The capital city Kigali lies in the geographical center of Rwanda.
This picturesque city, is situated at an altitude of 1570 meters. It have a population of just over the one million of the citizens. It is spread over the three hills and surrounded by mountains and valleys.
Although Kigali has no large selection of famous buildings it offers spectacular views on the surrounding lush mountains and duly processed reddish soil.
Towers, by the urbanization plans in the Kigali, can be built only in the city centre and they can be surrounded by the at most, three floors high houses.
One can notice a large amount of greenery, in any part of the city. Trees, shrubs and grasses are abundant thanks to the tropical climate with a one dry season and two pronounced rainy periods. Temperatures do not fall below 15C.
First priority in the city is cleanliness. The mayor of the city constantly calls for mass meetings of citizens and cleaning of the every corner of the city. The only thing you can notice is the high concentration of smog as catalysts in vehicles are not yet mandatory.
The city was founded in 1907. by German colonists, and the main town became only in 1962., after the declaration of Rwanda’s independence.
If you want to feel a real life of Kigali citizens, visit the Nyabugogo market. This place is full of people in a very dark space, beneath the roof, which is low enough to stop the flow of air and light.
Market is divided to the sections, such as food, plastic products, souvenirs, clothing and footwear. Tailors are situated at the end of the market.
They provide all kinds of services on their sewing machines. That part of market is the noisier one. Beware, people are not thrilled when you took a photography of them. Even one can hear serious threat against if they only notice that they are targeted with camera lens.
Special contribution to the experience, vibrancy and attractions of the city are provided by the taxi drivers.
Taxi minibuse are brightly colored, usually painted in honour of the American hip-hop star, a superhero or a European football club. Do not even bother to find out the timetable of departures.
Taxi minibus will set off when its full, and passengers will be boarded or drop off along the way. There is no route markings on the minibus so drivers shout at loud their destination point. Another, cheaper option of transportation are motorcycle taxis that buzz around in the unimaginable speeds.
Moto cabbies are little bit uniformed so they can be identified by they blue or green helmets.
Driving at a motorcycle taxi will cost you one dollar per one kilometer. Bicycle taxi is almost equally popular as the motorbike taxi and will cost you the same.
The roads are in great condition and new ones are build on the great pace. In the city parking is free of charge, what a fantastic novelty.
Some parts of the city glowing in the bright colors of various billboards. Particularly notable are advertisements on the fronts of craft shops, various different stores or services.
More or less handy painters write the name and the phone number of the owner on the facades along with the depiction or mostly only drawing of main purpose of stores. So, one can see painted bread, cows, cans, water bottles, people in traditional costumes, rings.
Also you can see typical signs of western culture, hip-hop fashion, sunglasses, cell phones, or images from fashion magazines on the facades.
As expected the residential area of the city is full of huge villas surrounded with high fences of dense vegetation or wrought iron. Almost every one have barbed wire on the top.
And in the other parts of the city you can find area where financially successful citizens lives, as you can see by the appearance of those objects.
For 500$ per month one can rent a house with a three bedrooms, two garages and a garden. Other residents, as almost everywhere, live at the outskirts of the city where the houses are built of brick and clay.
They does not have so cultivated surroundings but because its bright facade and mostly silver and blue roof they look like happy houses.
Kigali Memorial Centre is among the most notable buildings to visit, which is regarded as one of the best museum in Africa. Luxury “Hotel des Mille Collines” is better known from movie called “Hotel Rwanda”.
Interestingly, the present owner bought it for only $ 2 million, and if he decide to sell the hotel, he has an offer of $ 45 million on the table.
Almost every better hotel in Rwanda, particularly in Kigali, has special security measures for guests and other visitors.
All have to pass, along with their luggage through the metal detector. Hotels are under the watchful eyes of guards, it has become new normal in the whole world.
“Natural History Museum” is first and only museum dedicated to the life sciences. If you want to buy original souvenire, visit the souvenir part of the city where on the various stands you can buy art, pottery, drums, baskets, wood carvings, masks, sculptures or jewellery.
Start prices can be quite high so willingly plunge into the bargain with the salesman.
Kigali is a relatively safe city still need to keep an eye on your belongings at night try to avoid traffic and detours.
In the 2014th among African airports, airport in Kigali is ranked at seventh place. Mayor drawback represents the position of the airport, it is relatively close to the city center and it is surrounded by city. New airport is in plan and construction will start soon.
The official language of Rwanda’s Kinyarwanda but French and English are not worthwhile.
Korisne informacije:Currency: Rwandan franc (RWF)
Restorans: Pasha restaurant
Hotels: Hotel des Mille Collines
Couple of expressions in Kinyarwanda language:
Thank you: Murakoze
Good morning: Mwaramutse
Author: Diana Mikloš
Photography and video: Wish.hr
Traveled by: Turkish Airlines