King’s Palace Nyanza Rwanda
A reconstruction of the traditional royal residence, the King’s Palace is a beautifully-crafted thatched dwelling shaped like a beehive.
In olden times, Nyanza was the heart of Rwanda. According to oral tradition, it was the site of battles and power struggles.
For a long time, the monarchy was mobile, moving the court between various locations. When it eventually settled in one place, Nyanza was the obvious choice. The capital of the kingdom had as many as 2,000 inhabitants, and huts built with the same methods as seen here.
At the back live a few long-horned Inyambo cattle, descended from the king’s herd, whose keepers carefully tend and sing to them, keeping alive a unique tradition.
The elegant cows, derived from the wider Ankole breed, played an important role during ceremonies in honor of the king. They were decorated with rich jewelry and were taught to listen to a trainer’s songs and follow his movements in a stately parade.
Rwanda ceased to be a monarchy in 1962 when it gained independence from colonial rule. However, the breeding and grooming of Inyambo are still carried out under the Rwanda Agriculture Board.
How to get to King’s palace Nyanza Rwanda
The King’s Palace, located in Rwanda’s Nyanza ya Butare district 95 km from the main capital Kigali by road en route Nyungwe and Rusizi tourism areas.
When to visit King’s palace Nyanza
The King’s palace is open from 8 am to 6 pm daily and travelers can visit the palace en route Nyungwe forest national park and Rusizi tourism areas.
Where to stay while visiting King’s palace Nyanza Rwanda
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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