The Nyungwe Forest National Park has 970 km² of rainforest, bamboo, grassland and swamps and gazette in 2004. It is a home of different animal species which include over 13 different primate species which is 25% of Africa’s total, 275 bird species, 1068 plant species, 85 mammal species, 32 amphibian and 38 reptile species. At the time the Friends of Nyungwe Cooperative was not in existence, locals who live around the forest used to encroach on the forest something that led to issues like the fire outbreaks and illegal hunting of animals. One of the community-based tourism activities being carried out to protect and preserve Nyungwe Forest National Park is Kitabi Cultural Village, set up by the people living around the forest in 2009 five years after the cooperative .
According to Jean Baptist Bazambaza who is the Public Relations Officer of Kitabi Cultural Village, community-based tourism has changed the livelihoods of the people living around the Nyungwe Forest National Park. She said while addressing the new times. He added that these two are the initiatives that were set up help solve the problems faced by the community, thereby protect the forest. The well being of the community is improving and at the same time the forest is being protected from dangerous activities such as charcoal burning and poaching.
Bazambaza explained that Communities around the forest have been sensitized on the benefits of tourism. Like Kitabi Cultural Village was constructed to uphold community based tourism as well as promote and conserve the core values of the Rwandan culture. The revenue attained is distributed amongst the 60 cooperative members, 20 of whom are women. Entrance fee to Kitabi Cultural Village is $20 to $40 for local and foreign tourists, respectively, while accommodation per night at the traditional hut costs $40, while touring the Kings Palace where you see activities like the traditional milk preservation, local food preparation and target shooting using a bow and arrow at a cost of $20. This will be an interesting adventure.