This is the country’s capital city and is enriched with a moderate high altitude climate of the tropical location. The city is located conveniently with in a distance of 3 hours drive from the country’s major tourist sites. The country’s capital city is made up of 3 districts and these are Gasabo, Kicukiro and Nyarugenge. The city has a population of approximately 1 million people of which most of them are youth of about 60% and women of about 50% in terms of Gender.
Kigali is both the capital and administrative city of Rwanda. Renowned as a bustling, colorful, noisy but clean and safe, Kigali has several attractions to see while on holiday in Rwanda. With a population of almost 1 million Kigali is the capital and largest city of Rwanda. It is situated near the geographic centre of the nation.
Since 1962, Kigali city has been the economic, cultural, and transport hub of Rwanda since it became capital at independence. The main residence and offices of the President of Rwanda are located in the city, as are the government ministries. The city is coterminous with the province of Kigali City, which was enlarged in January 2006, as part of local government reorganization in the country.
Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, straggles over several hills, with the city centre on one and the government/administrative quarter on another.
The centre of Kigali is bustling, colourful, noisy but clean and safe. Its occupants, from smart-suited business people to scruffy kids, go about their activities, only lessening their tempo briefly in the middle of the day.
Peaceful tree-lined residential streets stretch outwards and generally downwards from the city’s heart, and give visitors ample scope for strolling.
History of Kigali
It was in 1906 that the history of Kigali started, when Dr. Richard Kandt the first imperial resident governor for Rwanda selected Nyarugenge hill as the site of the capital, due to its central location in the country. Until now, Kigali is still the capital city of Rwanda and its commercial hub.
Kigali, a city that is located almost in the center of Rwanda, went through the recent redistricting arrangement too, and the city is at the moment headed by the Executive Secretary-Ndayisaba Fidèle while people in Kigali continue to wait for their Mayor to be elected-democratically.
The city has experienced a high population increase over the past twenty years, which was even boosted by the genocide period, when the returning Rwandans flocked the capital in the name of looking for security. The population is therefore believed to have shot from 6,000 in 1960 to 603, 049 to-date.
Kigali city, which is almost in the center of the country, with altitude of 1057’S and on longitude 30004’Eis now facing a number of challenges. The city needs to get more modernized so as to look a real capital city, it needs to form jobs for all those who can, making the city more attractive, supportive or business and investment, both within the Central/East African region as well as within the world’s economy.
Bwanacyambwe, which is an area of interlocking hills surrounded by two major hills of Jali and Kigali is th natural region of Kigali.
Things to See in Kigali
The city has tourist attractions like Genocide Memorial sites, gift shops with cow bone jewellery, the famous local Batik and nestling basket called Agaseka. Other attractions in the city include the local market of Nyabugogo which is the largest in the country.
WHAT TO DO WHILE IN KIGALI
Shopping in Kigali
There are a number of smart shopping malls in Kigali city centre with some chic boutiques and coffee shops. But if you’re after something more authentic, take a stroll around one or two of its lively markets, you’ll usually be met with great friendliness. If you like browsing for curios and souvenirs from your Rwanda holiday, pay a visit to the Caplaki handicrafts cooperative, which sells a variety of local crafts.
Alternatively, the lively Nyamirambo area of Kigali is regarded as the most vibrant quarter of the city, known for its excellent tailors and hair salons, as well as its many bars and cafes. As with any city, take care if visiting at night but during the daytime, Nyamirambo Women’s Centre offers interesting walking tours around their neighbourhood that takes in their own craft shop, a typical Rwandan meal and the local market too.
Kigali Museums and the Kigali Genocide Memorial
Kigali’s museums include the State House Museum and the Natural History Museum, both worthy of a visit if you’re in town with the latter having superb views over the city.
Perhaps the city’s best known landmark, and with good reason, is the very insightful and moving Kigali Genocide Memorial standing amid beautiful rose gardens and fountains. The memorial sets out the history leading up to the genocide in Rwanda and also explains other genocides around the world. It includes poignant displays of victims’ photographs and belongings, bringing the realities of the atrocities to life. While it might seem an unusual tourist attraction and can be upsetting, it does help to put into context how and why the genocide happened and to better appreciate just how far the country has moved on together in the intervening years. It also plays a vital role in educating Rwanda’s new and future generations about the genocide.
Where to Stay in Kigali
Since it’s the country’s capital city, in terms of accommodation facilities, it offers comfortable accommodation places like Hotels, guest houses, lodges, Motels, Inns, which all range from low budget ones to top class 5 star Hotels. The city also provides both a comfortable and welcoming introduction to the land of a thousand hills and an ideal springboard from which to explore the country.
Hotels in Kigali
Kigali’s accommodation options are spread around the city and range from smart four or five star hotels to lower budget bed and breakfasts. While many are of a good international standard, including Hotel des Mille Collines which was the basis for the 2004 film Hotel Rwanda, you should be aware that service can often be quite slow in their bars and restaurants. Take a look here to see our recommended hotels in Kigali.
There aren’t many tourist attractions in Kigali itself and you’re unlikely to want to spend many full days there, but there are some good hotels, where the services are plentiful and the ambiance is pleasant.
It is a good base from which to explore the rest of Rwanda, all parts of which are easily accessible by road in less than a day.