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 Butare National Museum- Huye

This museum was donated to Rwanda in 1989 by the Belgium government after they gave back some of the ethnographic collection which was acquired during the colonial times. The design and concept of the museum was realized in co-operation with the Royal Museum for Central Africa of Tervuren, Belgium and it was open in 1990.

Today, the National Museum of Rwanda is a great source of information on the cultural history of the country and for so long, it was considered to be the best museum in East Africa and it remained very safe and sound during the 1994 genocide.


Butare is about 135 km from Kigali and you can also visit Butare on your way from or to Nyungwe National Park.  The museum is decorated with assorted pictures, traditional artifacts and objects, tools and different craft products while the ethnographic objects are put together according to the theme so that they can give quality information on the daily life and also reveals clear insight about Rwanda’s traditional life and culture and great historical developments that can lead to clear understanding of African history.


Today, Butare National Museum is the most prominent tourist attraction centres in Butare because it has the finest ethnographic works in East Africa.  Butare’s cultural importance is further enhanced by visiting the nearby Nyabisindu the former Nyanza which is a traditional seat of Rwanda’s feudal kingdom. There is a Royal Palace at Nyanza which were constructed entirely with traditional materials and recently, it was thoroughly restored to its 19th century state making it a museum.