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KIGALI CITY, kigali
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KigaliCity1.jpgKigali CutyThe low-key but attractive capital city of Kigali stands in the center of the country, where it straggles over several hills and valleys, spanning altitudes of around 1,300m and 1,600m.
Kigali City was founded in 1907 at a location chosen by Dr Richard Kandt, who built an administrative residence close to the present-day Gakinjiro Market. Two years later, 20 houses were built close to the present-day prison (One of which has been restored as a natural history museum) on the eastern slopes of Nyarugenge Hill, which now form the commercial city centre.
Kigali remained a small and isolated colonial outpost until 1916, when Belgium ousted Ruanda-Urundi's Germany colonizers. Under Belgian rule, Kigali retained an important administrative role, but urban growth was very slow and confined mainly to Nyarugenge. Indeed, when Rwanda gained independence in1962, the population of Kigali stood at no more than 6,000. When Ruanda-Urundi (the capital of which was Usumbura, Now Bujumbura) split into Rwanda and Burundi, the strongest contender to become Rwanda's new capital seemed to be Butare(Now named Huye), which had been the mote important administrative centre during colonization.

However, Kigali's central position and good road links to the rest of the country won out. As a result, while Huye has avoided capital-city brashness and remains relatively calm, Kigali has grown dramatically, with a population that reached 965,398 by 2009 and is likely to have has over than 1,500,000 people living on its 730 square meters. The commercial city centre is still on Nyarugenge Hill, while the government and administrative quarter is further east on Kacyiru Hill.
The centre of Kigali is bustling, colorful and noisy, but (for an African city) surprisingly clean and safe (indeed, in 2008 Kigali was effectively pronounced the cleanest city in the continent, when it became the first African urban centre to be presented with the Habitat Scroll of Honour award, an annual award launched by the UN Human Settlement Programme in 1989). However Kigali is undergoing an rapid development and change, with shiny new shopping malls and Office buildings springing up all over the city centre. This Peaceful, tree-lined residential streets stretch outwards and generally downwards from the city's heart, and give visitors scope for strolling has got 3 districts Gasabo, Kicukiro both mainly residential and Nyarugenge which is a commercial hub.
The name Kigali means "Large" it got it from Mt Kigali which has an elevation of 1850m and the highest in the area. This city hasn't many tourist attractions and you're unlikely to want to spend many full day there, but it has some good Hotels, the service (Shops, Banks, etc.) are plentiful and the ambience is pleasant, making it an excellent base for exploring the rest of Rwanda, all parts of which are easily reached by roads in less than a day. Car-hire is available via one of the many tour operators and travel agencies.
GETTING THERE AND AWAY
BY AIR: Kanombe is the only international airport situated about 5km from the City centre. A new Bugesera Internation Airport firm near Nyamata, about 40km south of Kigali is soon to replace this Kanombe airport to free tha land and further development that will bring jobs and opportunities to underused area. In the arrival hall of airport you'll find Foreign Exchange and Telephone facilities, various shops and a branch of RDB (Rwanda Development Board) Tourism and Conservation Reservation Office which is Rwanda's tourism information centre. You can get a preliminary stock of maps, guides and so forth here (the main Tourism and Conservation Reservation Office is in the administrative district of Kacyiru). To get in Kigali city you have more options:

1. If your Hotel does airport pick-ups, you will have arranged this at the time of booking; give a ring of no-one has turned up to collect you.
2. Pick a minibus-taxi (public airport) right in the road outside the airport if you've very little luggage and some small change in Rwandan francs and pay 200Rwf.
3. Take a Taxi-voiture(a normal taxi, as opposed to minibus-taxi) and pay Rwf4,000 or US$5
4. Take a taxi-moto (a normal Moto bicycle) and pay Rwf 1,000 if you you've very little luggage.
5. Contact Travel agencies found HERE if you have a long journey to go within the country.

BY ROAD: Being a well-connected little city- literally. Good roads and bus services with 4G free Internets will help you have go-round tours in the city. Almost all towns within Rwanda are connected to Kigali by regular public minibus-taxis, all of which now leave from Nyabugogo minibus-taxi station. Several bus companies operate service to major towns; they are generally less crowded and safer than local minibuses. Nyabugogo bus station is in the valley about 2km north of the city centre and from here transport minibuses runs to Rubavu (Gisenyi), Huye(Butare), Musanze(Ruhengeli) and Goma depart from Nyabugogo to Gisenyi (300Rwf, 4 hours), Butare(2000Rwf, 2 hours), Karongi(2100Rwf, 2 hours), Musanze(1700Rwf, 2 hours). These minibuses leave when full throughout the day.

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