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Things to do in Kigali

With a population of more than 1 million people, Kigali is the capital city of Rwanda located near the geographic center of the town. Spanning several ridges and valleys, the place has a lot to offer to locals and tourists alike. Locals are very welcoming and hospitable. You’ll have a great time during your trip to this part of the world.

Named as Africa’s Cleanest City, Kigali is the capital of Rwanda and undoubtedly one gorgeous tour destination. Kigali is a city with bustling markets and lush green valleys, with ridges and hillsides, and all this beauty of Kigali is accompanied with a sad history. This capital city of Rwanda has been a site of a great battle that left millions dead. One of the things to do in Kigali is to pay homage to these dead and to visit the memorial of the genocide. Even though now Kigali is the safest city in Africa, it wasn’t always this way as the genocide was ugly, ruthless and tragic. Since then the city has been a work in progress, and has been restored to its former glory. There are many interesting things to do in Kigali including getting a taste of traditional cuisine, experiencing the vibrant nightlife, and visiting historical museums. The slow and steady rhythm of life leads one to believe that this city will thrive in the years to come. There are so many things to do in Kigali that the visitors will stay occupied for a good number of days as they enjoy their trip to this beautiful city situated on the hills. Bar hopping and various cafes also provide opportunities to get social and more things to do Kigali.

Some places to visit in Kigali include a large number of shopping malls. The city has a wide variety of shopping options available for the ladies. From chic boutiques to bustling local markets, the tourists can take many traditional souvenirs back home. The Caplaki shop is the place to visit in Kigali when looking for hand-crafted objects. Visiting the crowded and famous Nyamirambo area is one more thing to do in Kigali. The bustling square is filled with a wide range of vendors such as salons and tailor shops along with cafes, coffee shops, and bars. Despite the interesting local life and welcoming locals, the most interesting thing in Kigali is the Kigali Museums and Kigali Genocide Memorial. The two museums that are worthy of a visit are the Statehouse museum and the Natural History Museum. The Kigali Genocide Memorial, however, is a moving site. Surrounded by beautiful flowers and rose gardens the memorial pays tribute to the victims of the past. While the memorial might seem like a bad idea for a tourist attraction, sometimes we do need a lesson from history so that it never is repeated and also because those who died in such a gruesome manner deserves to be remembered time and again.


Things to do in Kigali - Lake Muhazi

Things to do in Kigali - Lake Muhazi

No tour of Rwanda is complete without a visit to the Lake Muhazi. According to legend the Kingdom of Rwanda was founded due to its proximity to this lake, and the lake continues to be a vital part of the country. It is very popular with tourists and it is easy to see why. First off, we would recommend taking a boat ride through the lake. African coasts and coastlines are completely different from coastlines in the rest of the world. They are very sunny, there isn’t much vegetation, and they are highly humid which makes them a very foreign and novel experience. There are many ways you can enjoy Lake Muhazi. You can take a ride in the lake and see the beautiful surroundings and the animals that live in the lake, such as the huge population of adorable otters who call the river their home. You can go to Jambo Beach as well if you want to have a good time, or you can go to a resort on the lake for proper entertainment. We would highly recommend taking a day out just for the lake and putting it on your things to do list.


Things to do in Kigali - RDB Tourist Information Centre

Things to do in Kigali - RDB Tourist Information Centre

The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) Tourist Information Centre is the focal point of all tourist activity in Kigali. The centre offers tourists and visitors the information they need to plan their stay in Kigali and any trips beyond. It should be the starting point for any visitor who wants to make the best use of their time while in Kigali, and as they continue their trip across Rwanda. The centre has updated information about all the tourist attractions, and events in Kigali. Visitors can gain information about places to visit, available tours and their schedules, upcoming exhibits and social events, and more—in Kigali, and Rwanda in general. Additionally, you can gain information and purchase resources about Rwanda’s culture and history, various historic places, and its scenic natural spaces. Additionally, the centre is also responsible for offering the official information regarding progress and development in Rwanda and various investment opportunities available for potential investors. Hence, visitors seeking investment opportunities in the region can also gain the needed resources to make more informed decisions. The centre is located on the Grand Pension Plaza, and visitors can head over to nearby Simba Supermarket for refreshments at the Simba Café.


Things to do in Kigali - Kigali Genocide Memorial

Things to do in Kigali - Kigali Genocide Memorial

The Kigali Genocide Memorial is a mass burial-site that honors the deaths of over 250,000 Tutsis and Hutus that were systematic killed during the operation by the Interahamwe and army. The memorial tries to bring to light how the genocide unfolded, the atrocities committed during the time, and how the world watched as it unfolded. The memorial starts with an informative audio tour about the background on the colonial setting in Rwanda. As the visit progresses, visitors will be taken through exhibits that powerfully capture and portray the crimes committed, using various video testimonies from the survivors. The next section of the memorial pays homage to the children that fell victim to the machetes. You will come across life-sized photographs of children with intimate details about their life, favorite toys, how they were killed, and their last remembered words. The memorial service concludes with the efforts of local Gacaca courts as well as the international tribunal in Arusha, and how the people are seeking justice for their loss. At the end of the memorial exhibit, visitors have the option of heading upstairs to a section dedicated to chronicling other genocides committed around the world, or to donate to the cause by taking a rose and leaving it on one of the many concrete slabs covering the mass graves.


Things to do in Kigali - Kigali Serena Hotel

A natural business hub, ideally located on one of the most charming and culturally rich boulevards in Kigali, the Kigali Serena Hotel offers a relaxed, a soothing, and a culturally rich environment. The hotel features a wide selection of suites and rooms, an executive lounge and bar, restaurant, swimming pool, pool deck, a business center, a health club, and dedicated conference and social events center, among other facilities. Start with a tasty drink and snack at the Sokoni Café, relaxing at its poolside seating. Alternatively, order a tasty meal at the Milima Restaurant. An all-day buffet restaurant, it offers a wide range of choices.The hotel is in close proximity to various tourist attractions. Visitors can easily access the EcoTours Rwanda and take one of their day tours. They offer excellent safaris, a Gorilla Trekking tour, and a cultural trip across Rwanda. Alternatively, visitors can head to the Nyamirambo Women's Center for one of their insightful Walking Tours across the Kigali neighborhoods. The Kigali Genocide Memorial is also located at a short distance. The site pays homage to the genocide of Tutsis and Hutus in Rwanda, offers an moving experience through several exhibits, and is a must-see place in Kigali. At day’s end, visitors can head over to the Executive Lounge and Bar overlooking the swimming pool or take to the Maisha Health Club for a good workout.