Kigali is located in the centre of Rwanda, at provinces of Rwanda introduced in 2006 as part of a restructuring of local government in the country. The city has boundaries with the Northern, Eastern and Southern provinces. The city is divided into three administrative districts—Nyarugenge, which lies in the south west, Kicukiro in the south east, and Gasabo, which occupies the northern half of the city's territory. Kigali lies in a region of rolling hills, with a series of valleys and ridges joined by steep slopes. Kigali lies between the two mountains of Mount Kigali and Mount Jali, both of which have altitudes over 1,800 m (5,906 ft), while the lowest areas of the city have an altitude of 1,800 m (5,906 ft). Geologically, the city lies in a granitic and metasedimentary region, with lateritic soils on the hills and alluvial soils in the valleys.. The city is coterminous with the province of Kigali, one of the five
The earliest inhabitants of what is now Rwanda were the Twa, a group of aboriginal pygmy hunter-gatherers who settled the area between 8000 and 3000 BC and remain in the country today. They were followed between 700 BC and AD 1500 by a number of Bantu groups, including the Hutu and Tutsi, who began clearing forests for agriculture. According to oral history the Kingdom of Rwanda was founded in the 14th century on the shores of Lake Muhazi, around 40 kilometres (25 mi) east of modern Kigali. At that time Rwanda was a small state in a loose confederation with larger and more powerful neighbours, Bugesera and Gisaka. By playing these neighbours against each other, the early kingdom flourished in the area, expanding westwards towards Lake Kivu and taking the Kigali area in the process. In the late 16th or early 17th centuries, the kingdom of Rwanda was invaded by the Banyoro and the kings forced to flee westward, leaving Kigali and eastern Rwanda in the hands of Bugesera and Gisaka. The formation in the 17th century of a new Rwandan dynasty by mwami Ruganzu Ndori, followed by eastward invasions and the conquest of Bugesera, marked the beginning of the Rwandan kingdom's dominance in the area. The capital of the kingdom was at Nyanza, in the south of the country.
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