Feature: Nyamata & Ntarama Genocide Memorials

During the genocide, victims fled to churches seeking refuge, only to find that some of the clergy was providing information to the Interahamwe. As a result of this lack of compassion, some of the most horrific massacres took place inside the sanctums of churches throughout Rwanda.

In Ntarama church, about 25km south of Kigali, more than 5000 perished. The church has not been touched since the genocide ended and the bodies were removed. Today there are many bits of clothing scraps as well as skulls placed on shelves, and three mass graves next to the church.

Nyamata church, about 30km south of Kigali, is a deeply disturbing genocide memorial where some 50,000 people died. Today the skulls and bones along with clothing scraps of the many victims are on display. While the visual remains of the deceased are a visceral sight, their inclusion here is to provide firm evidence to would-be genocide deniers.

Both of these memorials can be visited on a day trip from Kigali. From Nyabugogo bus terminal, take a bus or a moto-taxi to Nyanza bus terminal in Kicukiro, from where you can take a City Express bus to Ntarama or Nyamata (both RFr400).