Kigali International Airport
Kigali international airport is located at Kanombe in the eastern part of Kigali the capital city of Rwanda about 5km from the main town. This is the main gateway of accessing Rwanda by air. It is formerly known as Gregoire Kayibanda internationals airport and is also sometimes locally referred to as Kanombe international airport because of its location. It is also here that visitors heading to destinations in the Eastern part of DRCongo pass. Kigali is closer and it is easier to connect to Goma town, Bukavu and Virunga national park. Today, Kigali international airport has also become a popular gateway to Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga national park in southwestern Uganda. The highlight for visiting these two national parks is gorilla trekking because that is where half of the entire population of mountain gorillas in the world live. Some people use it also when they are going to Burundi.
Kigali international airport is the main entrance for travelers on Rwanda safaris to Volcanoes national park, Akagera national park and Nyungwe national park and passengers using the airport have been increasing over the years. One of the reasons for passenger increase is development of tourism in Rwanda and also the amazing gorilla destinations; Uganda and the DRC in the neighborhood of Rwanda.
Kigali international airport was a major strategic point during the Rwandan civil war since it is a landlocked country, and this was the easiest way to access the country. There were 2 runways but one was closed after the Arusha accords where a Peace agreement between government of the Republic of Rwanda and the Rwanda Patriotic Front was signed on 4th august 1993 after this had been requested by Rwanda Partiotic Front. In April 1994, the presidents Juvenal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira of Rwanda and Burundi respectively were shot in the plane as it was preparing to land at Kigali international airport. Both of these were Hutu and either the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) or Rwandan Defence Forces were suspected to have done this shooting. As a result, on the following day, the Rwanda genocide started and the country was in total disorganization and darkness. The war was massive and very many people lost their lives in a brutal way and this was the most mysterious violence that the country ever faced. After some time, the country got peace and there were plans of renovating and modernizing Kigali international airport which was fulfilled. The airport is now one of the most beautiful airports in Africa, regardless of the small size of the country. In 2017, this airport the second best in Africa due to its compliance with the standards of ICAO.
Rwanda has a national carrier RwandaAir, operating both domestic and international flights around East Africa, West Africa, central Africa, Southern Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The head office of RwandaAir is located on the top floor of the main building of Kigali international airport. The offices of Rwanda Civil Aviation authority and Akagera Aviation are also situated at the airport. Airline companies that serve at Kigali international airport include Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, KLM, Qatar Airways, South African Airways, Turkish airlines among others.
Facilities at the Kigali International Airport
There are several services and facilities that passengers who use Kigali international airport enjoy. For example a comfortable VIP lounge where you enjoy luxurious relaxation, WiFi which you enjoy at the waiting area, ATMs, Post office, Bar and restaurants, tight security, luggage wrapping, baggage disputes and more.
When you organize your travel with Adventure in the wild safaris, the driver guide will pick you from the airport and transfer you to the next destination or to your hotel depending on the program of the safari. He will also drop you back after the trip so that you’ll catch your flight back home.
If you are not planning to fly back home immediately, he will drop you at the agreed place where you can hire a car to drop you at the airport.
And for those who will arrive and later on be picked by the driver guide at their hotel, you can hire an airport taxi to drop you at your hotel. Airport taxis are more reliable and convenient. Backpackers can hire mini-buses which are also known as msatatu.