Rwanda > Private safaris > Rwanda Discovery + Akagera NP > Kigali - Huye (Butare) - Nyungwe Forest NP.
Kigali - Huye (Butare) - Nyungwe Forest NP.
Parks & places
Huye (Butare) and the National Museum
Activities
Cultural Activities

After breakfast you will depart for Huye (Butare) the second largest city of Rwanda and is regarded as the intellectual city of Rwanda. It hosts the National Museum, several academic (University) and research institutions.

On your way to Huye (Butare) you will visit Nyanza (currently Nyabisindu) the former Mwami's palace (King's palace) and the seat of the feudal monarchy. The palace has been reconstructed to its 19th century state and shows a traditional dome that can be compared with the Kabaka's palace of Buganda.

You will visit the National Museum in Huye which is one the well set-up if not the finest ethnographic museum of East Africa. It's a good source of information on the cultural history of Rwanda and the region.

After the visit of the museum you will have a spectacular performance of the Urugangazi group of Intore-dancers. This is probably the best group of Rwanda and their performance is regarded by many as one of the highlights of your safari! 

Lunch is foreseen in Butare and in the afternoon we will drive to Nyungwe Forest NP. Just a few kilometres out of butare you will visit the workshop of the Tin Smith of Huye (Butare). You will find one of the finest handmade use-and decoration objects in pewter of 99% of quality. Unique!

Your driver-guide will stop at the Uwinka offices of Nyungwe Forest NP to have the last update on the presence of the semi-habituated groups of chimps and colobus monkeys. This will help you to prepare your activities of the next two days. Overnight is foreseen at the Guest House of Gisakura. (B-L-D)

Distance & driving times: Kigali-Butare: 135 km - 3h30 including the visits. Butare-Gisakura: 158 km - 2h30 - Good roads. 

Rwanda has one of the finest traditional handicrafts of Africa. The ceramics, woodcarvings  and basketry are found in the streets of Kigali and Huye.

The "Intore", once the elite of the traditional Rwanda army, were not only trained as military but also in high jump and dance. They were known for there remarkable technique allowing them to jump over 2m40. The Intore became worldwide famous as dancers in 1958 when the World Expo was held in Brussels. Today Intore dancers are part of the rich Rwanda folklore.

The warriors dance is a jewel of the choreographic heritage of Rwanda. Dressed with a mane made of sisal fibre,  Tied up on ankles, little bells jingle on each step, giving the warriors dance a thrilling rhythm. Throughout the Intore  ballet, physical confrontation turns into artistic rivalry and then at "the end" comes out into a vigorous hug of the warriors. This is the most artistic gesture of friendship, mutual aid and protection.

The National Museum in Butare was donated in 1989 by the Belgium government and gave back a part of the ethnographic collection acquired during the colonial period. The design and concept of the museum was realized in co-operation with the Royal Museum for Central Africa of Tervuren, Belgium.  The modern building has different sections and displays a wide collection of monochrome pictures, traditional artefacts and objects, tools and different craft products. Ethnographic objects are grouped together according to theme giving excellent information on the daily life. Traditional ceramics and basketry are still manufactured and belong to the finest handicrafts of the region. The National Museum remained surprisingly untouched during the civil war in 1994.

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Accommodation
Gisakura GH (*)


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