Cheap Flights to Kigali
Attractive and well-maintained, this is a city where wide boulevards lined with flowering trees sit alongside bustling shop-lined streets. It's also a city that has made enormous strides towards the future over the last two decades. Modern skyscrapers dominate the horizon, while at street level a cosmopolitan culture and food scene is developing fast. Surrounding it all are the lush green forests where gorillas live in safety. The city was founded under German colonial rule in 1907 and became the country's capital after independence in 1962. The 1990s saw the horrific scenes of the Rwandan Genocide, but now Kigali is the centre of Rwanda's commercial and political life as well as a city that embraces visitors with a warm and friendly welcome.
Things to do
Kigali is an ideal base for visits to the Volcanoes National Park, the stunning home to mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. While you're here, make the most of this unique destination and enjoy a modern African experience.
The Genocide Memorial is not an easy place to visit but anyone who comes to the city should be aware of its recent past. The records and collections try to give meaning to an unexplainable event and most can't visit this memorial without being moved to tears.
- When fact becomes fiction
The Hotel des Mille Collines was the inspiration for the film Hotel Rwanda. During the Genocide, Europeans were evacuated and a local employee Paul Rusesabagina became a hero as he provided sanctuary to hundreds of people. Soak up its colonial atmosphere by taking tea in the gardens.
The State House Museum provides an intriguing insight into the life of the former Rwandan president Habyarimana. You can see the grandeur in which he lived along with its "secret" rooms and the presidential nightclub.
Calendar of Events
Join in with the locals in Kigali as they celebrate the colourful and joyful festivals in their calendar. Song, dance and cultural events bring communities together, while other occasions celebrate religious feast days or the birth of precious baby gorillas.
Kigali Up. This July festival is gathering an international reputation with its two days of music performed by artists from around the globe. It's also seen as an occasion when local restaurants showcase their cuisine.
The Rwanda Film Festival. Known locally as "Hillywood", this event also takes place in July and is an opportunity to celebrate the burgeoning Rwandan film industry. Temporary cinemas are set up across the city ready to screen several films a day.
Kwita Izina or The Gorilla Naming Ceremony. Luckily for the species' future, the birth of a baby gorilla is now seen as a momentous occasion in Rwanda. Each year the new arrivals are given their official names at the Kwita Izina Festival. This takes place across the country as well as in the capital as new arrivals are presented to the local community. Fund-raising activities such as balls provide much-needed conservation support.