Through their involvement in a wide range of social, cultural and economic activities carried out in rural areas, tourists gain a comprehensive insight into the day to day lives of rural Rwandans.
Different tour operators offer a variety of community-based packages and visitors are free to ask for tailor-made plans that suit their specific interests and preferred duration of visits.
Planting crops, weaving baskets, fetching water, milking cows, building houses, brewing banana wine and so much more can be done while exploring magnificent landscapes of this beautiful country.
Travelers who choose to learn the art of weaving can create their own souvenirs. Similarly, those who learn the procedure of transforming a fruit into wine, produce their own drink. Coffee lovers on the other hand, learn how to process their favorite beverage.
I like milking cows and brewing wine but I have to admit, I don’t have what it takes to slaughter animals. Brochette tastes good but I would rather avoid knives and blood.
Food preparation involves washing, peeling, pounding and grinding components using traditional methods and tools. Traditionally, delicious meals and good wine are complemented by music. During these tours, visitors are entertained by troupes of traditional dancers and given an opportunity to learn the famous Intore dance.
Songs form an integral part of our ceremonies, festivals, social gatherings and storytelling. It is therefore befitting to incorporate singing and dancing into community-based excursions.
After visiting rural communities in Muhanga District through Azizi Life Experiences, a social enterprise operating in partnership with 25 groups and over 400 artisans, Ashley from the USA described his experience as unmatched, memorable and life-changing. While in Muhanga, he worked with local artisans and left the community with a greater appreciation of simple things in life.
Mark, also from the USA had never learned so much about a different culture in one day before his experience in rural Rwanda. This says a lot considering his previous extensive explorations in 25 countries.
Julia from the UK was grateful for the experience she will cherish for the rest of her life. In rural Rwanda, she found friendly people who taught her valuable skills and showed her a different perspective of life.
Economic activities carried out by rural Rwandans differ from area to area but subsistence farming is commonly practiced all over the country. A good number of people residing near lakes engage in fishing. They carve their own fishing boats, a task that requires specialized skills and precision. Most fishermen use nets, special baskets, hooks and rods. Some spend every night fishing while others set traps designed to catch fish in their absence.
The process of cultivating the field, planting, harvesting, processing, cooking and putting home-grown food on the table is priceless. Planting seeds, nurturing crops and reaping what you sow is deeply fulfilling. Similarly, grooming animals that end up on your own dinner table is out of the ordinary. The same gratification can be derived from fishing.
As testified by the aforementioned tourists, this experience is memorable. It is also recommended to urban Rwandans, especially those who have never lived in rural areas.