The largest city in Rwanda, Kigali is situated in the centre of the country, and serves as its economic, cultural and transport hub, having been named the nation’s capital in 1962.
Kigali is located in a hilly area, and encompasses four ridges with valleys in between. As the city rapidly grows, its limits are spreading further up the slopes of the hills that encircle it. While Kigali suffered during the genocide of 1994 and its aftermath, it has since made a remarkable recovery – evident in its growth, cleanliness and receptiveness to tourists – and is now an attractive city to visit, and while poverty is still widespread, the local people are warm and friendly and it’s considered one of Africa’s safest capitals.
Most safari holidays in Rwanda begin and/or end in Kigali, and while there isn’t a wide range of accommodation, it is worth spending a night or two here to explore this vibrant city. Its numerous attractions include the busy markets where you can purchase colourful craft and the genocide memorial – well worth visiting to gain a better understanding of the country’s complex past.