Kigali Genocide Memorial Center
Nyamirambo Women Center
Inema Art Center
Akagera National Park
This tour starts from $500.00
Day 1: Kigali and Boat cruise at Akagera
After leisurely breakfast at your hotel, your day begins with a stop at Kigali Genocide Memorial Center which is about 20 minutes from your hotel. This stop is the final resting place for more than 250,000 victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi. You will be guided through a one and a half hours’ tour of the entire memorial, learning about the heart wrenching civil war. You will then travel to Nyamirambo Women's Centre where you will experience the Rwandan culture ranging from the foods to the clothing that these women make, then later be transferred to Inema Art Center, one of East African's major art galleries which is about 10 minutes away, and houses a collection of artists from around the African continent. You will then go for lunch at Chez Lando hotel before being transferred to Akagera with a 15-minute stop at Rwamagana Market which is an hour and 40 minutes away from the previous stop. You will have an African local market experience and proceed for another 1 and 1/2 hour drive to Akagera National Park, reaching early enough to check in before embarking on a 1-hour boat cruise on Lake Ihema. This boat cruise will give you a chance to have a good view of more game which includes elephants, buffalos, crocodiles and others that gather at the banks in order to drink water. You will also get an opportunity to see more lovely birds like the shoebill storks, fish eagles, kingfishers, herons, and many more. After this thrilling experience you will be transferred to your lodge for dinner and an overnight stay.
Luxury: Ruzizi Tented Lodge
Midrange: Akagera Game Lodge
Budget: Dereva Hotel
Day 2: Akagera National Park (Game drive and Cultural tour)
You will have a leisurely morning breakfast; after which you will head for a 2-hour game drive. During the drive, you will be able to see the giraffes, impalas, topis, zebras, bush bucks, African swallows, eland, monkeys, warthogs, baboons, mongoose, hippos, crocodiles, elephants, among other animals, including lines that were re-introduced recently. A drive from the south of the park to the north gives you many animals to view to be able to keep give you a great experience as well as the most magnificent views from the top of the mountain across Lake Ihema towards Tanzania. Thereafter, you will have a mid-morning relaxation followed by and early lunch before embarking on a cultural tour where you will be shown how the local art and crafts are made. Local artisans will create their products as you will observe. The Imigongo is an iconic Rwanda art and innate to the Eastern province which is a family of blacksmiths showing their creative talents and the traditional dancers that express Rwanda culture through music and the movement. This tour is for 3 hours, and after it you will embark on your journey back to Kigali for the overnight stay at your hotel or to the airport for your flight back home.
Kigali Genocide Memorial Center
The Kigali Genocide Memorial sits atop mass graves, serving as a shrine and a museum dedicated to the memory of the approximately 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutu who were murdered over a 100 day period from April to July in 1994. The genocide began on April 6, 1994 when a plane carrying the Rwandan and Burundi presidents was shot down. The Hutu extremists retaliated by executing key Tutsi members and setting up barriers in place to commence a systematic extermination of the Tutsi minority and Hutus who dared to defend their fellow citizens.
The memorial houses three permanent exhibitions. The largest chronicles the events leading up and comprising the 1994 genocide, as well as on the history of genocidal violence around the world. The second exhibition, called ‘Wasted Lives,’ documents mass killings that have not been recognized as genocide by international law, focusing on Namibia, Armenia, Cambodia and the Balkans. The exhibit also shows aspects of the Holocaust, the extermination of European Jewry during World War II. The third exhibit, the children’s memorial, is dedicated to the memory of children killed in the Rwandan Genocide. The wall of names is dedicated to those who were murdered -- a work still in progress as many of the victims’ names have yet to be gathered and documented. The center also provides support for survivors, particularly the orphans and widows.
The center offers guided tours of the exhibitions and gardens that take approximately one hour and thirty minutes. As the visit progresses, the exhibits become steadily more powerful, as you are confronted with the crimes that took place here and moving video testimony from survivors. Many of the guides are survivors of the genocide, providing a unique historical account. You will have a chance after the tour to stay at the ‘Café du Memorial’ and visit the souvenir shop. The income generated from these enterprises is used to support the preservation of archives and to run education programs. The products sold at the souvenir shop are made exclusively for the Kigali Genocide Memorial by a local cooperative made up of widows of the genocide.
Nyamirambo Women Center
Located in Kigali, the Nyamirambo Women Center has a mission to provide education and vocational training to women who do not have the means to pay for such training on their own. Aimed at addressing gender-based violence, gender inequality and discrimination, the Nyamirambo Women’s Center offers a personal insight into the culture, history, and daily life of the community through a handful of neighborhood tours, cooking classes and weaving workshop, which combined give an insight to visitors of the everyday life, social events, trade and struggles of a variety of cultural and religious groups that live in Kigali.
The profits from tours are used to pay seamstresses a fair wage and fund community engagement initiatives improving the center’s educational and women empowerment activities, such as free literacy classes, a library with afternoon programming for children, periodical sewing courses, English classes and workshops on women’s rights, health and nutrition.
The most popular offered activity is the walking tour which begins at the Women’s Center with a traditional snack, a quick Kinyarwanda language lesson and an introduction to the center and its activities. It then weaves through Nyamirambo, one of Kigali’s oldest neighborhoods. Along the way guides lead participants into a women’s hairdressing salon where the adventurous type can get a free braid; into a family compound to pound cassava leaves; by two mosques and a lookout view over Kigali; and into a tailor shop to feel the fabrics you’ll otherwise see styled on the streets.
Sisal basketry products can be seen all around Rwanda. In the women’s center workshop, you will also be given the opportunity to embark on a hands-on journey as you are introduced to the art of basket weaving in Rwanda, as you also learn the cultural importance of Agaseke baskets, the elaboration processes, patterns and colors used. The workshop begins with an overview of the cultural history of sisal, followed by an in-depth explanation of the process of from harvest to the final product.
Markets in Rwanda
A walk through the Rwanda street markets is exciting and its one of the best ways to get a firsthand experience in how the natives of this beautiful country live and do business. Not only do you mingle with the most authentic locals but you also get to see some of the indigenous products, foods and haggling tactics that you simply cannot get anywhere else. Additionally, these street markets tend to hold some of the rarest of products.
When it comes to shopping, even though there are a number of malls, the lively markets and local stores are where you should head to if you are after something more authentic. From handicrafts and clothing to fresh fruit and vegetables, get ready to practice your bargaining skills.
The most common sights are stalls selling everything from meat and fish to sunglasses and household items. You should also expect to see fruit and vegetable stands extending in every direction. Packed with carrots, onions, potatoes, lemons, cucumbers, herbs, spices, dried beans and anything else you can imagine in extraordinary abundance, it is no wonder that locals and visitors alike choose these for their grocery shopping. With local guides to lead you around on your first visit, you will definitely have fun. Some of the most spectacular markets include Kimironko and Kimisagara markets in Kigali and a lot more around the country. Some, like Cootrac and Caplaki, are teeming with Rwandan arts, crafts, paintings and jewelry, traditional masks, musical instruments and all sorts of little wonders that express Rwandan culture.
Akagera National Park
Akagera National Park is located in eastern Rwanda overlooking the savannah plains of Tanzania. The park, the only protected savannah region of the country, shelters a range of lakes including Lake Ihema – the second largest in Rwanda – as well as Rwanyakizinga, Shakani, Mihindi and Gishanju lakes which together combine the largest wetland system in the whole of Central Africa.
Following the end of the Rwandan Genocide, the national park was depleted, with returning refugees using trees for timber and wild life for food—lions were hunted to extinction, as were rhinos. Biodiversity was almost completely ruined and tourism and local commerce disappeared.
The park has recovered remarkably, so much so that in 2017 it witnessed the return of black rhinos for the first time and after the reintroduction of lions, their population is now also on the increase. With strict anti-poaching monitoring in effect, elephants, buffaloes and leopards have also been spotted again, with a growing population of monkeys as well.
The park offers the traditional suite of savannah safari experience, with game drive and lake adventures, boat cruises and birding and nature walks. Bathing in the waters is strictly forbidden, being the home of some of the largest concentrations of hippos in East Africa.
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Transportation in a Tour Van/Landcruiser.
Service of an English-Speaking tour guide/Driver.
All activities mentioned in the itinerary
Accommodation on Full Board.
Entrance fees to all destinations as per the program.
Transfers to and from Airport/Kigali
Free WIFI for the entire trip
All activities not mentioned in the program
Phone call bills
Visas to Uganda
Gratitude to tour-guides
Visas to Uganda
Personal effects of any nature
Hotel fees before and after the safari