Rwanda is bordered by Tanzania, DRC, Burundi and Uganda making it a landlocked country.Its tourism potential solely lies in the natural attractions like the Gorillas, wildlife in the parks, Lake kivu,chimpanzees, golden monkeys, and birds.
Mountain Gorillas can only be found in Uganda Rwanda And DRC. Gorillas in Rwanda can only be found in Volcanoes national park. The park is just 2 hours drive for the capital Kigali.
Rwanda is perceived as a safe tourism destination due to the effort they have put to ensure that the tainted image especially of the 1994 genocide is cleared and its now actually viewed as one of the best attractions.
The gorilla naming ceremony is one of the events dedicated solely to the improvement of the livelihood of the community and more so the people that live next to the national park.
Dian fossey was the first conservationist to research about gorillas in PNV. Her works still live on through the foundation she formed.
The locals in the are continuously competed for resources and so they hunted down animals and took part of their habitat to ensure they get some income and food. The need to improve the welfare of the locals forced Dian to come up with a fund that would help the locals to find income and desist from poaching.
Community tourism has increased the urge of everyone to visit the Volcanoes national park. More than 20000 people visit this park every year.
Since 2005,the government of Rwanda started a sharing scheme where by 5% of the money collected from gorilla trekking is given back to the community generating alot of social and economic benefits. With these benefits from conservation, the locals are also encouraged to be part of the conservation drive.
The community owned Sabinyo Community Lodge provides accommodation to tourists as well as provide market for local food and crafts.
The Iby’ Iwacu cultural village is another benefit for community tourism. People visit this village and acquaint themselves with things like the local food, music and dances, the dress code and the history of the people of Rwanda.
Historically people lived in harmony with gorillas and other wildlife including the forest dwelling Batwa pygmies in the Virunga rain forests who were later displaced during creation of Volcanoes National Park and some parts of Nyungwe forest National Park.
The Batwa Pygmies the marginalized tribe in Rwanda were left with no home and could not practice any of their traditions like hunting and fruit gathering. With gorillas tourism, the batwa have been rehabilitated through agriculture, education and social welfare.
The gorilla fund looks at preserving the culture of the Batwa. Most people visit the Villages of these people to learn about their tradition.
Tourist pay some little money to get a feel of the Batwa experience with activities like hunting, herbal medicines, the dances. The proceeds from these activities go toward the welfare of the Batwa themselves and this motivates then to do conservation.