This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Kigali. To help you make friends with Kigali before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Of all the East African capitals, Kigali is the one that will keep you hooked for a long while. Rwanda is known as the Land of Thousand Hills, and long, winding streets of Kigali jump up and down, so your best option of getting around is to use a motorcycle taxi. Unlike many other major cities in East Africa, Kigali's motorbike taxis are all certified by the government and the drivers must provide you with a helmet, according to safety regulations. Kigali is also quite safe at night, and famous for its clubs and bars among the local youth and a wide community of expats.
There are several art galleries to check out, such as Uburanga Arts Studio, Ivuka Arts Studio and Yego Arts Gallery. If you are interested in what local talents can offer you, you will enjoy a curious mix of traditional weaving, drawing, and beading, combined with international modern art trends.
Among the most fascinating monuments of Kigali is its Genocide Memorial Centre -- the place that will show you how the genocide of the late twentieth century started, what brought it about, and how the UN forces were thinking way too long before they could intervene. If you also watched the film, "Hotel Rwanda," you can go and have a look at Hotel des Mille Collines, a short walking distance from the centre -- this is where the events of the film actually took place (although the filming set itself was in South Africa).
There are options for hostels in Kigali that will satisfy a range of budgets and tastes -- you will definitely find a cheap, backpacker-friendly hostel in Kigali.
Kigali is full of restaurants that offer Rwandese-style buffets -- you pay once and eat as much as you can, as long as you are able to fit it on one plate. See how well the locals have mastered this art!
Written by local enthusiast for Kigali hostelsCurly