Kigali, population 330,000 (1997), is the capital of Rwanda. Iron ore (cassiterite) is mined nearby, and the city built a smelting plant in the 1980s.

Founded in 1907 under German colonial rule, Kigali was made the capital when Rwanda gained independence in 1962. Starting on April 7, 1994 it was the scene of the slaughter of thousands of Tutsis by Hutu gangs and the Rwandan army, and of fierce fighting between the army and Tutsi-dominated rebel forces.

Kigali's location is at 1 deg 57.245 minutes South, 30 deg 3.570 min East.

It is built in hilly country, with the lower parts at roughly 4700 feet (1433 m), and the higher hills over 5400 feet (1645 m) in elevation.