Explore Kigali in a day

Explore Kigali in a day, layover, or stopover in the beautiful City of Kigali but still wondering if it’s worth sparing your time for? Or not sure whether it is possible to visit Rwanda’s Capital in a day? You are at the right place.

Whether you have a short stopover in Kigali City, a few hours layover at Kigali International Airport, or for some reason have an extra day to spend in Africa’s most organized and cleanest City, let it be known that you can explore Kigali City in a day that you ever imagined. Simply read on!!!

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First, one of the most important tips for you to explore Kigali in a day is to hire a local tour guide who could identify all the good places to visit (according to personal interest) and knows all the amazing eateries (for refueling/body replenishing during or after the Kigali day tour) and most interestingly fluent in the local language (Kinyarwanda). For this reason, we bring you some of the unmissable places that you can visit & explore in Kigali City in a day.

Kigali Genocide Memorial Center

If there’s one place you shouldn’t miss while visiting & exploring Kigali in a day, then it is the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center. It was launched in 2004 within Gisozi as the final resting place for over 250,000 victims of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. This is a place for the strong-hearted because there are high chances of being engulfed with grief and shedding tears while being taken through the painful stories of this 100-day massacre as told by the local guide and even listening to stories of survivors. The site is open Monday to Friday between 8 am and 5 pm. It is only 10 minutes’ drive from Kigali City Center and the fastest way to get there is by cab or even a motorcycle taxi.

Hotel Rwanda (Hotel des Mille Collines)

Still, on the 1994 Rwanda Genocide, you can’t miss out on visiting the Hotel des Mille Collines, famously known as “Hotel Rwanda” after the popular 2004 drama film produced/directed by Terry George that brings out the history and how this Hotel acted as a refuge for Genocide victims. It is said that Hotel Management at the time risked their lives in hiding genocide victims with a record of over 1300 people who were saved at the site.

The Museum of Natural History

Formerly referred to as the Kandt House, the Museum of Natural History is one of the outstanding landmarks of Kigali City. Due to its location in the Capital (between Mount Jali and Mount Kigali), it is easy for travelers to combine with other places while on City excursions. It is situated on KN 90 st and opens daily from 8 am to 6 pm, except for Public Holidays.

Sopping at Kimironko market

You can’t spend a day in Kigali City and not visit a local market therefore your stop during your one-day Kigali City tour is Kimironko market, the biggest farmer’s market in the Capital. However, you are not here for the food but rather for souvenirs and other exciting things that will keep memories of the land of a thousand hills.

Grab some African fabrics, footwear, and other souvenirs at the Kimironko market. Your guide will take you through the different stalls as you exercise your haggling skills. There is no entry fee for this market and opens daily from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm, with Saturday being the busiest time.

Other must-visit places for Kigali day tours include the Presidential Museum (where President Habyarimana’s place crushed and sparked the Rwandan Genocide), Mount Kigali, the Kigali Convention Center, and the numerous Craft centers, Lake Nyarutarama, to mention but a few.

A practical guide on how to explore Kigali in a day.                                                              

One useful piece of advice for visiting & exploring Kigali in a day is to book a local guide who will save you the stress of looking for places as well as guesswork that might provide wrong information about the different places in Kigali City.

Opt for a private transfer (avoid public transport) because you wouldn’t want to be rushed while exploring different places in Kigali City. Be mindful of entry fees to different places because some are free entry while others charge. Also, respect the cultures and traditions of local communities.

Spend more time discovering other places in Rwanda, including Volcanoes National Park popular land for gorilla trekking safaris, and golden monkey treks. Nyungwe Forest National Park, which lies in southwest Rwanda, It’s a vast area of mountain rainforest, home to many species of chimpanzees, and Colobus monkeys. Nyungwe forest is popular for chimpanzee safaris and the Canopy Walkway.

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