Local crafts, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda


Small, charming and with a surprisingly buoyant atmosphere, Kigali is a great place to explore on foot.

Whilst there is little to do in the way of tourist attractions, the dignified Genocide Memorial Centre offers a testament to the strength and dignity of the Rwandese people. The city itself is scattered across a number of hills and a handful of smart, boutique cafes and restaurants allow for the coffee fix if needed – but given where you are, you should really ask for tea.

Whilst Kigali itself is a colourful and chaotic city, it does not suffer from many of the problems of other African cities and is welcoming and clean (Rwanda has banned plastic bags and runs a number of buses on bio-fuel). Kigali also offers a good place from which to start or end your journey given its central location with a number of surprisingly great restaurants and cafes and a number of colourful markets keeping you busy.

Kigali, Rwanda
Kigali, Rwanda

Why visit Kigali

  • Explore the Nyamirambo district, stopping at one of the lively bars and cafes
  • Visit the local handicraft co-operative at Capalki for some colourful souvenirs
  • Pay your respects at the moving – and very emotional – Genocide Memorial
  • Take in the views across the city at the State House and Natural History Museum
  • Once a month, the whole country gets involved with a national day of clearing up – known as Umuganda – streets are swept, rubbish cleared and neighbours welcomed. The Rwandese rightly take pride in their beautiful country.
Young wet gorilla, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Highlights of Rwanda

Rwanda has become synonymous with gorilla trekking, but this holiday also showcases the diverse wildlife and landscapes elsewhere in this fascinating country. As well as trekking for endangered mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Virunga Massif, explore the lakes, savannah and hills of Akagera in the east, and the chimpanzee inhabited forests of western Nyungwe.

11 days

from £14,595 pp

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What do you really love doing? We curate your itinerary especially for you.

Basket weaving, Rwanda

Capalki Co-operative

Visit Caplaki Handicrafts Cooperative in Kigali city, a collection of around 40 small shops selling colourful locally made products.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Local crafts, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Nyamirambo Tour

Explore the Nyamirambo district, led by a community guide. Visit local cooperatives, shops and markets, learning the history of this Kigali neighbourhood.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Sunset over Kigali, Rwanda

Kigali Natural History Museum

Known locally as “Kandt House,” this small museum celebrates the work of Dr. Richard Kandt, a German physician and explorer who explored Rwanda in 1897, searching for the source of the Nile River. The museum showcases artefacts from his expedition, including a ship that was sunk off the shores of Lake Kivu during World War I.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Genocide memorial, Kigali, Rwanda

The Genocide Memorial

Pay your respects at the moving – and very emotional – Genocide Memorial in Kigali.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Imigongo art, Rwanda

Creative Rwanda

Visit Choose Kigali, a creative space in the heart of Kigali city, founded by world renowned artist Emmanuel Nkuranga. View the creative side of Rwanda at this gallery which showcases the latest African contemporary art.

Suggested Hotel

Heaven Boutique Hotel, Main area, Exterior view, Kigali, Rwanda
Heaven Boutique Hotel

Heaven Boutique Hotel

With beautifully decorated rooms and a tranquil ambience, Heaven Boutique Hotel is an ideal stopover between gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park or a safari in Akagera National Park. The staff are renowned for going the extra mile; if you have time to spend in Kigali, Heaven’s expert concierge team can plan a unique experience for you.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Illona Cross

Born in a small South African town, I have always followed my passion for nature and discovery. After studying Nature Conservation in Pretoria, I was one of the first women to complete a very tough cadetship in the Natal Parks Board. It was here where I cut my teeth in African wildlife management.

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Chris Johnston

Chris is the Conde Nast Traveller chosen Specialist for Africa.

25 years ago, my first trip to Africa took on a life of its own. I planned for three months, I stayed for two years. Whilst there, I was mistaken for a priest, attacked by sharks and arrested. Yet the countless, clattering journeys opened my eyes to the beauty of the landscapes and the grace of the people. My recent trips are undoubtedly more comfortable, but the welcome is as warm as ever and the best experiences are still those I never see coming.

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  • 01285 880 980

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