Besides the natural attractions in Rwanda. The Land of 1000 hills has moved an extra mile to create other tourism attractions in the country. Among those are the museums which are evenly distributed throughout the country. These Rwanda -Museums hold a rich cultural background about destination Rwanda Besides the museums are the genocide memorial sites which were set aside to commemorate the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi and how it shaped the present Rwanda.
The Rwanda -Museums are under one governing body the Institute of National Museums of Rwanda. It was inaugurated on 18/ September 1989 with one museum at Huye in the Southern Province to promote the culture of Rwanda. It started with one ethnographic museum, but later other museums were built throughout the country and currently the institute comprises 8 museums.
Found in Huye district in the southern province 132km from Kigali. It was built in 1987. it is one of the finest museums in Africa. it comprises of 7 galleries that display the Historical, Ethnographic, Artistic, Archaeological, artifacts, and visual aids about the Rwandan culture. It gives visitors a rich insight into the cultural background of Rwanda.
King’s Palace Museum.
It lies in Nyanza in the southern province about 88km from Kigali city. It was king Mutara III Rudahigwa’s Palace. This museum gives a detailed look into the Rwandan Monarchial system. It was restored to its 19th-century state and was entirely made with traditional materials. Alon the palace is a 1931 modern palace where king Rudahigwa resided until when he passed away in 1959. Recently the long-horned royal cows Inyambo were introduced. they were initially the King’s symbol of prestige.
On the neighboring hill, is where King Mutara III and his wife Rosalie were laid to rest.
Museum of Rwesero.
It lies in Nyanza District about 85km from Kigali. It was built in 1957-1959. It was initially supposed to palace King Mutara III, but he passed away before occupying it. It was later transformed into National Art Gallery in May 2006. In 2018, the museum of Art started a new Exhibition focusing on Homegrown solutions aimed to overcome the after-effects of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. It was opened to the public in the same year. It exhibits photos of daily life and the History of Africans for example the Nigerian, Ugandans, and Rwandans.
Museum of the Environment.
It was opened on 16/07/2018. it is found along the shores of Lake Kivu in the Western Province. It has a two-floor building and a traditional herbal garden on the rooftop. It is the first and only environmental museum on the continent of Africa. It exhibits energy resources, Renewable and Non-Renewable Resources. It is a center for Education to visitors about how to protect their environment and to ensure integrated and durable development.
National Liberation Museum Park.
Located in the Northern Province at Gicumbi District 80km from Kigali at Mulindi. It tells Rwanda’s Liberation struggle that brought an end to the genocide. it was initiated by Rwanda Patriotic Front RPF. It explains the sequence of events before, during, and after a struggle through visuals like Texts and Artifacts. It exhibits the bunker which protected the chairman of High command now the current president HE Paul Kagame. It also homes radio Muhabura used by RPF and RPA for mobilization.
Campaign Against Genocide Museum.
Located on the Parliamentary building in Kigali 800m behind conventional center road point. It is a 9 minutes drive from Kanombe Airport. It was opened on 13/12/2017 by HE Paul Kagame. Its was decided to be on the building because it hosted the RPF and the 600-man protection force. These men were given orders by the chairman Paul Kagame to spread out defend and rescue Victims of the genocide. The museum gives details on how the campaign against Genocide plan was executed by RPF following the withdraw of the UN troops leaving the Tustis in the hands of their killers.
The museum’s outer part consists of monuments including that of a 12.7mm machine gun which helped in containing the Advancing genocidal forces.
Rwanda Art Museum.
Located in Kanombe 4km from Kigali. It displays Artworks by Rwandans and international Artists. It provides a bigger picture about Originate of Rwanda’s creativity, arts development from centuries to date. It is a permanent exhibition, though it hosts temporary moving arts. Kids’ art studios allow the kids to exercise their talent. This museum also acted as a presidential palace from the 1970s until the late 2000s. it is also a heritage site where debris from the Falcon 50’s presidential jet went down on 6/o4/1994.
Kandt House Museum.
It was formerly known as the National History Museum NHM. It was later changed to Kandt house on 17/12/ 2017 to commemorate the good deeds of Colonial administrator Richard Kandat the first colonial master on behalf of Germany.it comprises of 3 parts. One is that with aspects of Rwandan life, social, economic, and political. The second and biggest part of the museum records experiences of
Rwandan people during the colonial period specifically during German rule from 1884, colonial administration, world war 1 and Richard Kandt and his life in Rwanda.
The third part comprises of History of Kigali before colonial time, during colonial time, and Naissance as Capital city is well presented. The only remaining mark of the National History museum is the temporary exhibition of live snakes and a baby crocodile. The beautiful stunning views of surrounding Kigali, Shyorongi, and Jari mountains make it a perfect place to be while on tour in Rwanda.
Genocide Memorials in Rwanda.
Kigali Genocide Memorial.
Located on the hill of Gisozi. It is a 10 minutes drive from the city center. It is a final resting place for over 250,000 victims of the genocide laid to rest in Mass graves. It is run by a UK nonprofit making organization aimed at stopping genocides from happening all over the world. The center has different exhibition centers with skulls of the victims and their belongings, pictures of survivors, reconciliation efforts, and genocide committers. It also has space showing different genocides which have happened across the world. Outside the building are the gardens where there is a mass grave where the victims were buried. More often survivors usually come to this spot to connect with their lost relatives.
Nyamata Genocide Memorial.
It is a former church located 30km south of Kigali in Bugesera. 25,000 Rwanda genocide victims were buried here. The Tutsi people gathered here considering it safe for them because previously church was safe for them. It was a death trap for them. The Hutu Militaria forced gates open with grenades and slaughtered them with machetes. the Alter cloth is still stained with blood from the massacre of several victims. Outside the church is are mass graves where the victims were laid to rest.
Murambi Genocide Memorial.
Located in Murambi town on the grounds of the former Murambi technical school.it is the most difficult place to visit of all the genocide memorial places. The bodies and skeletons of the genocide victims are displayed. one could easily identify their relative. The Tutsi were advised to seek refuge as hoping for French protection but was all in vain. After gathering, they had food, no water, and this was accompanied by attacks from the Hutu militaria who slaughtered them to death. The former classrooms are now exhibition centers. There are several mass graves on these grounds.
Nyanza Genocide Memorial.
Located on the grounds of Kigali’s Ecole Technique official in Kicukiro. It often acts as a ground for genocide anniversary commemorations which happen in early April. It holds mass graves for more than 10,000 victims abandoned by the Belgian Peacekeeping forces who flew as the genocide intensified.
Bisesero Genocide Memorial.
It is located approximately 60km from Kibuye. About 40,000 victims died here. The Tusti’s threw a small resistance against the Hutus. They used stones and sticks to counter attackers.
Ntarama Genocide Memorial.
It is a Catholic Church where 5000 were killed.