Situated in the heart of Rwanda at the literal center of the country, Kigali stands as one of the most attractive capital cities in Africa. Marked by its cleanliness and safety, Kigali is a bustling metropolis serving as the economic, social, and political heart of the nation. Its streets span several ridges and valleys and are flanked by lush hillsides, flowering trees, and winding boulevards, creating an idyllic starting point for any traveler in Rwanda.
Though Kigali bore the brunt of Rwanda’s pain in the 1990s, the city remains a testament to the positive trajectory that has come to define the country in the decades since. That’s not to say Rwanda has forgotten its tragic past. The Genocide Memorial Center in Kigali, in particular, serves as a powerful memorial to the hundreds of thousands of people who lost their lives in the 100-day Rwandan genocide of 1994. Constructed on the site where over 250,000 people are buried, the center serves as an educational facility for young children who may not remember the genocide but are profoundly affected by it. Today, Rwandans celebrate two national holidays to commemorate the beginning and end of the tragedy, including an official week of mourning beginning on Genocide Memorial Day on April 7 and concluding with the celebratory Liberation Day on July 4.
Kigali has concentrated an extraordinary amount of rehabilitation projects to restore the city to its former graces, creating a visible rebirth in cosmopolitanism and tourism. From the Butare National Museum and the Gigonji Genocide Memorial, to the plenteous eateries and loving people, it is evident that Kigali is embracing the bright future within its reach.
Kigali serves as the perfect bookend for any luxury Rwanda safari. Expeditions into Akagera National Park and Nyungwe Forest National Park are within easy reach, and it provides a restful location after exciting adventures gorilla trekking in the nearby Volcanoes National Park. Contact Ker & Downey to start planning your next Rwanda safari.