According to the Rwanda development Board, the Iby’iwacu is the most booming Cultural Villages in Rwanda because it receives the highest number of tourists who travel from all parts of the world to enjoy a Safari in Rwanda. Iby’iwacu means treasure of our home and the Iby’Iwacu cultural village is non-profit making society project which is located in Musanze along the foot of volcanoes and it actually intends to better the lives of all ex-poachers in the area close to the park. Volcanoes National Park (PNV) is very supportive of this project and does so through providing them with conservation incentives like rewarding ex-poachers, provide goats to slaughter instead of the gorillas.
Parc Des Volcans helps to maintain the development of their community enterprises like basket weaving, art and craft work, community based tourism, And also PNV helps in changing their livelihood through providing clean water, providing education facilities, offering agricultural support, offer health advisory, and many more.
Most people go for this cultural visit as an addition activity after Gorilla and chimpanzee safari in Rwanda. Visiting this place offers you the chance to explore the traditional rural life of Rwandans, provides the opportunity to meet local people while in the comfort of their homes and so you can have the taste of their cultures and different traditions. The locals are very friendly people therefore they will welcome you and the host family will accept you as part of their family.
There are so many activities that you can engage in with the local ladies and other activities have to be done with the guidance of a trained tour guide.
There are community walks and together with your guide and your host in the community can start your day with visiting to the community. Your host will take you to different tourism sites in the community. A community walk is the best chance you have to see how different families live their everyday lives in the home.
Visit the King’s hut
You can opt to go for a visit at the king’s house and when you get there, you will meet the care takers, get a local guide who will tell you a lot of amazing stories about the place and the kings, you will learn about the different meanings of every symbol within this palace from the local guide. You may, if you are willing be king for some few minutes or hours and so you will have the village leader through some sort of village ceremony enthroned you to the throne and you are free to exercise kings’ powers for that while.
Participate in traditional dances and music
Rwanda has about 8 different types of traditional dance and music. When it comes to music and dancing, everybody including the women, kids, men and the youths find this really interesting. They can always teach you how to dance a few styles like the Intore dances, learn about the Agakenke drumming styles and many more others. There are some popular songs they call the songs of the gorillas and you can learn about them too.
Get lessons about juice making
You can also learn about how to make juice out of bananas, you can participate in or just watch the banana brewery procedure go on. Later you can taste this beer which will definitely taste sweet but if it is fermented, it will taste different but still good.
Visit the Batwa community
The Batwa are the indigenous people of most the forested areas around the volcanoes and you can visit their families to learn all you need to know about them. While they were originally gatherers, they are adopting modern means of living and so have started different income generating activities like pottery making so if you want some lessons, get engaged in pottery making sessions when you will go visit these Batwa people. Besides pottery, you can get involved in the everyday work if you wish to know better and you can certain to have a wonderful time.
There are so many other activities that you can engage in like visiting the different local schools or check out the women when they are making their craft piece ore even join them in the kitchen while they are making lunch and then later share that meal with them. You can participate in food preparation process which may include millet grinding with just stones, you may help carry the food from the garden and water from the wells on your heads and then later enter the local kitchen to start cooking with firewood.
Cultural tours can be very amazing because you have to directly interact with different people if you are to have different amazing cultural experiences from different people of different cultures. Getting involved in their daily activities is the best way you can ever get to understand people’s cultures and ways of livelihood. Agricultural tourism is also an activity because in some case, the tourists join the local people in their garden when they go planting, weeding or harvesting and in this case, they learn how it is done.
The climax of your visit may be being part of the Igitaramo which an event where you all have to come around a fire camp just before sunset for some entertainment through dance and drummer. There will be a lot of storytelling, riddles from the storytellers who are often old people. It is fun and educative experience.