The Kandt House Museum, formerly known as the Natural History Museum, is located in what is now the city of Kigali, Nyarugenge District, westbound in Rwanda. The Institute of National Museums of Rwanda manages the Museum. This location was chosen as the colonial capital in Rwanda Germany in 1907 by a German resident (Administrator) Richard Kandt under the name of Nyarugenge. They changed the name to Kigali in 1908 because it was too difficult for the colonialists to pronounce. The museum has the best view of the mountains and also has the best view of the old Kigali City.
Along with other colonial leaders, Richard Kandt in 1908 came up with an idea of building administrative buildings, including the museum building. However, of all the buildings that the colonialists built by then, the Kandt House Museum is the only one that is still standing.
As such, the government renovated the building in 2004 and turned it into a National History Museum showcasing Rwanda’s natural resources. Additionally, on 17 December 2017, the museum changed its name to the Kandt House Museum with a new exhibition showing the history of Rwanda before and within German Colonization under the new name of the Kandt House Museum
The “Rwanda Life in all aspects” part, The “colonial period” part, and, The “History of Kigali” part.
This is the part that showcases how the social, economic, and political life of Rwanda was before the colonial era. For example, the North Wing exhibits Rwanda’s biology, where visitors find species ranging from charming-colored birds to exotic reptiles. Besides, it exhibits many of Rwanda’s mammalian occupants, from small rodents to skulls of popular mountain gorillas. Additionally, the rear of the museum is dedicated to Volcanism, but it lies in Germany. Visitors have the opportunity to learn about the creation of the volcanoes in the northwest of Rwanda. However, there are diagrams and visual models that are displayed where visitors can learn some stuff.
This is the biggest part of the museum, introducing the experience of the Rwandese during the colonial period, but more specifically, under German rule. Right after the 1884 Berlin conference, Rwanda started to be under the rulership of Germany until 1916. However, later on under the League of Nations mandate after World War I, Belgians took over Rwanda. The part of the museum henceforth covers Richard Kandt’s life and deeds.
You can find the history of Kigali before, during, and after colonial rule in the third part of the museum. Upon independence of Rwanda in 1962, the legislature decided to make Kigali the capital city. It is the south wing of the museum and is dedicated to Rwanda’s natural resources. There are numerous gems and minerals with maps explaining their distribution around the country.
The Kandt House museum also has another part where there is a temporary edition of live snakes and a baby crocodile, while visiting this part you can enjoy the amazing view of the surrounding scenery and the stunning view of Kigali.
Kandt House Museum is located in KN 90 St. in Kigali, around one kilometer from downtown.
The museum is open daily from 8 am to 6 pm (closed on the 7th of April and from 11 am to 6 pm on the last Saturday of every month).
The entrance fee for non-residents is 6000 francs, roughly $8. For those with resident visas or passports, the entrance fee is a little cheaper, 5000 francs, roughly $6.
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