Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village Tour

This is a non-profit umbrella organization aimed at improving lives of Rwanda’s community members as well as reformed poachers in volcanoes National Park. This is done through supporting community enterprise developments as well as conservation incentives plus the many livelihood based projects. The main activities of this cultural village is to give visitors chance to meet with local people in their natural environments, offering stays in a traditional rural villages that existed in the recent times in Rwanda with in Volcanoes National Park. The communities here will welcome you and offer you traditional performances, beliefs as well as traditions. The village offers home stays to the visitors which helps them experience the life style of the local people living in and around Volcanoes national park.

Visitor’s itineraries can be tailored according their wishes and the interests and the many activities at the village include; Community walks to visit different sites of the community were you will enjoy the insights of the everyday village life of the people of Rwanda, king’s house visit were you engage in visiting storytelling and learning the different symbols which are used in the palace, you will also be able to learn many different traditional dances practiced by the women, men, youth as well as the children. Some of these dances include; Umuduri, Iningiri, ibyivugo, inanga, Amakondera, Ingoman and Ikembe, get to enjoy the famous songs of the gorillas which are sang by Ngayabatema commonly reffered to as Kayuku, have a visit to the traditional pharmacies and clinics to listen to the elders telling stories of post and pre-colonial era, get a chance to visit the traditional healers to learn about the medicinal trees, grass, scrubs as well as medicinal usage.

Iby'Iwacu

The other activities carried out at this village include; preparing local meals for lunch and dinner by the visitors with the local people, attending the local banana brewery process and tasting the local beers, get chance to exchange ideas with the local people which is called sharing cultural experiences, you will be shown the ex-poachers ways of hunting and methods particularly the batwa people, enjoy pottery of the batwa people, artisans and crafting by women and children, as well as engaging in the local foot ball matches with the local people.

 

 This Village is also good with variety of cultural experiences which it offers and through it, you get to know the different ways of living of the local people of Rwanda and their culture. Get chance to engage in agriculture tourism were you will join the locals in their gardens and engage in the growing of different crops. Learn how food is planted, taken care of and how it’s harvested when ready from the gardens.

There is also the experience with the “Igitaramo” where you all gather around the camp fire, with the drums as you dance before sun set, get a chance to enjoy riddles, stories from the elders, this is done as you all sit around the fire. This activity is most convenient after gorilla trekking since in the late afternoon, many tourists don’t have any activity, it can be taken as an option after gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park.

Around the Village, visitors are given special guidelines that they are supposed to follow when at the premises of Iby’Iwacu Cultural village. Some of the code of conduct guidelines include;

·         Visitor are encouraged to use the bins in the place to avoid littering rubbish around the whole place.

·         Visitors are also encouraged to always ask for permission before taking photos

·         The visitors are not allowed to disturb plants in their natural environment by taking their leaves, roots or seedlings.

·         Tourists are advised to avoid giving the child empty bottles since this keeps them begging, and donations should only be given to the community leader.

·         Tourists are advised to always follow local customs like using the right hand for greeting and eating as well as using both hands to receive gifts from any one.

·         Try to always respect local etiquettes like not putting on so light clothes and see through especially by the lady tourists. Also kissing in public is a taboo and disliked by the locals

·         Always try to be friendly, patient as well as sensitive since you are just a guest to the community.

·         Sharing about culture should not be one sided but should be done by both the host and the guest.

·         Always ask questions to the community leader in case you find some things unique to you.

The guests to the cultural village can be accommodated in the local grass thatched mud houses which are made of ancient architecture, and also the king’s main house is big enough to accommodate over 200 people in a night.

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