Must see attractions in Kigali

  • Top ChoiceSights in Kigali

    Kigali Genocide Memorial

    In the span of 100 days, an estimated one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus were systematically butchered by the Interahamwe army. This memorial honours the estimated 250,000 people buried here in mass graves and also has an excellent exhibition that tries to explain how it was that the world watched as the 1994 genocide unfolded. This is an intensely powerful and moving memorial for which you should dedicate at least half a day.

  • Sights in Kigali

    Inema Arts Center

    Opened in 2012, the privately run Inema Arts Center is a collective of 10 resident artists and guests. It's quickly established itself as the foremost modern art gallery in Kigali. As well as paintings, sculptures and contemporary takes on traditional crafts, there are dance and music performances several days a week and courses. Much of the art is for sale (and can be shipped internationally), but if you're not buying, you're welcome just to admire. There's a small on-site cafe.

  • Sights in Kigali

    Museum of Natural History

    Kigali's best museum has exhibits on Rwanda’s natural wonders and is housed in the 1907 residence of explorer Richard Kandt, reputed to be the first building in Kigali. The view from the garden is sensational and, looking over the urban sprawl, it’s hard to imagine that it all started with this rather modest home. Few moto-taxi drivers have heard of the museum. Ask for Richard Kandt's house instead.

  • Sights in Kigali

    Nyanza Genocide Memorial

    Located in Kicukiro, a suburb southeast of the city centre towards the airport, there is little to see at this memorial other than the tiled tops of four mass graves believed to contain the remains of the 4000 Tutsis who took refuge in the Ecole Technique Officielle (ETO) grounds, and numerous unmarked wooden crosses.

  • Sights in Kigali

    Hotel des Mille Collines

    The inspiration for the film Hotel Rwanda, this still-functioning luxury hotel was owned by the Belgian airline Sabena in 1994. At the time of the genocide, the hotel’s European managers were evacuated and control was given to local employee Paul Rusesabagina, who used his position to hide fleeing Tutsis and moderate Hutus, thus saving hundreds of lives.

  • Sights in Kigali

    Camp Kigali Memorial

    The 10 stone columns you find here mark the spot where 10 Belgian UN peacekeepers were murdered on the first day of the genocide. Originally deployed to protect the home of moderate Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana, the soldiers were captured, disarmed and brought here by the Presidential Guard before being killed. Each stone column represents one of the soldiers and the horizontal cuts in it represent the soldier’s age.

  • Sights in Kigali

    Presidential Palace Museum

    This former presidential palace on the eastern outskirts of the city has few exhibits, but it’s interesting to explore, with ‘secret’ rooms and an odd presidential nightclub. Wreckage from Juvenal Habyarimana’s presidential plane can still be seen where it was shot down – just over his garden wall. The perpetrators were never caught, but this act proved to be a rallying call for Hutu extremists and helped trigger the genocide.