Kigali City – Capital City of Rwanda
Kigali City of Rwanda is the largest city of Rwanda located in the central area of Rwanda and is Rwanda’s geographic centre. Kigali city stretches across numerous hills, ridges and valley hence earning it a tittle “Country of a thousand hills”. Kigali city has an elevation of 1,567m and it covers an area of about 730 square kilometres. It has a population of about 859,332 people as of the year 2012. The city has been Rwanda’s economic and cultural centre since it became the capital city at independence on 1st July 1962. The city has been identified as one of the friendliest and safe countries to visit in Africa with moderate-high altitude climate despite its tropical location and hosts the main residence and offices of the Rwanda government. It also acts as the main gateway into and out of the country with Kigali International Airport.
Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda has been Rwanda’s capital since 1965, built within the hills in a pleasant and modern city scattered distributed on several hills. For anyone visiting Kigali city, you will notice that the city is spotlessly clean hence Kigali has been recognised as the cleanest city in East Africa partly because plastic bags were banned in Rwanda. There is also an initiative introduced by the Rwanda government called “Umuganda” where residents in Rwanda take part in community projects like cleaning the streets and tending gardens and this is done every last Friday of the month. Please bear in mind that every last Saturday of the month is recognised as a public holiday. Kigali city of Rwanda has developed from year to year after the genocide in 1994. The country reconstructed and now shows an air of passiveness and growth. Kigali has 3 main districts Kicukiro, Gasabo and Nyarugenge, however, most of the people stay in the city centre.
What to do in Kigali city of Rwanda.
Kigali city of Rwanda is an interesting city to stay for a good number of days exploring the different attractions. It’s worthwhile to stay in Kigali for a period of 1 to 2 days. Some of the activities to do in Kigali include;
The Kigali Genocide memorial site; The Kigali genocide memorial centre in Gisozi is one of the most visited sites in Kigali city. It’s an excellent memorial site portraying the genocide. The centre was officially opened in 2004, 7th/April to mark the commemoration of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. This is where about 250,000 victims of the genocide were buried and today people who lost their loved ones come, grieve and remember them. The centre also serves as a museum open to both local and international visitors to learn about the history, implementation and consequences of the genocide. The Kigali genocide memorial is free to visit however, visitors are allowed to donate to the site any amount they wish to.
Richard Kandt’s house; Richard Kandt was the first colonial Germany governor of Rwanda. Currently, Kandt’s house serves as a museum with mainly three parts where the first part presents the life of Rwandese in all aspects that is social, economic and political. The second part shows the Rwandese people during the colonial period of the Germany rule until 1916 when the Belgium government took over the league of the National Mandate after the First World War. All Richard’s deeds in Rwanda are covered in this house. The third part of the museum covers the history of Kigali city of Rwanda, showing when Kigali was made the capital of Rwanda in 1962 and everything that made the city during and after the colonial period.
Nyamirambo town; this is the most interesting and colourful towns located outside the city centre of Kigali capital that is vibrant and never goes to bed. The town is very loud, full of parties and hangouts. It is also a known town for the Muslim population in Kigali city. Nyamirambo has rich areas to explore for visitors interested in the local areas of the city including; busy streets, markets, corner stores, the Muslim mosques, good local food, just to mention a few.
Kimoromko Market; this is one for the cultural and traditional markets to visit in Rwanda. This market has all kinds of craftworks done by the local people to earn a living. Visitors flying out of Kigali may visit the market to purchase some of the products as they take home. The Inema Art gallery also has interesting art pieces to see.
Other attractions in Kigali city of Rwanda include; the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology, Camp Kigali, also another city’s genocide site where the Belgian Blue Berets were killed at the onset of the genocide. The hero’s cemetery, the Dancing pots where visitors can learn about the Batwa people and participate in their traditional pottery, workshop and dance.
Where to stay in Kigali City of Rwanda
Kigali city of Rwanda has a variety of accommodation facilities that visitors can stay during their visit to the City. The main shopping and commercial areas are around hotels. Kigali city has some of the best hotel structures in East Africa with excellent services.
Des Mille Collins Hotel; this is a historical hotel that provided shelter to people of Rwanda during the genocide. It became famous for this reason for it hosted about 1,260 people inside the building during the Rwanda genocide. Its manager at that time was called Paul Rusesabagina and today he is well remembered in the history of Rwanda. Thus he was used as the basis of Terry George’s famous movie called Hotel Rwanda in 2004. For visitors staying in Kigali, staying at this historical hotel will make your stay more interesting, use the same swimming pool that provided water for the people to serve. The rooms are classy to stay in with views of Rwanda city. It is located in the city centre.
Kigali Marriot Hotel; This is a 5-star hotel conveniently located near the Kigali Convention Center. The hotel provided luxury amenities and premium services. They have spacious and comfortable stylish rooms, and lavish suites. The rooms have spacious bathrooms and luxury beddings.
Other hotels include; Urban by City Blue Hotel, Golf Hills Residence, The Retreat Hotel, Step Town motel, to mention a few. Make your stay in Kigali city of Rwanda worthwhile by choosing the right accommodation for you.