Visit Butare, Rwanda
Butare was the largest and most important city in Rwanda prior to 1965 when it lost out to more centrally located Kigali.
Today the site of several academic institutions, including the country's largest university, Butare is still considered the intellectual and cultural pulse of Rwanda. It is also an attractively compact and sedate town of shady avenues emanating from a main street lined with comfortable small hotels and breezy terrace restaurants.
Butare National Museum
The most prominent tourist attraction in Butare is the superb National Museum, which houses perhaps the finest ethnographic collection in East Africa. Absorbing displays of traditional artifacts are illuminated by a fascinating selection of turn-of-the-century monochrome photographs, providing insight not only into pre-colonial lifestyles, but also into the subsequent development of Rwanda into a modern African state.
Royal Palace at Nyanza
The cultural significance of Butare is further underlined by a visit to nearby Nyabisindu, formerly known as Nyanza, the traditional seat of Rwanda's feudal monarchy. The impressive Royal Palace at Nyanza, an enormous domed construction made entirely of traditional materials, has been painstakingly restored to its 19th century state and is now maintained as a museum.
Speak to someone
who's been there
Start planning your tailor-made trip to Butare by contacting one of our Rwanda specialists
- Make an inquiry
Suggested itinerary featuring Butare
This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Butare, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Map of Butare
Places & hotels on the map
Places near Butare
- Nyungwe Forest 35 miles away
- Kibuye 46 miles away
- Kigali 51 miles away
- Cyangugu 59 miles away
- Lake Kivu 71 miles away
- Ruhengeri 77 miles away
- Volcanoes National Park 84 miles away