Kigali is the capital of Rwanda.
Ethiopian Airlines  has daily flights between Addis Ababa and Kigali.
Rwandair Express  has several flights a day to other African destinations - these are normally booked at the airports.
South African Airways  has flights to Kigali from Johannesburg and offers flights to airports close to Kigali.
>> Depending an how long they bother you at the border, the bus trip takes about 9 hours. Try to get a seat on a Jaguar bus. The seats should be booked a day or two in advance in order to get seats #1 to #4. Actual (09/2007) prices: Kampala - Kigali: UGX 25,000.00 p.p. Kigali - Kampala: UGX 20,000.00 p.p. (strange but true)
Buses arrive and depart to many parts of Rwanda regularly.
- There are a couple of daily buses that go direct between Kigali and Kampala in Uganda. The bus is cramped and uncomfortable but the only cheapest choice to get in.
- Yahoo Car operates a daily bus to Bujumbura in Burundi, however the road in northern Burundi is considered very dangerous.
- Motorcyle taxis are the most popular and fastest way to get around town. The fare for the motorcycle is on the range from 100 RFr-300 RFr depend on distance, but most of the motocyclist will ask for RFr 200.
- Matatus (minibuses) ply major routes throughout the city and are the cheapest way to get around. Minibus in rwanda is one of the best transport in east Africa. Most of the buses are still new and maintined well. There are several minibus companies which connect Kigali and the other cities in Rwanda. All of them give the same price depend on the distance. For the short distance for example to Ntarama, it cost only 600 RFr. Long distance to Ruhungeri cost 2500 RFr and to Gisenyi 3000 RFr.
- There are several car rental agencies in Kigali.
- There are many taxis in Kigali. If you don't want to negotiate a price or feel that you are getting an unfair price, Kigali Taxi Service  may interest you. They have nice, new, clean metered cars and the price is often less than the other taxi services. The airport fare, for example, is less with them than what a local can negotiate with another cab.
- The Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre  opened in April 2004 on the 10th anniversary of the genocides. Over 250,000 people are buried here, and there is a truly touching museum.
Take a trip to a craft centre, like the Dancing Pots Craft Centre or the Cards for Africa workshop and sales room in Kigali.
Learn a bit of French, maybe even a bit of Swahili and Kinyarwanda, all three are extremely useful here. English is also widely spoken, at least in Kigali.
Be aware that ATMs are not particularly prevalent in Kigali, and those that are there don't necessarily work with European bankcards. There are bank in Kigali with counter service for withdrawals, however. Bancor on the top floor of the Union Trade Centre offer a good service for card withdrawals.
Your best bet would be with an aid organization or NGO. If you are a resident of the US or EU, keep in mind that you can avoid paying for an expensive residency permit simply by declaring yourself a tourist upon arrival and then traveling outside of Rwanda once every 90 days for the length of your day. Your 90-day tourist visa (automatically granted upon entry) will be renewed each time you leave and reenter the country (and it's a convenient excuse to go on vacation!).
Local markets are stocked with Rwandan handicrafts, clothing, faboulous colouful fabric from West Africa and just about anything else.
Locally grown tea and coffee are widely avaliable.
Passion Friut Juice
Note that Kigali restaurants and bars go in and out of fashion, not to mention close down, quite frequently. Check for the latest once you are in town and be aware that some places mentioned in some print Guidebooks no longer exsist. (The oft-mentioned Turtle Cafe has been closed since 2003!)
- Babas Cafe at the Kigali Business Centre slightly out of town. Has great wholesome food. Eat as much as you like for 3 US$.
- Le Glacon A great ice cream store.
- La Sierra Serves nearly everything imaginable
- Republika Great restaurant, great environment. In Kiyovu, close to downtown.
- The New Cactus - Very good pizzas, popular among expats. Nevertheless the served pizzas can't be compared to Italian ones. Try to get a table in the sheltered part of the open air restaurant, it can be quite windy.
- Sol e Luna, near Kisementi crossroads and Chez Lando. Less popular than the New Cactus, but cheaper and generally thought as having better pizza's.
- Papyrus, on the cobbled road near the New Cadillac night club. This popular restaurant/catering school serves tasty italian dishes every night of the week.
- Bourbon Cafe, Union Trade Center shopping plaza in the centreville and at the MTN Centre in Remera. A gorgeous new coffee shop, recently opened (2007). There is a good selection of coffees and a small menu.
- Indian Khazana serves fantastic Indian food and is one of the most popular restaurants in town with expats and visitors.
- L'Atelier is tucked away in the residential district of Kimihurura, within walking distance of Papyrus. You may need help to find it but you'll be rewarded with serves delicious french cuisine in an intimate setting.
- Thai restaurant at New Cadillac night club was well liked when it first opened. However it is getting mixed reviews after the departure of its Thai chef. This is quite common in Kigali.
- Kigali Serena's Diplomat Restaurant has good food, with special themes during the week such as the Wednesday Mongolian BBQ and Sunday's Buffet.
- Chez Robert is about 5 minutes walk from Mille Collines and serves local food in a nice setting. Their dinner buffet is quite good and costs about €7 for more than 20 items. There may be better local food in a hole-in-the wall restaurant for cheaper, but this is wonderful restaurant.
- Shanghai, near Milles Collines, is a relatively unknown Chinese restaurant. Not very cozy, but the food is really good.
- Heaven, three blocks downhill from the Mille Collines, is a new restaurant serving American and Continental cuisine. A bit pricy, with most entrees costing FRW400 or above, but the well-prepared food (and fantastic dessert menu) are worth every franc.
Bottled water is recommended for foreign visitors.
- For alcohol try the New Cadillac night club and the Republica. Both are superb. Watch out for pickpockets outside the New Cadillac.
- Don't miss Planet Club at the KBC roundabout in Kimihurura, it has 2 sides, a Lounge bar with Housemusic and a Club with African and modern Hip-Hop music.
- Kigali Hotel in the Muslim quarter behind the mosque. This is about as budget as you will get, but still not cheap. Good rooms, breakfast available.
- Isimbi Hotel right in the centre of Kigali with very resonably priced rooms, a good bar and restaurant.
- Gloria Hotel (which currently only has cold water showers).
- Hotel des Mille Collines, + 250 576 530 email@example.com, . While the movie was filmed in South Africa, this was the site where the actual events took place for the movie Hotel Rwanda. It has a restaurant, pool, internet, gift shop, etc. At €151 per night with the "internet rate" for a standard suite, the rooms are quite expensive and are not as luxurious as the hotel lobby and public areas. There is no air-conditioning in many rooms which are badly maintained missing such things as lights and refrigerators and having broken bathroom fittings. There is a room safe, but no hair dryer. You have to pay for wireless internet connection which is quite expensive, but reasonably fast and the hotel is close to several internet cafes. Banks are also near the hotel. Ask the hotel staff about the path through the back of the compound and you walk right into a commercial centre and mall. Booking on their website will get you a much better rate than booking at the hotel or through an agent most of the time. The pool-side restaurant has a small selection of snack meals reasonably priced but service is slow. The upper level one has a wonderful breakfast buffet and good, but expensive, meals for lunch and dinner. You can walk to a few good restaurants: Chez Robert serves high-quality typical local cuisine in a nice setting and has a pretty good dinner buffet. You can also walk to Indian Khazana in about 10 minutes, which serves incredible Indian fare.
- Okapi Hotel Some rooms available for US$25 per night, good location and friendly staff. Some rooms have an excellent view over the outskirts of Kigali. Just forget the USD 25.00 rooms (BTW, actually USD 30.00) , they are 'downstairs' and aren't worth USD 10.00.
- Chez Lando
- Hotel Faucon
- Hotel Serena
- Novotel Umumbano is a four-star hotel about US$150 per night for a standard room.
Kigali is relatively safe and friendly as far as African capitals go. Keep your eyes open and your wallet out of the reach of pickpockets, especially in crowded areas. Avoid walking after dark if possible, especially alone. Take extra precaution in the area between New Cadilac Nightclub and Carwash bar.
Police officers are generally helpful if you're in a bind, but don't expect speedy results.
- Parc National des Volcans, home of the mountain gorillas, and the setting for Gorillas in the Mist author Dian Fossey's research. If you can afford it it's an excellent experience... even possible as a daytrip from Kigali. Enquire at the Rwandan Office for Tourism and National Parks (ORTPN), Boulevard de la Révolution n° 1, Kigali, +(250) 576514 or 573396, firstname.lastname@example.org. $500 USD cash, or it is possible to use your Mastercard.
This page was last edited at 22:41, on 12 November 2008 by Peter Fitzgerald. Based on work by Jhon Erickson Ginting, Elliot Barnes and David, Wikitravel user(s) Lageographe, Morph and Pamoja, Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel and others.