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Iby’Iwacu Cultural village, A visit to Iby’Iwacu Cultural village is one of the most captivating activities that make Rwanda safaris complete. The village was founded in 2006 near the boundary of Volcanoes National Park in Musanze district, in the Northern Province of Rwanda to provide an alternative source of income for former poachers.

A visit to this village, set at the backdrop of the majestic Virunga Volcanoes especially Sabyinyo gives tourists the chance to visit a typical Rwandan community, share about their heritage and lifestyle, experience their culture, have a taste of their delicious cuisines and even take part in the invigorating cultural dances. What better way to end a gorilla safari than undertaking a cultural tour? Some of the cultural activities to expect during your visit to Iby’Iwacu Cultural village include;

Experience Royalty for a day

Your visit to Iby’Iwacu Cultural village will involve visiting the replica of King’s Palace to see how ancient King’s ruled. You will meet the caretaker of the Palace who will take you through some of the tales of the 600-year old Kingdom in Rwanda and learn about some of the unique symbols at the Palace and interestingly, you can also get the chance to be King and sit on the throne for some minutes and even exercise some King Powers.

Home visits and community walk

Visitors also undertake home visits and community walks during tours of Iby’Iwacu Cultural village to have an insight of the rich diversity of Rwanda’s culture. During these visits, you will have an in-depth understanding of the interesting rural life of the people, their Kinyarwanda culture and heritage, visit local homes that are usually grass-thatched as well as sit and interact with elders to listen to cultural stories about the country, visit the large banana plantations and even take part in the preparation of traditional foods/cuisines. Do you know millet flour is locally ground with fine stones instead of machines as it is in other urban places? You will see it during your visit to Iby’Iwacu Cultural village.

Visit to the nearby Batwa community

It would be disappointing to visit the Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village and not visit the nearby Batwa Community, that will take you through tales of how they enjoyed life while still living within the Forests of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These hunter-gatherer people are believed to be some of Africa’s oldest inhabitants, hence the title “people of the forest”. Having lost their original home in the forest that offered them shelter, food and medicine, they now conduct cultural tours where tourists can enjoy their riveting culture.

Watching and participating in cultural dances

The energetic cultural dances are a significant part of the Iby’Iwacu Cultural performances for welcoming visitors to their village. You will get to experience and even take part in some of the 8 traditional dances performed by women, men and even children. The popular Intore dance is always a must-do cultural dance where large and loud drums are beaten with accompanying gorilla songs. Visitors are free to join in the dances nd drumming.

Igitaramo

Igitaramo is a Traditional fireplace ritual where visitors of Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village gather as “family” around Campfires at sunset to watch zestful dancers and drummers as well as listen to the village elders narrate some of the ancient folk tales, stories and riddles from the country’s past.

Visit to the traditional healer

Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village has a skillful traditional healer who treats sicknesses with plants, roots, barks, herbs, leaves and shrubs and during your visit to the village, you will be led to his traditional clinic to find out the sicknesses treated and even interact with some of the patients.

Other interesting tourist activities that wait tourists of Iby’Iwacu Cultural village are tours of the local brewery, basket weaving and traditional cooking lessons for local delicacies among others.

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