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Book a flight to Kigali with Qatar Airways and visit the capital city of the 'Land of Eternal Spring.' The commercial and political centre of Rwanda, Kigali is home to one million inhabitants, including many long-term expats. This is a city on the move, as there are plans to turn Kigali into a sprawling metropolis with plenty of attractions to bring in a new generation of tourists.
Flights to Kigali introduce you to a small yet attractive city, which is the ideal base to discover Rwanda and an interesting, peaceful holiday destination in its own right.
The city's relatively compact size means tourist attractions are limited. One must-see attraction on your trip to Kigali is the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, which opened in 2004 and documents the Rwandan Genocide. The Presidential Palace Museum on the city's outskirts was once home to President Habyarimsna, who died in a plane crash in 1994. The museum is a fascinating insight into his life in the 1970s and ‘80s, and you can still see the wreckage of his plane outside.
Those who have seen the movie 'Hotel Rwanda' should visit the Hotel des Mille Collines, the inspiration for the film. Also of interest in the city centre is the small yet fascinating Museum of Natural History, supposedly Kigali's first building and once home to explorer Richard Kandt.
There are plenty of other attractions to entertain and delight, including the magnificent Virunga Mountains, Akagera National Park, the expanses of the Nyungwe Forest and the spectacular King’s Palace at Nyanza.
Travel to Kigali and experience the beauty of Rwanda for yourself. Many visitors stop off here on a tour of Rwanda. People come from across the globe to see the area's wildlife, including mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. A visit to Kigali is often combined with a tour of Queen Elizabeth National Park in neighbouring Uganda.
Early risers will enjoy a morning run on the 10km Gisozi running circuit, which will take you through Kigali's suburbs. This track offers stunning views over the rice paddies and surrounding countryside.
Families can experience ten-pin bowling with a difference at Mamba Club – here there are no machines, so the pins are re-set by hand. You'll also find plenty of cultural activities in Kigali; take a ballet class at Ballet Rwanda or visit the Dancing Pots Craft Centre.
Kigali's cuisine is of a high standard, although it may take a little longer to be served here than in other parts of the world.
However when it arrives at your table you’ll find that the food is well worth the wait! An abundance of fresh fish and vegetables combined with Belgian influences ensures the city's food is amongst the best in the country, yet prices are surprisingly affordable. Traditional dishes include Matoke (steamed plantain), Ugali (maize porridge) and Ibihaza (pumpkin with beans).
There are restaurants across the city serving international cuisine, from fast-food stands to fine-dining establishments.
Shopping here is a little on the pricey side, so when you travel to Kigali, be prepared to purchase local community goods if you want the best prices. Because most goods are imported, it is rare to find a bargain, although haggling is acceptable at market stalls and in some smaller shops.
Rwandan coffee is of high quality, whilst local tea and honey are also worth purchasing – Nyungwe Highlands honey is the best. It is advisable, however, to check with your home customs or border control as to what items of food are allowed back into your country of origin before you purchase consumables to take home with you. Shop as the locals do and head to Kimironko market for an authentic experience of Rwandan life. Their second-hand clothing section is always worth browsing, whilst colourful West African fabric and Rwandan handicrafts make great gifts or souvenirs to take home.
Those who travel to Kigali find the city a relatively safe place to be. Keep valuables such as money and mobile phones out of sight and avoid walking alone at night, as you would in any city.
Bear in mind that plastic bags are illegal in Rwanda, so make sure you don't take these outside your hotel.
Due to the high proportion of expats living here, English is widely spoken in Kigali, but learning some French or even Swahili will endear you to the locals.
Flights to Kigali with Qatar Airways arrive at Kigali International Airport, which is a small, organised airport not far from the city centre.
Visa restrictions for entry into the country will depend on your country of origin, length of stay and whether your trip is for business or pleasure. So before you fly to Kigali please check the visa and passport requirements.
Currency: Rwandan Franc (RWF)
Voltage: 230 V 50 Hz
Plugs: Type C / J
Language: Kinyarwanda / French / English
International dialing code: +250