Iby’iwacu cultural Village is one of the most popular place visited by tourists taking gorilla safaris in Rwanda’s Volcanoes national park in Rwanda. The park hosts 12 habituated mountain gorillas which facilitates gorilla trekking on daily basis, all year round. The project is one of the most successful community based projects in Rwanda. The project is run by local people – most of them were former poachers in the Volcanoes National Park.
In 2017, the project has been renamed to the Gorillas Guardian’s Village. You can experience the true Rwandan culture, learn the history, traditions and norms of the people from this amazing place.
The current cost for entering Iby’iwacu cultural village is US$ 20 per person. Iby’iwacu cultural village is a must visit due to world class cultural performance exhibited. While there, enjoy music, dance and drama. Other activities includes listening to stories from elders, medical advises from medicine man, hunting techniques by the former poachers, grinding techniques, participating the building of King’s palace and wedding ceremonies among others.
Changing Local Communities
Iby’iwacu Cultural Village is a Non-Profit umbrella organization that aims at improving the lives of reformed poachers and communities around Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park through provision of conservation incentives.
Part of the profits from Iby’iwacu cultural village is used to support community enterprise development and livelihood based projects. Communities majorly benefit from the cultural village through services like clean water, schools, health centres, good roads among others.
The aim of setting Iby’wacu cultural village was to overcome illegal hunting of wildlife including Mountain Gorillas in Volcanoes National park. People were claiming that, they had no source of income thus resorting to poaching to get food and money after selling the produces from wild animals.
Creating Employment Opportunities
Iby’wacu cultural village employs some of the former poachers to prevent them from returning into illegal hunting of animals.
The cultural village offers technical skills to the community members. The skills in art and craft, dancing, drama, carpentry, building and music among others. Such skills have facilities the creating of jobs in the area.
Changing Community Perceptions
Iby’wacu cultural village uses former poachers to fight against poaching. The former poachers have indeed lived an exemplary life to seduce others to live the habit.
The cultural village is a marketing centre for art and craft products from where visitors buy them from. It has facilitated art and craft industry in Rwanda. Other product sold at the cultural centre includes food which feed visitors.
It has facilitated creativeness through art and craft, music, dance and drama and others. It has led to job creation.