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“Nat'l Museum, & Nyanza royal palace, both worth visit”

National Museum of Rwanda
Ranked #2 of 4 things to do in Butare
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Tradition remains alive in this modern museum, tastefully displaying many examples of African life and culture.
Reviewed April 10, 2012

Photos are not clear --- these are images of DIFFERENT sites. The National Museum in Butare is certainly worth a visit. Very informative, covering history, geography and more about the nation, place and people of Rwanda. The museums in Nyanza-Rukari, north of Butare, were also interesting, but completely different. The tour guide was quite the talker. The residence the Belgians built for the last Rwandan king was not as interesting as the stories that were told. I preferred the replica of his father's & grandfather's traditional style home next door. Quite beautiful. It probably helped that I'd visited the royal palaces (as well as the Genocide Museum in Kigali) before seeing the national museum, for context.

2  Thank Jennifer M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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62 - 66 of 88 reviews

Reviewed January 23, 2012

I know most people go to Rwanda for the gorillas and/or the Akagera, but if you have a little time, go to this museum. It's not huge, that's true, but that means you can see everything in detail. Ask Faustin, one of the guides, to give you a tour. He knows so much and you will make the most out of your visit.
The museum has 7 rooms, and each will tell youn something abour Rwanda, its geography, geology, crafts, beliefs, how people lived and the different activities they performed. There are lots of objects that you'll then find in the craft shops in the country, and that will help understand traditions and uses so much better. Faustin also showed us the recontruction royal hut and explained all the rituals and uses in the royal family, and the traditional crafts workshop, where they teach young people to make traditional pottery, baskets etc, which are then sold in the museum shop. Really worth it!

5  Thank gachingura
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 14, 2011

An Exhibit of Rwanda culture and history in one place.

2  Thank Uganda T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2010

The museum offers a comprehensive guide to Rwandese history in the pre-colonial and colonial periods, with fantastic collections of handmade housewares & clothing, great video of intore dancing, and an interesting preserved or replicated palace. Should be complemented by a trip to the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre for a more complete picture of Rwanda's recent history.

2  Thank lageographe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Isle of Wight
14
Reviewed February 25, 2006

Easily the best place to visit in Butare is the national museum.

Not only is it architectually stunning from the outside, but the design also lends itself to the construction of well orgainised and attractive displays too.

The displays cover most categories that you would expect from a national museum: art, archaeology, history, geography, geology and ecology, but especially impressive here is the ethnographic section with an outstanding display of local craft tradtions including a stunning replica house.

The museum also has its own troop of traditional dancers. And if you dont see traditional Rwandan dance elsewhere during stay in Rwanda then it is a must see here. If you have time and are willing to wait then you might be able to organise it on the day otherwise organise it ahead of time.

The museum had two problems for me: firstly my French and Kinyarwanda are not very good and there are no English translations. However, i've been reliably informed that this will be changed soon. Secondly, the displays were quite static and appear to be permanent and not open to change. So if you've been once and read everything the first time then you're unlikely to find something new a second time.

However, this museum rates highly and probably is the best museum in eastern Africa. I would reccomend it to all international visitors to Rwanda.

4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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