Things to see
- National Museum of Butare, 0252 553131. 09:00-17:00. In Huye – National Museum of Rwanda RWF3,000 for foreigners; RWF2,000 for foreign residents. Extra charge for photography.
- The Genocide Memorial in Kigali – good insight into one of the world's greatest tragedies. It's free to walk around but audio guides are USD10. Tour guides can be hired for small groups. (http://www.safariyako.com/places-to-go/kigali-memorial-center)
- The Nyamata Genocide Memorial is a worthwhile complement to the Gisozi Memorial Centre in Kigali. Located in the town of Nyamata, 40 minutes south of Kigali on a newly paved road, the memorial is in a church where over 10,000 people were killed during the 1994 genocide. Visitors take a short tour and see the evidence of the genocide that remains there today - victims' clothing piled on benches, the roof pockmarked with bullet holes, and the open crypts behind the church that hold the remains of over 40,000 people from the area. An extremely moving look into one of the places where the genocide was carried out. NOTE: If you wish to take photographs of the site, you will need to purchase a permit in Kigali before travelling to Nyamata. It is open 7 days per week and is free to visit. Donations are encouraged as they receive little support from the government.
- The Ntarama Genocide Memorial, just 20 minutes away from the Nyamata memorial, is also worth visiting. Like the Nyamata memorial, this site was a church before the genocide, and was nationalised to serve as a memorial after thousands of people were killed within its walls. The church itself is different than Nyamata, with victims' clothing eerily displayed from the rafters of the church as a grim reminder of what happened there. Visitors can see large chunks of the outer wall missing, where grenades were used to force entry. Ntarama also has a peaceful memorial garden and wall of names in the back of its compound. Ask the resident guide for a tour in English or French, and remember to give them a donation for the site afterwards; it gets almost no support from the government. To get there, take the highway from Kigali to Nyamata and follow the signs for the Ntarama memorial, before you reach Nyamata. It is open 7 days per week and is free to visit. Donations are encouraged as they receive little support from the government.
Things to do
- Lake Kivu in Western Rwanda – a large lake bordering the DRC, it's a nice place to relax for a week or so.
- Parc National des Volcans, home of the mountain gorillas, and the setting for Gorillas in the Mist, author Dian Fossey's research. If you can afford it, it's an excellent experience, and even possible as a daytrip from Kigali. Inquire at the Rwandan Office for Tourism and National Parks (ORTPN), Boulevard de la Révolution n° 1, Kigali, +(250) 576514 or 573396, [email protected], . It costs USD750 per person (1 Jun 2012). Besides that, you will have to take an official taxi which costs another USD50. Prices are rising constantly, and you should really consider if you want them to get away with these rip-off prices, because as long as there are people who pay them, they will continue to raise them.
Rwanda - Travel guide