Kigali is among the cleanest cities in Africa. It consists of innumerable attractions such as the 1994 Genocide Sites, various museums, and national parks, among others. The city is therefore an ideal one for the city tours as there are many to discover. Take a look in some of the best destinations to visit during your city tours in Kigali, Rwanda.
Kigali Genocide Memorial Site
Kigali Genocide Memorial Site is one of the six major sites in Rwanda that commemorates the bloody 1994 Rwandan Genocide, others which include; Murambi, Ntarama, Nyamata, Bisesero, and Nyarubuye memorial sites, which you can also visit too. Kigali Genocide Memorial Site is also known as Gisozi Genocide Memorial Site and from this site you will be able to see touching videos and photos as well as hearing the stories all which narrate the horrifying 1994 Rwandan Genocide. You will be able to see the bones and skulls plus the remains of the victims of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide.
Kigali comprises of various museums that you can visit while on the city tour and some of them include; Presidential Palace Museum, Kandt House Museum, Kigali Art Museum, Campaign Against Genocide Museum, and Inema Arts Centre, among others.
Volcanoes National Park
Located in northwestern Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park is just a two and half hours’ drive from the city centre of Kigali – Rwanda’s capital city. The Park is globally known for its unique residents – the rare endangered mountain gorillas. The Park along with Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks in Uganda and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo are the only refuges for these gentle giant apes.
Volcanoes National Park is under the Virunga massif which comprises of the largest number of mountain gorillas (600-plus mountain gorillas) in the whole world. The massif consists of three different national parks; Volcanoes in Rwanda plus its companions – Mgahinga in Uganda and Virunga in Democratic Republic of Congo.
Therefore, while on your Kigali city tours, do not miss out a visit to one of the popular national parks in Africa. The major attraction in the Park is of course gorilla trekking. There are 12 habituated mountain gorilla families in Volcanoes which trekkers are able to interact with during their expeditions. The gorilla trekking expeditions start very early in the morning (08:30 am) but you are advised to reach the Park headquarters before that time such that you attend the briefings first.
At the Park headquarters, after being briefed, you will be given the type of gorilla family that you will specifically trek. The trekking is done in groups of 8 individuals per trekking group and it will last for almost two and a half hours to see the gorillas. After meeting the gorillas, you are only allowed to spend one hour with them and keep a distance of at least 7 meters away while viewing them, all in all you are guaranteed with boundless memories that you will carry back home with.
However, if on your city tours you wish to visit the gorillas in their natural habitats, you are advised to book in advance with your tour agency such that it books your gorilla permit earlier and you don’t get inconveniences.
The gorilla permit in Rwanda costs US$ 1500 but I still insist on advance booking because the permits are on a very high demand in Rwanda since Volcanoes is the only gorilla park you can visit within one day as it is very close to the city centre contrary to other parks which are really located in remote areas – hence most trekkers want to enjoy their gorilla expeditions here as the Park is time saving and you don’t get tired driving long distances and on poor roads. The roads accessing Volcanoes from Kigali are very clean and tarmac.
You can also visit the Akagera National Park in Rwanda which is also a 2 and half hours’ drive from the city centre. Here you will be able to view all Africa’s big five Lions, Elephants, Leopards, Rhinos, and the Cape buffaloes.
You will not only get a chance to spot the popular big five in one specific Park but you are also guaranteed with a huge discount on the gorilla permit if you are to visit both Volcanoes and Akagera National Parks at once during your safari in Rwanda. And instead of paying US$ 1500 for the gorilla permit, you will then pay US$ 1050.