Imyemerere

Buhanga sacred forest

Buhanga sacred forest is located in Musanze district in Northern Rwanda. Its surface is estimated at 31 ha. This forest was inhabited by Gihanga, the King who founded Rwanda a thousand years ago; and it has latter become his worship place. Before they took office, the monarchs of Rwanda were required to make a pilgrimage and perform enthronization rite in that forest. Due to its sacredness, Buhanga forest has not been cleared. It is marked by the presence of a cave and giant ficus and Erithrina abyssinica trees surrounding a place where the hut in which spiritual investiture for the various monarchs took place was constructed. At the entrance of the forest, there is a mysterious water spring from which water was collected as the first bath of the king to be enthroned. Today it is said that this forest harbors a Python with extraordinary power which is the spiritual guardian of the place.