Located just 100 kilometers outside of Kigali, Butare is one of the best places to for your next weekend or day trip. As the second largest city and influential cultural center, everyone in your family will find something they love. Check out how we spend a day in Butare.
Breakfast at Nehemiah’s Best Coffee!
An early morning calls for some hot coffee and delicious food as well. Nehemiah’s Best serves up omelettes, fresh smoothies, pastries, and fresh coffee straight from Huye Mountain Coffee. It’s the perfect way to support local business and get energized for the day.
A Visit to the Our Lady of Wisdom, Catholic Cathedral
Next, right down the road from Nehemiah’s Best is Our Lady of Wisdom Cathedral. This cathedral was built in the 1930s and is a stunning and simple example of colonial style architecture. If you aren’t awed the architecture, the size is sure to wow you. This cathedral is the largest in Rwanda, and one of the larget in all of central Africa. Take 30 minutes to explore its beautiful grounds and spend some time reflecting in its sanctuary.
Huye Mountain Coffee
Time to use up some of that energy from breakfast! The Huye Mountain Coffee tour takes you on a beautiful hike up Mount Huye while teaching you about the different steps in the coffee roasting process. The tour starts with a freshly brewed sample at the Huye Mountain Coffee plantation, just a 5 minute moto ride from the city center. Then, follow your guide who is affectionately called Mr. Coffee up Mount Huye as he tells you stories of Rwandan history and coffee facts. At times, the hike is a little steep so make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes! And at the top, you’ll be rewarded by a beautiful 360 degree view and opportunity to roast your own coffee in the traditional way.
The tour takes about 3-5 hours and costs 5,000 RWF for Rwanda citizens, and 21,000-26,000 RWF for travelers. Don’t have time to do the full tour? You can opt to do a shorter and cheaper 1 hour tour! Check out these photos from their website!
Time for a little something sweet at Inzozi Nziza
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! After hiking up Mount Huye, it is definitely time to treat yourself! Inzozi Nziza is often called the best ice cream by anyone who has tried its sweet soft serve that is often topped with fresh fruit. Not only is it delicious, but also it is completely run by local women who are passionate about empowering their community! A true sweet treat!
Photo from the Akilah Institute and Trip Advisor
Arboretum de Rwanda
Finish out the day with a walk around the Arboretum, surrounding the University of Rwanda. The Arboretum features 178 species of trees and countless opportunities to catch sight of gazelles, monkeys, birds, and insects! As a part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy, it has become one of the main centers of conservation and research in Rwanda.
Photos from queenwealthcanopy.org and rwandahc.org
Finish out your day in Butare with a delicious family dinner! Here are a couple of our favorite places to relax with the family.
Hotel Ibis- a vintage hotel on the main street of Butare that has been turned into a wonderful restaurant! Many people rave about their croque monsieur or chicken with peanut sauce!
Amafu Ye Huye- Got lots of hungry kids? Take them to the buffet at Amafu Ye Huye! With a wide variety of options, it is sure to satisfy their stomachs without breaking your wallet.
The Chinese Restaurant- Looking for something a little different? Grab some Chinese food at this casual family restaurant!