Kigali is built in the heart of Rwanda across ridges and valleys. The capital city is a brilliant sight at night as lights dazzle over her hills.
Kigali was the epicenter of the 1994 genocide, but it has recovered quickly and is fast transforming into a showpiece capital, and has been dubbed the most ambitious city in Africa.
Kigali was founded in 1907 by Richard Kandt, under German colonial rule, but became capital of Rwanda following Independence in 1962.
The centrally located city has transformed into one of the friendliest, cleanest, and safest capital cities in Africa.
Most of the attractions in Kigali are somehow tied to the horrendous genocide of 1994. But don’t let that dampen your spirit as you wander around this lovely hilly African city. Rwanda has moved on and emerged stronger from that blip in her history. Now that said, Hotel Des Mille Collines played a prominent role during the genocide and it is worth seeing. You may want to book your stay there. Kigali Memorial Centre is a must, and so is the Nyanza Memorial Site. The State House Museum which used to be the Presidential Palace of the former president who was killed in a plane crash leading up to the genocide, and the Museum of Natural History are also worth seeing. Besides these, there are several art shops and galleries like: Ishyo Arts Centre, Cards from Africa, City Arts, Dancing Pots Craft Center, Ivuka Arts Studio, etc. If you’ve got a thing or two for the arts.
Food and Drinks in Kigali
With regards to good food, Kigali is no doubt an excellent place to dine. Yes, there is a heavy Belgian influence on the cuisine. Beef (particularly cows), freshwater fish and vegetables all in plentiful measure make up some of the best and remarkably affordable dishes in the area. Being a city which thrives on tourism, continental dishes are served at several restaurants and bars and hotels. Do note that it’s a common practice in the region to wait 45mins to one hour between placing your order and getting served, particularly in the evenings. Good wine and spirits are available at some restaurants and bars, and at most hotels and clubs.