Officials in the City of Kigali have announced that at least 60 hectares on Mount Kigali in Nyarugenge District will be turned into a tourist destination.
The development was revealed during the monthly Umuganda-Community work that was carried out on Saturday to build drains along the road being constructed on Mount Kigali.
The 3.5 Km road was constructed at the cost of Rwf88 million of which residents contributed Rwf63 million.
It is expected to connect different cells and model villages in the area and also facilitate tourists to access the area.
Kayisiime Nzaramba, the Mayor of Nyarugenge said that tourism opportunities in Kigali sector will boost development.
She explained that the hill has various cultural heritages creating touristic opportunities.
“We need to collaborate in developing this site into a tourist destination. We have 60 hectares dedicated to tourism,” she said.
She said that the area accommodates ‘Ibigabiro by’Umwami’, ruins of the King’s royal court.
They show that Kigeli IV Rwabugiri Sezisoni lived there and there are gigantic sycamore trees that used to surround the King’s royal court in ancient times.
“Therefore constructing roads on this hill will attract investors,” she said.
The hill also has Meraneza forest with different tree species and monkeys and many people usually enter the forest for prayers and meditation.
Sitting on the hill, visitors can have a good view of the whole city and Nyabarongo river valley.
People have also started a horse riding school and tourists can visit caves and learn about the work of potters.
“We will have more activities that are tourist attractions such as cycling races and motor rallies. There is also a hotel that is going to be constructed here,” she said.
Other major recreational projects that are under consideration include Nyandungu eco-tourism park, Gikondo recreational park (formerly an industrial park), as well as recreational spaces and artificial lakes in Ndera, Rusororo, and Masaka wetlands according to city officials.
The new master plan will see the creation of recreational space in every neighborhood with 2,000 to 50,000 inhabitants.
Such spaces, officials say, will be used for recreation, relaxation, and playing, and serve as venues for social events such as weddings and parties.
Rwesero model village has been constructed in the area to solve human security issues that were facing vulnerable people, Nzaramba said.
“So far we have constructed 50 houses in Rwesero model village and this year we will increase them to 132 houses,” she said.
Professor Anastase Shyaka, the minister of local government urged residents in the area to design activities and projects as a way of leveraging touristic opportunities on the hill.
“I urge you to make use of these 60 hectares dedicated to touristic activities. This is development and business opportunity since tourism activities will attract both local and foreign tourists and therefore you have to design businesses that are in line with tourism opportunities available here,” he said.Follow NkurunzizaMiche