Fun Things To Do In Rwanda

Fun Things To Do In Rwanda

Rwanda, better known as the land of a thousand hills, is one of the smallest countries in Africa. With the wonderfully built Kigali as its capital city. It is known to be the cleanest, safest and most organized state in the continent.

Its main qualities being the sparkly emerald green lake shared with the neighboring country of the Democratic Republic of Congo. And a chain of mountains running across the nation. Including the eight Virunga Volcanic Mountains: home to the famous mountain gorillas.

Rwanda, having come from bloodshed and disaster, has grown into one of the finest lands at present. Rwandans today enjoy music, dance, art and craft, among other things. A common saying in this country is, “God spends the day elsewhere but sleeps in Rwanda.”

Welcome to the land of a thousand hills. Here are the fun things you cannot afford to miss out on.

Inema Arts Centre

Inema arts Centre is a modern, cozy and popular art gallery in Kigali. It was established in 2012 by two brothers and self-taught painters, Innocent Nkurunziza and Emmanuel Nkuranga. It is designed mainly to promote and expand the creative minds in Rwanda through weekly events such as, workshops, dance shows, happy hour and yoga classes.

Inema arts Centre features different types of art, both inside the building and outside. For instance; paintings, sculptures and crafts for sale, which can also be shipped internationally. However if you do not wish to buy, you’re still very welcome to appreciate. Inema arts Centre is usually open every day from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm, with the popular happy hour on Thursdays from 6:00 pm.

Kigali City Tower (KCT)

Kigali City Tower mostly known as KCT is a retail and office building located in the modern part of the city surrounded by advanced structures. It is the tallest building in Kigali and its space is been divided between leased office space and retail outlets. The major retailers include Bourbon coffee, a food court with different restaurants and a four screen cinema (century cinemas), open every day and busy on weekends.  

Kigali Genocide Memorial Museum

In Gisozi, you can find the Kigali Genocide Memorial, which is a remembrance of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. There are over 250,000 remains of victims laid to rest. Both tourists and those who lost their loved ones in the genocide, visit to remember and grieve. The entrance is free and donations are accepted.

The Genocide Memorial is open from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm daily. It is influential that people learn the causes of the genocide and work hard to put a stop from it happening again in the future both in Rwanda or anywhere else in the world.

Kigali Heights

Kigali Heights located in Kacyiru with the aesthetic view of Kigali Convention Centre and Radisson Blu Hotel. It is a building with high quality office space and retail outlets. The major retailers are Java house and other numerous restaurants, Riders Lounge (a common bar among locals and foreigners), Simba Supermarket, Samory beauty, Pharmacies, Gift Shops, African Leadership University (ALU) and Ecobank, among others. The busy environment means Kigali Heights is lively at all times. And this is where you will find most people on weekends, drinking and enjoying a game of soccer.

Kigali Convention Centre (KCC

The Kigali Convention Centre built from 2009-1016. It is the largest convention center in the city of Kigali.KCC is famous for its dome-like shape and is located in the heart of Kigali. Opposite the Kacyiru KG 2 roundabout and facing the two biggest retail Centers in the country, Kigali Heights(KH) and Kigali Business Centre(KBC). This convention Centre can host more than 5000 people. An extravagance 5 Star hotel, Radisson Blu Hotel is attached to KCC. Kigali Convention Centre includes;

  • Kigali Information Technology Park ( rental offices)
  • A museum
  • A Conference center
  • Radisson Blu Hotel
  • Hand against corruption

This is a world class facility and an amazing venue for meetings. It is also entrance free, which means anyone can access and explore Rwanda’s great landmark. One would have to see it at night to discover the true beauty of the Kigali Convention Center. Passerbys can get a glimpse of its beautiful rotating lights from almost anywhere in the capital city.

Pili Pili

This outstanding location in Kibagabaga serves to be a popular place among both locals and tourists. The centrally placed swimming pool, wide soccer field, good music, tremendous view of the city are its main attractions. Which also includes Kigali Convention Centre and its affordable menu. People usually gather on weekend evenings to enjoy a cold drink with friends or catch a soccer game on the screens downstairs. Before heading upstairs to get a glimpse of the spectacular view of Kigali. In addition, Pili Pili offers a low-priced boutique hotel near the much talked about scenes such as Amahoro Stadium and the Kimironko market. Guest rooms include; a minibar, kitchenette, free Wi-Fi, and a refrigerator.

Fazenda Sengha

This is anequestrian recreational center with outdoor activities on the periphery of Kigali. It is located on top of Mount Kigali in Nyamirambo. Fazenda Sengha provides the perfect opportunity to see the astonishing hills and the scenery of the city. Some of the activities include horseback riding, trail riding, archery and zip lining. It is open from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm with an entrance fee of about 3000 RWF.

Inzora Rooftop Café  

Inzora Rooftop Café is located in Kacyiru, inside Ikirezi book store. This makes it the perfect place to read, work and eat or enjoy a cup of coffee/tea. Moreover it has a rooftop, where customers can loosen up in a quite and relaxed surrounding.

Inzora rooftop has exquisite furniture and décor. Every Friday you will find happy hour with an evening of cocktails, wine and snacks. On your way in or out there is a gift shop containing Made in Rwanda crafts that you can have a look at.


Cocobean is a bar/night club located at the heart of Kigali, right next door to Inzora rooftop café and walking distance from Kigali Heights. It complements the Rwandan culture of music and dance and usually attracts a crowd of internationals and locals interested to have fun. It stands out with its richness of the African theme and furniture that makes one appreciate African art.

Cocobean contains a lively bar that is busy from Thursday to Saturday, a various group of people and food, a swimming  pool and an affordable working 24hour restaurant upstairs with breathtaking day and night views of the city. From cocobean you can see the complete Kigali experience.

Envy Night Club

This is a common spot in Kigali where people of all ages meet up to dance the night away in the basement of Papyrus. Located at the center of Kimihurura with countless restaurants nearby, Envy Night Club is popular for its large dance space; astonishing sound system, lively crowd, windowless hall and most importantly the food stand at the top of the stairs, commonly known as Issa’s. After a delightful night out, most people from different clubs gather at Envy Night Club to get a taste of Issa’s unique and famously delicious, brochettes and cheese potatoes.

Ubumwe Grande Hotel

The famous Ubumwe Grande Hotel is situated in the business district of Kigali. It is luxurious and has spacious rooms, several restaurants but the most favored one is on the rooftop. With a beautiful unique swimming pool, bar and terrace overlooking the city, this makes it the perfect place to see the breathtaking day and night views of the vibrant African city of Kigali. With its very relaxed and quiet atmosphere, Ubumwe Grande Hotel is the best spot to read and get some work done.

Mamba Club

Located in Kimihurura, Mamba Club is a recreation Centre with different activities available. For anyone who loves both indoor and outdoor games this is the place for you because it is far from city noise. It offers a nice beer garden to hang out with friends, the only bowling alley in Kigali, a volleyball pitch for family or friend competitions, a beautiful swimming pool, ping pong and a pool table. This is a great place for affordable food and dorms if traveling on a budget. The rooms are clean and come packaged with a descent breakfast. Mamba club is awesome for both adults and children.

Lake Muhazi

Lake Muhazi is a narrow and shallow lake located on the eastern side of Rwanda. It is 60km long and 5km wide covering all five districts of the state. With lots of different types of birds at this lake, such as, scarlet chested, arrow marked and many more, bird watching has become the most popular activity here.

Just as common, is fishing and beach camping. With the many fish species available like the tilapia and marbled lungfish, among others, taking a boat ride and fishing has become quite favored too. Lake Muhazi is enjoyable for those looking for a quieter environment outside the city Centre. East and west of the lake there are towns nearby which are Rwesero and Gahini, and both have golf clubs and a few guesthouses where you can explore fishing, bird watching and boating.

Lake Kivu

A part of the Great Rift Valley is Lake Kivu that lies along the Albertine Rift. Shared between Rwanda and The Democratic Republic of Congo, Lake Kivu has sparkling emerald green water and astonishing mountains in the surrounding. Lake Kivu is Rwanda’s largest and Africa’s 6th largest lake. Along the lakeshore, you will find tropical hotels and bars offering cocktails to enjoy as you relax by the shore. Lake Kivu is perfect for the swimming in the lake experience because it is bilharzia and hippopotamus free. 

The town of Rusizi is on the south of the lake(formerly known as Cyangugu). Where you can tour the emerald green water using the local amato boat, leading to Gihaya and Nkombo islands. On these islands is a number of different birdlife which is best for bird watching.

North of the lake you will find the town of Rubavu (formerly known as Gisenyi), which is home to numerous beautiful tropical beaches, resorts and hotels. Gisenyi allows easy access to the neighboring country of the Democratic Republic of Congo where one can explore their culture. This is the Perfect leisure escape.

Karongi (formerly known as Kibuye), coming at halfway along the lake is lined with eucalyptus and pines and is easily accessible from Kigali City. Here, you will find the Museeum of Environment where you will learn more about the energy sources and local herbs in Rwanda. Boat rides over the lake to the different islands are also available.

While at the lake, you can explore the following activities:


The Lake has a fresh water body which is bilharzia, hippopotamus and crocodile free. The best swimming points are Rubavu, Rusizi and Karongi. The temperature is cool and there is fine sand where one can relax after a long day/week. Taking a swim cannot be resisted because the temperature is cool. You can find life guards there as well to make sure your safe.

Water trips and cruising

Kayaking, boat tours, surfing are activities you can do on the lake.

Nyamyumba hot springs

Famously known as amashyuza. The underground water bubbles make its way up to the top through porous rocks, known to heal flu, headache, back pain and skin diseases. Many believe the natural spa to have medicinal and healing power. As about fifteen people engulf into the hot springs.

Imbabazi orphanage

Rosamand Carr established this orphanage after the 1994 genocide to help and care for children who lost their parents. Donations and emotional support is accepted.

Hiking and biking

You can go biking and hiking along the Congo Nile trail.

Bird watching

On Lake Kivu birds can be seen preying for fish. Some of the birds that can be spotted include; pigeons, African wood pecker, ducks etc.

Sport fishing

The water body is home to many fish species; Nile tilapia, Lake Tanganyika sardine and the red breast tilapia among others.

Musanze caves

The caves were outstanding during the ancient times. For they were used by the Rwandan tribes as the venue for crowning their new kings. More recently the caves became popular as a sanctuary for refugees during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsis.

Today, the Musanze caves have become a tourist magnet, with visitors rejoicing in the elegant green landscape surrounding the caves. It is chilly and quite inside the caves, with streams of water gently running out of the rock ceiling and down the solid walls and under the cave floor pits. These caves have lots of tunnels, many being home to numerous bats which can be seen hanging from the dark walls. Touring these caves takes about an hour and you will need a torch, head cap, helmet, gloves and boots.

Mount Bisoke

Mt Bisoke is a dormant volcano lying within the frontiers of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. With the greater part set in Rwanda, it last erupted in 1957. It is found in the District of Musanze, located in the northern province of Rwanda. It is one of the eight volcanoes in the Virunga mountains range and is 3,711m high with an incredible crater lake at the very top of about 400m and another found midway of 11km. Strolling up to the summit takes about six hours while coming down takes two, depending on how often you stop for a rest. Hikers must prepare for insects, thorny plants, low temperature, and muddy trails especially through the rainy season.

Mount Bisoke is home to many forest elephants, buffalo, mountain gorillas, golden monkeys and various bird species. Once at the peak, you will be able to admire the breathtaking scenery and vegetation surrounding the area such as, Mount Karisimbi and Mount Mikeno in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Volcanoes National Park

Located in northwestern Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park is a national park that covers 160sqkm of rainforest and holds five of the eight Virunga Mountain Volcanoes. It is most popular for its mountain gorillas but other creatures call this home, such as the buffalo, hyenas, bushbuck, golden monkey, elephants and 178 species of birds. There are a large number of activities taking place here such as, the gorilla visits, golden monkey visits, tour of the lakes and caves, Iby’Iwacu cultural village tour and climbing of Bisoke and Karisimbi Mountains. This national park is where Kwita Izina, the baby gorilla naming ceremony, annually occurs on the 1st of September.

Nyungwe Forest National Park

Along the border of Burundi, located in southwestern Rwanda, Nyungwe National Park is one of the oldest rain forests in Rwanda. Well known for the chimpanzee, monkey tracking and most importantly, the canopy walk. This is where travelers hike up to the top of the trees and admire the beauty of the forest on hanging bridges.

Nyungwe National Park also has 1068 plant species which include trees, orchids and others being discovered every year. Accommodating at least 300 bird species and 120 butterfly species, this is the best bird watching site, with some calling it “Bird’s Paradise”. A range of mammals have been discovered in Nyungwe National Park including leopards, serval cat, mongoose and Congo clawless otter. Unfortunately, many are hard to see because they tend to be shy. For one to visit, they pay the fee online and bring proof of the payment to the park’s reception. Nyungwe National Park is open from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Akagera National Park

In eastern Rwanda we find the Akagera National Park, along the border of Tanzania. It includes woodlands, swamp habitants, low mountains and savannah. It got its name from the Kagera River which runs along the east falling into Lake Ihema and other smaller lakes. Akagera National Park known for its big five animals; the Lion, Rhinoceros, Elephant, Buffalo and Leopard. This makes it one of the most interesting national parks to visit in Rwanda.

Rwandan/EAC adults pay an entrance fee of 33,000 RWF (35 USD) and children are charged 19,000 RWF (20 USD). The International adults charged 47,500 RWF (50 USD) while childre charged 28,500 RWF (30 USD).

The most popular activities to participate in at the park are:

  • Game drives
  • Birding
  • Sport fishing
  • Camping

The King’s Palace Museum

The King’s Palace Museum, the royalty residence to Rwandans, can be found at the top of a hill, in the town of Butare and can effortlessly be identified due to its beehive shape. The Belgian colonialists helped build it in 1931for King Mutara III. Being very popular with the Belgians, King Mutara III was the first king to convert to Catholicism in Rwanda. The King’s Palace Museum today includes all sorts of cultural games, art and dances. Here the youth gets motivated to get more knowledge about their culture through competitions and winning prizes.

Tourists and locals learn more on the Rwandan culture by catching sight of the inyambo (sanctified cows). And touring the inside, with three living rooms, the best one set aside for the white guests, and amazing English panels about the history of this land. On the hill of Mwima nearby, one can also visit the graves of King Mutara and his wife, Queen Rosalie.

Briefly, visiting new places is always adventurous and exciting. These are just a few of the areas you can explore in this magnificent country. Whether you are a tourist planning your trip, or a resident unsure of what to do with your free time, take the first step and grab your passports as you get ready for this once in a lifetime experience on the land of a thousand hills.

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