The unspeakable horrors of the Rwandan genocide and civil war has been well documented. The conflict that took millions of lives and sent the nation burning. Yet in the midst of the scars, Rwanda has impressed with rebuilding her nation. Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, is today one of the most attractive capital cities in Africa. A thriving city full of life and vitality, home to an inspiring collection of contemporary art galleries. Showcasing the charismatic survivor as well as the very best in Rwandan and African art. Read on to discover some of the top art galleries and museums in Kigali.
We also recommend our guide to the films and documentaries shot in Rwanda.
Kigali Genocide Memorial
The Kigali Genocide Memorial was founded to commemorates the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Final resting place for more than 250,000 victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi. A very well laid out museum. Visitors can be guided by one of the staff or do a self-guided tour with an audio guide. Providing a detailed information on each stop within the Memorial. Somber experience, but insightful – the Memorial is place for remembrance and learning. It educates about genocide around the world. And showcase positive forward-thinking of how Rwandans are continuously rebuilding their nation, together. A must see if in Kigali. KGM is located in Gisozi, about ten minutes drive from the city centre. The Memorial is open 8:00am – 5:00pm, 7 days a week, except the last Saturday of each month.
Ivuka Arts Studio
Nice place with amazing contemporary artwork, inside and outside of the venue. A brilliant platform with focus in training and community engagement. A creative space for so many artists and art enthusiasts. The Ivuka Arts Studio has a real community feel to it and is not to be missed.
Kigali Arts Center
This Kigali contemporary art gallery features new and emerging Rwandan artists with creativity that will amaze you. The centre enables and provides emerging artists with space to showcase their talent. Helping put contemporary Rwandan art on the world map. Visitors are lucky to meet some of the artists and purchase a few paintings directly from them. A great value at a good deal.
Kigali Center for Photography
Exhibiting the very best of photography as an artform in Kigali, Rwanda. The centre is the only photo gallery in the city. A well curated gallery promoting Rwandan photographers as well as showcasing international photographers. They do workshops teaching locals about the appreciation of photography as an art form.
Inema Arts Centre
Gorgeous and an intriguing art spot that should be on your list whenever in Kigali. The Inema Arts Center focuses on exhibiting contemporary African arts, crafts, music and dance. The venue provides a space to fuel creativity. They offer workshops, trainings, and classes. Founded in 2012 by two brothers, today, the gallery is home to a collective of Rwandan creative artists. Its doors are open to visitors, and resident artists are happy to talk about their art and artistic expressions. There’s a lovely café within the property, grab a cup of coffee and live art.
Niyo Arts Gallery
Definitely a must-visit spot for art lovers. A small gallery with stunning works of art. The Niyo Arts Gallery features and promotes several artists from and around Rwanda. Art purchase are available from the gallery. And portion of the proceeds goes to support vulnerable children from the centre. If you’re in Kigali, you can get authentic pieces here, at same time help support the locals.
Rwanda Art Museum
The Rwanda Art Museum also known as Presidential Palace Museum exhibits on Rwandan history and debris from a noted plane crash. The former presidential house is full of mysteries and surprises. A mixt of architecture and history in Kigali. This mid-century modern villa holds valuable knowledge of historical and cultural events in Rwanda. The tour guides are professionals, and some are survivors of the genocide, they will provide you with information that will enlighten you about Rwanda. Highly recommended if you visiting this beautiful country, and you won’t be bored!