The Best Activities to Do with Children in Rwanda

© Azizi Life Experiences
© Azizi Life Experiences
Photo of Annette Swale
Founder - Ask Annette29 December 2017

Travelling as a family brings its own unique challenges, especially when visiting remote destinations that may venture off the beaten track. Rwanda (‘the Land of a Thousand Hills’) is not the place many people might think of as a child-friendly holiday destination, however, there is plenty to see and do with children in this beautiful country.

Experience local customs with Azizi Life

From crafting, banana juice making, traditional construction, cooking, candle dipping, homestays, to drumming and dancing, the Azizi Life Experiences give you and your family a chance to truly understand the Rwandan way of life. During these day trips, you are fully immersed in Rwandan culture, meeting the local people and experiencing their everyday life.

Azizi Life, Gitarama Road, Gitarama, Rwanda +250 785 781 146

Sleep under the stars in Akagera National Park

Map View
Camping in Akagera National Park
Camping in Akagera National Park
Who wouldn’t love to camp in a beautiful national park full of elephants, giraffe, zebra, buffalo and lions? Camping in the fenced area of south of Akagera National Park is an unforgettable experience for any family. Bring your own tent or rent one for the staff to erect for you. Firewood is provided, as are BBQ areas, running fresh water and long-drop toilets. Don’t forget to bring your marshmallows, then enjoy sitting by the fire under a star-filled sky and listening for the sounds of the wildlife that surround your camp.

Escape the city at Lake Kivu

Enjoy being away from the city and relax by the lakeside of Lake Kivu. As you lounge by the lakeside, local boats will pull up and offer you trips to the small islands and the hot springs. Remember to haggle for a great price on your boat ride and be aware of the weather (if it looks like rain is coming, it’s best not to go offshore). If you feel like splurging then stay at the fabulous Serena Lake Kivu Hotel. Their standard rooms have two double beds, which is perfect for a small family.

Serena Lake Kivu Hotel Ave de la Cooperation, Gisenyi, Rwanda +250 252 541 100

Stay for the weekend at Lake Kivu | <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Courtesy of Living in Rwanda – Ask Annette</a>

Stay for the weekend at Lake Kivu | Courtesy of Living in Rwanda – Ask Annette | Stay for the weekend at Lake Kivu

Canoe on the Mukungwa River

Get a different view of Rwanda as you navigate the Mukungwa River in your canoe. Kingfisher Journeys welcome children from four years old to join in their half-day canoeing trips, which take off from Musanze. Enjoy the beautiful diversity of Rwanda’s countryside, wildlife and water life, and meet some members of the local communities that live along the riverside – a wonderful experience for all ages.

Kingfisher Journeys, Greenhill EcoTours, Near Serena Hotel, Ave de Independance, Gisenyi, Rwanda +250 783 811 918

Canoeing on the Mukungwa River | <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Courtesy of Mini Travellers</a>

Canoeing on the Mukungwa River | Courtesy of Mini Travellers | Canoeing on the Mukungwa River

Get out of the rain in a soft-play area

Rain can be very unpredictable in Rwanda. When you are caught out with a couple of days of rain and you have children that need to escape from home, then head to the indoor soft-play area at Monaco Café. You pay per hour for your children to enjoy the play area while you can sit back and relax with a drink and some food. Be prepared to pay for more than one hour to let your children explore.

Monaco Café, KN 82 St, Kigali, Rwanda +250 733 253 788

Soft-play on a rainy day | <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Courtesy of Living in Rwanda – Ask Annette</a>

Soft-play on a rainy day | Courtesy of Living in Rwanda – Ask Annette | Softplay on a Rainy Day

Indulge in a long hotel brunch

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There are various four and five-star hotels in Kigali that offer fabulous long brunches over the weekends. From morning to late afternoon, you can sit back and relax while all your food and drinks are provided. Use of the swimming pool is normally included in the brunch price and helps to keep children well entertained. The Kigali Marriott Hotel weekend brunch includes the use of a bouncy castle near the swimming pool, so extra entertainment for the children!


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  • Ride a horse on the top of Mount Kigali

    Fazenda Sengha offers horse riding lessons every day of the week. Situated on top of Mount Kigali, the views are spectacular, so sit back and relax while your children enjoy the horse riding. You can also join in with them for a family horse riding lesson. Take a picnic and stay for lunch; there are tables to use and lots of green space for the children to run and around. Also on offer is a zip line and horse trails for when you want to head off course.

    Fazenda Sengha, Kigali, Rwanda +250 788 551 787

    Horse riding on top of Mount Kigali | <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Courtesy of Living in Rwanda – Ask Annette</a>

    Horse riding on top of Mount Kigali | Courtesy of Living in Rwanda – Ask Annette

    Work up an appetite in a restaurant playground

    Hotel Restaurant, Restaurant, African, Fusion, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, $$$
    Map View

    Public playgrounds are non-existent in Rwanda, but there are some great restaurants that offer play spaces perfect for entertaining children. CasaKeza, Century Park Tung Chinese Cuisine, Heaven, J. Lynn’s and Pili Pili are some of the restaurants you can choose from. These restaurants all have various forms of outdoor play areas, indoor play houses, toys, sandpits, live animals, grassy areas and swimming pools, not to mention delicious food for the whole family to enjoy. At Heaven Restaurant you will find a great kids’ menu and a playground. Plus, on weekends, there are craft activities for children offered at the adjoining Azizi Life Boutique.

    Explore and shop at Kimironko Market

    Map View
    Kimironko market
    Kimironko market | Courtesy of Annette Swale
    From the smells to the vibrant colours to the happy people, Kimironko Market is quite the shopping experience. Bring along your shopping bags and stock up on everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to second-hand clothing. Kimironko Market has everything you could possibly imagine (and some things you couldn’t!). Remember to bring cash and barter like the locals do.

    Discover Kigali’s incredible heritage

    Go Kigali Tours offer half-day and full-day tours that let you and your family experience the city of Kigali. Full-day tour stops include a trip to the top of Mount Kigali for views of the city and the countryside, drinks at a milk bar, a trip to a neighbourhood market, a mural walk, a Rwandan lunch, Rwandan coffee, a ride on a water taxi, a neighbourhood walk and a visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial. The half tour includes a trip to Mount Kigali, a mural walk, drinks at a milk bar and a visit to a neighbourhood market.

    Go Kigali Tours, KN 3 Avenue, C/O Kigali Marriott Hotel, Kigali, Rwanda +250 788 316 607

    Take a city tour | <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Courtesy of Go Kigali Tours</a>

    Take a city tour | Courtesy of Go Kigali Tours | Take a City Tour

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