Checking off the majority of Kigali’s cultural, historical, and scenic highlights can be tricky for time-limited travelers, but it’s certainly possible. Here are a few ways to maximize your time in the Rwandan capital, including options for day trips outside the city.
Day 1: Get to Know Kigali
Spend your first day sightseeing on a city tour, benefiting from included transport to traverse the hilly capital with ease. Guided exploration eliminates the hassle of advance planning, allowing you to travel guidebook-free and ensuring you secure the best deals in Kigali’s lively markets. Visit a milk bar for a uniquely Kigalian experience, explore a distillery for insight into the city’s emergent industries, or absorb sweeping city vistas from the summit of Mount Kigali. Kick back after a busy day with dinner, drinks, or dancing in one of Kigali’s trendy suburbs.
Day 2: Get Out Into Nature
Embark on a full- or multi-day tour to discover Rwandan nature at its finest. Volcanoes National Park, Akagera National Park, and Lake Kivu are all easily accessible from Kigali, and tours typically include round-trip transport and meals. Trek among endangered gorillas, set off in search of the “Big Five” on a savannah safari, or take photos from the banks of an African Great Lake.
Day 3: Engage in History and Culture
On your final day in Kigali, immerse yourself in Rwandan history and culture. Visit national memorials to pay your respects and reflect on the events leading up to the 1994 genocide, or journey into southern Rwanda’s villages. Some tours offer hands-on experience crafting or harvesting in scenic settings. Conclude your visit with dinner in an upscale restaurant in Kacyiru or Nyarutarama, choosing from an array of local and international cuisine.