Twenty-five years after the horrific genocide in Rwanda, the country’s capital, Kigali, has emerged as a vibrant, optimistic beacon of hope and prosperity. With friendly locals, a lively art scene and incredible atmosphere, Kigali delivers an unforgettable experience.

Spend a couple of days in Kigali before heading off to the jungles and trekking safaris of Rwanda and you’ll be rewarded with warm hospitality, extraordinary museums, shopping, a buzzing nightlife and amazing restaurants and hotels in one of the most beautiful cities in Africa.

Rwanda, known as the ‘land of a thousand hills’, will forever be remembered for the ethnic genocide which led to the murder of over 800 000 Tutsi, Twa and moderate Hutu between April and July 1994. Learn more about Rwanda’s past at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, opened in 2004 as both a museum documenting the events of the genocide and as a memorial to the more than 250 000 victims buried there. Pay your respects in the peaceful memorial garden before setting off to explore Kigali – and marvel in the hope, energy and charm of a city which has come so far.

Highlights In Kigali

  • Pay a visit to the Inema Arts Centre. Considered one of East African’s major art galleries, the centre houses an eclectic collection of pieces from artists across the African Continent. You can purchase locally made items, enjoy drumming and dancing displays and revel in Kigali’s emerging art scene
  • Climb Mount Kigali – its relatively easy and gentle incline leads to beautiful views of the city below
  • Take a day trip to Lake Kivu. Just 3 hours from Kigali, near the border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lake Kivu is one of the African Great Lakes and offers wonderful excursions including boat trips and canoe adventures
  • Hike Mount Bisoke (also known as Mount Visoke), a dormant volcano in Rwanda’s Virunga Mountains. At 3,711 metres it is a steep and challenging hike, but the deep crater lake at the summit makes it worth the effort!