Inaugurated on September 18th 1989 and located in Huye, the National Museum of Rwanda is the most well-known museum in Rwanda and houses perhaps the finest ethnographic and archaeological collections in East Africa with more than 10,000 artefacts. Absorbing displays of traditional artefacts 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 as a modern African state.
Under the reign of King Yuhi V Musinga in 1899, Nyanza became the royal capital of the country. The court became the home of the artistic and intellectual activities and was also a place for economic exchange. Today, a replica of the traditional Royal Palace sits at Rukari. The impressive, enormous domed structure is made entirely with traditional materials, has been painstakingly restored to its 19th century state and is now maintained as a museum.
Once the residence of King Mutara III Rudahingwa, this museum also sits at Rukari near to the Royal Palace. This Palace has been restored and offers a glimpse into Rwandan life as it once was. On the neighboring hill of Mwima, King Mutara III and his wife Queen Rosalie Gicanda are buried.
Located across the valley from the Museum of Rwandan Ancient History and the Nyanza Royal Palace, the Rwesero Arts Museum displays contemporary artwork which testifies to the originality of Rwandan creativity, while not overlooking either tradition or national history. The museum was originally built as a Palace for King Mutara III Rudahingwa but he passed away before occupying it. Both the Museum of Rwandan Ancient History and the Rwesero Arts Museum are located 2km from Nyanza town.
The Nyarugenge residence in Kigali City once occupied by German Richard Kandt has been turned into the Museum of Natural History. A scientist by profession, Richard Kandt was the first German Imperial resident in Rwanda and this museum is homage to his work.