Yes, RwandAir offers a direct flight to Kigali from London Gatwick Airport on Tuesdays. The direct flight is only 11hours 10 minutes long.
The mercury is eager to shoot beyond 30°C as the summer arrives in Kigali. It is perhaps a better idea to come to the city in the months between March and May, or in the months of September and October. During the months mentioned above, the temperature remains moderate and pleasant. There are rainy days during these months but they are quite refreshing and settle the dust in the air, making the mornings even more spectacular.
The cheapest time to visit Kigali is in the month of November. Most tourists coming to the city plan their vacations earlier in the year, in March and in June. The traffic of sun-seeking tourists dwindles down as the winter approaches. Kigali also remains off the grid as most other travellers plan to head for their homes for the holidays in November. Prove these conforming travellers wrong and come to Kigali in the winter. Sure, the sun is not as warm but it is never freezing in the city.
Kigali international airport (KGL) serves the city of Kigali and is a gateway to the rest of Rwanda. The airport is only 5 kilometres away from Kigali Business Centre which measures to be just a 10-minute drive. The airport handled about 700,000 passengers in 2017. Rwanda is a landlocked country which makes Kigali airport an important part of the country’s infrastructure.
A British citizen needs to apply for a visa to visit Rwanda. The thirty-day tourist visa is for just £20 and can be paid in US dollars or Rwandan Francs. The visa can be obtained from the Rwandan embassy in London or the airport. The facility of purchasing the visa is also available at the land borders of Rwanda, but they might not accept credit cards, so please carry cash.
Rwanda has had a long history and remains of human settlements have been discovered to exist since 3000 BC. In recent years, Rwanda has seen a peace that has made the turbulent past of the country a distant memory. Still, the Rwandan people educate their young and the travellers to their land the value of peace and human life.
- The Sainte-Famille Church is a place of worship in Kigali that has been a symbol of divine protection and grief for many Rwandans and yet it is the most visited landmark of the city. The red brick church was a place for shelter for the many fleeing the civil war in Rwanda in 1994. The church’s wall became the only thing protecting the families residing in the church from the violence outside. Although many people eventually lost their lives, the church still is a symbol of hope for a better future. Visit the church for a crash course in the history of Kigali.
- The Inema Arts Centre is a place where African expressionism has blossomed. The centre is a melting pot of the many African cultures brought over by the artists and students at the institution who have discovered the African spirit by painting a rainbow of colours. Bold, sharp and contrasting colours cover not only the canvases but old cars and motorbikes at the art centre. Visit the Inema Art Museum and appreciate the talent that has sprouted out of the self-taught artists of Kigali.
The Ultimate Frisbee Tournament takes place in Kigali in the month of February. The sporting event has taken a life of its own and now welcomes teams from Europe to participate. Fespad is a music and dance platform that comes to Kigali in March. The festival promotes peace and unity in the African continent and is absolutely free for participants. The Kigali Peace Marathon is conducted in May. Either participate and run along the athletes of the world through the green hills and open pastures of Kigali or cheer them on as they jog by. In any case, it would be a memorable experience. There are many gorillas living in the sanctuaries on the outskirts of Kigali. The kwita Izina is a naming festival of the baby gorillas, which is the cutest and most interesting festival celebrated all year.
The Matatus minibus can get you to places in Kigali. The minibus, though cramped at times, has a wide network and the cheapest way around. The minibus would be able to drop you at the nearest food street or take you to a new city and it would only charge a few hundred Francs. Apart from the minibus, there are the motos or motorcycle taxis. The motos would be able to take you on a wild ride from the airport to your hotel and from your hotel to the rest of Kigali.
There are many five star hotels in Kigali; each one is an African surprise waiting to amaze you.
- Kigali Serena Hotel
- Kigali Marriott Hotel
- Grand Legacy Hotel
- Radisson Blu Hotel & Convention Centre, Kigali
- The Retreat