Huye Butare, Rwanda

Butare city is one of the most amazing Rwanda Safari holiday destination for tourists interested in a cultural safari. Butare also known as Huye is mainly considered as the intellectual capital of the country with no political powers unlike its counterpart city Kigali which holds most of political powers.

Historically Belgian colonial rulers named the place to astride city and this was done in respect and remembrance of Belgium Queen Astrid. The most amazing Rwanda Safari holiday destination for tourists interested in a cultural safari in Butare is the National Museum of Rwanda which houses almost the best ethnographic collections in whole of East Africa as it also boasts craft shops as well as a botanical garden.

Butare is a town in Rwanda where North Gate University of Rwanda is located and also holds the prestigious Nyakibanda Seminary which is Rwandan National Institute of Scientific Research. Ruhande Arboretum and a cathedral in Butare attract tourists interested in religious tourism as part of their Rwanda safari. It’s also home to the Butare Stadium (stade Huye) where you can enter relax and enjoy the local foot ball matches as well as watching some music performances which are always organized in the stadium. It is also a home to several academic institutions, including the country’s largest university, and the National Museum of Rwanda, it is considered the intellectual and cultural pulse of Rwanda

Attractions in Butare City

Palace Museum in Rakali

Located about 3km from the original site, the Nyanza palace was the seat of the monarchy of Rwanda and here you can learn about the background to the traditions, power struggles and battles of the royal family. The traditional ancient palace of Mwami has been reconstructed here and a guide takes you through the king’s room, showing you how he received visitors and into the smaller rooms in the compound. This traditional palace is carefully maintained and contains several items of the original furniture and fittings.

National Museum of Rwanda

The most prominent tourist destination in Butare is the superb National Museum, which houses the finest ethnographic collection in East Africa including Absorbing displays of traditional artifacts illuminated by a fascinating selection of turn-of-the-century monochrome photographs that provide an insight not only into pre-colonial lifestyles, but also into the subsequent development of Rwanda into a modern African state. It is just 1.5km from the centre of town with also a good shop with a selection of local handicrafts and books.
The museum displays various items including; a full-scale replica of a traditional hut, original tools, decorations, implements and modes of transport, traditional handicrafts for sale, excellent collections of exhibits of Rwanda’s history and culture

New Palace Building

The New Palace building is 1km from Rukali, the Rwesero Palace Art Museum houses a fascinating collection of local arts including paintings and sculptures. Impressive views can also be enjoyed from the upstairs. The king had built the palace for himself and his family, but unfortunately died before they took up residence.

Murambi Memorial

When you visit this memorial site, you will understand the atrocities that Butare suffered as they are illustrated with graphics and devastating events of the genocide. The victims are preserved in lime and it is an emotional experience.

National University of Rwanda and University library

The library is also known as Librarie Universitaire, National University of Rwanda is the best university in the country with the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology in the capital city coming second.

Butare Roman Catholic Cathedral

Visit the Butare Roman Catholic cathedral, built in the memory of Belgian Princess Arstid in 1930. It is the lagest church in the country and has fairly plan and tranquil interior and its size is impressive.

Ruhande Arboretum trees

it’s a collection of indigenous and imported species and was set up in 1934, to visit Arboretum trees you need to contact the university. When it was created the objective was to study the behaviour of imported species versus the indigenous ones so it could be established how to boost trees productivity.

Viaki Crafts village

A few kilometres out of town, visit and buy souvenirs at the Viaki Crafts village. The ‘village’, created by a number of wood carvers, is made up of a workshop, a store and snack-bar. Often, visitors watch as the woodcarvers work their timber into works of art.

Quick Facts

Located: Southern Province of Rwanda and capital of Huye district.
Best Time to Go: Any Time of The Year
High Season:
June to September (Peak time for Rwanda)
Population:  89,600
Elevation: 1,567 m above sea level
Time: UTC/GMT +2 hours

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