City Tours in Kigali / Kigali City Tour

History of the city of Kigali

Kigali City was established in 1907 just as a tiny colonial out-post town by Dr. Richard Kandt, who was the very first resident German colonialist in Rwanda. He lived at the foothills of  Mounts Jali and  Kigali in the middle of the city and today this was turned into a Natural History Museum honoring his great work; it is a very common stop for the Kigali city tour activities.

Kigali is the capital city of Rwanda and the main administrative and economic center of Rwanda and hosts a number of bars, great coffee shops as well as local plus international restaurants offering Chinese, Greek, Italian, Thai, North African plus East African cuisines. Resto-bars are actually a favorite to the Kigali’s residents since the people enjoy the scrumptious meal and the great music plus drinks. Kigali’s vibrant nightlife is certainly the best entertainment for any visitor.

The Kigali City Tour provides an in-depth look at Kigali, it’s past as well represents, the recovering lively Kigali city. Kigali city is a great place to begin or end any Rwanda journey as it’s conveniently located in the geographic center of the country. The city is clean and safe, with extremely welcoming people. Travelers will enjoy exploring the great cultural activities – including several award-winning museums, burgeoning music scene, and some of East Africa’s most memorable dining experiences.

One of the first things most people notice is that, particularly for an African city, Kigali city is spotlessly clean, partly because plastic bags are banned in the country but also because of a universal service called Umuganda when everyone gets together on the last Saturday morning of each month working on community projects like keeping streets clean, tending to gardens and helping neighbors. Do bear this in mind should you be on holiday in Rwanda during this time – many shops and businesses will be closed only for the morning.

Unlike other cities, Kigali City in Rwanda is a very organized, peaceful, relaxed, orderly, and chaos free city despite the continuous business that take place in the city center. On your Kigali City Tour, you will realize that streetlights and controlled traffic are in all parts of Kigali, which is not a case in many African cities. Looking at Kigali as a tourism stop Centre, we bring you various attractions in Kigali city that will introduce you to the history, culture and the modernized city that has risen from the ashes of the 1994 horrifying genocide.

Things to do on your Kigali City Tour

Your full day Kigali city tour covers some of the most historically and culturally significant sites in the Rwandan capital. The exact order of your tour will depend upon your start time, but your tour will include the following activities:

  • Natural History Museum

Formerly known as the Kandt House, the Natural History Museum was built by German explorer, Richard Kandt. The building itself has special significance as the first modern house built in what is today Rwanda.

This historic home is home to an exhibition that aims to document the natural beauty of Rwanda from its geology all the way to its flora and fauna. There is also an attached snake exhibition in which visitors can see some of Rwanda’s slithering residents up close.

  • Genocide Memorial

No visit to Rwanda would be complete without paying a visit to the heart-wrenching Genocide Memorial. Part heartfelt tribute and part educational experience, this memorial recounts the tale of the infamous 1994 Rwandan Genocide, discusses the work being done to heal the country today, and offers a window into the people whose lives were irreversibly changed by the Genocide.

  • Campaign Against Genocide Museum

This museum gives visitors an overview of  the role of  the RPF in bringing an end to the horrific genocide of the Tutsi population in Rwanda. The museum is based on the Parliament House that accommodated 600 RPF soldier when the genocide started – making this a poignant place to learn more about their role in ending the brutalities.

  • Craft Market

The Kigali Craft Markets are an excellent way to familiarize yourself with traditional Rwandan arts and crafts, as well as being a great place to do some souvenir shopping.

  • Food Market

See how the locals buy and sell their food at one of the city’s bustling food markets.

With many Rwandan families not owning refrigerators, locals often shop twice a day for the food they’ll need.

You’ll walk through the markets to experience the sights and sounds.

  • Mille Collines Hotel (Hotel Rwanda)

If you’re feeling puckish, your Kigali city tour includes a stop at the historic ‘Hotel Rwanda’. Still a classy hotel to this day, the Mille Collines Hotel can be included on your tour for tea or coffee, a cold drink, or a delicious buffet lunch.

  • Watching Movies or visiting Night Clubs

Kigali is a lively city both during the day and at night. The night life of Kigali is about partying, dancing and having fun. If you are into movies, you can visit one of the cinema halls showing the latest local and international films in HD, 3D and 5D. If you want to interact with the local people, you can visit one of the higher end night clubs or attend a musical festival or studios in Kigali.

  • Food at a local restaurant

Kigali is home to many restaurants serving both local and international dishes. The main local cuisines to enjoy while in Kigali are Nyama Choma (roasted meat), Shawama, Ibirayi (goat mixed with potatoes), Rolex, Akabenz (cooked pork), Rwanda special (chips fired with eggs) and biriyani. Western delicacies can also be served in the various restaurants and include hamburgers, pizza, Gelato, Goulash, Paella, omelette and more. The best places to go enjoy nice food in Kigali are the Serena Hotel, hotel des Mille Collines, L’Epicurien, Repub Lounge, The Hut, Poivre Noir, Khana Khazana Kiyovu Brachetto and Now Rolex.

  • The Nyamirambo Women’s Centre

This is a pro-women NGO found on the outskirts of Kigali. It was opened by a group of local women in 2007 with a mission of ending gender-based violence. The NGO now runs different projects to help women enhance their local capacities for self-reliance and livelihood especially after losing their spouses. The women have learnt computing, English speaking, fashion design, hair dressing, pedicure, manicure and craft-making. The Nyamirambo Women’s Centre also arranges city tours. These tours include visiting the State House Museum, local shops and the National History Museum.

The pick-up in Kigali city is provided, including from and to the airport. The City sightseeing includes local markets, Akagera the river separating Kigali from the Eastern province and which will pass through Akagera National Park separating Rwanda and Tanzania. This river continues its way into Victoria lake in Uganda and further to form the Nile river.

The city tour passes via Rebero, with the view overlooking the central part of Kigali city and the Kigali Convention Centre in the horizon and goes on to KBC-one of the modern shopping and entertainment centres, Kigali car-free zone, mount kigali for views of the city and the countryside, Kigali Genocide Memorial and finally M. Hotel for debriefing , refreshing afternoon coffee or a local drink of choice.

You will drive while enjoying the beautiful view of the town, chatting and sharing muchabout the history of Kigali, how it was raised into famous being named the cleanest town in Africa. Meet locals and share with them daily life.

A full day Kigali city tour covers some of the most historically and culturally significant sites in the Rwandan capital. The exact order of your tour will depend upon your start time, but your tour will include the following activities:

The visit to the National History Museum, Kigali Genocide Memorial, Campaign against Genocide Museum, Craft Market, Food Market, Milles Collines Hotel.

 

Book for this Private Full-day Kigali City Tour with Pickup and Lunch or 1 Day Kigali Museums and Art Galleries tour today. Contact us using WhatsApp/Call +250781441853 or send us an email at info@universalventuresrwanda.com.

Places to stay in Rwanda

Accommodation in Rwanda generally falls into two types: hotels in the capital Kigali, and safari lodges and tented camps situated in Rwanda’s parks and reserves, the most popular of which is of course the Volcanoes National Park. Accommodation here provides the ideal base from which to go gorilla trekking – expect clean and comfortable lodges, good food, amazing forest views and plenty of adventure.

Our selection of top Rwanda accommodation includes luxury ranch-style lodges, affordable bush camps and stylish city hotels – ask one of our African Safari Experts for advice on choosing the right lodge or hotel for you.

Rwanda offers a range of accommodation that spans basic camps to safari lodges to luxury urban hotels, from all of which it is possible to experience the sights, sounds and distinct feel of the country, including, of course, its famous gorillas and other primates.

From a safari lodge overlooking Lake Ihema in Akagera National Park, to a distinctive, characterful tented camp nestled within riverine forests, to a full-blown 5 star luxury hotel looking out over a private sandy beach and the vistas of Volcanic National Park, the variety of accommodations on offer in Rwanda is good to excellent. Mountain Gorilla View Lodge might not have quite the standards of luxury and aesthetic appeal as others, but is well-known to be comfortable, clean and a good value-for-money option. Capital Kigali offers the opportunity for more urban accommodations.

Rwanda is rightly famous for the opportunities it affords to observe gorillas and primates in the wild. Additionally, a primate safari in Nyungwe Forest gives the opportunity to see colobus monkey, chimpanzee and other primates in their native rainforest habitat. On a gorilla trek in the Virunga Mountains, which are generally acknowledged to be the best place in the world for mountain gorilla, as well as the gorilla you will see many species of birds and spotted hyena, golden monkeys and forest hog. Meanwhile, a trip to visit the Rwandan Memorial Centre in Kigali, which commemorates the events of 1994, is a sombre but very worthwhile experience as well.

If you would like to find out more about any of our luxury Rwanda lodges and camps then please have a browse of the areas shown below, and do give one of our destination specialists a call.

Where to Stay in Kigali

1. Kigali Serena Hotel – Tier 1 Premier Experience

Discerning guests seeking the finest accommodations and services may opt for the Kigali Serena Hotel. Conveniently located in the central business hub of Kigali, it has sensational Rwandan art highlighting the plush lounge, where you can relax or hold a meeting.

Visit the in-house Maisha Health Spa for expert wellness advice, or stop by the Maisha Health Club to get in a workout. Offering a range of facilities and amenities, this hotel boasts 148 rooms, including some accessible ones for physically challenged travelers. Guests requiring a smoking room should advise the hotel prior to arrival. Dine in the hotel’s two restaurants, which serve a range of traditional Rwandan and international cuisine.

2. Kigali Marriott Hotel – Tier 1 Premier Experience

Sited in downtown Kigali with easy access to the town’s main commercial center is The Marriott Kigali from the international Marriott chain that spells complete luxury and exceptional service, facilities, and amenities for discerning travelers. They offer a selection of 254 air-conditioned rooms and suites that include floor to ceiling glass panels offering you breathtaking vistas of the city spread below you. Choose from 229 rooms and 25 suites such as the Deluxe Rooms, Club Floor Rooms, and Junior Suites for up to 3 guests. Larger families and groups of 4 members or more can opt for the Executive Suites and Presidential Suites.

3. Radisson Blu Kigali Hotel – Tier 1 Premier Experience

The Radisson Blu Kigali combines all the luxuries and amenities that you might expect from the global hospitality chain. Located 5 km away from Kigali International Airport, the hotel has a selection of 292 rooms and suites well suited for premier tourists and business travelers.

Choose from 209 Standard Rooms and 4 Accessible Rooms for special guests. The hotel also has 68 Business Rooms in addition to 5 Junior Suites, 5 Presidential Suites, and 1 exceptional Diplomat Suite. Each of the air-conditioned rooms and suites come with a private balcony that offers you stunning panoramic views of the green hills of Kigali.

4. Park Inn By Radisson Kigali – Tier 2 Deluxe Experience

Part of the Radisson international chain of hotels, the Park Inn in Kigali is a mid-range stayover for tourists and business travelers alike. Choose from a selection of 161 non-smoking rooms, including 123 standard rooms and 34 superior rooms. Guests looking for more spacious rooms may wish to opt for one of the 4 one-bedroom suites, which have separate living and dining areas, as well as a guest washroom. Other room amenities include an in-room bar, seating space with desk and chair, electronic safe, and a flat-screen TV. Ensuite bathrooms include twin or single vanities, a shower stall or bathtub, and bathrobes and slippers.

Visit the Rwanda Directorate general of Immigration and Emigration : https://www.migration.gov.rw/index.php?id=28 which takes you to a visa application form which picks your personal information.

Depending on your travel plans, choose the best visa choice available;
– Single entry visa – allows entry in Rwanda alone for 30 days – 50 USD
– Transit Visa for 3 days – only you in the country for only 3 days – 50USD
– East African Tourists Visa – Allows you to cross to all East African countries including Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda – 100 USD

The supporting document to attach is your tour Itinerary if traveling to visit rwanda, Invitation letter, other document with respect to your travel intentions or your flight details in PDF format. You MUST ATTACH documentation at this stage or the visa request will not be processed.

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