The Top Things to do and see while visiting Kigali
Kigali – Tourist Attractions
Things to do and see in Kigali, Rwanda in the heart of Africa. Kigali is different from other cities, other capitals in Africa. Kigali is clean and tidy – the Traffic Lights work and the policemen do not ask for Bribes. The Eco-Friendly Theme of Rwanda is seen even in the capital city. It has been called the Singapore of Africa with new buildings going up, restaurants, hotels becoming part of the city scene. Kigali is Africa without Chaos.
Kigali – the Capital of Rwanda – today a city of one million people – a far cry from 6000 inhabitants when Rwanda became an independent, sovereign state in 1962.
Kigali is unlike many other African cities where Chaos is the rule of the day, Kigali, Rwanda though the business center of Rwanda is a more relaxed, orderly, more peaceful. visitor friendly city than most other African capitals. Here even the streetlights works. traffic is orderly, the streets are clean and no potholes to speak of – delightful restaurants abound, – the perfect African city for your first stop in Africa.
Below are some of the Tourist Attractions – the things you will want to do and see in while in Kigali – Rwanda – some have historic significance, others represent the arts and culture of Rwanda, some will be interactive times with Rwandans but most will prove to you that Kigali Rwanda is a jewel among Africa’s Capital Cities –Welcome to Kigali Rwanda the city that is leading the African Renaissance.
The Kigali – Gisozi Memorial Centre is a must visit sacred place for visitors to Kigali. Today 250,000 people are interned here shouting from the grave the powerful – resounding cry “Never Again.”
The memorial is located close to the center of town and gives visitors a look and reminder of the 100 day – 1994 Genocide that took the lives of 100,000 Rwandans in the Genocide against the Tutsi.
Visiting here is not for the faint hearted, some of the videos, images, displays will touch you at the depth of the soul, especially the children’s sections. It is also a reminder of what happens when the world stood by – when there no more devils left in hell since they all seemed to have taken up residence in Rwanda during those 100 days in the Spring and Summer of 1994.
Today – Rwanda – Kigali is rebuilding – it has risen from ashes that hatred produces in the hearts and actions of humanity to a country that has vowed: “Never Again.”
Dr. Richard Kandt founded what we know as Kigali today in 1907 – in 1908 it was officially designated by the German governor in Dar-es-Salaam as the town of Kigali. Richard Kandt was an explorer and discoverer and became the first official representative of Germany in Rwanda as “Resident of Kigali.”
Richard Kandt also spread the coffee plant around Rwanda during his time here and promoted coffee cultivation in the country.
Today you can visit his former home and gardens restored by the German Government and home to Rwanda Museum of Natural History. A museum where new exhibits are being added over time making it an even more interesting place to visit.
The Rwandan government began the present Museum of Natural History in 2008 with the purpose of exposing Rwandans and visitors to the biological and geological diversity of the Land of a Thousand Hills – Rwanda.
In Kigali it is known as Habyarimana’s House – Today it is the Presidential Palace Museum, a place of interest and seeming contrasts to visitors.
President Habyarimana was the President of Rwanda, the shooting down of his airplane as it approached Kigali in April of 1994 triggered the Rwandan Genocide. Here you can see how the former president of Rwanda lived – a tour of his former house gives you an insight into the mindset of President Habyarimana.
Things such as electronic detection devices, hidden gun cabinet in his entertainment center. A chapel and next door where witchcraft rituals were conducted. Simply an amazing place.
The gardens are a delight and there you can see the wreckage of the plane the then President was traveling on.
A visit here gives you an insight into the mindset of former President Habyarimana and his rule which led to the Genocide – much of it inspired by his fanatical anti-Tutsi wife Madame Agathe.
It does not look like in the movie “Hotel Rwanda” – simple explanation – the movie used a hotel in South Africa where most of the movie was made. Hotel des Mille Collines present general appearance is the same as it did in 1994 – it has gone through a few facelifts since 1994 (staying in the hotel just after the genocide was quite an experience) and it has new ownership and no longer the Sabena Group that owned it before, during and after the Genocide.
A stay here is what many visitors to Kigali do, others come to have breakfast, lunch or dinner at Hotel Rwanda des Mille Collines Hotel, enjoy the pool.
Hotel Rwanda should certainly be on your list of things to do and see while in Kigali either by spending the night or having a meal or drink. take a few pictures and maybe even here a story of the time in the Spring of 1994.
Nyamirambo – the Muslim Quarter of Kigali but more. It is that part of Kigali where life goes on after dark with quaint pubs and places where you can get Goat Brochettes and enjoy the evening with good friends newly made in Rwanda or those with you.
The Nyamirambo Women’s Center offers guided walking tours of the Muslim Quarter of Nyamirambo – one of Kigali’s most diverse and colorful neighborhood. The guided tour takes you through homes, with their Arab influences, the market, the West African tailors, hair salons, recording studio and more. Your hosts will invite you to one of their homes, where you can learn to cook a Rwandan meal.
You can also visit one of the local mosques here and throughout your time here you will love the bright colors, sounds and smells of Nyamirambo.
Belgian Soldier Memorial Site:
On April 7 – 1994 10 Belgian Soldiers – all privates were cruelly murdered – they had been guarding Madame Agathe Uwiligiyimana, the Rwandan Prime Minister, and her family.
On April 7 – 2000 the Belgian Government unveiled a memorial to those 10 soldiers on the grounds of a former military camp – Camp Kigali.
It is a simple 3 room building where the bullet holes of the attacking Soldiers of the Forces Armées Rwandaises (FAR) sprayed the hideout with bullets, eventually killing everyone inside. The marks of the attackers’ shells have been left untouched.
A few plaques and a flag—and yet more bullet holes—recall April 7 – 1994 and the soldiers who were murdered here.
The Prime Minister her family that the Belgian Soldiers were guarding were also killed on that day.
You can go horseback riding outside of Kigali and enjoy the hills, sights, villages found there.
This is Rwanda’s only stable for visitors are located outside of Kigali. Ride on trails through the most breathtaking and varied countryside.
The activity offers horseback riding on the trails such as Mount Kigali, horseback riding lessons for those who never tried before and short riding courses around the pen of the Stable.
This is a great, different activity for you in the Kigali area of Rwanda that you can do during a morning you have free.
Kigali – things to do and see – some of them will evoke deep thoughts such as the Genocide Memorial while other will celebrate the present life in Kigali, Rwanda. If you like to include any of the above on your Safari with us – Please contact us.