Ibyiwacu Cultural Village, The Gorilla Guardians Village
Ibyiwacu Cultural Village also known as Gorilla Guardians Village is situated in Nyabigoma unit, in the Sector of Kinigi in Musanze district, Northern Province. Locally, Ibyiwacu locally refers to, ‘The treasures of our home, our heritage. It is therefore a place where you feel at home and able to share the cultural heritage treasures of the Rwandese.
At Ibyiwacu village, you will notice the antiquated house of a local king, see an authentic medicine man who makes herbal mixtures try your hand at bow and arrow shooting or enjoy cultural dances and drumming performed by people from the local community.
Ibyiwacu village offers a busy programme that lasts approximately two hours in slots. It is ideal for visitation preferably in the evening after enjoying gorilla trekking tours at the Volcanoes National Park earlier in the morning hours. The Ibyiwacu village set up is an unusual wood and grass-thatch model of an old-fashioned Rwandan palace, second only in scale to the re-established palace at Nyanza Museum, and a wonderful display place for the traditional Intore dancers as they do their rhythm and dance schedules.
Ibyiwacu village is situated nearby the car park at the trail-head to two of the Rwanda’s gorilla groups which Sabinyo Gorilla Group and Group Thirteen. The village is a prize winning undertaking that was started in 2004 by one, Edwin Sabuhoro of Rwanda Ecotours. His aim was to help advance the income of the Volcanoes National Park neighbors and lessen human burden on the well-preserved possessions of the park. The cultural village is profoundly the community prize for providing appropriate work in fields like vegetable and mushroom agriculture, beekeeping and tourism to over 1000 past poachers.
Things to Do at Ibywacu Cultural Village
At Ibyiwacu Cultural Village, tours are personalized according to the tourists’ interests. Tour activities at this cultural village include:-
(a) Community Walks: Guided by a knowledgeable community member, you will tour numerous spots inside the community and the circuit will offer you an exceptional and an unforgettable comprehension into the routine lives of the villagers.
(b) Tour the King’s house model and above all the Kings stories and implication of all segments of the house as showed by a local notable traditional guide. While at the king’s house, you will hold the king’s title for a short time as you will be crowned identical to a king and use some king’s powers as given upon to you by a community elder in a village ritual.
(c) Traditional Dances: At Ibyiwacu village, there are 8 different customary dances by a number of categories of persons in the community. For example men, youths women, children plus other local and traditional musical tools such as drumming, Intore dances, Ikembe, Umuduri, Ingoma, Ibyivugo, Inanga, Amakondera, Iningiri and many others.
(d) While at this village, you will also pin your ears back to the popular song of the mountain gorillas by the prominent, usually denoted to as Kayuku.
(e) Tour the traditional healer: During this tour, tour, you will be shown diverse medicinal trees, grass, shrubs plus their medicinal uses and the way they are applied to patients. You will visit old-fashioned health centers and drugstores, the aged and listen to the catching stories of before after colonial periods.
(f) You could visit the native schools and may offer or attend lessons and see the teaching of pupils.
(g) You may also have a local dish with the villagers.
(h) Via exchanges with the residents, you may share cultural experiences orally with the local people in assessment.
(i) You will also get to know more about the Ex-poachers’ hunting methods and the stories as well.
(j) You can watch or get physically involved in the community football matches by the area youths.
(k) Pay a visit to the Batwa’s pottery. See their pot making methods, learn traditional experiences and lessons.
(l) Also, you will see local Craftsmen and their handicraft making of all types.
Currently, about 40% of the revenue collections from this village go to community members who perform and serve at the village. Whereas 60% is put into the village trust administered by a board that puts it into several initiatives aimed at uplifting the community in terms of farming and schooling.
Other Tourist Attractions in Rwanda
Ibyiwacu is one of the several tourist attractions in Rwanda with Volcanoes National Park, a home to mountain gorillas being top on the list. Others Rwanda tourist places include Nyungwe National Park, Akagera National Park, Kigali Genocide Memorial, the Ethnographic Museum in Butale, Musanze caves and Lake Kivu among others.