and memorial
- Topography City