Published on January 8th, 2014 | by Geckos Tales Team
24 HOURS IN KIGALI
Photo courtesy of Configmanager, Flickr
Although most travellers come to Rwanda for a hot date with a gang of mountain gorillas, visiting Kigali offers a chance to see what urban Rwanda is all about. With a mish-mash of Arab, French and West African influences, Kigali is a surprising city (in a good way).
8am Start your day with a morning session at Bourbon Coffee – the Starbucks of Rwanda. Let smoothies, coffee and pastries take care of your hunger while broadband wifi takes care of your obligatory “I’m in Rwanda” group email duties.
10am Continue the day on a bright note by visiting the Inema Art Centre. Home to an array of bold art works, this centre supports contemporary Rwandan artists by providing studio space to create, as well as gallery space to show and sell. You won’t find any mass-produced, hokey wildlife paintings here, just refreshingly original art by some seriously talented locals.
1pm Sobering, saddening, and unbelievably haunting, the Kigali Memorial Centre and genocide memorial must be visited when in Kigali. Built on the site where more than a quarter of a million genocide victims are buried, it’s not the sunniest stop on the itinerary, but it’s probably the most significant. Hot tip: bring tissues and a cash donation to keep this important place running.
3pm Wander about Kigali’s Muslim Quarter, an area awash with pokey alleys, colourful shop fronts, fruit sellers and mosques.
7pm Support the community by having dinner at local, social enterprise juggernaut Heaven Restaurant and Inn. Using ingredients sourced from local farmers, the Rwandan-inspired menu features all you need for a gluttonous good time, namely: beer, wine, cocktails, shakes, samosas, crepes and more.