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8Day Community Based Tourism Tour

Day 1: ARRIVAL - KIGALI, RWANDA

Arrival in Kigali - welcome by your tour guide - check-in at hotel - optional afternoon activities (depending on time of arrival)- overnight at hotel of your choice. Overnight at Solace guest house

Day 2: KIGALI CITY TOUR & GENOCIDE SITES

Start historical-minded exploration of Kigali with visits to landmarks from colonial, post colonial, independence era, genocide and the current times by visiting places such as Kigali Solaire, Stade regionale, Kigali Genocide memorial site, Kandt Museum, Belgian camp, presidential palace etc. Transfer to Bugesera in the afternoon to visit the reconciliation village, Nyamata and Ntarama genocide churches. Overnight at Solace guest house.

Day 3: PASTORALIST VILLAGE TOUR

Pastoralist Heritage: The culture of pastoralist has been hereditary; the social characteristics of the Rwandese pastoralists can still be traced in parts of the eastern province in Gatsibo district and Nyagatare district. The rural life in these villages elegantly and conventionally gives a very unique experience about the culture of grazing, introduces you to the history and values of cows in Rwanda including the INYAMBO cows which were very significant in many cultural festivals brought up by Kigwa. The beauty of a cow is exhibited in the cultural dances of Rwanda. The tour takes to the pastoralist village where observe and participate in the tradition cattle grazing; get ready to make your own traditional rain coat from grass, learn how to milk with your own hands and no machines here. After milking, the pastoralist will show you different calabashes used in preserving milk and qualification it take to make one; this goes in line with norms of handling calabashes, drinking milk etc. Milk is used in different ways for example taken fresh after milking, fermented to make yoghurt in a traditional way and the unforgettable experience of making ghee which ends with cooking local food with you own ghee and eating your own ghee. Tour ends with visiting some monuments left behind by the former kings. Home stay in the village of the hosts.

Day 4: IMIGONGO TRADIONAL ARTISANRY:

IMIGONGO TOUR: The tour introduces our visitors to the unique modeling and paintings called IMIGONGO literally meaning backs or back in singular; developed by the Rwandese society long time ago around 1500years by Prince Kakira the son of King KIMENYI of Gisaka kingdom part of the great Rwandan kingdom in current eastern province. Kakira invented the idea of embellishing and making more attractive art designs for decorations in the houses. They use cow dung from calves and mix it with ash and then make different designs ranging from the back of elephant, elbow designs to mention but a few because the designs come from their memories about different things or items etc. They have over ten different designs with well documented interpretations.

The colours used come from natural soils and plants for instance white comes from kaolin, red from natural clay soil forming ochre, the black colour from the sap of the aloe plant- Igikakarubamba mixed with ash of peeled banana and solanum aculeastrum plant - Umutobotobo. This type of art craft is very unique and only found in Rwanda. The other important part of the tour is that, it's helping in maintaining this culture from where it originated since we discovered that this cultural practice of IMIGOGO was fading out in the community but after introducing the tours, the community members are now getting back to their traditional art craft practices as it helps in preserving the culture, provide incomes to the members of the community. Overnight at Solace guest house.

Day 5: Ethno Botany Tours:

Acquire traditional skills and methods used in identifying diseases and the traditional remedies. Go into the field with traditional healers and learn on how the seeds, leaves, barks, roots and fruits can be used to cure a number of diseases by mixing or not mixing them. Insects, lianas, lichens etc all play a significant role. In the afternoon; visit a local home where the women share their experiences in making traditional dishes. Home stay.

Banana and Sorghum beer production:

Banana and sorghum are some of our staple food products in Rwanda and they are used in different ways i.e.as food, local beer/drinks and very important in the cultural practices most especially during our traditional weddings ceremonies, settling of disputes between community members, bonding relationship between different families etc. Rwanda has four different species of banana plants and each species of banana plant has got unique uses and values; practically, the visitors will learn and understand while in the field. Sorghum production is quite complicated but made simple to experience and really a thrilling experience. Overnight at La Pailotte hotel

Visit Kinigi Cultural Village:

Get to understand the culture of the Rwandese through their daily life and knowledge of the environment, poetry, folklores, dancing, singing, pottery and the theoretical hunt gathering skills. It's one of the thrilling experiences and very adventurous as you try to adapt to the traditional hut homes and lifestyle. Overnight at La Paillotte hotel

DAY 6: GORILLA TREKKING

Volcanoes National Park:

After breakfast we transfer to the park. After completing our park formalities we are embark on a once in a life time experience of tracking mountain gorillas. Once you spot them you are allowed to spend an hour watching your closest long lost cousin. This is perhaps one of the most breathtaking wildlife experiences on earth!!! You get so close to these awesome giant primates. You stare at each other blankly not knowing who to break the long silence first. Tracking the gorillas through the light mountain forest on the slopes of the Virunga is a magical experience. Be back at the base in time for lunch! Some gorilla families however are more elusive and tracking can take a full day, especially when it is wet and muddy. Overnight at St. Anne hotel or La Paillotte hotel

DAY 7: NATURE WALKS OR MOUNTAIN CLIMBING

Volcanoes National Park:

OPTION ONE: After breakfast we transfer to the park. After completing our park formalities we are embark on a thrilling nature walk to enjoy the magnificent afro-mountain forests; the birds, butterflies, flowers, rivers, streams and lakes inside the park.

Depending on the time you get back from nature walks; you will either rest in the afternoon or go visit the village of formerly "Historically marginalized people" in Rwanda.

OPTION TWO: Visit Diana Fossey tombs or hike Mountain Bisoke, Mgahinga or Muhabura

OPTION THREE: Early breakfast at 6:30am, then go search for the rare golden monkeys

Overnight at St. Anne hotel or La Paillotte hotel

DAY 8: TRANSFER TO KIGALI

Transfer to Kigali, en-route stop at local markets to buy some sourvenirs. Transfer to Airport.

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