Visiting Kigali Rwanda, The Cleanest city in Africa
Visiting Kigali is a great experience for me in Rwanda. I was happy to see the cleanest capital city of Africa. In 1962, Rwanda gained its independence from Belgium. So, Kigali became its capital after independence. Now it is not a surprise that Kigali is the cleanest city in the whole of Africa. However, it is the result of the Government’s campaign against plastic to achieve this mission. Now Kigali is a vibrant African City that has an impressive skyline with office buildings, shopping malls, and luxury hotels.
How to Get to Kigali Rwanda?
Get to Kigali By Air
Kigali is well connected with many international as well as East African destinations through Kigali International Airport. Rwandair is Rwanda’s national airline that operates on many routes.
Get to Kigali By land
We can get to Kigali from Uganda(Kibale), Tanzania, Burundi, and DRC. In this connection, several bus companies operate on these routes. These include Capital, Horizon Express, International, and volcano express. Nyabugogo is the main bus station in Kigali.
How to Get Around Kigali Rwanda?
Transportation in Rwanda primarily centers around the road network. Here we can find paved roads that connect Kigali to other major cities and towns. Furthermore, Buses, Matatus, Minibusses, Taxis, and Moto-Taxis are the main means of transport in Rwanda.
MAtatus in Kigali
Matatus are the main form of city transportation in Rwanda. These run on intercity as well as on intracity routes. In most cases, drivers will pick up passengers from the roadside as long as there is room in the van.
Bus System in Kigali
The bus is a convenient type of transport between Kigali and other towns of Rwanda. Local buses make a to and from travel between Kigali, Musanze, Gisenyi, Cyangugu, Kibuye, and Butare. Busses operate in each neighborhood throughout the day. The key bus companies in Rwanda are Virunga, Jaguar Executive Coaches, Regional Coach Services, Ritco, and Onatracom.
Moto Taxi Kigali
Moto taxi is a swift way to get around Kigali. It can go to the very narrow streets. Moto taxi drivers wear green jackets with a specific ID number. They also wear a mandatory helmet. It is a safe option, as passengers are also provided with a helmet. Moreover, it is cheap too. You can get a ride for 300 to 500 RFr
Taxi and Cab Services in Kigali
It is a bit expensive option and you can get a city ride for 3000/5000 RFr. From the airport, you expect to pay around 10000Rfr. Although Rwanda doesn’t have Uber. However, SafeMotos and Yego Moto are Kigali’s version of Uber moto-taxis.
Where to Stay in Kigali Rwanda?
While Visiting Rwanda, I stayed three nights in Kigali. I spent my first night in Silver Motel Rwanda that was a Government designated Hotel in Kigali. I stayed there up till the clearance of my on-arrival PCR test. Here is their Website link. In addition, I stayed a couple of nights in Mamba Rwanda Youth Hostel. This hostel is an ideal place for backpackers in Kigali. It is a nice clean and tidy hostel to spend quality time there.
Top Attractions While Visiting Kigali Rwanda
As I spent my first night in a designated hotel for 24 hours while waiting for my OPCR Test. So, right the next morning, I got my PCR result. After that, I shifted to my Hostel Mamba Rwanda for my next stay. Just after checking in, I went to start my tour from Kigali Genocide Museum. I got a Moto-Taxi and reached there in 10 minutes.
Kigali Genocide Memorial Rwanda
However, after visiting the museum, we were a bit sad. We were sad, as it depicts the brutal history of Rwanda. In 1994, over one million Rwandans were butchered. It happened only in a time of 100 days. This cruel genocide of poor people is called the Black History of Rwanda. So, no trip to Rwanda is complete without visiting the Kigali Genocide Museum. The outdoor areas also include a rose garden. There is a burning flame memorial that reminds us of the memory of those victims. By visiting Genocide Museum in Kigali, you can get a feel of Rwanda. It also provides an explanation and foundation for everything that you will see on your Rwanda tour.
Kigali City Center
After Visiting Genocide Museum, I took a few pictures of Kigali’s Skyline from the Museum’s Gate. Then I follow a long walking route to the City Center of Kigali. While it was a pleasant stroll over 2km. Whereas, the city’s wide tree-lined boulevards and immaculate squares were very safe to stroll. Kigali City center is the area of the central business district. It is located over Nyarugenge Hill. Moreover, you can find a couple of city attractions and iconic buildings here. The key ones are Kigali City tower, Kandt House Museum, and Hotel Rwanda. Besides enormous art galleries and parks are an integral part of this green city too.
Museum of National History
The Museum of Natural History is also called the Kandt House Museum. It is located at KN 90 St, about one kilometer from downtown. It was the residence of Richard Kandt, who was the first colonial governor of Rwanda at the end of the 19th century. You can take a Moto Taxi to get to this place. In addition to the history, it covers Rwandan life from many aspects. Besides, it sheds the light on Rwandan people during the colonial period.
Camp Kigali Rwanda
Camp Kigali is the place where you can visit another important genocide memorial relating to Rwandan history. It is also called the Belgian Peacekeeper Memorial. You can pay tribute to 10 Belgian peacekeepers who were murdered during the time of the genocide. When the genocide started, the government of Belgium sent 10 peacekeepers. However, rebellions kidnapped all of them. Thereafter, despite the many efforts to rescue them, they all were brutally murdered. So, a memorial was built in their memory. It is a memorial of 10 Columns. Here each column represents one peacekeeper. Besides, the no. of cuts on every column represents the age of the peacekeepers. The building still has countless bullet shots on it. There are a couple of rooms from where you can find articles about the Genocide.
Kigali Convention Center
Kigali Convention Center is the architecture of Kigali. This dome shape Auditorium is a prime event venue in Rwanda. Since its opening in 2016, it became an iconic part of the city. This trendy building was very near to my hostel. So, I often admire it while coming in or out to my hostel. Kigali CC is a trendy place where you can host events without having to worry about space. It hosts events for the public. It can hold up to 2600 people at a time.
Inema Art Center
Kigali has many art centers located in different parts of the city. Not only do these represent the authentic art of Rwanda, but also provide a true source of souvenirs for travelers. One of them is the Inema Art Center. It exhibits the work of top-rank Rwandan Artists. This art center is a multi-purpose building. It holds concerts, art exhibitions, workshops, and many other performances.
If you have an interest then you can find many participatory activities there. It includes many workshops and training for fun. For any upcoming event, you can visit their website. Happy hour is their main event. It is held on every Thursday from 6 to 11 pm.
Visiting Kigali for An Extended Stay
I visited Kigali in two parts. Initially, I spent a few nights after my arrival in Rwanda. After visiting Kigali, I went to Gisenyi and then to Kibuye. Finally, before my departure, I again spent a night in Kigali. Although, the places I have mentioned can be visited in one day. However, for an extended stay, you can add many other places within the Kigali region. Among the missed ones is the Presidential Palace. It is now a place of Rwanda Art Museum. Moreover, Sunday Park is a perfect place for a few hours. It is a nice and quiet place for family gatherings, a friendly picnic, or a leisurely stroll. If you are interested in inexpensive shopping then your final bet will be Kimironko Market. Here you can see, how the Rwandan people sell or purchase their households.