Kigali is a gorgeous city packed with leafy streets and amazing views. It is really hard to go wrong on a walk here as everywhere you turn seems to reveal great vistas across the valleys to the facing hills. I recommend you just head out and explore but also thought it could be useful to list some of the most interesting walks around this beautiful city. Be prepared to hike around Kigali Hills when taking this walk. To those who are new and not used to Kigali city, Kigali high elevation leaves you gasping for air.
There are plenty of other walks in Kigali too. There is a great road from behind the Rwanda Development Board that stretches to Remera that, I think, would be a nice place to explore.
Kacyiru to Nyarutarama – Umubano Hotel to Manor Hotel
The 2 venues have swimming pools so begin your walk early during the dry season and you will have somewhere to cool off and enjoy a cold drink in the sun at the end. I recommend walking to The Manor as the view up there is amazing but if you want a bigger pool, then end instead at Umubano. Walking through Kacyiru streets will bring you to Inema Arts Center and Ivuka Arts. Which are both worth looks. This walk will take you down into the by the ‘lake’ and back up the other side. This is one of the few areas with walking paths through trees in Kigali and it’s nice to get off the roads and into something slightly resembling a small forest.
Kibagabaga – MTN Centre to Sunset Spa
The Kibagabaga neighborhood seems to have popped-up almost overnight and construction in this area is so fast and furious. Though construction may not be what you have in mind for a leisurely walk, but the rolling hills and great views in this area make it worth the effort getting out here. Caiman is a great stopping point for a cold drink, great view and swimming pool next door. Finish up your walk with a massage or facial at Sunset Spa and you’ve got a wonderful end to a pretty great day.
Kimihurura – Lemigo Hotel to Hero Shop
Start this walk at the Lemigo Hotel and wander down hill into Kimihurura residential areas. Proceeding down, you will pass the Alink Chinese Club which is the Chinese restaurant that the Chinese people in Kigali tend to go to. A pretty good sign that it’s good so if you’re hungry, make a stop for lunch. Continuing on you’ll pass by the Uburanga Arts Studio. Enter here to socialize and chat with some of the best artists in Kigali while checking out their beautiful work and enjoy their awesome garden.
Walking through the bottom of the mysterious Camp JP will bring you back into the part Kimihurura we all know and love with plenty of bars and restaurants to stop at as a reward. I recommend grabbing a crazy delicious smoothie from Hero Shop.
Kiyovu – KIST Muhabura to Hotel des Mille Collines
The leafy, winding, wide streets of Kiyovu are great to explore and just confusing enough to make it so you’ll discover new things each time you walk here. I really love walking along the Republika road; very quiet with crazy big houses and fantastic views across the valley to Gikondo. Walking a bit further down the road and taking a left turn at a walking path that goes down the hill. After meandering through a few small buildings you’ll see a road on your left that follows the curve of the hill to Republika.
Kiyovu streets are confusing but it makes for some nice walking. Plus the roads are lined with beautiful trees and flowers and there are plenty of places to stop for a break. Republika never opens until 18:00hrs but you can make your way to The Bistro at Urban for rooftop refreshment before ending up at hotel kempinski kigali for a swim.
Nyamirambo – Green Mosque to Sun City Hotel
Nyamirambo is one of Kigali’s best with serious bustle and hustle going on where the rest of Kigali tends to be on the sleepy, quiet side. Walking here can be a bit hectic, especially on the main road because its congested and people clog the sidewalks, the matatus zip quickly by. Instead of sticking to the main road, duck one street over and you’ll enjoy a much quieter but still very lively and interesting walk. The road extends past small shops, some local bars, markets and the stadium. There’s a great view of Mount Kigali from here and once you climb up the hill to Sun City Hotel you are rewarded with one of the best Kigali views as you look back towards town from a great vantage point. Enjoy a beer and if you time things right, you can watch the sun go down behind Mount Kigali then stroll a few doors over to Panorama Ten to two for some fish and brochettes.
Town – Just Wandering
The area of town sort of behind Simba heading downhill is a great spot for a stroll. The buildings are all colorfully painted and it’s a part of town with a lot of character. I doubt this part of two will survive Vision 2020 so visit while you still can! Sunday works best as the streets have few people, allowing you enjoy the place without fear of being mowed down by a truck. During the week and on Saturday, this part of city is crawling with people, bikes and cars, this gives another sort of experience in Kigali. Wander the streets and end up at KCT for a matinee, or head up to Bamboo for some Chinese food and an amazing view, have an experimental lunch at any of the small local restaurants in this area, or head to L’il Vegas for a fantastic burger as a reward after exercising.