Cultural Tours in Rwanda

As you plan to explore Rwanda think about the cultural tours in Rwanda. Rwanda is a landlocked country in central Africa in the Great Lakes region. The country is popular for its luxury gorilla safaris which most travelers think of when they hear about Rwanda. The land of a thousand hills is also part of the East African safari destinations. Rwanda is the ultimate safari destination for cultural tours in East Africa. A Rwanda cultural tour can be a great addition to Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.

Rwanda is made up of three main tribes namely; the Batusi, the Batwa, and the Bahutu. The Bahutu are dominant in numbers (about 83% of the population) while the Batusi covers 13% of the total population. On the other hand, the Batwa make up 1% of Rwanda’s population.

Popular Cultural Sites and Destinations in Rwanda

Gorilla Guardian’s Village

The Gorilla Guardian Village is a cultural village next to Volcano National Park. The natives of this village were the former poachers, Batwa who used to live within the park. During the visit to the village, you will experience the cultural life of the Batwa who were generally the bushmen. They will teach you how they used to gather food, make fire, and many other activities. The Ibyi’wacu cultural village has other communities that travelers can visit like the Hutu and Tutsi. During the visit, travelers will engage in banana brewing, traditional marriages, dances, etc.

Kigali Genocide Museum

This monument is found in Kigali city and commemorates the lives of the people who were killed during the genocide who were against the Tusi. It teaches a powerful message from the worst experience that happened in 1994. During the visit to the genocide, you can also have a virtual cultural tour of the genocide. The genocide also has a lot of touching stories of the Rwandese killings in 1994.

Kitabi Cultural Centre

The Kitabi Cultural Centre is located near the Nyungwe Forest National Park entrance, home to several chimpanzees who are close relatives of humans. This area is where the last king of Rwanda built the palace. On your visit to the community, travelers will see different traditional huts and traditional royal guards of the palace. Travelers on their Rwanda safaris will engage in basket making, buying locally manufactured crafts.

The king’s palace in Nyanza

The palace is located 88 kilometers away from the Kigali city in Nyanza. Rwanda was under one king and the palace king was facing challenges like pleasing the Hutu and the Tusi who are the natives in the area. The last king went into exile. The Belgians constructed a modern palace for King Mutara the Third who was the last king of the kingdom before the abolition of the kingdom in Rwanda.

Most of the valuable items in the palace were stolen during the genocide in 1994 and now the government has reintroduced and restructured the kingdom as a museum. While on the cultural tour in Rwanda, there are other destinations that a traveler on their Rwanda safari can visit.

Rwanda Cultural festivals

Rwanda has a lot of cultural festivals including the Umuganda, kwibuka, and Kwita Iziina festival. Kwita Iziina festival is done to celebrate the newly born gorillas and also name them. This festival started in 2005 in the Volcanoes National Park. It is now 19 years and over 397 gorillas have been named. The participants of the festival are tourists, gorilla doctors, conservationists, politicians, international celebrities, and many others. The festival is usually celebrated on 1st September of every year.

Umuganda is usually done on the last Saturday of the month. All offices including government officials leave whatever they are doing and participate in activities meant for the good of the country. The activity runs from 0800hrs to 1200hrs of the day where no car is allowed to move on the roads.

kwibuka is the event that is celebrated to remember the lives of the people who lost their lives during the genocide time. This event is celebrated in April every year. The event is open to all well-wishers across the world including tourists.

Other Safari destinations in Rwanda include;
Akagera National Park

This is the only savannah park in Rwanda that is home to the big five animals. The park is located in the eastern part of Rwanda near the Tanzania border. In the Akagera National Park, the game drives are the primary activity and also the others are the boat cruise, nature walks, and birding.

Volcanoes National Park

The Volcanoes National Park is located within the Virunga ranges. The park is home to the mountain gorillas. The park is located at the border of Congo. The primary activity in the park is the gorilla trekking. The park also hosts a history of the Dian Fossey tomb.  While on the safari to the park, you hike to the tomb of Dian Fossey tomb and you will also see other 20 graves of the people who were killed by the poachers. The activity is the golden monkey trekking, birding, and nature walks.

Nyungwe Forest National Park

The Nyungwe National Park is located on the border of Rwanda and Congo. The park is home to a several chimpanzee and other primates. During a Rwanda safari, you will engage in wildlife through the chimpanzee trekking. The other activity is the canopy walk. While on the Rwanda cultural tour, there are a variety of cultural attractions and events that you will engage in to have a thrilling experience of the cultural tours in Rwanda.

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