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Rwandan Museums

Ethnographic Museum

Ethnographic Museum is located in Huye, 132 km South of Kigali-Rwanda’s Capital. The Ethnographic Museum is one of the eight museums that make up the Institute of National Museums of Rwanda.

This Museum was built in 1987, and now houses one of Africa’s finest ethnographic collections. Its seven galleries display historical, ethnographic, artistic and archaeological artifacts accompanied by visual aides, giving visitors a rich insight into the culture of Rwandans.

King’s Palace Museum gallery

The king’s Palace Museum is based in Nyanza District, Southern Province,88 km from Kigali City;King’s Mutara III Rudahigwa’s Palace offers a detailed look into the Rwandan monarchical system and its abolition in early 1960s due to colonialism. The palace was restored to its 19th Century state as a replica and was made entirely with traditional materials. Recently the Long horned royal cows "Inyambo"were introduced because cows form an integral part of the Rwanda Culture and were initially the King’s symbol of prestige. Visitors are always fascinated by the procession of these royal cows which are famous for their impressive long horns, height gentle nature and the traditional poems.

Along the traditional palasce is the 1931 modern palace where King Mutara Rudagigwa resided until he passed away in 1959. It now serves to display Rwandaa history from the 15th Century.

On the neigbouring hill of Mwima,One can also visit the mausoleum where King Mutara III, his wife Queen Rosalie Gicandaand King Kigeli IV Ndahindurwa were laid to rest.

Museum of Rwesero gallery

Located in Nyanza District about 85km from Kigali City, the construction of the building started in 1957 and completed in 1959 as a Palace for King Mutara III Rudahigwa but he passed away before occupying it.

In May 2006 the building was transformed into a National Art Gallery until May 2018 when a new Museum of Art was opened up in the former state house located in Kanombe. For the moment, a new exhibition focusing on “ Home grown solutions” as one of strategies and solutions used by the country for economic development and peace building aftermath of 1994 Genocide against Tutsis is under preparation.

Meanwhile, the museum still open to the public with exhibition photos on daily life and history of Africans among them we have Nigerians, Ugandans and Rwandans.

Museum of Environment gallery

This brand new museum opened its doors on 16th July 2015. Based at Lake Kivu in the Western Province, the building consists of two floors with a traditional herbal medicine garden based on rooftop. It is the first and only environment museum on the continent that exhibits energy sources both renewable and none renewable. The museum is the center of education for our visitors, helps them to understand and safeguard their environment and ensure an integrated and durable development.

National Liberation Museum Park

In the Northern Province of Gicumbi district, 80 kilometres northeast of Kigali at Mulindi w’Intwali lies the National Liberation Museum Park. This museum tells the story of the Rwandan Liberation struggle that brought an end to the Genocide against Tutsis. This struggle was initiated by the political wing known as the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), led by its military wing, Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA), from 1st October 1990 to 4th July 1994.

The museum illustrates sequence of events before, during, and after the struggle through visuals that include texts and artefacts. One of the objects exhibits the bunker which protected the then Chairman of High Command, now President of the Republic of Rwanda, H.E Paul Kagame. Other objects embody the Arusha Agreement, the Campaign against Genocide, radio Muhabura used by the RPF and RPA for mobilisation, likeminded events as well as initiatives. Visitors are always fascinated by the longstanding bunker that sheltered H.E Paul Kagame along other officials’ bunkers.

We are currently going through the consultancy period on the construction of the Liberation Park museum. Consultation will be within Rwanda and directed to the people of Rwanda. The foundation stone was laid by H.E the President of the Republic of Rwanda at “Umurindi w’intwari”.whilst the place is being visited.It is one of 8 sites we have as Instittute of National Museums of Rwanda.

Campaign Against Genocide Museum

Campaign Against Genocide Museum is a museum located in the Parliamentary building, in Kigali just 800 meters behind conventional center road point, and just 4.9km, 9 minutes’ drive from Kanombe Airport. This campaign against Genocide Museum was opened officially on 13th December, 2017 by H.E Paul Kagame.

CAG Museum is built in the Parliamentary building which was once known as Conseil National de Development because this building hosted the Rwandan Patriotic Front politicians and the 600 man protection force (3BN) from 28th December 1993 as they were in the preparations for the installation of Broad Based Transitional Government and the National Transitional Assembly and these 600 man protection force the (3BN) were the ones given the order first on 07/04/1994 by the RPA Chairman of High Command Major General Paul Kagame to break out from their initial positions defend themselves and rescue victims of Genocide in their vicinity when campaign against Genocide began

CAG Museum depicts in details how the Campaign Against Genocide Plan was executed by RPF/A following the withdrawal of UN troops leaving the targeted Tutsi under the mercy of the Genocidaires and how only the RPF/A forces who were in the war of liberation took the unilateral decision to stop Genocide, Rescue victims of Genocide and defeat the Genocidal forces. This CAG Museum also has its outer part comprised of monuments including that of the 12.7mm Machine Gun that helped in containing the advancing genocidal forces.

Rwanda Art Museum

The “Rwanda Art Museum” in Kanombe is located in 4 kilometers from Kigali International Airport. This former Presidential Palace Museum changed into Rwanda Art Museum effective from 18th May 2018.

The new museum displays contemporary artworks produced by both Rwandan and international artists. The aim is to provide to our visitors’ insight into the originality of Rwandan creativity, arts development from centuries up-to-date, whilst not overlooking traditional or modern imaginations.

A part from permanent exhibition, The Rwanda Art Museum hosts temporally and moving arts exhibitions as well. Young visitors also enjoy the Art Kids’ Studio where they are given the opportunity to put their art skills to work. We want the museum to be a place where artists meet and exchange ideas. In this line, a room for them to exhibit their artworks has been provided by the INMR to their Federation.

As this current museum served as the Presidential Palace during 1970s until late 2000, our visitors can visit this historical building. The flight debris from the FALCON 50’s presidential jet that went down on 6th April 1994 are also found at this heritage site.

Kandt House Museum

Kandt House Museum, the former Natural History Museum is located at KN 90 St, around one kilometer from downtown. This museum is formerly well known as Natural History Museum (NHM). Its name as NHM was changed into Kandt House Museum since December, 17th 2017.

At the present moment, Kandt House Museum comprises three main parts:

· The first part presents Rwandan life in all its aspects (social, economic, and politically: monarchism) before the colonial period.

· In the second part, which is the biggest one, the museum traces experience of Rwandan people during the colonial period, more specifically under the German rule from 1884 (the time of Berlin conference), throughout colonial administration, World War I, few to mention; up to 1916, including Richard Kandt life and his deeds in Rwanda.

· Another attractive gallery is the third part where the history of Kigali; Kigali before colonial time, during colonial, and its naissance as capital city, is well presented.

Last but not least, it is the only remaining mark of the former Natural History Museum, that is; a temporary exhibition of live snakes, and a baby crocodile (measured 1 m in 2017). While visiting this external part, one can enjoy the view of spectacular surrounding scenery, most importantly, stunning view of Kigali, Shyorongi, and Jari mountains.

For more information visit www.visitrwanda.com