Founded in 1907 while Rwanda was under German colonial rule, Kigali has been the capital of Rwanda since 1962 when the country gained its independence. An attractive city with few large buildings, the city spreads over a number of hills and has a reputation for being clean, safe and friendly.
The city centre is both vibrant and colourful with the main shopping and commercial area set around the five-star Hotel des Mille Collines. Local markets, the Muslim quarter and the genocide memorial in Gisozi are some of the main places of interest.
Kigali's international airport is accessible via Johannesburg, Nairobi, Entebbe and Dar es Salaam, and is the entry and exit point for visitors on their way to the Volcanoes National Park for a gorilla trek. As the park is only 80km from the capital, many travellers transfer to the park or the nearby town of Ruhengeri straight after arriving for a Kigali safari - although there are several perfectly comfortable hotels near the airport.
Browse our recommended tours or contact one of our Africa Safari Experts to tailor-make a gorilla trekking safari starting in Kigali - a great introduction to this little known country.
At a Glance
One of East Africa's safest and cleanest capitals, Kigali is the gateway to the legendary Volcanoes National Park and Rwanda's gorilla trekking experience.