Ibyiwacu Cultural Village

Ibyiwacu Cultural Village

Iby’iwacu Cultural Village is one of the best and most authentic places to explore Rwanda’s people’s culture and heritage. Located in Volcanoes National Park in Musanze district, the cultural village is the perfect place to unwind and immerse in Rwanda’s heritage after a spectacular gorilla trekking expedition. Also known as the Gorilla Guardians Cultural Village, the Iby’iwacu cultural village is a new significant addition to the menu for possible tourist attractions in the country. The Iby Iwacu Cultural Village, adjacent to Volcanoes National Park is an exquisite cultural experience that arose from the ashes of Rwanda’s legendary poaching culture.

The term “Iby’iwacu” is Kinyarwanda for “treasures of our home and heritage,” and the village is inhabited by former local poachers who used to make a living off poaching the endangered mountain gorillas. Through this initiative, the government intended to both improve the lives of these reformed poachers and boost awareness of pre-Colonial Rwandan culture, as well as strengthen conservation efforts for gorilla tourism. The Iby Iwacu Cultural Village is a unique attraction in Rwanda, allowing tourists the opportunity to connect with local people and learn more about their lives and history.

The Village brings together all of Rwanda’s well-known cultural customs, people, and history in one location for display and personal experience. Tourists may experience what life was like in a typical African village environment and catch a glimpse into the lifestyle, norms, dwellings, traditional dances, dress code, cuisine, and ancient history of Rwanda in general. Tourists may also learn historical hunting techniques, weave baskets/mats, and carpentry to mention but a few. After an enticing gorilla trekking experience or thrilling mountain hiking adventure, tourists can take on this one-of-a-kind experience to immerse themselves in Rwandan culture. It’s also a terrific spot to unwind while shopping for local crafts, presents, and souvenirs to show friends back home.

Things to do in Iby’iwacu Cultural Village

Community Visit

Led by Iby’iwacu local guides, a community tour around this village may be extremely interesting and rejuvenating with visits to various locations and gaining a sense of the local people’s daily life. Visitors can enjoy interacting, sharing, and immersing themselves in the customs of the various local groups in the village. A visit to the Iby’iwacu cultural hamlet allows you to sit with the residents in their traditional dwellings and grass-thatched shelters.

You will also explore the community’s schools and learn about the education system in place, and the various local art businesses, which sell local artwork, woven clothing, exquisite pots, and much more. Also, take a tour of the local banana and vegetable plantations and learn how to prepare one of the traditional dishes. A guided community walk can last approximately an hour, and participants can take as many images as they like as long as they have permission. It would be fantastic to have a piece of these lovely experiences, people, and places to cherish or share with your loved ones.

Cultural Tours in Rwanda

Explore the King’s Palace

Another interesting thing to do in the Iby’iwacu Cultural Village is to visit the king’s palace. The King’s Palace is an attractive site in the village displaying how the ancient Kings controlled and ran their courts during the pre-colonial times. In Rwanda, ancient monarchs were not only feared but also revered. The monarchs possessed the ultimate power and made judgments that had to be followed without question. All kingdom events and ceremonies were held at the monarch’s palace, under the supervision of the monarch, royals, clan heads, and high-level guests. The King’s residence in Iby’iwacu depicts an old African kingdom setting with traditional symbols of authority and information about each clan. Visitors can experience being enthroned and then use the mantle of the King to exert power on fictitious subjects.

Take part and Enjoy Traditional Dance and Music

Music, dance, and drama have been well recorded to define Africanicity as well as provide a sense of belonging and solidarity to Africans. While visiting the Iby’iwacu cultural Village, tourists are the opportunity to witness and explore the Kinyarwanda traditional music, dance, and drama. Listen to various distinct indigenous musical sounds such as the Ingoma, Umuduri, Amakondera, Inanga, Iningiri, Agakenke and Ibyivugo; each sound is distinct, with its own set of musical instruments and dancing style/steps. Among the performances will be the Intore dance where men in grass clothes and small bells wrapped around their legs do this classic warrior dance while holding out spears in a pretend fight or to celebrate victory over an opponent. These young men and women will be eager to encourage you to join them in the dance or at the very least to learn how to drum.

Pay a Visit to the Traditional Healers

While visiting Iby’iwacu Cultural Village tourists can also pay a visit to the traditional healers and discover how medicinal plants, grass, and bushes are utilized to treat diseases among the locals. Herbal medicine was heavily relied on in ancient African communities for the treatment of diseases – a practice that has been upheld in this society to this day. It is worth emphasizing that traditional healers are proficient in the administration of this medicine, owing to enormous knowledge and concepts passed down from generation to generation. The healers will be proud to share this knowledge and tell the story of how traditional medicine has survived colonial times to remain important in current times. You will meet several traditional healers who will be ready to show how the native remedies operate and you are allowed to experiment with some of the local plants.

Visit the Batwa Pygmy Community

The Batwa pygmies are one of the most popular tribes in East Africa and were previously forest hunters and fruit gatherers who lived in Rwanda and Uganda’s deep woodlands. They were later evicted by the respective governments decades ago to pave the way for gorilla tourism and conservation and relocated to other areas outside the forest. Fortunately, some are assigned to the Iby’iwacu Cultural Centre and can be visited while on a tour of this lovely village. After forsaking poaching, hunting, and gathering in the jungle, the Batwa have learned ceramics, art, and design. One astonishing aspect of them is their presentation of their skilled hunting abilities like wielding spears, bows and arrows, and trapping animals. Visiting the Batwa is a delightful experience that provides entertainment as well as the opportunity to learn new skills in hunting, fruit gathering, herbal medicine, and pottery, among others.

The Batwa cultural trail
2 Days Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Tour

Explore the Making of Local Brew

Explore the art of making and enjoying local brew or beer with the locals. In the African traditional setting, drinking local beer in a group setting was a uniting activity within the African traditional social environment. Local beer was a way of celebrating and coming together and it was drunk at festivities such as weddings, welcoming new babies, and new harvests. To blend in and look engaged during these events, one had to partake in the local brew drinking. While in the village, you will learn how to make and ferment banana beer and are expected to actively engage, culminating with a sip of the finished product.

Other Activities to Enjoy While Visiting Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village

Gorilla Trekking

Gorilla trekking is the primary and most popular activity done in the Volcanoes National Park. The park offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to encounter the world’s most endangered apes – the mountain gorillas. The park offers over 11 habituated gorilla groups for tourists to interact with and explore the way of life of these giant apes in their natural habitat. To trek mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, one must be 18 years and above. To book your Rwanda gorilla trek, you can book your gorilla permit either directly with the Rwanda Development Board or through a reputable tour operator. Rwanda gorilla permits cost $1500 per permit. Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park can be done at any time of the year; though the best time to trek these giants is during the two dry seasons from June to September and December to February.

Luxury Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda

Volcano Hiking

Located within the Virunga Mountain Ranges, Volcanoes National Park encompasses five of the eight Virunga Volcanoes including Mount Karisimbi, Mount Gahinga, Mount Bisoke, Mount Sabyinyo, and Mount Muhabura. Mount Karisimbi, being the highest of them all, is the most popular among hikers who visit Rwanda for Rwanda safaris and it is a 2-day hike to complete this stunning volcano. Hikers to the Volcanoes National Park can expect fascinating highlights including the gorgeous scenery of the Virunga Massif, a range of primate, mammal, and bird encounters as well as breathtaking views of the horizon at the mountain peaks.

Golden Monkey Trekking

This is another popular activity in Volcanoes National Park that draws thousands of visitors and one you shouldn’t miss out on while exploring Iby’iwacu Cultural Village. Visitors may only view them in their native habitats in Volcanoes – Rwanda and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. Fortunately, golden monkey trekking costs $100, which is less than gorilla trekking.

Ibyiwacu Cultural Village

Proceed Booking

John Doe

Typically replies within a day

Our customer support team is here to answer your questions. Ask us anything!
👋 Hi, how can I help?