Lush hillsides, flowering trees and bustling streets make up one of the most enchanting cities in Africa. Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, has developed into a cosmopolitan yet welcoming center with a wide range of fascinating things to explore. When it comes to shopping, even though there are a number of malls, the lively markets and local stores are where you should head to if you‘re after something more authentic. From handicrafts and clothing to fresh fruit and vegetables, get ready to practice your bargaining skills and join us as we explore Kigali’s best shopping spots.
An association of 22 stalls selling handicrafts from Rwanda and the surrounding region since 2007 can be found in an old warehouse almost right in the heart of the city. Cooperative for Trade and Promotion of Rwandan Arts, Crafts & Culture, or more simply Cootrac, opens its doors from 8am until 7pm and invites you to immerse in a vibrant universe full of little wonders.
What happens when a number of artists and sellers form a cooperative and build colorful wooden huts” The answer is Caplaki, an association offering a surprising variety of local handicrafts for every taste and budget. From traditional masks and musical instruments to lovely paintings and jewelry, there is no doubt that this small village within the city is one of the best places to stroll around and get some souvenirs for your loved ones.
If you need fresh ingredients for your culinary experimentation, look no further. Nyabugogo is a market near the main bus station divided in sections and selling everything you can think of. Vegetables, fruit, fresh meat, clothing and many more goodies wait for you in the most chaotic atmosphere where you will be able to get the real feel of local life. If it’s too overwhelming for you, do not worry; there is always someone willing to help around.
A youth-centered NGO empowering people in Kigali who have been orphaned, neglected, abused, or who live in difficult circumstances gave birth to a wonderful shop with crafts and products made by those young people themselves. Stop by Centre Marembo to purchase some charming souvenirs like bags, clothes or jewelry and help the center fund their projects related to education, training and social work support. If you are staying for a while, do not miss the chance to order a tailored piece and get it in just a few days.