Red Rocks unveils plan to spur conservation through culture


Guests enjoy snacks at the conservation event in Musanze, last Sunday. (All photos by Moses Opobo)

Musanze-based Red Rocks ecotourism and cultural centre has released a line-up of annual activities to promote conservation and tourism for sustainable development.

The Red Rocks Rwanda cultural initiative is a monthly events that collectively bring local communities, conservation and tourism stakeholders together to promote sustainable development around the Volcanoes National Park.

Through these events, locals have a chance to exchange ideas and learn from one another how they can use their talents, culture, and other local tools to foster development through effective sustainable planning.

Several events have already taken place since the year began, including a cultural talent show in February and the seed of hope festival which happened last month.

After the commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, the centre will host a number of activities, beginning with Ubumwe debates on April 21. Below is a list of assorted activities to make your pick.

Ubumwe Debates: April 21– 23.

The event will highlight the need to contemplate on what is essential to bring about meaningful reconciliation.

The main objective of these debates is to prevent and manage community conflicts and to develop mutual support and social solidarity initiatives in order to enhance social economic development.

Poems, songs, and fictions, May 26-28.

The activity will feature local poets seeking to tell the world truthful stories with a poetic significance. 

“We encourage the local community writers to express themselves in fictional local stories highlighting their Rwandan culture and heritage. The richness, strength and vitality of the local songs and poems emphasise information about public health and nutrition,” the management of Red Rocks says.

The buffet was served in traditional clay pots.

Red rocks summer camps/ cultural film festival, June 17 to July 10.

The summer camp will feature a number of fun activities and provide an enriching environment for young persons.

The one month long summer camp creates an adventure that is wild and crazy, challenging and fun, smile inducing, and character forming.

Red Rocks summer camps combine incredible activities, academic learning, and cultural learning mentorship that will engage and empower kids for the years to come.

Umuganura (Cultural Harvest Season), August to September

The annual event coincides with the national Umuganura festival which will stress the need for the preservation of Rwandan culture and heritage, with a goal of increasing public awareness on the same.

The month will feature various typical Rwandan cultural activities such as competitions and performances in traditional sports, cultural festival, cultural fashion show, and Umuganura festivities.

Banana Beer Festival, October 14- 16.

The annual event is aimed at celebrating local brewers as part of the efforts to promote domestic tourism.

Various activities will be featured such as demonstration of banana beer making, musical performances from local artists, storytelling, poetry, and competitions of best made banana beer cocktail. 

The local beer festival was initiated to give people an opportunity to learn more about traditional beer making with enough time to taste different kinds of local beers with the objective of showcasing the Rwandan culture.

Locals line up for food. 

Heritage preservation debates, November 23-24.

In the wake of concerns that culture and traditions are disappearing, there is an urgent need to support efforts to preserve Rwanda’s heritage.

Through this annual event, Red Rocks seeks to create programmes to mobilise local communities to revive and celebrate Rwanda’s common heritage in a bid to preserve it for future generations.

“Red Rocks welcomes all people interested in studying the international regulations regarding the protection of the cultural heritage in post-colonial Rwanda and evaluating how a heritage reconstruction project after warfare has contributed to social healing and rehabilitation,” the management says.

The last activity will be the Village Christmas Market from December 23-26. The Christmas village market will offer families a different experience for Christmas shopping with something for everyone. Visitors will also enjoy family entertainment, carol singing and much more.