Kigali is the only city and capital of Rwanda, situated on hilly country sprawling across four ridges and valleys. Originally founded in 1907 under German colonial rule, it became the country’s capital and main administrative, cultural and economic hub after independence in 1962, with an international airport and road access to all of the country’s borders.
On April 6, 1994, Kigali became the scene of the horrific Rwandan Genocide, when approximately one million Tutsi and moderate Hutu were slaughtered by Hutu militias and some members of the Rwandan army. The very impressive Genocide Memorial should be seen by every tourist to Rwanda.
The city has completely recovered from that debacle, rebuilt by large amounts of donor money, and now is one of East Africa’s most modern and busy capitals. Tourists on their way to see the mountain gorillas will likely spend a night or two here, in any of several excellent hotels. There is an excellent range of fine dining in the city as well.