Rwanda Cultural Experiences

Rwanda, located in East Africa, is a country rich in cultural experiences that showcase its history, traditions, and vibrant way of life. Despite its tragic past, Rwanda has made significant strides in preserving and celebrating its cultural heritage. Here are some notable cultural experiences you can have in Rwanda:

Igitaramo Traditional Music and Dance:

Experience the rhythmic beats and energetic dances of Rwanda’s traditional music. Igitaramo gatherings bring people together to celebrate their heritage through song and dance. These events are not only entertaining but also provide a window into the country’s cultural roots.

Inyambo Cattle Parade:

The Inyambo cattle parade is a captivating display of Rwanda’s heritage. Inyambo are sacred Ankole-Watusi cows that are beautifully adorned with traditional decorations and led by herders in elaborate costumes. The parade reflects the close connection between Rwandans and their cattle.

Genocide Memorial Sites:

While not a joyful experience, visiting the genocide memorial sites is an essential part of understanding Rwanda’s recent history and the resilience of its people. Sites like the Kigali Genocide Memorial provide insights into the tragic events of 1994 and pay tribute to the lives lost.


This is a unique community service practice in Rwanda where citizens come together on the last Saturday of each month to participate in voluntary work aimed at improving their local communities. It’s an excellent way to witness the spirit of unity and cooperation among Rwandans.

Craft Markets:

Rwanda is known for its beautiful crafts, especially traditional woven baskets and pottery. Visiting local craft markets allows you to see artisans at work and purchase unique souvenirs that support local communities.

Intore Dance Troupes:

Intore dancers are known for their acrobatic performances, elaborate costumes, and vibrant dances. These traditional dance troupes tell stories through their movements and provide a captivating glimpse into Rwanda’s history and culture.

Rwandan Cuisine:

Sampling Rwandan cuisine is a delightful cultural experience. Dishes like “Ugali” (a staple made from maize flour) and “Isombe” (cassava leaves with groundnut sauce) offer a taste of the local flavors. Don’t miss out on trying Rwandan coffee, which is known for its high quality.

King’s Palace Museum:

In Nyanza, you can visit the King’s Palace Museum, which offers insights into Rwanda’s monarchy and traditional governance systems. The museum showcases artifacts, traditional architecture, and the royal history of the country.

Cultural Villages:

There are several cultural villages across Rwanda where you can immerse yourself in local life. These villages often offer guided tours, workshops, and demonstrations of traditional crafts and practices.

Nature and Wildlife:

While not exclusively cultural, Rwanda’s natural beauty is intertwined with its cultural heritage. Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park or visiting Akagera National Park for a safari allows you to experience the country’s breathtaking landscapes and unique wildlife.

Gorilla Permits

Gorilla permits can be booked at the RDB Tourism and Conservation Reservation Office in person, by telephone (252 57 65 14) or via email: Gorilla permits cost as follows:

Price of a Rwanda Gorilla Permit

– $1500 – Non Residents, East African Residents, East African Citizens, Rwandan Residents, Rwandan Citizens

– 30% Discount (US$ 1,050) on gorilla permits if visiting other Rwanda national parks (Akagera national park, Nyungwe national park) for 3 days and more during the low season of November – May

– 15% discount (US$ 1,275) on conference guests who stay pre & post MICE events to see gorillas

– $15,000 for Private gorilla trekking of an entire group with an exclusive personalized tour guide service

– US$ 30,000 for a minimum of 3 visitors for 3 consecutive days (Behind the scenes)

Gorilla Filming and Photography

USD$ 5000 for 3 consecutive days Mountain Gorilla filming and professional photography

USD$12,000 for filming and photography crew per day (maximum 8 people)

Booking a Rwanda Gorilla Permit through us.

Booking a Rwanda gorilla permit through our travel agency – Booking through  Curious Tours Africa is a reliable option of obtaining a Rwanda gorilla permit. We are a registered and liable tour operator in Rwanda and Uganda.

Important Note: Its highly advisable to book your permit earlier than your planned gorilla trekking date as permits tend to get finished early. Volcanoes national park is home to 10 mountain gorilla groups and each group can only have 1 group of 8 people visiting a day for only 1 hour. Today Rwanda is receiving so many visitors coming to tour gorillas. Its best to book early to guarantee your gorilla permits for the day interested to trek gorillas.

Refunds/Cancellation Guidelines

The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) shall refund 50% of the gorilla tracking fee for any visitor showing signs of illness. Any sick visitor shall not be allowed to track the gorillas if declared unfit by the Warden in Charge. The only applies to visitors who have travelled all the way to the park.

Tracking Time Limit

Assembling for briefing from one of the park rangers at the Kinigi park headquarters starts is limited to 7:00 – 7:30 at latest. Gorilla trekking time is limited from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All visitors are expected back at the camp ground by 7:00 p.m.

Visitor’s Passport Information
After full confirmation of the booking, passport details of the trackers will be require at the UWA to enable writing out the gorilla permits. Please ensure the full names, passport number and country of passport issuance are sent.

Please note: You must be over 15 years of age to obtain a gorilla viewing permit.

Primate Trekking

Beyond the gorillas that made Rwanda famous, wildlife junkies will be thrilled to know that they can trek three more species of primates on their Rwandan holiday: Chimpanzees, Black-and-white colobus monkeys, and the endangered Golden monkey. Chimpanzee groups live high in the canopy of Nyungwe National Park, and catching your first glimpse of one crashing through the forest after hiking into their territory is astonishing. The black-and-white colobus live in Nyungwe as well, and these resplendent, long-haired creatures are every wildlife photographer’s dream.

Finally, like their neighbours the gorillas, the Golden monkey can be found in very few places outside of Volcanoes National Park, and their rich colors, energetic demeanour, and sizeable troupes of up to 30 individuals are truly a sight to behold. The gorillas may be what brought you to Rwanda, but it would be an unforgivable omission to leave without seeing one of the wonderful creatures they share a home with, the chimpanzees.

These cousins to humans can be found and tracked in Nyungwe National Forest. A beautiful guided hike through the forest will lead you to these fascinating creatures where you can watch them play and interact up close.Chimpanzee tracking can be done year-round in Nyungwe Forest, rain or shine, and while it is never guaranteed that you will see them, sightings are very common and guides are skillful in tracking them. The experience differs from gorilla tracking as the chimps are running around, so the sightings are a bit more sporadic and rushed, but worthwhile nonetheless.

Golden Monkey Trekking

These striking primates are a treat for the eyes. With their bright orange fur contrasting the green rainforests of the Virunga Mountains – it’s a photographers dream! Visitors meet with their guides at Volcanoes National Park’s Kinigi Headquarters and the visit is done once per day. Time for trekking is allocated after booking.

Nyanza Genocide Memorial

This site, in the grounds of Kigali’s Ecole Technique Officielle, holds the graves of more than 10,000 Tutsis who were massacred here during the genocide. Today several concrete memorials mark the spot, and it’s been used as a main site for genocide anniversary commemorations.

Ntarama Genocide Memorial

Set in a village south of Kigali where more than 5,000 people were killed in the grounds of a church, the site today has been turned into a memorial garden, and the interior of the church holds the personal belongings and skeletons of hundreds of the victims, including everything from clothing, to toys, to identification. Guided visits are available.

Nyamata Genocide Memorial

Along the main road south of Kigali, this is another church where people sought protection but were ultimately slaughtered. 10,000 people were killed here in 1994, and today their personal effects fill the church. Two crypts underneath the grounds hold tens of thousands of bodies, and guided visits are available.

Murambi Genocide Memorial

Set in a former technical school just north of Nyamagabe in Rwanda’s southwest, the Murambi memorial is perhaps the most significant, and most wrenching of all of Rwanda’s genocide memorials. Up to 50,000 people were murdered here, and the mass graves so large, that the heat of the surrounding decomposition preserved many of the bodies, which now populate the bare dormitories of the school. To better explain the events leading up to the massacre, an interpretive centre was opened here in 2011.

Helicopter Tours

One of the most spectacular ways to see Rwanda is from the air! Indulge in a helicopter ride above the land of a thousand hills to get a bird’s eye view of the endless rolling green hills and pristine water banks. Helicopter is also a rapid way to get from one attraction to another. Heli-safaris and transportation are offered by Akagera Aviation.