About Rwanda – The “Land of a Thousand Hills” – “The Heart of Africa”
When you mention Rwanda to some people, they will no doubt recollect the images of the awful genocide that brutalized this tiny country in 1994. Still some of the scars run deep in Rwanda, but the country has done so much to heal the wounds by strategically turning towards the future with great buoyancy. The government has taken great measure to eliminate tribal identities and railed the country under one banner. On the contrary, Rwanda is a lush country with rolling hills and stunning scenery.
Genocide in Rwanda
History tells us that in the 100 days that pursued, extremists among the habyarimana’s Hutu political and military supporters embarked on a well planned ending solution to the Tutsi problem. It is believed that one of the prime draftsman for the genocide was the chief cabinet of ministry of Defense, colonel Theoneste who had been in charge of training the Interahamwe (those who stand together) militia for more than a year. The Rwanda army and the Interahamwe death squads set up ambushes over the country side and roadblocks were staged at different points so as to fail the Tutsis from escaping.
Everyday thousands of Tutsis and the suspected Hutus that were sympathizing with them were butchered on spot. All the streets of Kigali were besieged with thousands of corpses and the alarming stench of the rotting flesh. Of course at the end of the story the RPF (Rwandese Patriotic Front) that was created by the refuge Tutsi took the victory for a new political change hence most of the Rwandan army and the Interahamwe soldiers fled into exile. Rwanda is at peace today with its president Paul Kagame. Make it a point to visit the National museum and the genocide sites for much of the history right from the horse’s mouth.
Rwanda Cultural Tour
Although the country was torn apart based on the tribal groups and powers, the country has played a big role in preserving the culture and cultural norms of the citizens. This has been done by promoting cultural tourism in village among which are; Nyungwe village, Butaro Village, Mutara Village and the Batwa Village. These entire villages still exhibits the ancient life style among most of the families. Therefore enjoy the best of your cultural trip in any of these villages and be part of the natives, this is the only way you can enjoy your trip, engage in the daily activities for example;
- Enjoy a memorable community visit, through different homesteads and be part of their daily activities, this community visit, rewards you with insights of the daily lives of the natives.
- Your guide will also introduce you to the king’s palace where you can enjoy very many myths and life styles of the ancient kings of the villages. Be a king for that moment and practice all that you have learnt in the stories and then de enthrone yourself back into the present.
- Watching the different groups in the villages as they present different traditional dances and songs, playing various instruments, make sure you are part of the dance or play some of the instrument, all this includes the drumming, the Intore dance, Ikembe, Amakondere, and so many more.
- Make a stop at the local schools, be part of the lesson and see the children are taught, how they play, associate, and make a new friend, you will find them very friendly.
- Make it a point to visit the Batwa villages too, watch, learn and be part of the way of life of the Batwa, you could earn pottery skills from them, they are very good at it.
- Please do not leave minus picking any craft items that are hand made by the women groups in the society.