Are you looking for top places to visit in Kigali or where to hangout in Kigali city? Well, Rwanda is known as an adorable country of countless hills and natural beauty. Kigali city has a population of over 13 million people and is built right in the middle of Rwanda making it easy to be accessed by road from all of Rwanda’s neighboring countries. Kigali has become famous for its quickest, cleanest, fasted and most organized cities in Africa. Kigali is the center for business, transportation, art and culture in Rwanda. The tragic 1994 Rwanda genocide did not demoralize the country for long but it helped to unite the people. The people of Rwanda have been given another chance to assemble their country afresh socially, politically and economically. There is a great sense of possession, collaboration and community that is lacking in so many African countries. If you haven’t been to Kigali lately, you will be surprised by great transformations. Despite the beautiful attractions and the natural beauty of Kigali, few tourists love to explore the capital. Many of the tourists use Kigali city as a transit point to country’s remote national parks where they can spot mountain gorillas, wildlife, golden monkeys or hike one of the volcanoes. But that’s not the case of Kigali city. Kigali has countless places to visit, fun things to discover and do while in the city.
For those who love adventure, hiking mountain Kigali could be just the thing you need. It’s not a big mountain as such but it’s the highest hill in Kigali with a height of 6,070 feet. The starting point of the hill is in Sun City hotel. Overall, climbing to the top of mountain Kigali is easy because of its gentle slopes. The top of Mountain Kigali gives you amazing views of the city and opportunities to take beautiful photos and record moments. While hiking to the top of mountain Kigali, you can have a stopover for food and beer at Mera Neza bar or visit Fazenda Sengha horse ranch for horseback riding. There is a platform in Fazenda Sengha horse ranch overlooking the beautiful city where barbecue is served for visitors.
This is the most effective and cheap means of transport of touring Kigali city and its suburbs. The motorbikes are the best while navigating through traffic and provide flexibility to stop at literally any places of interest. Bikes are also available for rent by anyone but it’s better to use a trust worthy guide/ tour operator if you are not sure on how to use them. You should be cautious while using them during rainy season and you should put on the helmet given to you by the guide.
If you believe in volunteering, then be knowing that Kigali will provide you with opportunities to get involved in great causes. You might ask to assist the patients in the hospitals, educate English in school, teach some sport or design websites for a number of non-government organizations looking for services of skilled and committed international volunteers. You should expect to work in hard conditions with minimal comfort. The only gift you get from volunteering is knowing that you have done something for good and for the well-being of others.
Club mamba was the first to bring a bowling alley in Kigali. The club can be found in Kimihurura and has assisted in raising the popularity of the sports among the people of Rwanda. Mamba club has good quality imported bowling gears and joins together other indoor sporting activities that are appreciated in the atmosphere of fun with good international and local cuisines on offer.
A visit to Kigali is incomplete without visiting one of the art/craft shops in the city. The people of Kigali love art and if you are looking for proof then visit their homes and sitting rooms. Inema art center is the best art center on Kigali city. Inema art center was opened in the year 2012 by two people namely innocent Nkurunzizaa and Emmanuel Nkuranga. The city is now a home of more than 20 best artists as well as international guest artists. This center is the best place to go too if you are interested in beautiful African sculptures and paintings. You can see artists doing their paintings at work or you can learning dancing and drumming skills. Inema art center arranges yoga classes for visitors and has a bar that opens every Thursday allowing tourists to listen to good music as they stare at the art collections. If you want the best jewelry you should then try out Konga collections which uses discarded materials to create good quality earrings and necklaces. There is also GoKigali boutique at marriot hotel with best jewelry, books, shoes, baskets, clothes and a nice map of Kigali city. Sarah day design is located at Nyamirambo women’s center and has cheap jewelry and other house hold items.
While in Kigali you will have a number of places to go to for pedicure, facials or manicure. Massage and sauna is not only found in hotels but there are also specialized outlets scattered around Kigali city.
Nakumatt shopping mall is situated with in the union trade center and it the largest supermarket in Kigali city at the moment where you will find almost everything you want.
This is so far the most popular activity done in Kigali after being introduced a few years ago. This activity can be done by anybody but it needs mental preparation because jumping from a small plane to the ground raises your adrenaline to phenomenal levels. The guides brief you about all aspects of safety including how to organize the parachute. The guide flies close to you or with you up to the ground.
Kigali has beautiful countryside and around mount Kigali go horse riding with amazing views of the city. Horse riding is done at Fazenda Sengha around mountain Kigali and at the Rugende Park. Anyone can participate in horse riding.
This is one of the newly introduced indoor activities in Kigali city. SOS School Park in Kigali is the one used for skating. The school park gives you opportunities to learn about the fundamentals of skating for beginners while teaching them new skills to advanced skaters.
Kigali golf club allows nonmembers to play a certain fee as they provide then with golfing equipment and bags.
The best tennis courts in Kigali city can be found at hotel des Milles collines, cerce sportif, Nyarutarama sports club, Amahoro stadium and Umubano hotel.
The best place to go fishing is Lake Muhazi found in Kigali. Reaching the lake is a one hour drive by road from Kigali city. Lake Muhazi stretches about 32 kms and has several fishing holes where you can throw your line from a canoe or a speeding boat. The area surrounding Lake Muhazi has beautiful scenery which adds value to the activity.
This is built next to the famous Radisson Blu hotel in Kigali. It’s one of the prominent places in the city. Kigali convention center was built in the shape of a bee hive having beautiful lights that look amazing in the night. It’s said this shape was inspired by the king’s place in Nyanza.
Local markets help you to know about the culture of the country. In the market you get to know the people’s favorite food. Kimoronko market is the biggest market in Kigali city. It’s built near the city center and it has fresh vegetables, fruits, flour and spices. Apart from food the market is a place for electronics, clothes and craft shops. The other big market is Nyamirambo market. Most Rwandese speak French and Kinyarwanda so it’s better to move with guide whenever you visit these markets in order to help you translate where necessary.
You need to go and visit one of the coffee cooperatives in the outskirts of the city. This is a non-governmental organization and a coffee cooperative that arranges day tours to their coffee plantations and farms to get knowledge about the entire process of making coffee until it’s packed in bags to be ready for sell.
There are so many night clubs in Kigali filled with activities. Century cinema is located right at the city center in Kigali’s movie theater. The cinema shows us the latest blockbusters in 3-D and 5-D with great motion, special effects and great sound. Another place is called Goethe-institute and Korean embassy showing German and Korean movies. For those that love dancing and partying with new people, you should visit one of the night clubs in the city.
Amahoro stadium is located in Remera area and it’s the biggest stadium in Rwanda with a capacity of accommodating 30,000 people. The tickets for the matches aren’t expensive so you can go and see some of the popular teams play such as rayon sports, police fc and Armee Patriotique Rwanda fc to mention but a few.
Those who love reading, the new Kigali public library is the place to go. The library has a quiet environment with a collection of electronic and physical nooks. Tourists are allowed to use the place, access computers and use internet or watch documentaries on large protectors while drinking Rwanda coffee
This is located in one of the suburbs of Kigali. This was opened up in 2007 by a group of Rwandan women who were victims of gender based violence. It’s a non-governmental organizations and it helps to fight gender based violence, organizing language training and computer literacy lessons. The group gives sewing machines that women use to make clothes, bags and other accessories. They have kitengi in every color and these can be bought from boutiques to support the center. Nyamirambo women’s center organizes community tours in Kigali with an aim of exposing visitors to the rural life in Kigali. This walking tours involves stops at natural history museum, local shops, state house museum, local homes and hair salons.
This is located in Nyamirambo and its called Gaddafi not because it was built by the president of Libya but because of the road he build passing near the mosque.
This is one of the worst genocides in the history of Rwanda and it happened in 1994. The genocide is built to honor more than 200,000 victims of the genocide and also to remind people about the atrocities committed so that it never happens again. Visiting the genocide memory will give you a clear picture of what happened as you appreciate the current achievements. If you go for exhibition, you will get information about the overall history of Rwanda and her colonization. At this place you will see the images of people that were slaughtered without mercy. The city makes you understand the atrocities committed by mankind around the globe. The third exhibition will show you the atrocities by Nazis during the Holocaust, genocides in Cambodia and Armenia. You can spend about 2 hours to see videos and recordings of the genocide.
The best museum in Kigali is the museum of natural history and it was built with the purpose of documenting the beauty of Rwanda. The northern side of the museum has Rwanda’s animals and bird life as well as volcanoes. The southern wing showcases the country’s mineral riches. Visitors can visit the state house museum outside the city center to know events that led to 1994 Rwanda genocide. Habyarimana and Pasteur bizimungu were the last two presidents to use this palace. Habyarimana died in a plane crash near his home trying to escape the genocide. The palace has exhibits to show case such as device for detection, gun cabinet and a night club for the president and his friends. The palace has a chapel and another room that were used for rituals. Those still interested in genocide can visit the campaign against genocide museum at the parliament building. This museum helps you to understand how Rwanda patriotic front planned to stop the genocide after the withdraw of UN troops left the Tutsi at the mercy of interahmwe.
This memorial was opened up in 200 and it was built to remember 10 Belgium UN peacekeepers that had been slaughtered while protecting the Prime Minister Madame Agathe Uwiligiyimana and her family. The reason for killing of the peacekeepers was to force the UN peacekeeping force out of Rwanda and allow the genocide to continue. The Belgium peacekeepers were the only western people in Rwanda and others were made up of troops from other continents.
This is one of the best hotels in Kigali city. The hotel was featured in the Hotel Rwanda movie in 2004. This hotel acted as a home for refugees during the Rwanda genocide in 1994. The hotel managers saved more than 1000 people by hiding them in their rooms. The hotel is a very luxury hotel having 112 rooms, fitness enter, swimming pool and a restaurant. Even if you are not a resident of the hotel, you can still visit the hotel.
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