Offering an adventurous stay in a traditional rural, Rwandan village
that has existed for centuries living with and next to mountain gorillas
in Parc National des Volcans. Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village gives you a
rare chance to meet local people, in their environment, with a taste of
our culture and traditions. The community you visit will genuinely
welcome you as a special guest while they proudly present to you aspects
of their traditions and beliefs. This will truly be an experience of a
lifetime as you home stay with the community and become part of their
Itineraries will be tailored according to the interests and
wishes of guests, and among other activities;
- We have a community walk, guided by a community member, to visit
different sites within the community. This tour offers an unusual and
unforgettable insight into the everyday lives of the village
- Visiting the king’s house replica and listening to all the Kings stories,
the meanings of different symbols within the palace guided by a local guide. In this place you can be a king for minutes,
hours and days. You will be enthroned and can exercise kings powers as
bestowed to you by a village elder through a village ceremony.
- Eight different types of traditional dances by all community
categories; men, women, youths and the children, and other local and
traditional musical instruments (i.e. Intore dances, drumming, Ibyivugo,
Umuduri, Ikembe, Iningiri, Inanga, Ingoma, Amakondera, Agakenke, etc)
- The famous SONGS OF THE GORILLAS sang by the famous Ngayabatema, commonly referred to as Kayuku.
- Visiting a local traditional healer to hear about the different
medicinal trees, shrubs, grass and their traditional medicinal uses and
how they are administered to local patients.
- Visit traditional clinics
and pharmacies, the elderly and hear their interesting stories of pre
and post colonial era.
- Visit local schools and if you are a teacher, you could offer and attend lessons and see how children are taught in schools.
- Prepare and have a local lunch or diner with local people.
- Attend a local banana brewery process and have a taste of local banana beer.
- Exchange of flow of experiences and ideas between local people and visitors (sharing cultural experiences).
- Ex-poachers ways of hunting /techniques, methods and stories from ex-poachers in particular Batwa (pygmies).
- Batwa pottery making experience, lessons and engagement
- Artisans and craft making by women, men and children, etc.
- Local football matches with tourists, and many more activities.
The village is fascinating with a variety of cultural experiences it
can offer, and probably the best way to get to know the local people,
their culture, and their ‘ways of living” is to take part in daily life
activities. Agricultural tourism will be part of the wider experience
where guests will join local people when they go to their agricultural
fields to work and learn about their work, harvest and participate in
food preparation and making processes like millet grinding using stones,
carrying potatoes and water on their heads, and attend lessons and
participate in preparing a local dish i.e. (Ubugari, Igikoma etc).
The wider part of experience is IGITARAMO, where all gather around
camp fire, with drums and local dances before sunset, where stories,
riddles are recounted by storytellers of the old Rwanda with everyone
seated around the fire.
Every evening the village members gather around a campfire and begin a
session of story telling and dancing. Most of the time after trekking
gorillas, tourists don’t have what to do; this is the utmost time for
other activities to supplement tourism outside the park.
Guidelines: Code of Conduct
By following these single guidelines, you can help us preserve our unique environment and culture of our community.
- Use our bins and carry all non-degradable litter.
- Plants should be left to flourish in their natural environment-taking cuttings, seeds and roots are illegal in our community.
- When taking photographs, respect privacy, ask the community leader or guide if it is alright and use restraint.
- Avoid giving to children empty bottles “agacupa” it encourages
begging. A donation to the community project is a more constructive way
to help, and only give to the community leader.
- You will be accepted and welcomed if you follow local customs.
Use only your right hand when greeting and eating. Its also polite to
use both hands while giving or receiving gifts.
- Respect for local etiquette earns respect. Light weight clothes
are preferable to revealing or see-through, skimpy tops and tight
fitting action wear. Kissing in public is disliked by local people.
- Be patient, friendly and sensitive. Remember you are a GUEST to or community.
- We like to share our culture with you and learn about your
culture too, so kindly let us know about your culture, you never know we
might have something in common.
- In case of anything that is unusual to you, ask the community leader for interpretation, it might mean something important.