Click here to be the first to review KigaliStart Planning Your Custom Safari
Located in the geographical heart of Rwanda, compact, low-rise Kigali is the country’s rapidly growing capital and center of commerce. The attractive city sprawls across verdant mountains and enjoys a pleasant high-altitude climate. Kigali is home to fine contemporary hotels and restaurants whose international menus incorporate local flavors and historic Belgian influence. Kigali's lively and colorful crafts market is considered one of the best in Africa.
Sights & Activities
Now a very stable country, Rwanda has a tragic recent history. The Kigali Memorial Centre gives way to hope and education for the next generation. Opened in 2004, 10 years after the Rwandan genocide, the center honors those lost, featuring three permanent exhibitions. The largest installation documents the 1994 genocide, and there is also a children’s memorial and an exhibit covering the history of genocidal violence on a global scale. There is a strong international resonance, and two “windows of hope” for the memorial have been created by artist Ardyn Halter, son of an Auschwitz survivor of the Jewish Holocaust. The Memorial Gardens also feature a rose garden and wall of names honoring victims, and over 250,000 victims are now buried at the center. Other stops on a classic city tour may include the Natural History Museum based on Dr. Richard Kandt’s work, as well as commercial and residential areas of the city, exploring past and present.
How to Include Kigali in Your Safari Itinerary
Kigali is almost always a one-night stay either before or after gorilla trekking in Rwanda’s famed Volcanoes National Park. This typically allows for a short city tour or visit to the Memorial Centre. From Kigali, you can also access Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Park for mountain gorilla trekking there as well. These regions are very easily combinable with Kenya and Tanzania. A well-rounded Kenya safari will include the private conservancies of Lewa or Laikipia with Amboseli National Park and the Maasai Mara, among other popular stops. There are then direct flights from Nairobi to Kigali. Tanzania’s northern circuit, including Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti can be done before or after Rwanda, flying from Arusha to Kigali. A unique combination would be chimpanzee trekking in the Mahale Mountains of western Tanzania before flying up to Kigali to embark on a Rwanda or Uganda gorilla adventure.