Ranked among the safest and friendliest of African capitals, Kigali provides both a comfortable and welcoming introduction to this land of a thousand hills—it is an ideal launch pad from which to explore this beautiful country.
Before you go to visit the many tourist attractions in various parts of the country, one can start with Kigali.
Whether this is your first trip to Kigali or not, don’t worry, for there is no shortage of things to do and see here. First all, despite the concessions to modernity, Kigali City retains the feel of a garden city, with a satisfyingly organic shape dictated by the lush slopes over which it sprawls.
Start by exploring the network of leafy avenues that wind out of the town centre into the surrounding residential suburbs.
If you want to tour Kigali, make sure you check out the Museum of Natural History where you can learn about the co-existence of people and their environment.
This Museum is also known to display Rwanda’s physical and geological elements. It is situated at the former residence of Richard Kandt, the first German Imperial Resident in Rwanda.
Visit the Presidential Palace Museum, located four kilometers from Kigali International Airport. This abode of the formal President Habyarimana is mostly known for its flight debris that are the remains of the flight that crashed down on April 6th, 1994.
Stop over at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, a permanent site for victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The Centre is built on a site where over 250,000 people are buried, and is a place where many people who lost loved ones during the 100 days of the Genocide go to remember and grieve.
It is important to visit two other genocide memorials sites which actually became slaughterhouses in April 1994.
Nyamata and Ntarama are about 25 kilometers outside Kigali in Bugesera district of Eastern Rwanda and only about one kilometer apart.
Tourists can also shop in the center of town. Gift shops are plenty, all with antique masks, jewelry and Rwandan nesting baskets (called agaseke) among other art objects that act as souvenirs.
The largest market in Rwanda, the Nyabugogo market, is a must visit; it feels like you are wandering through an underground labyrinth of clothing.