The King’s Palace

Rice fields in the valleys

Driving up and down the thousand hills of Rwanda, we came to Nyanza, where the King of Rwanda had his palace until 1962. Here you can see the reconstructed traditional huts and the modern palace. We got a guide, which was dressed in an umushanana, the silky, flowing traditional dress of Rwanda.

Visitor centre at the palace
Traditional king’s palace, artistically worked
Hut where banana beer was made for the king
Hut for milk, where also butter was made
Grinding sorghum
Inside the traditional hut of the king

We were really impressed, how beautiful this big hut was built and decorated. The construction was very sophisticated and mats with different patterns were used to separate the different parts of the palace.

Visiting the Inyambo traditional cows

The king had a special herd of Inyambo cattle, with the longest horns we have ever seen. They were holy cows, which didn’t get killed, but buried when they died. The cowboys would brush them, swat the flies away and sing to them. On special occasions they were paraded in front of the king.

Bull and his girls

A new modern palace was built in the art deco style by the Belgian colonisers for the king. Beside a bathroom with tub and toilet, it also had a garage for the Volkswagen of the king.

We were allowed to spend the night at the parking of the museum and continued the next morning our way south to Butare, where we visited the Ethnographic Museum.

King Charles Mutara Rudahigwa in 1949 with the royal headdress
High jump – a tradition in Rwanda
Catholic Cathedral of Butare

After our visit to the King’s Palace and the Enthographic Museum of Butare, we continued our way west, to the Nyungwe Forest National Park .

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