Rwanda

Where cultural tourism leads to community development

Why visit Rwanda

Located in a region boasting with wildlife reserves, game parks and rainforest areas, Rwanda also known as the habitat of the rare and endangered mountain gorilla.

Through its diverse terrain, you can hike the dense jungles and peak through the trees to see the brilliant clear waters of the Great Lakes. Some of the world’s most beautiful and impressive lakes are located in this area including the source of the longest river in East Africa. You will also encounter mountains which enable you to see the rare primates in their habitat.

The hospitality and warmth of the local peoples with their unique cultural experiences will enhance any visit to Rwanda, as will as trip to the active volcanoes at Nyiragongo.

Sustainability

In Rwanda we believe in the paramount importance of empowering local communities through education and entrepreneurship, which have proved to go hand in hand with the conservation of the natural environment.

Local communities have been enabled to gain (directly or indirectly) from thriving tourism in their backyards; they become interested in protecting their environment and move away from illegal activities like animal poaching, cutting down trees of Kahuzi Biega National Park (D.R. Congo) and the volcanoes of the Virunga mountains.

Getting there

Rwanda has one international airport, Kigali International Airport, which is located at Kanombe, 10 Km east of Kigali’s city center. For your convenience, make a contact with Red Rocks, Rwanda’s cultural facility center beforehand; they will gladly help you from booking the flights, facilitate your arrival process, as well as arranging your commute within the country.

Getting around

Rwanda has a road network linking the major towns and the most convenient way to travel the country is by car or motorcycle. Tour operators can arrange a vehicle with driver, or a number of agencies rent out car and 4x4s. Taxis operate in the larger towns.

Tourism & People

Rwanda has a growing community tourism potential. These initiatives have created infrastructures to host tourists and to set up community-led projects to improve living standards and preserve the environment through tourism.

The models employed are aimed at generating a beneficial multiplier effect in communities around Volcanoes National Park and in Kahuzi Biega (D.R. Congo). For instance, surplus income produced through ecotourism enables workers and/or their family members to start their own businesses or pass on income to other community members by buying local goods, paying for childcare and other services.

Travel tips from our editors

Cultural celebrations

Our culture is preserved for future generations, we adhere to maintain it in terms of clothing, cuisines, and socio interactions whereby the young need to respect the old and vise versa.

Bustling city of Kigali

Kigali offers nice day trips to visit the nearby Akagera park, enjoying the local and international cuisines offered by various local and international restaurants in the city. Day trips to visit reconciliation villages established not far away from the city center.
Photo by Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas from Pexels

Plastic bags ban

Rwanda enacted a law in 2019 prohibiting the manufacturing, importation, use and sale of single-use plastic items, tightening a 2008 ban that prohibits the importation and use of non-biodegradable polythene bags. Instead of using plastic carrier bags, businesses have made the transition to using paper as an alternative.

Red Rocks Initiatives For Sustainable Development

As a non-profit community-based organization, Red Rocks Initiatives is dedicated to integrate tourism and conservation for sustainable community development. Most importantly they lobby for and market the adaptation of community-based tourism as part of the region’s development agenda.
Click here to find out more about the projects created by the Red Rocks Initiatives for Sustainable Development.

Eco-Tours supports training, capacity building, environmental protection, nature conservation and promotion of good practice and preservation of our cultural heritage. We offer diverse activities to engage in: banana beer demonstration, basket weaving, botanical tours, local food preparation, pottery, village cycling tours.
Click here to find out more about the eco-tours provided by the Red Rocks Intercultural Exchange Center.
Greg Bakunzi
Founder of Red Rocks Rwanda
Greg is a conservationist focusing on enhancing sustainable tourism development in Rwanda. He created the Red Rocks initiative along with the Eco-Tours program to help communities and wildlife conservation. Feel free to contact Greg and his team to get more information about the projects run by the Red Rocks.

Sustainability Recognitions

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Red Rocks participates in the Travelife certification for sustainable tour operators.
It has also been awarded “Best community based tourism initiative” by the Rwanda Development Board.

Suggested places to visit with Red Rocks

Kigali

This capital of Rwanda offers tours to nearby Akagera park and the reconciliation villages. These are a great way to kick off your visit to Rwanda and learn about the country’s culture and meet local communities. Immerse yourself to understand their cultural way of living; from making the local banana beer, traditional methods used in cultivation, and enjoying our traditional dancers with the intore and women dancers. If you wish, you may learn more about our local cuisines which is done using organic foods.
You may also visit the resort town of lake Kivu Rubavu, see the inland lake Kivu and also you may visit Nyungwe forest where is home to the primate species ranging from the the colobus monkeys, chimps and a variety species of monkeys.

Virunga Massif

Volcanoes National Park is a destination for adventurous travellers. Only 3 hours drive from the capital Kigali city, the park offers a variety of activities like hiking the dormant volcanoes of Muhabura, Bisoke and the highest peak of Rwanda: Karisimbi mountain.
Inside the park there is a variety of mountain dwelling birds, great if you like birdwatching. You will have the chance to have a magnificent landscape views of the land of a thousand hills and encounter rare golden monkeys. The great lakes region offers rarest species of fauna and flora, ranging from the rare primates to rarest medicinal plants only found within the region.