The magical Rwanda is a country located in central eastern Africa. Rwanda is bordered by four countries; Tanzania, DR Congo, Uganda, and Burundi. Despite the fact that Rwanda is a landlocked country, it is one country that shelters one of the earth’s major treasures, ranging from the rolling hills, beautiful lakes, rivers and mountains never the less Rwanda is rich in culture and history.
Rwanda is drawn from one cultural group ‘Banyarwanda’ but it is divided into three-enthical groups of the Tutsi, Hutu and the Twa (pygmies people). Besides the beautiful people that Rwanda is blessed with it, it is as well home to one of the cleanest and peaceful cities in Africa, Kigali.
Kigali city is Rwanda’s capital that sits comfortably in the midst of the country. With an area of about 730km, and a population of about 859,332 (2012 census), Kigali is a bustling city with both ultra-modern and ancient buildings. Kigali is was founded by a German explorer, Richard Kandt in the year 1907 and it has grown to become the country’s major transport, economic and cultural hub.
Kigali is one tourism nucleus that is a must see / visit on any safari to Rwanda. The following are some of the visitor attractions in Kigali.
Kigali genocide memorial center
The Kigali genocide memorial commemorates the Rwandan genocide that took place in 1994.This is located in Gisozi, which is ten minutes away from Kigali city center. This museum holds the remains of over 250, 000 people that were killed during the genocide and later buried here in open graves to form a basis of remembrance and studies. This place has attracted people across the whole world to visit the place, pay their last tributes to the fallen Rwandans and learn more about its tragic history.
Kandt Home Museum
Named after a great explorer in the Rwandan history Richard kandt, the kandt home museum, located on the Nyarungene hill in Kigali is another fascinating feature that sources tourist across the globe. Dedicated to Richard kandt, his house was turned into a natural history museum in 2006, to showcases the evolution of life, description of fauna and flora of the Rwanda parks (Volcanoes, Akagera and Nyungwe) and it exhibits the history of Rwandan culture and its beautiful natural features ranging from mountains, lakes, rivers among others.
Inerma Arts Center
This center is more than an art gallery; it is the home of Rwanda art. Located in kacyiru in Kigali, Inema art gallery was founded by brothers Innocent Nkurunziza and Emmanuel Nkuranga in 2012. This is the best spot for art lovers for they show case captivating creative expressions in the art world that inspire and at the same time entertaining.
Belgian Peacekeepers Memorial Monument
This site was the place where the genocide unfolded, as the 10 Belgians UN peacekeepers were murdered by the Hutu activists with the aim of provoking the withdraw of the UN forces. The Belgians once used this place as an army base. Having had a strong connection to the Rwandan dark history, this memorial ground is one place to visit while in Kigali.
Nyamata Genocide Memorial Church
Located in the south of Kigali at a former church, Nyamata genocide memorial holds thousands of memories as it also commemorates the Rwandan genocide and 50000 people are buried there.
This market offers a variety of foods stuff that you need to carry along with during your Rwandan safari. This place offers an opportunity to interact with the local venders of the market that sell commodities ranging from household utensils, food staffs, clothes and crafts among others. Kimironko market is one spot that is a must see during your tour in Kigali.
Saint Famille Church
This church is one of the largest churches in Kigali. It was constructed in 1913, located in Kiyovu suburb of Kigali, this church was a key scene of killings during the horrible genocide in 1994. This is also one of the destinations that must be visited in Kigali. Having a city tour around Kigali is another way of exploring the gems of Rwanda destinations such as; Kigali cultural village, Niyo Arts gallery, Nyamirambo women center and Onatracom mosque among others.
Activities such as cultural encounters with the Nyamirambo women group, hiking Mount Kigali, city walks, nightlife in the vibrant Kigali and food tasting among others are some of the activities that can be involved in while in Kigali. Kigali has an array of accommodation facilities ranging from luxury mid-range to budget accommodation. These include Kigali Marriott hotel for luxury stay, Flame Tree Village for midrange and Murugo hostel for budget, among so many other state of the art hotels.
Despite the fact that Rwanda is a pocketsize country, its capital Kigali is one tourism hotspot full of life and adventure and it surely should be on your bucket list.