Rwanda is just one of three countries in the world where you can see mountain gorillas, the largest primate in the world. Seeing gorillas doesn’t come cheap. Nor should it, as Rwanda and its neighbors have put in place exemplary conservation practices in order to protect the godfathers of the wildlife world.
In Rwanda a gorilla trekking safari permit costs US$1,500 per person. They book out well in advance as numbers are strictly limited, and so if you are keen to go gorilla trekking during peak season you sometimes need to book as early as 18 months in advance.
Once you have reached your gorilla group, by law you will be allowed to spend a maximum of one hour with them, as research has proven that gorillas should not be exposed to human beings for more than one hour a day. After years of poaching Rwanda now takes its stewardship of mountain gorillas very seriously and so, thankfully, seeing gorillas in the wild is driven by conservation not capitalism.
This hour will be one of the most extraordinary, up close and personal wildlife watching experiences you will ever have, which is why most people are advised to buy a second permit so that they can have a second trek during their holiday, having traveled all that way.
Azizi life has an office through which you get to the people if you want to go for this experience. It’s located just an hour away from Kigali along the Kigali – Huye Road.
As the name suggests, it’s a life experience where you are exposed to the different cultures and traditions of the Rwanda people. Azizi Life Experience is a social venture that gives people the chance to interact and also better understand the life style of the rural people. You can get involved in their daily activities thus an interactive way of learn about the cultures. It’s much better than just reading about them or being told stories.
When you arrive for a one-day cultural experience, you together with the Azizi Life interpreter given to you will be received by the ladies from their weaving cooperative. A little bit of introduction from both the visitors and the host family is important before you get involved in their morning family duties.
There are activities that include kitchen duties like cooking, you may go to collect some water from down the valley spring, there is grass cutting for their farm animals as well as going in the garden with them to plant or weed. So, the choice is yours, you can go for whatever you want to do that morning.
Enjoy the Azizi Life Musical Experience and it will begin with short performance done by a small group of traditional performers and after them it will be turn to try. There will be dancers too to teach you essential steps to proper dancing and they will also share you a little bit about the Rwandan dance history.
The expert dance and music instructors will be there to help you understand everything so that you are ready for your performance. You can have your performance recorded on video so you can see it later.