Swimming Pools in Kigali

It’s here! At long last! An epic, updated article about swimming pools in Kigali… just in time for the end of the dry season. Oops. Ah well… even during rainy season, the days under the Kigali sun can sometimes become unbearably hot, and when those dust clouds hit as this year’s dry season comes to a close, nothing will refresh you quite like a day at the pool.

Luckily for us, Kigali is loaded with great options for pools that satisfy all of our possible pool-y needs like swimming laps, chilling and tanning, or fun for the family. I’ve put in some serious moto miles zipping all around the city to check out all of the pools I know about. There are a few I still need to get to (you’ll see them plotted on the map at the bottom of the article but I still need to visit to get the details) so stay tuned as this list will expand as I venture to the farther-flung areas of the city with the missing pools.

Since this article is somewhat ridiculously long, below is a summary of what I think are the best swimming pools in Kigali for various purposes. Read on for all of the details and photos. Enjoy!

Best Swimming Pools in Kigali for Laps

  • Cercle Sportif
  • Great Seasons Hotel
  • Hotel Des Mille Collines
  • La Palisse
  • Nyarutarama Sports Club
  • Sportsview Hotel
  • Umubano Hotel

Best Swimming Pools in Kigali Drinking, Tanning, and Chilling

  • Gorillas Golf Hotel
  • Grand Legacy Hotel
  • Great Seasons Hotel
  • Hotel Des Mille Collines
  • Hotel Villa Portofino
  • Lemigo Hotel
  • Manor Hotel
  • Park Inn
  • Pili Pili
  • Rubangura Apartments (Waka Fitness)
  • Serena Hotel
  • Ubumwe Grande
  • Umubano Hotel

Best Swimming Pools in Kigali for Families

  • Cercle Sportif
  • La Palisse
  • Le Sanitas
  • Mamba Club
  • Nyarutarama Sports Club
  • Pili Pili
  • Sportsview
  • Umubano Hotel

Cercle Sportif

Swimming Pools in Kigali

Price: Adults Rwf 3,000 / Children Rwf 1,500
Hours: Daily, 9am – 9pm
Phone: 0794 695 900

On weekends and during school holidays, the pool at Cercle Sportif is definitely a place for families with young children, and they’re the only place in town that has a diving board and a slide! If you’re someone who wants to use the pool for laps, it’s a great choice but be aware of when the kiddies may be there. They don’t allow kids after 5pm and the pool is open until 9pm and lit, so if you want some peace and quiet, evening swims are an option here. Take note that if you have long hair they’ll ask you to wear a swimming cap. Their changing facilities have cold showers only and they don’t provide towels so bring your own.

The best thing about visiting Cercle Sportif are the beef brochettes. Cheap and delicious! The worst thing about spending a day here, is that you can’t spend it laying down because they don’t have lounge chairs. This is a pool for serious swimmers and not really the sort of place you’ve come to lounge around and tan. They do have plenty of tables around the pool and lots of shady areas. Plus there are loads of other things to do on the grounds of the Cercle Sportif complex and it’s a great location for a family outing.

Gorillas Golf Hotel

Swimming Pools in Kigali

Price: Adults Rwf 6,000 / Children Rwf 5,000
Hours: Daily, 24 Hours
Phone: 0788 174 000 / 0788 200 500
Website: http://www.gorillashotels.com

Gorillas Golf Hotel in Nyarutarama definitely gets the prize for the most creatively-shaped pool. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a double circle pool in my life but it does the trick! It’s difficult to tell if the middle section is low enough down to be able to swim laps across it, though. But if you’re more interested in lounging than laps, there are a few chairs scattered around and the pool rarely seems to be too busy. Your admission fee gets you access to changing facilities with showers and towels as well and there’s a bar/restaurant to keep you well-stocked with food and drinks throughout the day.

Grand Legacy Hotel

Swimming Pools in Kigali

Price: Adults Rwf 4,000 / Children Rwf 3,000
Hours: Daily, 6am – 7pm
Phone: 0788 303 483
Website: http://grandlegacy.rw

This large and relatively new hotel is located beyond Remera as you drive out towards the airport. It’s pool is smallish but there was a guy there attempting laps when I arrived so it’s possible! There are five padded lounge chairs with a couple of umbrellas for shade and the pool is surrounded by tables. The hotel’s restaurant is off to one side of the pool which might be good if you like chilling and eating but it could also make you feel a bit on display if the restaurant is busy. I’d recommend this pool if you live in the area as there aren’t a lot of other options around, but I wouldn’t make the trip across town to go here if you’re close to another pool. Towels are included in the price and they have hot showers and a changing area.

Great Seasons Hotel

Swimming Pools in Kigali

Price: Adults Rwf 3,000 / Children Rwf 2,000
Hours: Daily, 7am – 7pm
Phone: 0783 814 000 / 0788 308 970
Website: http://greatseasonshotel.rw

I feel like this place is a bit of a hidden gem. The price is quite good and the pool is large enough for laps and hasn’t been busy any of the few times I’ve stopped by. Add in six padded lounge chairs and a bar right next to the pool and we have a great place to suntan with a drink in hand or to do laps if you prefer. There are lots of tables scattered around and plenty of shade. They also have a spa on site if you want to pamper yourself a bit while you’re there. If you live in the Gacuriro area I’d recommend giving this place a try for a day at the pool. Towels (and slippers!) are provided and they have hot showers.

Highlands Suites Hotel

Swimming Pools in Kigali

Price: Rwf 3,000
Hours: Daily, 6am – 6pm
Phone: 0784 212 566
Website: http://highlandsuiteshotel.com

While this pool is open to the public, it’s probably not somewhere I’d go out of my way to go to. It’s great for guests to come down from their rooms and have a splash around but there’s no shade at all, the lounge chairs are a bit too short for actual lounging, and the pool is too short for laps. If you live in the area I’d recommend Great Seasons Hotel instead which is the same price and cheaper for children. Highlands will give you a towel and they also have facilities with cold showers.

Hotel Des Mille Collines

Hotel des Mille Collines

Price: Rwf 7,000 (adults) / Rwf 3,500 (kids)
Hours: Daily, 6am – 6pm
Phone: 0788 192 000
Website: https://www.millecollines.rw

Home to the world’s most uncomfortable hammocks but still a beautiful place to spend a day by the pool. There are usually far fewer rambunctious children at this pool than at the others in town, so it’s a lot more chilled out, though it can still get very busy. Enjoy a margarita brought to your deck chair and soak up the Kigali sunshine in luxury. At Rwf 7,000 for adults it’s one of the more pricey options, but I guess that keeps the crowds down which makes for a much more relaxing experience. The pool is centrally located in Kiyovu not far from from the UTC Centre. On Sundays they have a deal for Rwf 14,000 including swimming and a very good brunch buffet between noon and 4pm along with some live music. It makes a really nice day out and you can keep going back to the buffet to feed your face until 4pm which makes Sundays very good value.

Hotel Villa Portofino Kigali

Swimming Pools in Kigali

Price: Adults Rwf 6,000 / Children Rwf 3,000
Hours: Daily, 8am – 7pm
Phone: 0252 500 555 / 0781 579 654
Website: http://www.hotelvillaportofinokigali.com

I’m a big fan of the little pool at Villa Portofino. It’s a big too short to be able to get good laps in, but the place is perfect for a relaxing day tanning. There are plenty of padded lounge chairs, a few umbrellas for shade, a bar and restaurant and lots of tables around the pool if you want to grab a snack. The view is wonderful and I really like how the pool area feels open and exposed on one side to the city’s nature. They have a trainer on hand every day except Monday for people who don’t know how to swim. Towels are included and they have cold showers and changing facilities. Give this place a try if you’re in the Nyarutarama area and want a relaxing escape from the city for a day.

La Palisse

Swimming Pools in Kigali

Price: Adults Rwf 3,000 / Children Rwf 1,000
Hours: Daily, 8am – 8pm

La Palisse is a cheap option for swimming in Kigali if you have a lot of kids with you. This hotel is located out by the airport in Kanombe on sprawling, beautiful grounds. The pool is fenced off in its own area which will keep the kiddies nicely corralled, and it’s a huge space with a lot of grass to relax on and large trees providing shade. The pool is one of the largest in the city and would be good for doing laps. Plus there’s a kid’s area to the side which would hopefully keep them from drifting into your lane though I’m sure the diving board would lure them out into the main pool. No towels are provided here but their changing facility has hot showers.

Lemigo Hotel

Swimming Pools in Kigali

Price: Rwf 7,000
Hours: Daily, 7am – 6pm
Phone: 0784 040 924
Website: http://www.lemigohotel.com

This pool is pretty nice, set in the centre of all of the action, surrounded by a whole bunch of rooms. It might feel a little like you’re swimming in a fishbowl but there’s a swim up bar so any anxiety you might have about being watched will surely melt away after a few stiff drinks. There are plenty of lounge chairs as well as shady areas but there’s no grassy area which makes the whole place feel a bit sterile and unwelcoming. If you’re willing to pay Rwf 7,000 to swim then I feel like the Mille Collines has a better setting. Their location is pretty good, sort of on the edge of Kimihurura in the direction of Nyarutarama, making it pretty central for a lot of people. Your admission fee includes a towel and changing facilities with showers.

Le Sanitas

Swimming Pools in Kigali

Price: Rwf 2,000
Hours: Daily, 8am – 7pm

This was a tough place to gather info on since the guy at reception only speaks Kinyarwanda and the extent of my conversation abilities were to ask ‘how much’ while pointing to the pool. I managed to figure out the price and then a friendly patron came over to rescue me and help with the rest of the info. Le Sanitas is located in the Niboye Road area and it’s an interesting little place. I can’t figure out if it’s more of a bar or more of a pool. The whole centre part of the place is taken up with a pretty nice pool and there’s a bar along one side serving up local food and beers.

At first glance, I really like this place as it seems like the people are friendly and it has a very relaxed atmosphere. I’ve heard the food here is good but have yet to try it. The are a five plastic lounge chairs and a bit of shade is provided by the side of the building and a tent thing at one end. There’s a kid’s splash pool area and the main pool is big enough for laps, although there are better places if laps are your goal. The price here is great and I think it would make a fun hangout spot with beers or for a family outing. You can hire towels for Rwf 500 and there’s a changing area with showers.

Mamba Club

Swimming Pools in Kigali

Price: Rwf 3,000 (Rwf 2,000 for kids)
Hours: Daily, 10am – 4pm closed monday
Phone: 0783 103 160

This small pool is overrun with children on the weekends so be prepared for cannon balls, water guns, a lot of screaming and all that comes with crowds of little ones. If you’ve got a family of your own it’ll make a fun place for the kids, but if you’re looking for a relaxing day by the pool, Mamba isn’t the place for you. The pool is very small as well so it’s more for splashing about than for swimming laps. On the up side, if the pool gets to be too much you can go bowling, play volleyball or table tennis, or just relax on the grass with a beer or three while watching athletic types hit balls around. Mamba is very central, located in the middle of Kimihurura. The food here is good and the atmosphere is fun. There’s also a kid’s play area complete with jungle gyms and a trampoline so it makes this a great choice for a day with the family. They have towels for hire at Rwf 500 each and there’s a changing area with showers.

Manor Hotel

Swimming at the Manor Hotel

Price: Adults Rwf 3,500 / Children 2,500
Hours: 6am – 6pm
Phone: 0786 654 435
Website: http://www.themanorrwanda.com

The Manor Hotel’s pool has to have the best view over Kigali from it’s raised deck looking from Nyarutarama across the valley to Kacyiru. The pool itself is one of the smallest in town so you won’t be doing laps but it’s more of a setting for sipping a couple of cocktails than for strenuous activities. It has one of the best views in the city. They’ve managed to incorporate a grassy area with patio chairs and tables which makes a decent place to hang out when you’re not in the pool. Every time I’ve been there it’s been empty so if you like having a pool to yourself, this is a good place to come. They provide towels and their changing area has hot showers.

Marriott Hotel

Marriott Hotel, Kigali

Price: Rwf 12,000
Hours: To Be Determined
Phone: 0222 111 111
Website: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/kglmc-kigali-marriott-hotel

The Marriott is finally in Kigali and this massive hotel certainly impresses with its appearance, at least. The pool is pretty and well-stocked with lounge chairs and places to sun yourself. It’s got a kid’s shallow area, a few umbrellas for shade, and the bar isn’t far in case you want to spend your time at this fancy hotel being fancy and sipping cocktails while you sun yourself. Unfortunately drinks are ridiculously priced (Rwf 4,000 for a Heinekin!) so it’s more conducive to being a dodgy person who smuggles in their own drinks in rather than being fancy. If the drinks prices are anything to go by then this pool will be pricey, but they don’t open until September and they haven’t yet set their prices. Stay tuned!

Nyarutarama Sports Club

Nyarutarama Sports Club

Price: Adults Rwf 4,000 / Children Rwf 2,000
Hours: Daily, 9am – 9pm
Phone: 0788 552 575

The pool seems to be around the same size as Umubano’s, but in general there are fewer people here although it you’re hoping for some quiet lap swimming (which it’s well-suited for) make sure you avoid weekends and summer holidays when it’s busier with families.  To secure a lounge chair you might want to get here early as they only have a few of them. The entire complex is a great place to spend the day with a restaurant and grill with lots of nice places to sit. Plus there’s tennis, sauna, massage, and a gym. They have a changing room with hot showers but towels are only provided to adults, for some reason.

Park Inn by Radisson

Price: Rwf 5,000 (Rwf 80,000 monthly)
Hours: Daily, 6:30am – 9pm
Phone: 0788 132 500
Website: https://www.parkinn.com/hotel-kigali

The brand new Park Inn by Radisson is a wonderful new addition to Kigali’s growing hotel options. It’s brand new as of May 2017 and it’s spotless. The pool is just about long enough for laps and the space around is packed with lounge chairs, making it a great choice for people with either sporty or relaxy motivations. Plus there’s a bar in the corner if you want boozy. The pool is nicely sheltered but it retains an airy and open feel to it. The couples rate of Rwf 8,000 for two and the rate for a family of four of Rwf 12,000 make this pool very well priced for the high standard you’ll receive. The Park Inn has great food as well if you want to make a day of it.

Pili Pili

Pili Pili, Kigali

Price: Rwf 3,000
Hours: Monday, 5pm – 11pm, Tuesday to Sunday, 11am – 11pm
Phone: 0732 585 800

Pili Pili is one of Kigali’s newest restaurants and it comes with a bonus swimming pool and sandy play area for the kiddies. If you’ve ever been to Bora Bora in Bujumbura then you’ll recognise the same sort of vibe here as it’s the same owner. Weekends can be pretty busy but during the week the pool seems to be mostly empty. I think the idea here is to hang around for lunch and drinks and go in for the occasional splash around. Swimming laps here and not sticking around for a meal would probably be weird. This is an excellent place to come for the day with your swimming gear, a book, some friends, and the aim to relax with the occasional dip in the pool. It’s also a great place for kids with a play area with sand and a few toys. Make sure to get there early to stake your claim to a table with lounge chairs. Pili Pili also has one of the best views in the city and it’s totally worth the trek out to Kibagabaga.

Radisson Blu

Swimming Pools in Kigali, Radisson Blu

Price: To Be Determined
Hours: To Be Determined
Phone: 0252 252 252
Website: https://www.radissonblu.com/en/hotel-kigali

The Radisson Blu is a brand spanking new hotel and they won’t open their pool until September. They plan to have it open to the public but they haven’t yet set prices. I’ll let you know as soon as they do. It looks nice though it’s sort of closed-in by the rest of the hotel which could either feel creepy or cozy, depending on what you like.

Rubangura Apartments / Waka Fitness / Euphoria Restaurant

Swimming Pools in Kigali

Price: Rwf 3,000
Hours: Daily, 8am – Late
Phone: 0255 121 698 (Rubangura Apartments) / 0786 736 352 (Waka) / 0784 903 670 (Euphoria)
Website: http://www.wakafitness.com

This pool is part of Rubangura Apartments and seems to be managed by a new restaurant called Euphoria so there’s a lot going on but it has a really nice, relaxed vibe and a wonderful view across the valley. The pool is open to non-Waka-members for Rwf 3,000 which is a great price for what is quite a nice pool. Though it’s not a huge pool, it is ok for shortish laps and it’s also a nice, secluded pool for lounging in privacy. There are three lounge chairs and a couple tables poolside and a restaurant just a couple of steps away. This is the only pool in Kigali that’s open late so if you’re up for some drinks and nighttime swimming on a hot evening, this is your place.

Serena Hotel

Swimming Pools in Kigali, Serena Hotel

Price: US $40
Hours: Daily, 6:30am – 6:30pm
Phone: 0252 597 100
Website: http://www.serenahotels.com/serenakigali/default-en.html

The price of this pool is ridiculous. It’s a nice pool, true, but $40 is a lot to sit around a pool for a day. I guess they’re meant to be the premium hotel in Kigali and they want to keep it that way, but there are other pools for cheaper. This is a fantastic place to come if you’re a member or if you want to treat yourself for a nice day at the pool, gym, and spa which are all included in the price. This pool is usually empty during weekdays which doesn’t do much for the atmosphere, but I guess if you like to swim in solitude, it’d work for you. It gets much busier on the weekend but people seem more into sunning themselves than getting in the water so it’s never too rammed with people.

The pool is a strange shape and is fancy with its own waterfall but there is a straight section which makes laps possible. They offer kids swimming lessons that always seem to drift into the laps area so it might be a good idea to check the times so that you can avoid them. Admission includes luscious towels, a beautiful changing area with ‘free’ juice, coffee, and tea, and a sauna, spa, and steam room. Plus they have the best showers in the city and you can also use their gym. It’s the sort of place you’d treat yourself to and spend the whole day there, making sure to get your money’s worth. Highly recommended if you have cash to burn.

Sportsview Hotel

Swimming Pools in Kigali

Price: Rwf 2,000
Hours: Daily, 9am – 7pm
Phone: 0783 236 997
Website: http://www.sportsviewhotelrwanda.com

Sportsview Hotel in Remera (across from the stadium) is one of the cheapest pools in the city and it seems like another little hidden gem of a place. The pool is large enough for laps and there’s a kid’s area to the side. Or if you’re in more of a tanning mood, they have ten plastic lounge chairs and a bar at the far end of the pool to keep you stocked with beverages. The lounge chairs are in the sun but the bar and a tented area at the side both provide shade. There are lots of tables around the pool if lounging isn’t your thing. They don’t provide towels but they do have facilities with hot showers.

Stipp Hotel

Swimming Pools in Kigali

Price: Adults Rwf 5,000 / Children Rwf 2,500
Hours: Daily, 8am – 6pm
Phone: 0788 306 940
Website: http://www.stipphotelrwanda.com

The pool at Stipp Hotel gets my vote for the most unusual in the city. It’s pretty small, very strangely shaped, and sort of crowded by the building so that you can’t even walk around it. I suppose that gives it a sort of a cozy feeling, though others might say ‘cramped’. I think this is another example of a pool that’s good for guests, but not the best choice for visitors from outside. It’s not suitable for laps and there are only two lounge chairs and the building casts a shadow over them (in the morning at least) so it’s not good for tanning, either. It does have a good-sized area for kids though. For the price, I’d say there are better options to try first. Admission to the pool does include access to their small gym though and towels and hot showers are included too.

Sky Beirut

Swimming Pools in Kigali, Sky Beirut

Price: Rwf 3,000
Hours: Daily, 9am – 7pm

A swimming pool combined with a bar and Lebanese Restaurant and a beautiful view? Hell ya! This pool is probably the best place to come if you’re a group of people who want to lounge around for most of the day eating good food and enjoying a few drinks. The weekends are busy with kids but it’s a good mix of families and groups of friends so you won’t necessarily feel overrun by the kiddies. The pool is large enough for laps but I’d say avoid the weekends if this is your aim. While there are plenty of couches in the sun, they only have a couple of loungers and it’s not really the sort of place you’d come for a quiet, relaxing, suntanning session. It’s more of a hang out, eat food, get tipsy kind of place and it makes a great weekend destination.

Ubumwe Grande

Swimming Pools in Kigali

Price: Guests Only
Hours: 24 Hours
Phone: 0788 165 700

This is a seriously well-located pool on top of one of the city’s tallest buildings on top of one of the largest hills. The brand spanking new Ubumwe Grande hotel is Kigali’s first rooftop pool and it really is quite amazing. The pool itself is more of a small and shallow splash pool but it’s the sort of place where you’d rather sip cocktails and splash around a bit than do laps anyway. It has a very cool glass wall so you’re able to take in the wonderful views while you swim. At the time of writing, the pool is unfortunately only open to guests and you’ll get in trouble just for sticking your toes in the water! But even if you can’t go swimming, you’re able to hang out on the lounge chairs, sip a drink, and order food while enjoying what really is an amazing spot.

Umubano Hotel (Novotel)

Swimming Pools in Kigali, Umubano Hotel

Price: Rwf 10,000
Hours: Daily, 7am – 7pm
Phone: 252 593 500 / 0788 136 000 / 0252 593 500
Website: http://www.umubanohotel.rw

On weekends, the Umubano pool tends to turn into a kindergarten, so whether you have kids of your own or are a lover of cheerful children, this certainly is the place to go for a playful atmosphere. When the ‘kinder-kraze’ becomes a little too overwhelming, there are plenty of poolside sockets to plug your computer into for some surfing of the non-water kind, and the hotel restaurant offers a selection of alcoholic beverages to take your mind off things. Plus the grounds are large and beautiful and you could escape for a game of tennis, badminton, or ping pong for a break from the lounging. During the week the pool is far less busy, and with the amount of chaise lounges they have there, you’re pretty much guaranteed to always find a spot to work on that tan.

The pool itself is one of the larger ones in the city and is rectangular so good for laps. It’s sometimes divided up into one area for laps and another for playing. At times there’s a surprising amount of debris floating around, and on Sundays beware of babies in water-rings drifting by as well. You get towels, a place to change, and cold showers for the admission fee.

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About Kirsty

A Canadian who left in 2001 to wander around the world in search of sun, beautiful views and goat brochettes. Found Kigali in July 2010 and it seems like the perfect fit. I expect to be here until I get kicked out for defiantly walking on the grass while wearing flip flops.