It’s no secret that after a long day of attending various discussions on any subject, or attending a high level conference for that matter, people usually want to kick off their shoes, loosen their ties and relax. Kigali is not short of entertaining places that delegates can visit for both entertainment and educational purposes.
We have come a long way in grooming talent and the results are already visible. Kigali is flowing with art centers and with exceptionally talented artists. Take a stroll to places such as Ivuka Arts, Inganzo Gallery, Ishyo arts centre, Uburanga Art Studio, Inema arts or Yego arts center. Art pieces in most of the hotels where delegates will reside have been purchased or made from the above art centers.
Kigali City Tower:
It is the first and currently only skyscraper building in town. Located in the city center, the 18 story building has various shopping centers, supermarkets, banks, mobile phone shops and a 5D cinema center.
The cinema also shows movies in 2D and 3D. They have the latest movies but if you are more interested in short movies; Goethe-Institut is your place. There’s also another cinema center in Nyamirambo and other restaurants that feature movies nights.
Kigali Public Library:
This is one of the landmark places in Kigali; fully equipped with wireless internet, spacious and quiet environments, the library offers a different setting for entertainment especially for those who like to read good books. Not only that, it caters for various categories of people, from children to adults and books also come in different categories, fiction, non-fiction, science, politics, poetry, history and literature. Oh! Be sure to check out Innovation Village, “the story tellers café” located at the rooftop.
Kigali Memorial Center:
A visit to Rwanda and Kigali in particular is incomplete without a visit to the memorial center located at Gisozi hill.
The center shows the tragedy Rwanda went through with a focus that aims at engaging, discussing and spearheading the fight against genocide. It not only focuses on Rwanda but also features other countries that have experienced genocide such as Cambodia, Armenia and Bosnia. It is site that hosts the remains of around 250,000 victims of the genocide and also has a Children’s Memorial exhibition as well as the National Genocide Documentation Centre.
Kigali might not be really old but it is home to some historical places that are worth a visit to learn more about Rwanda. One such place is the oldest building, Kandt House Museum which is dedicated to Richard Kandt, a German doctor and explorer who embarked on the exploration of Rwanda in 1897, searching for the source of the Nile River.
Another museum to visit in Kigali is the former state house that hosted ex-presidents Juvenal Habyirimana and Pasteur Bizimungu. The museum is located four kilometres from Kigali international airport and has a rich history and exceptional architecture.
What is a visit for Information, Communication and Technology summit worth without a visit to one of the places that make ICT come to life? Usually referred to as Rwanda’s “Silicon Valley” in the making, kLab also known as knowledge Lab is an open technology hub where students, fresh graduates, entrepreneurs and innovators come to work on their ideas/projects to turn them into viable business models. The place comes complete with mentors and hosts events such as boot camps, workshops, hackathon and networking sessions.
Music is one of those things that will mellow any human being, yes it has that effect and Kigali has also picked up with live music in the most amazing form. Well, from the busy schedule of conferences, make sure to pass by Hotel Des Mille Collines by Kempinski which hosts live band music at their Pool Bar. The music is a mixture of slow music, Rn'B, Soul and Zouk by a talented in-house band. They also do have visiting bands like the Gakondo Band, which specialises in traditional music.
Car Free zone:
Rwanda became the first country in East Africa to have a car free zone and it has turned into a hot-spot for different entertainment activities. Apart from the usual leisure walks, taking pictures and selfies, artists are enjoying the freedom that comes with having a car-free environment where they can paint or even showcase their paintings. It’s not only painters who are enjoying the space, last month the car free zone hosted its first silent disco, where revelers turned up in big numbers to have fun without making noise for surrounding areas.
These activities will surely give any visitor a glimpse of what Kigali can offer, however the list is not conclusive. It would require an entire magazine to list down the number of activities to do while in town. To all the visitors, a warm welcome and we hope you’ll enjoy your stay.