Kigali is the capital city and largest city of Rwanda. It is near the nation’s geographic centre. The city has been Rwanda’s economic, cultural, and transport hub since it became capital at independence in 1962.
The city hosts the main residence and offices of the President of Rwanda and government ministries. The city is within the province of Kigali City, which was enlarged in January 2006, as part of local government reorganization in the country.
Kigali’s city limits cover the whole province; it is consolidated. The city’s urban area covers about 70% of the municipal boundaries.
Kigali is a province level city governed by a city council who appoints an executive committee to run the day to day operations of the city. The executive committee consists of a mayor and two deputies.
The city is split into three administrative districts: Gasabo, Kicukiro, and Nyarugenge. It contained parts of the former province of Kigali Rural
Economically, Kigali mines for tin ore (cassiterite) have operated nearby, and the city built a smelting plant in the 1980s.
Business in Rwanda has been growing in the 21st century, and many new buildings have arisen across the city, including the BCDI Tower, Centenary House, Kigali City Tower and Kigali Convention Centre. Tourism provides important input into the economy.
Top Things to Do
Transportation in Kigali
The city has Kigali international Airport, with passenger flights to Amsterdam, Brussels, Nairobi, Entebbe, Johannesburg, and Istanbul.
The airport is somewhat limited by its location on the top of a hill, and a brand new one is currently being built in the Nyamata area, some 40 km (25 mi) from Kigali.
There are several daily coach services which depart from Kigali to destinations in East Africa. Most leave from the Nyabugogo bus station. These services include:
Modern Coast, a Kenyan coach and courier service which connects Gisenyi/Goma through Cyanika and Kigali through Gatuna to Kampala and Nairobi. It offers online booking and payment, three seat classes and in some busses personal TVs and 240 V/USB sockets.
Jaguar Executive Coaches, which connects Kigali to Kampala, the Ugandan capital, via Gatuna or via Kayonza and Kagitumba.
Akamba Bus Services, which runs services to Kampala (8 hours), Nairobi in Kenya (24 hours), Dar es Salaam in Tanzania (36 hours) and Mombasa in Kenya (32 hrs)
Yahoo Car Express – A minibus service running between Kigali and Bujumbura in Burundi. Kampala Coach Ltd, which runs services to Kampala (8 hours), Nairobi in Kenya (24 hours), Dar es Salaam in Tanzania (36 hours) and Mombasa in Kenya (32 hours).
Kigali is the hub of the Rwanda transport network, with 15 minutes express bus routes to all major towns in the country.
There are also taxi minibus services (matatus) leaving from Kigali, which also go through to the major towns, but some of them stop frequently along the route to pick people up or drop them off.
Public transport within Kigali is shifting from using small matatus to bigger city buses, which are connecting the most important sectors. These buses use a cash-free payment system called Tap&Go.
In 2017, matatus were still used to connect the more remote areas of the city. In contrast to the national express buses, these services wait to fill up before setting off from the terminus, then pick up and drop off frequently en route.
Kigali has many taxis (known as ‘special hire’ or ‘taxi voiture’), which are generally painted white with an orange stripe down the side.
Even more popular are motorbike taxis (‘taxi moto’), which offer a service similar to a taxi, but for lower prices, typically in the range 300-1000 FRW.
Restuarants & Eat Outs
While in Kigali and you do not feel fine to eat at your hotel of residence, there are several good restaurants in Kigali serving local and continental meals to travelers. The city has embraced its status as super star economic, innovative, and creative hub in the region, and with it has come exciting new flavors and options in the culinary industry. These restaurants are found all over the Kigali city and in some of the major cities that travelers and tourists visit on their holiday in Rwanda.
If you are in Rwanda and you want to experience the nightlife experience here we show you the best and good bars and clubs that you can visit with friends in Kigali. Kigali during at night it is very safe and you walk to any bar or club that you want to party.
Top Day Tours From Kigali
Enjoy Rwanda tours after your business trip in Kigali. While on your business trip in Kigali you can either choose to go for wildlife, primates, birding or cultural tours in Rwanda visiting Akagera National Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park and Volcanoes National Park.
It is in Rwanda you can take short tours from Kigali and the most popular tour is visiting the mountain gorillas in the Volcanoes.
This gorilla trek starts from Kigali, early in the morning at 4.30 am and it is 2 – 3 hours drive down to the Musanze city and after this experience you can return back to Kigali.
Car Rental in Kigali.
Are you planning for your visit to Rwanda on your own or for business? Rwanda is so much easier to travel, the Airport is well located with in the city of Kigali and from Kigali Airport you can get a tax from Airport or you can book a private car from some of the reliable car rental companies in Rwanda.
Most of the companies offering good car rental services include the 4×4 Car Hire Rwanda that offers all categories of cars that can take you around and outside of Rwanda visiting nearby tourist attractions in countries like Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.
The vehicles rented out are so much affordable from as low as $ 55 – 90 USD per day for long rentals without fuel and driver. These vehicles are 4×4 Wheel Drive suitable to hint rough roads in most of East African National Parks.
The administrative head office of the University of Rwanda (UR) is in Kigali. The UR College of Science and Technology campus is in the Southern part of Kigali, at Avenue de l’Armee.
(The main academic campus of University of Rwanda is in Butare, the former National University of Rwanda.) Carnegie Mellon University’s The College of Engineering has an international campus located in Kigali known as Carnegie Mellon University Africa. The University of Kigali is a private higher institution in Rwanda which started its operations in October, 2013.
Other renowned universities also have their headquarters or campuses in Kigali including: Kigali Independent University and Mount Kenya University.
Primary and Secondary Schools
Lycée de Kigali is the second-largest secondary school in Rwanda, after the Groupe Scolaire in Butare. Green Hills Academy, in the upscale suburb of Nyarutarama, is a top private school, offering IB at A level, and the Cambridge International Program at O level.
It is a PASCH partner school offering German. It has a 50/50 English-French curriculum as well. École Antoine de Saint-Exupery de Kigali, the French school, is in Kigali. École Belge de Kigali, the Belgian school, is in Kigali.
International School of Kigali is also in Kigali. The Earth School -the International Montessori School of Rwanda- is a private preschool and elementary program serving children ages 2–12.
The city is a stronghold for basket ball as traditionally, roughly half of the teams of Rwanda’s National Basketball League are based there, including 2016 Champion Patriots BBC, record holding Champion Espoir BBC and others, including APR basketball club, IPRC-Kigali and Cercle Sportif de Kigali (CSK).