Rwanda's capital and largest city, Kigali covers several lush hills and valleys approximately in the geographic centre of the country. This massive city is home to about 1.2 million people, making it one of Africa's major megacities.
Kigali is one of the few large urban centres in the country serving as the main cultural, political, economic and transport hub since Rwanda became an independent nation in 1962.
Kigali is best known for the atrocities perpetrated here during the 1994 genocide. The city has however played a central role in efforts aimed at rebuilding the nation since the horrific genocide. The city has undergone marked transformation and modernization, due to government and outside funding.
Today Kigali is famous for being one of the safest, cleanest and most pleasant-looking cities on the continent. The city now features skyscrapers, upmarket hotels and first-class eateries, giving it a cosmopolitan atmosphere.
The city hosts several museums and monuments, many specifically dedicated to recording the horrors of the Rwandan Genocide. The Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, commemorating the 1994 genocide, has been established at the site of mass graves of over 250 000 people killed during the massacre. Other attractions include the Kandt House Museum of Natural History, the Presidential Palace Museum and the official residence of the president, an entire village called Urugwiro.
Traditional crafts are sold at the Caplaki Crafts Village, including wood carvings, handmade curios and woven baskets. For fine arts, the Inema Arts Center houses a contemporary collection of African sculptures, paintings and installations. Kigali boasts a vibrant nightlife and variety of excellent restaurants and cafes to keep visitors entertained. Shopping malls also offer retail therapy in the fast-growing and rapidly developing city.
The hilly city is well-vegetated and its bustling streets are easy to navigate on foot. Visitors exploring Kigali are often impressed by the cleanliness Rwanda's modern capital and the friendliness of its people.
Due to the relatively high altitude of Kigali the climate is more moderate than is typical of the equatorial region. The average elevation of the four ridges that the city covers, is about 1600 metres above sea level, with the highest mountain surrounding the city reaching 1850 metres. The valleys in between the ridges of the city dip down to about 1300 metres.
The climate is classified as tropical savannah with a marked dry season, but the high elevation ensures predominantly pleasant and warm conditions.
Use the Google map to explore Kigali. Feel free to Print the Street Map when you're ready.