Huye is the third city of Rwanda, located in the south. It was formerly known as Butare and many maps and official documents still refer to Butare. Huye is the capital of Huye district, which was again Butare district prior to its dissolution in 2006. It is said to have about 80,000 inhabitants. It is famous for hosting the National University, the National Museum (unique in Africa) and being near to Nyanza, where the palace of the former king (the so-called mwami) is.
There are several minibus companies make their way from Kigali to Huye. One of them recommended is Volcano. It is easy to find in the Kigali Domestic bus station. The fee is 2500 RFr one way.
Huye has plenty of taxis, motorcycle taxis, and bicycle taxis, all of which will be eager to serve you. Also, you can walk from the northernmost part of Huye (the bus station) to the southernmost (the University of Rwanda) in about 20 minutes. (The taxis exist mainly to take Rwandans to their homes farther outside the city).
- National Museum of Rwanda: The National Museum is a surprisingly comprehensive and interesting museum. Even travellers knowledgeable about recent Rwandan history will learn much about Rwanda’s colonial and post-colonial governments, as well as the Tutsi monarchy which pre-dated both of these. Many of Rwanda’s idiosyncratic cultural attributes will make more sense after a visit to the national museum. 5000 RWF for non residents.
- Huye Market: Huye has a bustling market that is open every day except Saturday. Although there will be no souvenirs on sale, this market is an excellent way to learn how Rwandans shop for their everyday needs. Be prepared to bargain.
- National University of Rwanda: Although a stroll through the University would take at most 20 minutes, it is a worthwhile trip to see an active African university. Students here are almost all on full scholarship, selected by test performance; they sleep two to a bed in dorms located on campus.
- 1 Murambi Genocide Memorial Centre. In 1994, Murambi was the site of a large massacre at a vocational school where several hundred Tutsis were hiding. It was turned into one of the most compelling and graphic genocide memorials with preserved bodies on display. The memorial is located near Nyamagabe, which is about 20 minutes west of Huye along the road to Cyangugu. Regular buses go to Nyamagabe which is 3km from the sign-posted site. Bus fare is 450 RWF, a motorbike to the side and back to Nyamagabe should cost no more than 2000 RWF.
- Nyanza (25 km north of Huye on NR 1). Nyanza is a small town with a market, and a few hotels. Main attraction in the Museum of the Kings Palace. Entrance 6000 RWF, including a personal guide. You can visit the traditional palace and the modern home of the king built in the 1930s. The palace is out of town, half an hour walk or 300 RWF by moto-taxi. (updated Feb 2017)