KIGALI

Introduction

Info Kigali


introduction

Kigali with population of more than 1 million , is the capital and largest city of Rwanda.

The centre of political and commercial life, Kigali dominates Rwanda and few visit the country without passing through. The city is developing fast, and is very much a showpiece capital designed to impress visitors, from the humble tourist, to foreign investors and visiting dignitaries.

With a population topping 1 million, the city spreads over several hills and valleys, with many of the better restaurants and hotels away from the traditional downtown area. The Kigali City Masterplan outlines the future for this burgeoning metropolis – with plans for a new city to be built south of the current city centre.

As a clean, comfortable and ordered city, Kigali is very popular with long term expats, and the city is teeming with westerners, from young church or NGO volunteers having their first African ‘experience’ to career development workers enjoying a relaxed lifestyle where it is safe to bring up young children. This in turn means the city supports numerous restaurants, coffee shops and supermarkets that cater to this demographic. The downside of Kigali’s popularity with foreigners is that it is easy to forget you are in Africa.


info
POPULATION : City:  1,132,686 
FOUNDED :  1907
TIME ZONE : CAT (UTC+2)  Summer:  (UTC+2)
LANGUAGE : Kinyarwanda (official), French (official), English (official)
RELIGION : Roman Catholic 56.5%, Protestant 26%, Adventist 11.1%, Muslim 4.6%, indigenous beliefs 0.1%, none 1.7%
AREA : 730 km2 (280 sq mi)
ELEVATION : 1,567 m (5,141 ft)
COORDINATES : 1°56′38″S 30°3′34″E
SEX RATIO : Male: 48.82%  
 Female: 51.18%
ETHNIC : Hutu (Bantu) 84%, Tutsi (Hamitic) 15%, Twa (Pygmy) 1%
AREA CODE :
POSTAL CODE :
DIALING CODE : +250
WEBSITE : www.kigalicity.gov.rw


Tourism

As a clean, comfortable and ordered city, Kigali is very popular with long term expats, and the city is teeming with westerners, from young church or NGO volunteers having their first African ‘experience’ to career development workers enjoying a relaxed lifestyle where it is safe to bring up young children. This in turn means the city supports numerous restaurants, coffee shops and supermarkets that cater to this demographic. The downside of Kigali’s popularity with foreigners is that it is easy to forget you are in Africa.

Kigali houses several memorials, museums, and centers dedicated to the Rwandan Genocide, including the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre. Other museums include the Kandt House Museum of Natural History.

The city has international class hotels, some played a role in history:

The Mille Collines in the Kiyovu area. This hotel became a refugee centre during the genocide, as famously depicted in the film Hotel Rwanda. It is also the setting for the famous novel Un dimanche à la piscine à Kigali, by Quebecer Gil Courtemanche, and its movie adaptation Un dimanche à Kigali.
The Kigali Serena Hotel, formerly known as the InterContinental Kigali. Formerly a Belgian-owned hotel known as Hotel Diplomates, the hotel was briefly portrayed in the second half of Hotel Rwanda. It was later bought by the InterContinental Hotels group and remodeled in 2003.


History

Kigali was founded in 1907 by Dr. Richard Kandt under German colonial rule, but did not become the capital until Rwandan independence in 1962.

Butare was initially the leading contender to be the capital of the new independent nation, but Kigali was chosen because of its more central location. Since then the city has grown very quickly and is now the major political, economic and cultural centre of Rwanda.

Beginning on April 6, 1994, Kigali was the scene of the Rwandan Genocide – the slaughter of approximately one million Tutsi by Hutu militias (Interahamwe), and some members of the Rwandan army. There was fierce fighting between the army (mostly Hutu) and Tutsi-dominated Rwandese Patriotic Front. Although damaged, the city's structure has recovered.


Climate

Considered a tropical savanna climate typically with a pronounced dry season.

Temperatures are usually around 6 °C to 9 °C degrees lower compared to sea level temperatures so temperatures over 28 °C are not very common. The longer wet period lasts from February to May and April.


Geography

The city is built in hilly country, sprawling across about four ridges and the valleys in between. The city centre is located on one of these ridges, with the main government area on another. The tops of the ridges have an average elevation of 1,600 metres (5,250 ft), while the valleys are around 1,300 m (4,270 ft). The bigger houses and office buildings tend to be on the tops of the ridges, while the poorer people live in the valleys. The city is ringed most of the way round by higher hills, with some suburban sprawl rising up these. The highest of these is Mt. Kigali, with an elevation of 1,850 m (6,075 ft) above sea level.


Economy

Business in Rwanda has been growing in the 21st century, and many new buildings have arisen across the city, including the BCDI Tower, Centenary House and Kigali City Tower. Tourism provides important input into the economy.

FLIGHTS & HOTELS

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