The annual Cultural Tourism Week at Red Rocks in Musanze is back. In its fifth year running, the Cultural Tourism Week comes as a prelude to the annual gorilla naming ceremony, Kwita Izina, which this year is slated for September 1.
The Cultural Tourism Week is a forum through which Rwandans reflect on the gains made in conservation efforts and also showcase and partake in the country’s rich cultural heritage. Being pegged to Kwita Izina, the event also acts as an alternative tourism experience for international visitors seeking an extra thrill beyond the gorillas.
Greg Bakunzi, a tour operator and the founder of Red Rocks Rwanda explains that part of the rationale for organizing the Cultural Tourism Week is to introduce foreign visitors to the numerous tourism options that abound in the country, away from the gorillas and other big game in the country’s national parks.
The event typically attracts conservationists, government and local leaders, community members, tourism industry players and policy makers, as well civil society organizations, creating abundant networking opportunities.
Bakunzi further explains that this year, Red Rocks is organising the Cultural Tourism Week in partnership with Rotary International.
The activities kick off on Friday August 26th, with the opening ceremony at which guests will have a chance to partake of traditional Rwandan food and drink.
On Saturday August 27, there will be a local display of events and products that reflect the country’s cultural heritage and identity; traditional food and drink, banana beer production, poetry, music, dance and drama, basket weaving and traditional storytelling around a bon fire, among others. This will run until August 30th.
The following day, August 31st will feature a gorilla fun run, which is a new addition to the Cultural Week. The run will go through the villages around the Volcanoes National Park, home of the gorillas, just a day before Kwita Izina.
Also among activities lined up is the Cultural Fashion Show on August 31st, at which local designers will display and sell both traditional and modern Rwandan designs.
The Cultural Tourism Week on Kwita Izina night, September 1, will include an after party, the Crazy Night of the Gorillas at Red Rocks in Nyakinama, Musanze.