Visiting the King’s Palace in Nyanza and Ethnographic Museum in Huye

For weeks I have been teaching at the University of Rwanda’s campus in Huye, which is in the southern part of the country not far from Burundi. Racing back to Kigali every weekend, I would pass the National Ethnographic Museum as well as the King’s Palace. Both were places Janet and I wanted to see, but Luke (our 15 year old) was not really interested in doing so.

At the end of my last week of teaching in Huye, Janet decided to meet me in Nyanza at the King’s Palace (See: ) and then spend the night in Huye to visit the Ethnographic Museum the next day (See: ).

While I had an interest in learning about the former Tutsi King, I was more interested in seeing and learning about the Inyambo cattle. These were the royal cattle of the King, who were trained to parade and perform. They have handlers who guide them, and sing and whistle to them.


They are also known as Ankole cattle or in the US sometimes as Watusi. However, the Inyambo are a royal line of pure animals of the breed, with incredibly impressive horns.

Janet had our “special” Taxi driver Assuman take her to Nyanza to meet me.  We asked him if he would want to bring along his two sons (Age 9 and 4). We hear him talk about them all the time, and given his work schedule, we know he would like to spend more time with them. To share the experience with these guys was not only fun, but with Assuman we also gained a native’s insight into everything we experience with him.

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We thoroughly enjoyed our visit, I particularly enjoyed the cattle, and could have easily spent the whole day there with the handlers, learning about these animals. We ended the day by having dinner with Assuman and his sons at our hotel in Huye.


Author: oxwoodfarm

I am a Fulbright Scholar spending 6.5 months in Rwanda at the University of Rwanda's College of Agriculture, Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine. I am teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, assisting colleagues with research and grant writing, as well as participating in workshops and programs related to my expertise in animal agriculture and cattle. If you are interested in learning more about Rwanda from my perspective as a Fulbright Scholar I would be happy to answer questions. #Fulbright

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