Kigali is a small, friendly, beautiful city with a huge variety of trees and flowers situated to the east of Lake Kivu.
Kigali is at the heart of the most important commercial and industrial region of the country. The emphasis is mainly on the coffee and cattle-breeding industries. Kigali has few sights in the form of museums or historic buildings.
You will therefore have plenty of time to get to know the Rwandan people and their rich and very interesting culture. Visit a local restaurant, talk to people in the street and enjoy the friendly atmosphere of this magnificent city.
East Africa Tourist Visa
Off to Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda? Then remember that these east African destinations offer a joint tourist visa obtainable from any of the three countries’ embassies. Apart from saving money compared to the price of the separate visas, the East Africa Tourist visa also saves on red tape. For more information visit www.visiteastafrica.org/visa-2/
SLEEP In Kigali’s chic Kiyovu neighbourhood, the Inside Afrika Boutique Hotel (KN 46 Street, inside-afrika) has poolside views of the Kigali hills. A stone’s throw from neighbourhood bars and restaurants, this once-private house has kept its homely vibe.
EAT Go local with a lunchtime buffet at Camellia Tea House (KN 4 Avenue, www.camellia.rw), a downtown Kigali favourite. Try the umisima (cassava and corn), isombe (cassava leaves with eggplant and spinach) and mizuzu (fried plantain), washed down with a fine cup of Rwandan coffee. For a taste of Paris, head to Brioche (KBC Street, www.facebook.com/BriocheRwanda), where the croissants are the best you’ll taste outside Paris.
- A visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre (KG 14 Avenue, www.genocidearchiverwanda.org.rw) is a must-see while in Kigali. The audio tour adds a deeper level of understanding and is definitely worth the €14 entrance price.
- The Caplaki Craft Village market (KK 2 Avenue) offers a good selection of potential gifts, including some unique, geometrically patterned Agaseke peace baskets. Don’t forget to haggle!
- Go for a gallop along the wooded trails of Mount Kigali at the Fazenda Sengha equestrian centre (Mount Kigali, Nyamirambo, www.sengha.com). Not feeling brave? There’s also archery and a trampoline for guests’ use.
At Kigali International Airport, a very organised taxi rank awaits arriving passengers and, for about RWF10,300R/€14, you will be whisked into central Kigali. Anyone with a spirit of adventure should try the Taxi-Moto(cycle). These are found a short walk from the main gate and the fare is only around RWF1,000/€1.40.