Kigali Travel Guide

Tourism in Rwanda might not be focused on its cities, but more and more travellers are taking the time to visit the bustling capital of Kigali. Though rather small and not particularly scenic, Kigali is the administrative and financial heart of the country and a great base from which visitors can begin their travels. It is home to several interesting attractions such as the sobering Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, which documents the Rwandan genocide of 1994, and the Hotel Milles Collines (made famous in the film Hotel Rwanda).

There are a reasonable number of hotels and a small variety of restaurants in Kigali, and a busy market offering crafts and other souvenirs. There isn't much in the way of nightlife, but it does have a sprinkling of bars and nightclubs.

Kigali's location makes it a convenient stop on multinational treks, with good road links to cities in Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi. Kigali also makes a good base for arranging excursions to Parc National des Volcans, home of Dian Fossey's research station and grave.

It also happens to be the cleanest city in Africa. In 2008 there was a ban placed on the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags and other similar materials, accompanied by a hefty fine and even imprisonment if vendors are caught selling them. The city also comes together on the last Saturday of the month in the spirit of 'Umuganda', a practice that stems from the Rwandan culture of self-help and cooperation. On these days citizens undertake clean ups, improve one another's homes, or perform other tasks in service of the community.