Travel to Butare (Huye) – Cultural Pulse of Rwanda
Butare is situated 135 km south of Kigali, it is an attractively compact and sedate town of shady avenues emanating from a main street lined with comfortable small hotels and breezy terrace restaurants.
Butare (Huye now) was the largest and most important city in Rwanda prior to 1965, when it lost out to the more centrally located Kigali, as the capital of independent Rwanda. Today the site of several academic institutions, including the country’s largest university, Huye (Butare) is still regarded to be the intellectual and cultural pulse of Rwanda.
The most prominent tourist attraction in Huye (Butare) is the superb Butare National Museum, which houses perhaps the finest ethnographic collection in East Africa. Absorbing displays of traditional artifacts are illuminated by a fascinating selection of turn-of-the-century monochrome photographs, providing insight not only into pre-colonial lifestyles, but also into the subsequent development of Rwanda as a modern African state.
The cultural significance of the Huye area is further underlined by a visit to nearby Nyabisindu, formerly known as Nyanza, the traditional seat of Rwanda’s feudal monarchy. The impressive Royal Palace at Nyanza, an enormous domed construction made entirely with traditional materials, has been painstakingly restored to its 19th century state and is now maintained as a museum.
Why not attend a spectacular dance performance in Butare, you’ll be impressed by the leaps and dazzling footwork of the Intore dancers as they interpret traditional tales.
Private transport by 4WD or on an organised tour is recommended for a thorough discovery of this area.
- Attend a spectacular dance performance in Butare and see the dazzling footwork of the Intore dancers as they interpret traditional tales.
- Visit the superb Butare National Museum, which houses perhaps the finest ethnographic collection in East Africa.