Kigali, Capital of Rwanda
Kigali is a very pleasant, safe city which ranges over several hills. Founded in 1907, Kigali did not become the capital until Rwanda’s independence in 1962 when it replaced the colonial seat of power, Butare. If your flight connections is such that you need to overnight here, you won’t be disappointed.
It is a noticeably clean city and pretty efficient.
We recommend a visit to the thought-provoking and shocking Kigali Genocide Museum – preferably at the start of your visit to Rwanda so that you have some context for this country’s remarkable transformation. You may also like to visit one of the markets for authentic Rwandan crafts including its distinctive cloth.
Other tours may include a coffee master class, or a tour focusing on some of the arts and culture of the city.
There are a range of options to suit all. From 5 star hotels such as the Kigali Serena Hotel or the Mariott to boutique luxury hotels such as The Retreat. Or more modest options such as the Park Inn Radisson.
Butare was the original capital of Rwanda and still its cultural centre. Visit the National Museum of Rwanda with excellent displays on the country’s geology, geography, ancient and modern history, flora and fauna as well as one of the best ethnographic collections in East Africa. It is also home to the Royal Mwami’s Palace (King’s palace) which was the seat of the feudal monarchy. The palace has been reconstructed to its 19th century state and shows a traditional dome that can be compared with the Kabaka’s palace of Buganda.
Very much part of the attraction of Rwanda is the scenic driving through the countryside. Tea, coffee and banana plantations are commonplace as are rice paddies. The steep, hilly country prevalent throughout the central and western parts of Rwanda is invariably covered in terraced fields supporting sweet potatoes and cassava.
Check out our blog about Peter’s visit to some of the rural areas of Rwanda