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City Guide : Kigali

Kigali, the largest and capital city of Rwanda, was built on the mountain with the same name. The city has a serene green appearance. It has become the capital following the country's declaration of independence from Belgium in 1962. The city, which has grown and developed in a short time, has become the country's center of transportation and economy. It is also the most important city of Rwanda, as the country's point of international entry and exit.

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  • Tourist Attractions

    Among the mountains of the landscape, the average height of which is 1600 meters, Kigali Mountain stands out with a height of 1850 meters. Although Kigali is in the tropical belt; as a result of the altitude of the city, a relatively moderate climate dominates. Kigali takes pride in standing out among other capital cities of Africa with ith its hygiene and security.

    Among the regions of the city, Nyarugenge is the heart of commercial activities. The region called Kacyiru, located a bit further east, can be described as the center of government and local administration.

    The city center has resources that will enable you to conveniently reach almost every place of touristic significance. As a result of the amplitude of accomodation opportunities, Kigali is an important cultural spot where national and international conferences are organized. 

  • Culture & Entertainment

    Museums, Public Squares, Historical Locations, Monuments

    The Natural History Museum, dedicated to German explorer and physician Richard Kandt, is also known as the Kandt House Museum of Natural History. In addition to works of Kandt, who discovered Rwanda in 1897 while looking for the source of the Nile River, you can see the traditional and natural wealth of Rwanda all together.

    Camp Kigali keeps the memory of the 11 Belgian soldiers who were executed  during the genocide in 1994, alive. Aside from the monument, made up of one pillar for each soldier as tall as the soldier's age, a small museum can also be seen at the camp.

    Gisozi Genocide Memorial/Kigali Memorial Centre was opened in April 2004, on the 10th anniversary of the genocide. In the three permanent exhibitions in this museum, the genocide is on display in the most comprehensive form. The fact that the memorial centre is situated on the area where approximately 250 thousand people were buried, is another detail that eternalizes the pain and the terrible lesson.

    Ikirezi, the first public library of Rwanda, started out with the principle of being “a temple of information where the exchange of ideas can occur freely.” The widest collection of books written on the Rwandan Genocide are located in this library.

    The Heroes Cemetery in Remera can be another place to visit, that is associated with the Rwandan Genocide. The cemetery begins after Amahoro Stadium on Kimironko Road.

    Nyanza Memorial Site was constructed in memory of the 10 thousand Rwandans who were massacred in Ecole Technique Officielle. There is also a museum in the memorial site to attract the attention of the international community.

    ENTERTAINMENT:
    Parks, Games, Events, and Natural Areas
    Nyarutarama Lake and the surrounding natural area should definitely be visited. The area known as “Lover's Lake” is certainly the most charming spot of the Nyarutarama Valley. The trail that surrounds the lake is very suitable for birdwatching, as well as walking.

    Nyabarongo River Wetlands are worth being noted and seen as regions that are yet untouched by tourism. There are two lakes called Mirayi and Rumira in this area of 142 square kilometers.

    Nyarutarama Golf Course stands out as a sports area with a fascinating geography, among others of its kind in Africa. As an activity for a relaxing afternoon, we can recommend the spas in the city. Maisha, Country Inn, and Sals are the first ones that come to mind.

    Let us point out that the city center and surrounding roads are quite convenient for riding a bicycle. Also;by going a bit outside of the city, you can easily have a mountain biking experience. Rwanda is the habitat of mountain gorillas known by the scientific name of “beringei beringei.” A visit to Kingali can be a priceless opportunity to see these gorillas.

    KIGALI IN ONE DAY
    To see almost all of the city's important places to visit in one go, you can take part in the RDB Kigali City Tour. This tour is organized by the Tourism Office and makes stops at places such as the Natural History Museum,  Nyamirambo, the Caplaki Artiste Cooperative, Gisozi Genocide Memorial/Kigali Memorial Centre, Heroes Cemetery, the Parliament Building, the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology.

    CITY TOURS AND TRANSPORTATION
    One of the fastest and most widespread ways to tour the city is using the vehicles called moto-taxi. Although traveling on the backseat of a motorcycle can be a bit frightening, it might be appealing to be able to move quickly amidst traffic. You can easily recognize moto-taxis by the green helmets and vests.
    In addition to the familiar taxi service, minibuses known by the name of Matatus make transportation easier by operating as share-taxis.

    NEARBY LOCATIONS
    The Presidential Palace Museum can be seen approximately 40 km away from the Kanombe Airport. The most famous part of this place, where J. Habyarimana -who was the president of the country between 1973 and 1994- used to reside, is certainly the wreckage of the plane that crashed on April 6th 1994.

    Nyamata and Ntarama Genocide Memorials display the most merciless scenes from the massacres that took place in Rwanda. Both memorial sites are located in the region called Bugesera, which is approximately 30 km south of Kigali. In the churches on both locations, content recounting the 1994 genocide can be seen.

  • Food & Drink

    Kigali is a place where European cuisines can also be found, in addition to the local foods and dishes. The regions of Kiyovu, Kacyiru, Kimihurura, Niyarutarama, and Remera stand out in terms of restaurant options. You can head to the Kimihurura region to eat Ethiopian, Chinese, and Japanese foods. To get a taste of the cuisine of North Africa, it would be pertinent to go to the regions of Kiyovu and Kacyiru. These regions are also the right places to drink coffee or tea.
  • Shopping

    One of Rwanda's traditional products, Agaseke baskets are world-renowned. In local markets all around Kigali, you can find many handcrafted products in addition to colorful Agaseke baskets. You can buy items that are handcrafted by Rwandan artisans, brought from almost all areas of the country thanks to the artisan's association by the name of Nziza, available for sale in fairs and markets of Kigali.

    Boulevard de la Revolution, Avenue des Milles Collines, Rue de l’Epargne, and Avenue du Commerce are the streets where the main stores are located. In order to see a proper African Market, you can visit the marketplaces called Kimironko, Gakinjiro, and Nyabugogo. Let us add that Nyabugogo is the largest market of Rwanda.
Route Map: Addis Ababa – Kigali Flight

Heart Of The African Lakes: Kigali

A country of 12 million in southeastern Africa, Rwanda is truly a land that breaks down prejudices. And Kigali, six and a half hours by air from Istanbul, is a modern capital in every sense. The domestic strife of the 1990’s is far behind now. Signs saying ‘Never again’ hang almost everywhere so that those dark days will not be experienced again. Cleanliness is the first thing that strikes the eye in this country that makes guests feel nature and tranquility at every step. A woman’s hand, if you will, has touched the avenues that run from Kigali Airport, where we were greeted with folk dances, to the city center. In this country which is second in the world in terms of number of women in parliament, city workers removing dust from the streets with brooms, even with their hands, are a frequent sight. Banned for polluting the environment, plastic bags have given way to paper sacks. The temperature in this country, which lies on the same latitude as its next door neighbor Kenya, ranges between 22 and 28 ˚C year round. The sudden rains that occur during the daytime have blessed the land with luxuriant nature. The air is clean and pure in this country set on a broad plateau between rugged mountains. Thanks to effective extermination methods, mosquitos are no longer a problem. Houses, markets and clothing are vibrant in Kigali, which is seeking its future in tourism. Most shopping centers are open 24/7, and construction of the new five-star hotels is almost complete. Our first stop in the capital is the Genocide Museum. Together with our guide, Lambert Kanamugire, we observe a moment of silence for the close to one million people who were killed in Rwanda. In the afternoon our first destination is Lake Kivu on the border with Congo. But first we are going to sample the local flavors. Seafood served with wild mountain herbs, seasoned potatoes, organic country chicken, tropical fruit and goat meat, are the backbone of Rwanda cuisine. For the finale, there is of course the famous Rwandan coffee. The three-hour road from Kigali to Lake Kivu winds through misty valleys between banana and tea plantations. The giant mushroom-shaped trees stained orange by the setting sun are of dazzling beauty. The country’s largest lake, Kivu’s shores are lined with beaches and comfortable hotels. Spotting the mosque in the city of Gisenyi on the lake shore is easy. Rwanda, five percent of whose population is Muslim, is a country well worth seeing for its colorful markets and its natural-wonder lakes and national parks.

GORILLA SAFARI
Volcans National Park in western Rwanda boasts one of the world’s most important silverback gorilla reserves. Numerous agents in Kigali organize gorilla safaris starting from 500 U.S. dollars per person.

GETTING THERE
Turkish Airlines has Istanbul-Kigali-Istanbul flights four days a week. Departure times are 6:35 p.m. from Istanbul and 00:55 a.m. from Kigali. www.turkishairlines.com

Ticket Sales Offices : Kigali

TK Airport Sales Office
Address GRAND PENSION TOWER , 4 TH FLOOR , DOWNTOWN , KIGALI
Phone +250 786 730231
+250 280 444 849
+250 280 444 851
Fax
Telex
E-Mail kigali@thy.com
Work Hours

Weekdays 08:30 - 17:30

TK Airport Sales Office
Address
Phone +250 788384006
Fax
Telex
E-Mail
Work Hours

Weekdays 20:00 - 23:30

FRAMEG
Address Frameg Cargo Service (R) Ltd P.O. BOX 1122 KIGALI AIRPORT
Phone +250 788 50 32 37
Fax
Telex
E-Mail kglcargo@thy.com
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Kigali Hotels
Kigali Info
Tuesday
GMT
  • Tue 26°C
  • Wed 27°C
  • Thu 27°C
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All for the Year Monthly Averages
Area : 730 km2
Population : 965 398
Monetary Unit : Emirati Dirham
Phone Code : +250
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