Kigali International is a small and organized airport, and it is rare to encounter any problems. Be aware that plastic bags are illegal in Rwanda for environmental reasons, so you should bring only reusable bags into the country.
KLM has flights to Kigali from Amsterdam
Brussels Airlines has flights to Kigali from Brussels
Kenya Airways has three flights a day from Nairobi
Ethiopian Airlines has daily flights from Addis Ababa
Rwandair the national carrier, has several flights a day to other African destinations, – tickets can be booked on their website.
South African Airways has flights to Kigali from Johannesburg.
Turkish Airlines has flights to Kigali from Istanbul.
‘Qatar airways. has flights from Kigali to Doha.
Fly Dubai. has flights to Dubai
On flying out of Kigali airport keep in mind the need for a Yellow Fever Certificate at your destination (e.g South Africa) – Airport officials will ask for this. Also be careful of waiting in the cafe for your flight – some flights (e.g Kenya Airways to Nairobi) are often overbooked and you won’t hear any announcement when they decide to start boarding early, and you could miss your flight.
Alternative: Entebbe, Uganda
Some international fliers find it much cheaper to fly into Entebbe in Uganda and then take the bus to Kigali. Depending an how long they stop you at the border, the bus trip takes about 9 hours.
Buses arrive and depart to many parts of Rwanda regularly.
There are a couple of daily buses that run directly between Kigali and Kampala in Uganda. The bus is cramped and uncomfortable but is the cheapest choice.
There are a couple of daily buses that run directly between Kigali and Bujumbura in Burundi. Yahoo Car, New Yahoo, East African Car Express (big bus) and Belvedere have buses in the morning.
Motor Cyle taxis (motors) are the most popular and fastest way to get around town. The fare for the motorcycle ranges from 200 RFr-1000 RFr depending on distance, but most of the motor cyclists will ask for RFr 200-500. A trip to or from the airport should be around 1500-2000 RFr. Keep in mind that on the main road out to the airport they really put their foot down. It is however a good well sealed road, nice views over Kigali City and a thrilling ride.
City buses in Kigali cost Rfr 240. bus number 105 goes from the Bus station where you get off the bus from Uganda to the Kigali Youth hostel.
There are many taxis in Kigali, and in comparison with motors are expensive. A short 1km trip will cost Rwf 2,000 after haggling, going up to Rwf 10,000 for an airport run. Taxis are mainly of two types in Kigali – those operated by individuals (usually with some form of yellow stripe on the vehicle) and more professorially run services operated by a single large operator. The Kigali Airport Taxis and Kigali Taxi Service are the two major groups, there are others companies also running taxis , but these are the largest and both operate a number you can call to sumon a taxis.
The Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre. opened in April 2004 on the 10th anniversary of the genocides. Over 250,000 people are buried here, and there is a truly touching museum. Kigali houses several memorials, museums, and centers dedicated to the Rwandan Genocide. Audio guides and real guides are available. Cafe on site that makes excellent coffee, and supports local youth and businesses. free/donation – extra fee for photography. edit
Presidential Palace Museum (In Kanombe, 4km east past the airport – under the flight path). The abode of the formal President Habyarimana, who died in that infamous plane crash of 1994. Guided tours are mandatory, where you can get a glimpse of life as an African dictator in the 1970s & 80s. There is also a display on Rwandan clothing that is quite interesting. Photography is restricted. Rwf 6,000 (Rwf 5,000 for resident foreigners). To get there a motor should cost about Rwf 1,000, and tell him to go to Kanombe – you’ll probably end up outside the military hospital at the end of the tarred road, the museum is another 300 meters along the dirt road.
By all standards Kigali is an excellent city in which to dine. A combination of Belgian culinary influence, plenty of cows, plenty of freshwater fish, and plenty of fresh vegetables equates to some of the best eating in the region. And it’s all pretty affordable.
Note that Kigali restaurants and bars go in and out of fashion, not to mention close down, quite frequently. Check for the latest once you are in town and be aware that some places mentioned in some print guidebooks no longer exist. (The oft-mentioned Turtle Cafe has been closed since 2003!)
Finally note that as with the rest of the region restaurants take their time – with a usual 45 minutes to 1 hour wait between ordering and your food arriving, especially for dinner. If you are after a quick meal at lunchtime there are several ‘African buffets’ dotted around where you pile your plate high and are out the door in 30 minutes. As Kigali is quite a sprawling city eateries are organized by suburb.
Barbas Cafe at the Kigali Business Centre slightly out of town. Has great wholesome food. Eat as much as you like for 3 US$.
Chez Robert is about 5 minutes walk from Mille Collines and serves local food in a nice setting. Their dinner buffet is quite good and costs about €7 for more than 20 items. There may be better local food in a hole-in-the wall restaurant for cheaper, but this is wonderful restaurant.
Shanghai, near Milles Collines, is a relatively unknown Chinese restaurant. Not very cozy, but the food is really good.
Heaven, three blocks downhill from the Mille Collines, is a new restaurant serving American and Continental cuisine. A bit pricy, with most entrees costing FRW4000 or above, but the well-prepared food (and fantastic dessert menu) are worth every franc.
Bottled water is recommended for foreign visitors. For alcohol try the New Cadillac night club and the Republica. Both are superb. Watch out for pickpockets outside the New Cadillac. Don’t miss Planet Club at the KBC roundabout in Kimihurura, it has 2 sides, a Lounge bar with House music and a Club with African and modern Hip-Hop music.
Accommodation in downtown Kigali is noticeably more expensive than neighboring capitals like Kampala and Nairobi. Most of the budget options (for example the Hotel Gloria mentioned in older LPs) are gone. Outside the city center however, it is possible to find good budget options.
Auberge La Caverne, Nyabugogo Blvd (A few hundred meters before Place de l’Unite roundabout on the left side.). Clean rooms and good basic breakfast. It’s a long, uphill walk from the bus station, consider paying 300 for a moto-taxi single from 13.000 RWF en-suite. double from 20,000.
Step Town Motel 50 USD, clean, Very Nice Rooms, hot water, and free Internet.
Kigali now has three international class hotels, built as part of the country’s bid to increase tourism and better support business travelers.
Hotel Laico Umubano, Boulevard del Umuganda. Still known by its former name Novotel by almost everyone. Ask for a swimming pool view room on a high floor for a beautiful sunrise to wake you from your slumber. From $150 per night.