If you plan on visiting Rwanda, then you definitely want to do a Kigali city tour at some point of your trip. The two best ways to do this is to either join a tour through your accommodation (hostels tend to offer a better deal on this than hotels) or by renting a car and hiring a driver.
When I went to Rwanda, my sister, girlfriend, and myself rented a car and hired a driver. This cost us $80 USD per day which we split three ways. I felt that it’s a pretty good deal and this was the method we used to explore Kigali.
Is Kigali worth seeing? Yes, it most definitely is. But you can probably see most of the things in Kigali in one day so I wouldn’t recommend spending all your time in Rwanda in the capital city.
There are tons of things to do in Rwanda so after doing the Kigali city tour, I recommend visiting those other places! (Akagera National Park safari, Nyungwe Forest National Park, Volcanoes National Park, various tea plantations, gorilla trekking)
Kigali city tour to do and see
Kigali genocide museum
I went into detail what the Kigali genocide memorial is like in a previous article. If you’re in Kigali, you definitely don’t want to miss visiting this place and give your respects to the victims.
Kigali Campaign Against Genocide Museum (Parliament Museum)
This museum is really interesting. It has a lot of overlap to the Kigali Genocide Museum where you learn a lot about the events leading to the Rwanda genocide. But, you can also explore the building and see the bullet holes during the chaotic period of the genocide. Definitely a must see if you’re in Kigali.
According to the locals I spoke to, the Gadaffi Mosque is a gift from Gadaffi to Rwanda. It’s a pretty neat mosque with some areas indoors requiring you to take your shoes off. The care takers of the mosque are pretty friendly as me, my girlfriend, and my sister explored the place.
Is it a must see? Sure, if you’re already in Kigali, why not.
Inema Arts Center
Regardless if you’re crazy about art or not, the Inema Arts Center is still a good place to check out for a quick visit. I went here with Karen and my sister and we did enjoy it. We looked at various art work and paintings and had a nice discussion about each of them. Like I said, the visit here will be quick. We probably spent no more than 30 minutes when we went here.
Before you leave Rwanda, you definitely want to check out the Kimironko market and buy some souvenirs! I went here with Karen and my sister and had a good time. Usually, I hate going into markets. But I quite like this one.
My favourite part of exploring this market is interacting with the locals. They’ll try to sell you something but if you don’t buy anything, most of them aren’t upset. As a matter of fact, they took the time to chat with me and just joke around. It’s the perfect place to interact with the locals!
Keep in mind that some locals are okay with you taking pictures and some are not. So it’s best to ask first before you go snapping pictures of the locals in the market. A quick bargaining tip, the asking price is never the final price. Always offer 50% of the asking price and go from there. Usually, they’re okay with giving additional discounts if you buy more items from their store. My sister is quite the shark at bargaining and she had a blast bargaining hard to buy items.
After doing a city tour of Kigali, you want to check out Afrika Bite to grab a bite to eat! The food here are very delicious and also very cheap! Your meals will cost about 4,000 RWF which is about $5-6 CAD or $4-5 USD.
Kigali city tour conclusion
Doing a Kigali city tour won’t take you more than half a day. In my opinion, the best time to do this city tour is right when you arrive in Rwanda when you’re still recovering from your flight but you want to look around for part of the day. The other best time to do the Kigali city tour is right before you leave Rwanda and you just want to top off your experience by checking out the local sights and buying souvenirs.
Kigali is one of the safest African cities I have ever visited and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to explore Africa but may feel apprehensive to do so.