Rwanda cultural tours
Rwanda cultural tours: Rwanda is well known for its natural beauty, with green terraced hills, blue crystal lakes and clean streets. The country has very hospitable natives and any visitor who finds themselves in Rwanda will always be taken aback by her beauty, and surely wouldn’t want to leave.
Although Rwanda may not be culturally diverse as compared to her neighbors like Uganda and Congo, the country has a very rich cultural that its people are proud of and quick to show case to the whole world. There are only three distinct ethnic tribes that live in Rwanda, and these include; the Twa who were known to be hunter-gatherers, the Tutsi who were predominately cattle rearers, and the Hutu who were crop growers. However much has changed over the past decades and now these tribes have also diversified their means of livelihood as well.
Rwanda cultural tours offer visitors an opportunity to interact more with the native people of Rwanda, and learn more about the Rwandan culture. These cultural tours involve tourists visiting local communities in Rwanda especially those near the national parks. Rwanda has four national parks which include; Volcanoes National Parks, Nyungwe Forest National Park, Akagera National Park, and Gishwati-Mukura National Park that was recently opened to the general public in 2019.
A Rwanda safari is never complete without a taste of its indigenous culture. Rwanda cultural tours can be combined with other activities such as; gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park, Chimpanzee trekking or the Canopy Walkway in Nyungwe Forest national park, or a game drive in Akagera national park.
Visitors on a cultural tour in Rwanda usually engage in activities such as; traditional dances, songs, arts and craft making, folk tales, cooking traditional Rwandan delicacies, visiting local beer breweries, cattle farms, and bee keeping farms. Some of the cultural sites that visitors can visit during a Rwanda cultural tour include;
Rwanda Genocide Memorial Sites:
One of the most visited tourist sites in Rwanda are the genocide memorial sites such as; the Kigali Genocide Memorial Site, Gisozi Memorial Site, Murambi Genocide Site, Nyamata Memorial Site, Gisenyi Memorial Site, Nyarubuye Memorial Site, Ntarama Memorial Site, and Bisesero Memorial Site. These various genocide memorial sites have been constructed to commemorate the lives of thousands of individuals who died in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. Tourists who get to pay a visit to any of these genocide memorial sites are given a detailed account of what transpired during the civil war, the damage that the genocide war inflicted on the people of Rwanda, and also how the country is moving forward from her tragic past.
Bugesera Reconciliation Village:
Visitors on a cultural tour in Rwanda can pay a visit to the Bugesera Reconciliation Village, which is located just a few kilometers from Kigali City. This village or rather community was established by the Rwandan government for Rwandan refugees who had lost all their property during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. After peace was restored back in the country, a lot of civilians lost their property and loved ones as well. The government came up with the idea of creating the reconciliation village in order give the Rwandan refugees a fresh start, and also reconcile all people from the different tribes of Rwanda. Now, the people living in the Bugesera reconciliation village can be seen living side by side in harmony with one another. Visitors who visit the reconciliation village are entertained by a group of local dancers, singers and drummers.
Iby’iwacu Cultural Village:
Most safaris to Rwanda are not complete without a visit to the Iby’iwacu cultural village. The cultural village gives visitors an opportunity to learn and enjoy the traditional Rwandan culture. What is unique about the Iby’iwacu cultural village is that a great majority of the men in this village are reformed poachers, who are now taking part in the conservation projects within Volcanoes National Park. Visitors who pay a visit to the Iby’iwacu cultural village are entertained by the traditional Intore dance group through dance performances, folk tales and songs. Visitors also get to take part in tradition cooking classes, preparation of local banana brew, milking cows and making products such as local ghee. Tourists can visit the Iby’iwacu cultural village after trekking mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park.
The King’s Palace in Nyanza:
Visitors can not miss paying a visit to the King’s palace in Nyanza, which is about 25 miles from Butare town. Visitors get a tour around the dorm styled palace learning about the cultural history of past Kings of Rwanda, and you will also get to see some royal regalia such as spears, shields, drums and other ornaments that were used by Rwanda’s past kings. You will also get to be crowned as a King or Queen, and have pictures taken as souvenirs to take back home with you.
The Ethnographic Museum in Butare:
Visitors on a Rwanda cultural tour can also visit the ethnographic museum that is located in Butare town, Rwanda. The museum is situated just a kilometer away from Kigali City and is the ideal place for visitors to learn about the people of Rwanda and their cultures. The ethnographic museum in Rwanda was constructed by the Belgian government and was opened in 1989 to the general public. The museum has seven exhibition halls that visitors can tour, and each exhibition hall has something new to display such as; cultural artifacts, regalia, and even an entertainment center.
Other places that visitors can visit during a Rwanda cultural tour include; Camp Kigali, Rwesero National Arts Museum in Nyanza, Ndaba rock, Nyamata Church, Richard Kandt House, Nyamirambo Women’s Center, Caplaki Craft Village, and Kimironko market among others.
Visitors can combine a cultural tour in Rwanda with a gorilla trekking tour in Volcanoes National Park, Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park, Game drive in Akagera National Park, or a Kigali city tour. Whatever you choose, you are assured to have the best experience of your lifetime once you embark on a Rwanda cultural tour.
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