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Tourism in Rwanda isn't focused on its cities, but more and more travellers are taking the time to visit Kigali, Rwanda's bustling capital. Though Kigali is small and not especially scenic, it is the administrative and financial heart of Rwanda and a great base from which to start your travels. It is home to several interesting attractions like the sobering Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, which documents the Rwandan genocide of 1994, and the Hotel Milles Collines (made famous in the film ).
There are a reasonable number of hotels and a small variety of restaurants in Kigali, and a busy market offering crafts and other souvenirs. There isn't much in the way of nightlife in Kigali; however there are a few bars and nightclubs.
Kigali's location makes it a convenient stop on multinational treks, with good road links to cities in Uganda, Tanzania, and Burundi. Kigali also makes a good base for arranging excursions to Parc National des Volcans, home of Dian Fossey's research station and grave.
Opened on the tenth anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide of 1994, the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre is a sobering museum dedicated to the nearly one million people who lost their lives in the conflict. More than 250,000 people are buried at the centre, which has become an educational site with museums and exhibits dedicated to preventing genocides around the world. The genocide which saw 800,000 men, women, and children killed receives a meaningful and tasteful tribute with three permanent exhibitions, including the Education Centre, Memorial Gardens, and National Documentation Centre of the Genocide.
Kigali experiences a pleasant, tropical highland climate with temperatures that vary depending on altitude, but vary little from month to month in the same location. There are two wet seasons and two dry seasons; a long and a short one. The wettest time of year is between March and May, while the driest months are July to September. There is also rain between October and November. Temperatures rarely go above 86°F (30°C) during the day or drop below 59°F (15°C).
Taxis are available in town. Motorcycle taxis are a cheaper option for direct travel, but the high speeds are not for the faint of heart. The cheapest way to get around Kigali is by matatus, the ubiquitous minibus taxis, which stop at any point along set routes. Rental vehicles are available, but not recommended for first time visitors as the roads around the country are in poor condition. Coach companies are available from Kigali for certain locations throughout Rwanda.
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