Tourist Places to Visit in Butare, Rwandan, Huye Kigali, Africa

Tourist Places to Visit in Butare, Rwandan, Huye Kigali, Africa

Butare, also called Huye, is a Rwandan city, situated in the Huye district in Southern Province. It is a colonial city located around 120 km southwest of Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. Butare is the site of many nationally important centres like the National University of Rwanda, Nyakibanda Seminary, North Gate University of Rwanda and Ruhande Arboretum. Butare also houses the Rwanda’s largest secondary school, Groupe Scolaire. The National Museum of Rwanda in Butare is one of the iconic tourist destinations of Rwanda, considered as the optimum museum in East Africa. The geographical coordinates of Butare are 2°36′ S 29°45′ E.


History of Butare:

During the Belgian rule in Rwanda, Butare was called Astrida, named after Queen Astrid of Belgium. Butare is situated in the vicinity of the first catholic mission of Rwanda that was founded on Save Hill in 1990.


How to reach Butare?

Butare holds an airport, but flights are not scheduled. So it would be better if international tourists reach Kigali International Airport first and then take an airport taxi or hire car or use minibus at the airport to Butare. Kigali Airport is situated around 130 km away from Butare and covers many global destinations, including Brussels, Amsterdam, Nairobi, Istanbul and Doha.

Volcano is one of the major minibus companies connecting Kigali to Butare, costing 2500 RFr per way.


Culture, Food and Shopping in Butare:

The culture of Butare is concentrated on the National Museum of Rwanda, which is an iconic museum, showcasing the culture and history of Rwanda, including of Butare. Huye Market is the option for both traditional and modern shopping.

Some nice tourist favor restaurants in Butare include:

  • Hotel Ibis Restaurant
  • Amafu Ya Huye
  • Inzozi Nziza


What to do in Butare?

  • Day tours
  • Visiting museum
  • Shopping


What to see in Butare?


Gikongoro Genocide Memorial:

Situated on the outskirts of Butare, the Gikongoro Genocide Memorial is dedicated to nationals massacred during the Rwandan Civil War. It takes around 15 minutes by taxi at a cost of $15 from the city centre to museum. Taking a guided tour is helpful to know what happened then.


National Museum of Rwanda: 

The National Museum of Rwanda is a recognized cultural centre and tourist attraction in Butare. The museum exhibits the complete history as well as the idiosyncratic cultural features of Rwanda with a wide range of well preserved objects. It is a fascinating museum.


Huye Market:

The Huye Market is an excellent market, holding dozens of different modern and traditional shops with a wide selection of items ranging from handicraft products to jewelry. It is allowed to explore on all days of the week except Saturday.


National University of Rwanda:

The National University of Rwanda is one of the noted universities in Africa, established in the year 1963. The university is large, which can take a half day to explore through a guided tour.


Cathedral in Butare:

The Christian Cathedral in Huye engages both devotees and visitors from its excellent exterior and interior designs and holiness. There is also a striking statue in front of the cathedral.


Other places of interest in and around Butare include:

  • Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre in Kigali
  • Akagera National Park
  • Presidential Palace Museum
  • Parc National des Volcans
  • Nyungwe Forest


When to visit Butare?

The best and most popular time to visit Butare is from June to September and December to February.


Where to stay in Butare?

Butare is home to around 10 hotels, dominated by Hotel Ibis, which is a Belgian based hotel, offering world class facilities including spa and sauna and its restaurant is allowed even for non guests also. Other some standard hotels in Butare and Kigali include:

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

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