Visiting tourists pledge advocacy role

Musanze - A group of over 80 tourists have pledged to be Rwanda’s ambassadors after completing at 3-day tour visit around the country.
Mountain gorillas have been a major tourist attraction (File Photo)
Mountain gorillas have been a major tourist attraction (File Photo)

Musanze - A group of over 80 tourists have pledged to be Rwanda’s ambassadors after completing at 3-day tour visit around the country.

The tourists, travelling on a private plane, and brought by Terra Incognita Ecotours, trekked the  mountain Gorillas, in Volcanoes National Park, visited Gahaya Links, a women Art and Crafts organization in Kigali, and the Gisozi Genocide Memorial.

Speaking to The New Times at the park, after viewing five Gorilla groups, the tourists, promised to take the ‘wonderful message’ to their countries about ‘Rwanda’s true image of beauty, cleanness and the heritage of mountain Gorillas.’

“This has been the memorable experience, everyone is amazed how kind and gentle the people have been to us since we arrived here,” said Brad Anderson, from New York, USA.

“We wish we were here longer to see the elephants in Akagera Park.’’

According to Gerard Caddick, of Terra Incognita Ecotours, they bought Gorilla trekking permits worth $ 40,000, two years back in (2009), in order to ensure a successful visit.

They commended the hospitality his clients had been accorded during their time in the country.

“It’s a big challenge to have such a big number enjoy the visit, enjoy Rwanda, it relies a lot on the good team work, especially RDB, and the good service of the park, and the hotels they occupied, no body has complained,’’ said Caddick.

The tourists will also visit Japan, Indonesia, Papau Guinea, Bhutan and India. They described their experience of visiting Gorillas as ‘worth it.’

“I got the tears in my eyes, its amazing seeing the gorillas right in front of you, it brings one close to nature,’’ said Ann Colm, from California.

“The Silverback looked so gigantic, it was breaking the trees, these are indeed animals which need to be protected or else we lose them,’’ Colm added.

The park warden, Prosper Uwingeri, said that receiving such groups of tourists is a sign of confidence in the service, and the country as a result of conservation efforts.

“Rwanda has prioritized tourism promotion, there are activities such as the Kwita Izina-Gorilla naming ceremony and community conservation programmes, which have given a boost to tourism,’’ Uwingeri said.

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