Gorilla Guardian Village In Rwanda

The Iby’iwacu cultural village fuses all of Rwanda’s known cultural traditions, people, personal experience and history into one place of display.

Visiting The Iby’iwacu Village Centre

Most tourists look forward to visiting the Iby’iwacu Village Centre call it the gorilla guardian village on their safari. Rwanda is a beautiful country with amazing scenery painted with thousands of beautiful hills. Rwanda government trough Rwanda tourism board has structured the country into one of the leading tourist destinations in Africa. And despite her small size and a few natural resources compared to its neighbors, Rwanda is one of the most visited countries in east Africa. Iby’iwacu is one of the current notable additions on the listed of attractions for potential visitors. Iby’iwacu is located in the Musanze district and is also known as the Gorilla Guardians Cultural Village. The word Iby’iwacu to the people of Rwanda means “Treasure of our home and heritage”.

The Iby’iwacu cultural village fuses all of Rwanda’s known cultural traditions, people, personal experience and history into one place of display. Potential visitors go and see what life was in a typical African village setting- houses, lifestyle, dressing code, traditional dances, food, herbs and how earliest kingdoms were organized. Tourists are given opportunities to know and learn about old hunting skills, try weaving mats or baskets, carpentry among others. This special experience has won hearts of many tourists who wish to indulge in the culture of Rwanda’s community after touring the capital Kigali, seeing mountain gorillas and hiking mountains such as mountain Karisimbi. It’s also an exceptional place for relaxation which giving great opportunities to purchase gifts, local craft and souvenir to show friends when they go back home.

Besides the appreciable revenue and publicity, the Iby’iwacu cultural center works as a unifying factor for Rwanda’s cultural group such as Tutsi, Hutus, and Batwa. This cultural center is an entertainment center which helps to encourage a feeling of oneness based on a common shared ideology. Local entertainers like the Batwa were at one time poachers and the gorilla guardians village has offered the a chance to do something different and this has helped them earn a living with their families which keeps them away from poaching.

What to expect at the Iby’iwacu cultural center

Like we have already seen, the cultural center is designed to offer many interesting activities at the same time allowing visitors to relax and get an experience of local culture. Visitors are always welcomed by dances and drumming at the main gate which always indicates that there are better things coming.

Tourism Activities at Iby’iwacu cultural center In Rwanda

Home visits and community walks: The best way to understand the way of living within human race is by interacting, sharing and getting immersed in the cultures of different communities. These home visits and community walks at the gorilla guardians village gives tourists better opportunities to know the cultural and uniqueness of the Kinyarwanda culture and heritage. Visitors at Iby’iwacu cultural village will get a chance to sit with local people in their homes.  When you sit down, elder will tell you information and stories about Rwanda and her rich heritage. You will be given an opportunity to visit banana and vegetable plantations, you will also learn how to prepare traditional foods and also how to use a special grinding stone to make millet flour.

The home visits and community walk is a great learning experience. Guides will take you to see local schools around, understand the education system in the area while interaction with teachers and students. During these walks you will find a number of local art shops offering local paintings, beautiful pots, and woven clothes among others.

Watching, listening and dancing traditional music and drama: Music, dance and drama gives out a clear picture of the African tradition and culture giving one a sense of belonging. For tourists interested in tradition music and drama, Iby’iwacu cultural center gives you great opportunities to listen to unique local music sounds among which include ingoma, umuduri, amakondera, inanga, iningiri, ibyivugo as well as agekenke.

Every sound is different with special musical instruments and dancing styles. Intore is a good example, this famous warrior dance is performed by men with grass clothing and bells wrapped around their legs while holding out spears as a way of celebrating victory over an enemy. The welcoming youthful men and women will welcome you with smiling faces inviting you to take part in the dance or learn how to drum

Visiting the king’s palace: One of the engaging things to do when you visit Iby’iwacu cultural village is to see the king’s palace. The palace is an area showing how the earliest kings ruled and managed their courts. The earliest kings in Rwanda were feared and given respect. These kings had the highest authority and they could make decisions that had to be taken without any further questions. All kingdom activities and ceremonies were done with in the king’s palace under the watch of the king, queens, princes, princess, clan leaders as well as high level visitors.  The king’s palace home in Iby’iwacu gives you a true picture of an early kingdom setting with all symbols to represent power which includes information about each of the clan. A guide will help you and answer all questions you want as you go through each symbol.

Meeting traditional healers: From the ancient times and even up to today traditional healers play a big role in these communities. The traditional healers use herbs, tree branches, roots and shrubs which help to cure known illnesses. The healers have studied how to use these drugs and know how to apply them while building on knowledge and ideas that have been taught for many years. They are pleased to narrate how traditional medicine has survived through colonial times to remain powerful in the modern times. While at gorilla guardian cultural village, you will meet traditional healers who will be ready to demonstrate to you how this medicine works. Since they are got using natural remedies you, you are free to try out local herbs and you might be surprised when you find a remedy for a relief from an illness you had struggled with for many years.

Visiting the batwa community: These are former forest hunters and fruit gathers who used to live in dense forests in Uganda or Rwanda. They were chased away from the forest many years ago by the government and they settled in new areas outside the forest. Some of the batwa group of people live at Iby’iwacu cultural center. The batwa has prompted tourism in Uganda and Rwanda ever since embracing life outside the forest and taking advantage of opportunities from tourism. After quitting poaching and life in the forest as hunters and fruit gatherers, batwa people have now learnt pottery, dance and drama, art and design. While at Iby’iwacu cultural center you will be surprised by their demonstration of hunting skills such as setting up animal traps, using tools like bows, arrows and spear

Taking local brew: Apart from happiness and relaxation that drinking alcohol brings, taking bear in a group has always been a unifying activity within the African traditional social setting. This was done during numerous ceremonies like welcoming new babies, new harvest, and wedding among others. For one to fit in the society, they would take part in drinking. When you visit Iby’iwacu culture village, you will learn how to make banana brew.

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