The city centre is busy, bustling and colourful, whereas the administrative and government quarter is quieter with wide shady streets and white-walled villas with gardens. Kigali is a remarkable safe town to wander around.
Our city tour includes the old town (Nyamirambo) and Muslim quarter, the new handicraft village and other shops, the Batwa pottery and dance centre and the Gisozi Genocide Memorial. The memorial is intensely moving – the tour takes a good two hours. It is probably best to do this at the end of your visit, rather than first thing on arrival.
There is a choice of hotels in Kigali. The only five-star is the newly built Hotel Serena Kigali. Before that the prime international hotel was the Novotel Kigali Umubano. Then there is the Hotel des Mille Collines, now famous since its role as a sanctuary for many hundreds of people during the 1994 genocide has been retold in the film, Hotel Rwanda. It is largely unchanged and has a super rooftop restaurant.
Two inexpensive hotels we recommend are Chez Lando, on the airport road, which we often use for tour groups, and Hotel Gorillas, also relatively new and close to the city centre.
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