Rwanda’s attractive capital, Kigali, straddles several hills with a bustling, colourful city centre that has a reputation for being clean and relatively safe. Peaceful, tree-lined residential streets stretch up and down the city’s heart while the government and administrative area, in the Kacyiru quarter, is quiet and has wide streets with white-walled garden villas and more modern architecture.
The city’s atmosphere reflects the rest of the country’s attitude, dynamic and focused on the future rather than the shocking events of 1994; however, the past is not forgotten. Not to be missed for any visitor to Kigali is the intensely moving Gisozi Genocide Museum built on a site where more than 250,000 people are buried. The museum’s exhibits, powerfully tell the story of Rwanda, its history and the unfolding genocide featuring testimonials of some of the survivors present during this turbulent time. The museum is, however, best visited at the end of your tour to this vibrant country, which today has been transformed by a collective spirit of reconciliation, reconstruction and optimism.
From Kigali’s central location, most places of interest are accessible by road in two to six hours’ driving time.