Discover the filming locations of the acclaimed movie Hotel Rwanda.

If you’re curious about where Hotel Rwanda was filmed, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll take you on a virtual tour of the movie’s shooting locations.

Overview of Hotel Rwanda Movie

Hotel Rwanda is a drama film that was released in 2004, directed by Terry George and starring Don Cheadle. The movie tells the story of Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager who saved the lives of thousands of refugees during the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

The movie was received with critical acclaim and was nominated for multiple awards, including three Academy Awards. Don Cheadle’s performance was particularly praised, earning him a nomination for Best Actor.

Hotel Rwanda also won several awards, including the Humanitas Prize and the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Motion Picture.

Hotel Des Mille Collines

When it comes to the filming location of the movie “Hotel Rwanda,” the real-life Hotel Des Mille Collines in Kigali, Rwanda is the answer. This hotel is a landmark that played a crucial role in the Rwandan genocide, where the manager, Paul Rusesabagina, took in and saved the lives of hundreds of refugees.

The Hotel Des Mille Collines is a well-known luxury hotel in Kigali, located in the upscale neighborhood of Nyarutarama. It was built in 1973 by the Belgian airline Sabena, and it was known as the Hotel Diplomates. The hotel’s name was changed to its current name, which means “Thousand Hills Hotel” in French, in the early 1980s.

When it came to filming “Hotel Rwanda,” the producers decided to use the Hotel Des Mille Collines as the primary location for the movie. The hotel underwent some renovations to make it look like the hotel during the genocide, but many of the original features, such as the pool and the garden, remained the same.

During the filming of “Hotel Rwanda,” many of the crew members had their own stories to tell. For example, the director, Terry George, had to work with the hotel’s management to make sure that the guests were not disturbed during the filming. The hotel staff was also very accommodating, and they even helped with some of the scenes.

It is worth mentioning that the Hotel Des Mille Collines is not the only hotel in Kigali with a connection to the Rwandan genocide. The Hotel Rwanda, which was located a few miles away from the Hotel Des Mille Collines, was another hotel that played a crucial role in the genocide. Unfortunately, the Hotel Rwanda was destroyed during the conflict, and a new hotel has been built in its place.

Hotel Rwanda
Built in 1973 by Sabena Built in the early 1990s by the Belgian hotel chain Sabena
Located in the upscale neighborhood of Nyarutarama Located a few miles away from the Hotel Des Mille Collines
Known as the Hotel Diplomates Named after the movie “Hotel Rwanda”
Renovated for the filming of “Hotel Rwanda” Destroyed during the Rwandan genocide

Kigali, Rwanda

Overview of Kigali: Kigali is the capital and largest city of Rwanda. It is situated in the center of the country and is known for its clean streets, hilly terrain, and vibrant culture. Despite being a relatively small city, Kigali has a lot to offer visitors, including museums, art galleries, and markets. The city is also a hub for business and tourism in East Africa.

Filming locations in Kigali: The majority of the filming for Hotel Rwanda took place in South Africa, but some scenes were shot in Kigali to add authenticity to the film. The filmmakers were able to capture the city’s unique atmosphere and portray the real-life events that took place during the Rwandan genocide. One of the most recognizable locations used in the film was the Hôtel des Mille Collines, which was the actual hotel where Paul Rusesabagina sheltered refugees during the conflict.

Challenges faced during filming: The production team faced several challenges while filming in Kigali, including logistical difficulties and concerns about security. The filmmakers had to navigate the city’s narrow streets and deal with unpredictable weather conditions, which made it challenging to capture the scenes they needed. Additionally, there were concerns about the safety of the cast and crew, as tensions were still high in Rwanda following the genocide. However, the filmmakers were able to overcome these challenges and create a powerful film that shed light on the tragic events that occurred in the country.

It is worth mentioning that Hotel Rwanda has brought global attention to the Rwandan genocide and its aftermath. The film has also sparked discussion and debate about the role of the international community in preventing and responding to genocide. Keep in mind that while the majority of the filming for the movie was done in South Africa, the scenes filmed in Kigali were crucial in bringing authenticity to the story. Unfortunately, the real-life events that inspired the film were a tragic reminder of the atrocities that can occur when hatred and violence go unchecked.

Remember that Kigali is an important destination for those interested in learning about the Rwandan genocide and its aftermath. Visitors can tour the Kigali Genocide Memorial to pay their respects to the victims and learn about the history of the conflict. On the other hand, those interested in the film industry can visit the Hôtel des Mille Collines to see where some of the most iconic scenes from Hotel Rwanda were filmed.

South Africa

South Africa is a country located at the southernmost tip of the African continent. It is known for its diverse culture, wildlife, and scenic landscapes. The country has become a popular destination for filming due to its variety of locations, modern infrastructure, and favorable exchange rate.

Filming Locations in South Africa

The majority of “Hotel Rwanda” was filmed in Johannesburg, South Africa. The filmmakers used the city’s Carlton Hotel as the primary filming location for the movie. Other filming locations in South Africa included the Liliesleaf Farm in Rivonia and the Johannesburg City Hall.

South Africa has been used as a filming location for many other popular movies and TV shows. Some notable examples include “Black Panther,” “District 9,” and “Invictus.”

The Decision to Film in South Africa

The decision to film “Hotel Rwanda” in South Africa was made for various reasons. The filmmakers wanted to stay true to the story’s setting, which was the Hôtel des Mille Collines in Kigali, Rwanda. However, due to the unstable political climate in Rwanda, filming there was not feasible. South Africa provided a suitable alternative as it had similar landscapes and architecture to Rwanda.

In addition to its physical similarities, South Africa also provided the filmmakers with a stable and secure environment to film in. The country’s well-developed film industry and experienced crew also made it an attractive destination for filming.

Hotel Rwanda Filming Locations Today

Hotel Rwanda is a 2004 movie that depicts the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. The movie is based on the true story of Paul Rusesabagina, who saved the lives of more than 1,200 refugees by providing them shelter at the Hôtel des Mille Collines, a luxurious hotel in Kigali, Rwanda. But where was the real hotel located? And how is it today?

Current state of the real hotel

Today, Hôtel des Mille Collines still operates as a luxury hotel, but it has undergone some renovations over the years. The hotel was built in 1973 and has since become a popular destination in Rwanda. It boasts 112 rooms, a swimming pool, a fitness center, and several restaurants and bars.

Keep in mind that the Hôtel des Mille Collines is not the only hotel in Kigali that has played a role in the Rwandan Genocide. The movie also depicts scenes that take place at the Hôtel Diplomate, which is also located in Kigali.

How the movie has impacted the hotel

The success of the movie has had a significant impact on the Hôtel des Mille Collines. The hotel has become a popular tourist attraction, with many visitors interested in seeing the place where the real-life events took place. The hotel has also received many positive reviews from guests who were moved by the story depicted in the movie.

On the other hand, the hotel’s association with the Rwandan Genocide has also had some negative effects. Some people have criticized the hotel for using the tragedy for commercial gain, and others have questioned the accuracy of the movie’s portrayal of the events.

Tourism and the legacy of the movie

It is worth mentioning that the movie has also had a broader impact on the world’s awareness of the Rwandan Genocide. The movie has helped to bring attention to the tragedy and has inspired many people to take action to prevent similar events from happening in the future.

Hotel Chains in Kigali Number of Hotels
Radisson Blu 2
Marriott 1
Serena Hotels 1

If you are interested in visiting Rwanda and exploring its history, there are many hotels to choose from. In addition to the Hôtel des Mille Collines, there are several other luxury hotels in Kigali, including Radisson Blu, Marriott, and Serena Hotels.

Remember that visiting Rwanda is not just about learning about the past. The country has a vibrant culture and stunning natural beauty, with plenty of opportunities for adventure and relaxation. Whether you are interested in history, wildlife, or just soaking up the local atmosphere, Rwanda has something to offer everyone.


We hope you enjoyed learning about the filming locations of Hotel Rwanda.

The movie served as a powerful reminder of the atrocities that took place during the Rwandan genocide, and the resilience of those who survived.

Visiting the real hotel and other locations can be a meaningful way to pay tribute to the victims and learn more about the country’s history.

Thank you for reading!

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