Explore Rwanda’s Rich Culture Heritage
King’s palace Museum (King Mutara III Rudahigwa) in Nyanza:
This Nyanza based Palace was the residence of King Mutara III Rudahigwa until his death. It was built in 1932 by Belgium government and is located about 88 km south of Kigali city. This museum is a cultural center that provides apprehension into Rwanda’s monarchy tradition over the past 200 years. The museum offers a view of Rwandan traditional seat of the King.
Most of the traditional materials and objects in the museum were destroyed while others stolen during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. However, in order to restore it to its authentic 19th century state, certain traditional materials were added and these include Traditional cows locally known as “Inyambo” because it present the culture of the Rwandese. While at this museum, you get the chance to visit Rwanda burial grounds of King Mutara III and his precious wife Rosalie Gicanda on a neighboring hill of Mwima.
These caves are situated in Musanze district at the foothills of Volcanoes National Park, about one and a half minutes drive from Kigali town. The caves are the most visited among the 52 surveyed caves in Musanze District. It is about 2 km long, has 31 entrances with the main entrance being 10km wide. The Musanze caves harbor a colony of bats which also add to the memorable visitor experience as they walk through the caves. They were developed by RDB in 2013 to diversify the tourism products and increase the length of stay of tourists in Rwanda. An interesting fact about them is the fact that the cave looks like a house with several rooms and stairs.
Genocide sites (Genocide memorials):
Following the 1994 Rwandan genocide whereby over 800,000 Rwandan people lost their dear lives, some specific sites were used as their resting places to commemorate the 100 days of trauma.
Currently eight (8) Genocide Memorial Sites exist in Rwanda for this cause. They include the following; Murambi Genocide memorial site in Nyamagabe district, Gisozi Memorial site in Gasabo district, Gisenyi Memorial Site, Nyamata Memorial Site in Bugesera district, Bisesero Memorial site in Karongi district, Nyarubuye Memorial Site, Nyanza Memorial Site and Ntarama Memorial Site. These sites include the bones, clothes of the victims of the Rwandan genocide. The memorial sites act as a remembrance to the history of the country.
Iby’iwacu cultural village:
This cultural village is located in Musanze district around Volcanoes National Park. Iby’iwacu is a Kinyarwanda word meaning “Treasure of our home” the cultural village exhibits cultural practices of the three tribes of Rwanda that is Hutu, Tutsi and the Batwa.
They have several tourists’ activities that tourists can enjoy and these include learning how to prepare traditional foods, 8 different traditional dances are presented (Intore, Ikembe, Amakondera and Ingoma among others). Tourists also participate in community walks, visit to the former king’s palace, visit the traditional herbalists and clinics, Batwa pottery making among other fascinating activities. Iby’iwacu cultural village is a place where nature meets culture.
National Museum of Rwanda (Ethnographic museum):
The museum that was built in 1987 and inaugurated in 1989 is situated in Huye/Butare, about 130 km South of Kigali town. It is one of the 6 fascinating Museums that form the Institute of National Museums of Rwanda and it being the first to be opened in Rwanda, it has continuously been referred to as the best museum in East Africa.
The Museum has 7 galleries with objects grouped according to the themes that showcase ethnographic, historical (how Rwanda was like before colonization), artistic and Archeological artifacts. The museum is meant to tell a story on the social and the cultural aspects of Rwanda, artifacts and symbols of Rwanda’s culture and heritage which include “Kagondo hut”, “Isinde” among others.