Ethnographic Museum Butare Rwanda

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Ethnographic Museum Butare Rwanda

Butare was the largest and most important city in Rwanda prior to 1965 when it lost out to more centrally located Kigali. Today, Butare is still considered the intellectual and cultural pulse of Rwanda. It is also an attractively compact and sedate town of shady avenues emanating from the main street lined with small hotels and breezy terrace restaurants. The most prominent attraction in Butare is the National Museum, which houses the finest ethnographic collection in East Africa. Seven galleries display historical, ethnographic, artistic, and archaeological artifacts accompanied by visual aides, giving visitors a rich insight into the Rwandan culture. The cultural significance of Butare is further underlined by a visit to nearby Nyabisinu, formerly known as Nyanza, the traditional seat of Rwanda’s feudal monarchy. The impressive Royal Palace at Nyanza, a domed construction made entirely of traditional materials, has been painstakingly restored to its 19th-century state and is now maintained as a museum.

How to get to the Ethnographic Museum in Butare

The ethnographic museum is located about 135 km from Kigali and using a private car the drive can take 2-3 hours usually the museum is en route Kigali-Nyungwe forest national park route or travelers traveling to Burundi or Rusizi Enroute DR Congo for eastern lowland gorilla trekking in Kahuzi-Biega national park.

When to visit the Ethnographic Museum in Butare

The ethnographic Museum is Open daily from 8 am to 6 pm, it’s closed on 7th April and Closed from 11 am to 6 pm on Umuganda days (the last Saturday of the month).

Where to stay while visiting the Ethnographic Museum in Butare

Butare ibis Hotel

This hotel restaurant, with its open-air terrace and pleasantly faded dining room (there’s a brighter room upstairs), is the most popular place in town for locals and tourists alike. It is justly revered for its tasty French-inspired cuisine with a bow to local ingredients. It also dishes up pizzas, pasta, and a wholesome range of salads.


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