KIGALI CITY – Rwanda
Kigali City : Kigali is the largest city and the capital city of Rwanda which offers a lot from its friendly people, museums, beautiful architecture, shopping, amazing hotels and restaurants among other things. Rwanda is known as a land of a thousand hills because of its scenic landscape and mountains.
The city of Kigali is made of three districts namely; Gasabo, Nyarugenge and Kicukiro. Kigali is one of the safest and friendliest African capitals which is blessed with moderate high altitude that is similar to its tropical location. The Rwandan capital provides a comfortable and welcoming introduction with an ideal spring board to explore the magical country
Kigali genocide memorial
The Kigali genocide memorial sheds light on the historical events that led to the horrifying realities that were faced in 1994. During the genocide in 1994, thousands of people were killed in a brutal way where most of them were the Tutsi’s, women were raped and those who were not killed after being raped, they were infected with HIV/ AIDS. The massive killings of the Tutsi by the Hutu shook the neighboring countries and the people at large.
The memorial shows you a short documented film about the Rwandan genocide filled with historical information and photographs and the stories of the survivors. The genocide took place between 7th April and 15th July 1994. On April 15th 1994 at Nyarubuye Roman Catholic Church in kibungo province happened a massacre where the Tutsi men, women and children were killed in cold blood.
Rwanda made an annual commemoration of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi every April 7th known as Kwibuka which means remember. The week following the genocide in Rwanda is a designated official week of mourning.
Hotel mille des collines
This hotel is known as Hotel Rwanda from the movie hotel Rwanda where it was based to be a place that is life saving for many people especially during the genocide. Hotel mille des collines has a famous history because a number of the Tutsi genocide survivors hid in this hotel under the help of Mr. Paul Rusesabagina.
Presidential palace museum
This is where the remains of the former president of Rwanda Juvenal Habyarimana are found. The museum used to be the late Juvenal Habyarimana’s home where his plane crashed from after being shot in 19994 which increased the grudges between the Tutsi and the Hutu. The place is located 4 kilometers away from Kanombe airstrip in Kigali
The gorilla statue
The statue of two gorillas a male and female gorilla are situated on the roundabout in the center of Kigali town to show their beauty. Rwanda has mountain gorillas in volcanoes national park which is a common highlight for most of the travels in Rwanda. Tourists also hike through the lush bamboo and hygenia rainforest, open grassland and swamp of volcanoes national park to discover the bush duiker, golden monkeys, spotted hyenas and buffalos
Belgian soldiers’ memorial site
This site is located near Kigali Serena hotel and the Kigali Marriott hotel which is a quiet sacred place where the Belgians who were sent to guard the then prime minister Agathe Uwiligiyimana were murdered during the genocide, this site is also known as Camp Kigali memorial which pays tribute to the victims with solemn stone pillars symbolizing the soldiers’ brutal end and the initials of each soldierand just outside the memorial is a small museum with bullet holes from the genocide.
Apart from historical sites, Kigali has places for hanging out like rooftop café and more attractions like the Nyakuregenge hill, Kacyiru hill, Nayaturama lake for scenic viewing, inema arts center for art and crafts, Kigali arts center, Kimironko market, house of Tayo for shopping, Kigali cultural village among others which are outside the city like Volcanoes national park, Nyuguwe forest national park among others.
Rwanda has concentrated on its establishments of mining, tea, tourism and agriculture. The country has relied on subsistence agriculture where the crops grown include coffee, bananas, beans, tea, pyrethrum among others. Due to the favorable conditions of the volcanic soils coffee and tea are their major exports. The animals commonly reared are cows, sheep, goats, chicken, rabbits and pigs but there are few thoroughgoing dairy farms around Kigali
Minerals mined are sapphires, coltan which is used to manufacture devices like mobile phones, methane that is produced from Lake Kivu. Industries in Kigali are dominated by the production of soft drinks, beer, bottled water, roofing materials, plastics among others
Tourism and services is also a big contribution in their economic sector where Rwanda is very rich with mountain gorillas, culture and has a number of accommodation facilities. Rwanda’s currency is Rwandan franc and their monetary policy is controlled by the central bank of Rwanda.
Kigali airport is located in Kanombe at the eastern edge of Kigali known as Kigali international airport or sometimes refered to as Kanombe international airport. It was formerly known as Gregoire Kayibanda international airport.
Rwanda has public means which are buses, taxis, motor taxis among other means. Kigali vehihicle taxis have a yellow stripe running round the vehicle and there are different kinds of busses with iffices where to buy tickets where there those who even cross the boarders to outside Rwanda. The motor taxis are commonly used for short distances around. Driving in Rwanda is on the right hand side of the road
Rwanda has three official languages; French, English and Kinyarwanda even though they are people who speak Swahili which is on a small scale because of the effect of the neighboring countries.
Kigali has a large number of Catholic Christians and the Anglicans and non believers are moderate with minority Muslims.
People and their culture in Kigali – Rwanda
Rwanda has mainly three groups of people who are the Tutsi, Hutu and the Twa. The Banyarwanda people though share the same language and cultural heritage. Music and dance are very essential things to the Rwandese during their ceremonies, social gatherings, celebrations and storytelling. The most well known traditional dance is umushagiriro and intore which is performed by women and the dance performed by men called the dance of the heroes and men traditionally do the drumming who enjoyed their high status within the court of the mwami. Their music is transmitted orally with styles varying between the social groups. Rwanda women are gifted where the make woven baskets and bowls using imigongo which is a unique cow dung art mixed with natural soils and various colors painted into patterned ridges and forming geometric shapes.
Rwandese recite royal poems known as ibisingo, ubucurabwengye which are royal lineage typically recited at coronation ceremonies and the music poetry known as ibitekerezo.
Food and beverages
In restaurants in Kigali they have local foods, international cuisines like Indian, Chinese, Italian and African cuisines. Kigali has dishes like isombe made from mashed cassava leaves served with dry fish, ugali made from maize and water to form porridge like consistency, plantains, pumpkins which are cut into pieces mixed with beans and boiled without peeling them is known as ibihiza, millet porridge among other meals.
Buffet is known as Melange but the most popular food in evenings is a brochette usually made from tripe, fish, goat, pork or fish. The some places they skew meat or barbecuing with grilled bananas. Milk is normally fermented and the call it ikivuguto and they also drink traditional beer made from sorghum or beers called urwagwa which is common on traditional ceremonies , ubuchi which is fermented honey with little alcohol, ikigage is an alcoholic beverage made from dry sorghum. There are also commercial brewed beers like mutzig, primus among others
Rwanda is generally a tropical country with higher and lower temperatures where during day the temperatures are generally warm to hot and cooler in evenings especially areas like in the volcanoes national park, Nyuguwe and Lake Kivu.