You can enjoy a lot of community tours while in Volcanoes National Park. Here are the top tours that you can enjoy while on a gorilla trek in northern Rwanda.
Top Community Tours
- Iby’wacu Experience at the Gorilla Guardian Village
- Visit Nkotsi Village
Wildlife conservation is still a major challenge and it takes different approaches for conservationists to record a success story thereafter. One of the significant initiatives that have played a big role in wildlife conservation and protection in Africa is community-based tourism that primarily encourages local communities adjacent the national parks or protected area to engage in the development of the tourism and also boost conservation activities.
Volcanoes National Park just like the rest of the parks/protected area, has different local communities surrounding it. Due to conflict of interest especially for land use versus wildlife conservation including those accruing from animal raids on local communities’ farms, there was need to revert such occurrences hence establishment of community led projects. The whole idea of community-based tourism in Volcanoes National Park like it is in other protected areas is help enhance the standard of living of local residents while also boost wildlife conservation efforts.
Today, due to community-based tourism, there exist many communities led projects (also best described as self-help projects/initiatives) in which they can tap the different tourism potentials to benefit from tourism sector. It serves best as a better alternative source of income for local communities living adjacent Volcanoes National Park rather than depending on its natural resources.
Interestingly, some communities adjacent Volcanoes National Park provide a number of services for instance accommodation, eco-tourism, traditional gastronomy, cultural activities to mention but a few. Tourists on gorilla safari or golden monkey tour in Volcanoes National Park can also visit these community and this is one way to support them. You can purchase some of their products or enjoy the rich African experience as you will be entertained or taken through authentic cultural experience.
One of the important community-based tourism projects in Volcanoes National Park is Iby’Iwacu cultural village. This mainly focuses on exhibiting the unique history and culture of Rwanda. It takes tourists about 20 minutes to drive from Musanze to Iby’Iwacu cultural village to enjoy authentic cultural experience. The group here showcases cultural aspects of 3 main ethnic groups; the Hutu, Twa (also better known as the Batwa) and Tutsi.
There is a lot to enjoy while at Iby’Iwacu cultural village right from close interaction with locals, dances, learning about their lifestyles, traditions to great cultural music performances. The local residents at Iby’Iwacu cultural village also made traditional artifacts which they display for visitors on Rwanda safari tour to purchase for them to earn a living to meet their daily basic needs.
Red Rocks Rwanda is another significant example of community-based tourism and the initiative focuses on responsible tourism. At Red Rocks, everyone has something ranging from accommodation, opportunity to engage in gorilla trekking to sharing unique Rwanda culture.
Other community based projects Volcanoes National Park has supported include water and agricultural initiatives, sustainable agricultural training project, The ethnobotany tour (where you explore significant plants and herbs that are of medicinal importance), supporting indigenous Rwanda communities (this began in 2001 with intention of enhancing the lives of the Batwa people who were evicted to pave way for wildlife conservation) and many more.