Places to Visit in Nyanza, Rwanda, Africa

Places to Visit in Nyanza, Rwanda, Africa

Nyanza, also called Nyabisindu, is a town belonging to the Nyanza District in the Southern Province of the central-eastern African country, Rwanda. It is situated around 35 km north of the historical city, Butare and 90 km southwest of the national capital, Kigali. From 1958 to 1962, Nyanza served as the capital of the Kingdom of Rwanda. Then constructed Royal Palace of the Rwandan monarchy now has been converted into a museum, showcasing Nyanza’s history and culture. Nyanza also witnessed the tragedy of the notorious Rwandan Genocide. Nyanza coordinates with 2°21′06″ S latitude and 29°45′03″ E longitude, covering an area of 672 sq. km and its elevation measures 1,792 meters.


How to reach Nyanza?

Nyanza is served by the country’s prime airport, Kigali International Airport, with scheduled international flights from Douala, Dubai, Entebbe, Johannesburg, Mombasa, Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Brussels, Amsterdam, Doha and Istanbul. The distance of 100 km from the airport to Nyanza can easily be crossed by bus or rental vehicle.

Due to its geographic location between Butare and Kigali, Nyanza is well served by bus and minibuses plying frequently between Kigali and Butare. The local transportation of Nyanza is catered by buses and moto taxis.


Food and Shopping in Nyanza:

There are modernized shops and restaurants rare to see in Nyanza, so it is advised for tourists to head towards nearby Butare (around 35 km) to find upgraded food corners and shopping options.


What to do in Nyanza?

  • Visiting museum
  • Walking
  • Traditional shopping


What to see in Nyanza?


Rwesero Art Museum:

The Rwesero Art Museum is housed in a palace built for the King Mutara III Rudahigwa of the Kingdom of Rwanda. The museum is situated atop of the Rwesero Hill, displaying the cultural features and historical background of Nyanza and the Kingdom of Rwanda.



Butare is a colonial city, situated around 35 km south of Nyanza. Butare is a city with many specialties owing from its status of the former capital of Rwanda. The landmark sites of Butare include the National Museum of Rwanda, the National University of Rwanda, the Gikongoro Genocide Memorial and Huye Market. Buses are regular between Nyanza and Butare.



Kigali is the capital of Rwanda, located in the heart of the country, around 90 km northeast of Nyanza. The city is adorned with a blend of colorful modern and traditional tourist attractions like Kigali City Tower, Kandt House Museum of Natural History, Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, Presidential Palace Museum, Ivuka Arts Centre and Casino Kigali. Kigali can be reached by bus or rental vehicle from Nyanza.


List of other places of interest in Nyanza, Butare (35 km) and Kigali (around 90 km) includes:

  • National Museum of Rwanda
  • Cathedral in Butare
  • Gikongoro Genocide Memorial
  • National University of Rwanda
  • Akagera National Park
  • Parc National des Volcans
  • Nyungwe Forest
  • Presidential Palace Museum
  • Inema Art Center
  • Yego Arts studio
  • Librarie Ikirezi
  • Ivuka Arts Centre


When to travel Nyanza?

Nyanza can be visited year round as it experiences pleasant weather throughout the year and the best time to visit Nyanza is from July to September.


Accommodation options in Nyanza:

Nyanza houses few standard hotels that are limited to provide basic facilities. So it would be better if one drive towards Butare (around 35 km) and Kigali (around 90 km) to have memorable hospitality services at star rated hotels. Buses are frequent between all these cities. The prominent hotels in Nyanza, Butare and Kigali include:

  • Macadamia Team Building & Conference Centre
  • Hotel Credo
  • Motel du Mont Huye
  • Centre d’Acceuil Mater Boni Consilii
  • Shalom House Butare
  • ORTPN Resthouse
  • Dereva Hotel
  • Petit Prince Hotel
  • Barthos Hotel
  • Hotel Gorillas
  • Virunga Guest House
  • Mount Kigali Hotel
  • Golf Hills Residence
  • Kigali Serena Hotel

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