Banana beer in most African cultural settings, is cultural drink and Rwanda like many has…
This is how Rwanda Familiarization trip happened. “It’s my first time in Africa and in Rwanda and I did not expect what I saw in Rwanda” says a recent travel agent from Chicago, US. We’ve heard similar statements from many travelers’ who make Rwanda their debut destination in Africa.
Heritage safaris has made it a point to bring travel agents to Rwanda to give them first hand experiences as way of introducing the destination to their market. We are able to do this with the support of Visit Rwanda (tourism board), that organizes visit Rwanda road shows. The recent Visit Rwanda events in the have convened over 500 travel agents in Helsinki, Copenhagen, and Stockholm, Oslo, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, London, New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, Paris and so many others.
Over the past 3 months, Heritage Safaris has organized fam-trips in collaboration with Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Rwanda Tours and Travel Association (RTTA) as well as stakeholders in the hospitality industry.
We believe in first hand experiences because everyone who undertakes this trip becomes an ambassador! Says Heritage Safaris Managing Partner. The beauty, the size and cleanliness and accessibility of the country renders it a perfect destination for travelers who love to keep it simple and exquisite! Travelers who love the finer things of life that blend with unique experiences!
“The 10 days spent in Rwanda have been the most mesmerizing and am confident that I’ll bring my clients to Rwanda over the next few days” says another agent from Los Angeles on Rwanda Familiarization trip.
On their day of arrival both groups were welcomed into a VIP Lounge at the Kigali International Airport. Our lounge hosts do a fast-track process at immigration and baggage collection as agents/clients are treated to refreshments in the executive Lounge. The agents were handed over to a professional tour guide who transferred them to their hotel for overnight stay.
‘’I had a peaceful, cozy, and warm night in a comfortable bed’’ says another agent from Chicago.
The agents had alternate days of city tours, the highlight being cooking classes at a nearby women center and the genocide memorial. ‘’The food was beyond delicious. It was my first time to taste Dodo and it was no disappointment. They say cooking brings people together and cooking classes with Aminata bring the world together through her kitchen’’ says another agent.
After the Kigali city tour, agents spent three nights in Akagera national park for wildlife experience that includes encounters with community and the conservation story dubbed as the “Behind the scenes” The agents greatly appreciated community stops that come with basket weaving and a traditional dance that engages everyone! “The dance vibe at Kayonza women Centre should not be missed!” says agent from Fort Lauderdale.
‘’Akagera is terrific and every visited area gives unique and worthwhile experiences’’ says an agent from Los Angeles.
The agents also toured Nyungwe National Park with two nights in the park. One of the biggest highlights was their stay at One & Only Nyungwe house! “The ambience and luxury are unmatched! …. You wake up to singing birds, beautiful lush green tea plantations, silver monkeys and woods that stretch the entire on the horizon. The balcony moments shouldn’t be missed – they come with exclusive areas, decorated with food, green views unlimited drinks including whiskeys, wines & more that come with the room”, a Chicago-based agent. Agents also enjoyed the Canopy walkway and the crop-to-cup tea tour experience. “I will bring my groups to enjoy what I didn’t have time to do here – yoga meditation, massage and spa treatment” says agent from Fort Lauderdale.
The climax of this Rwanda familiarization trip, was the incredible mountain gorillas, this was the day all the agents have been waiting for. ‘’Am still Mesmerized by my sightings; The adaptation to experience gorillas is ingenious”, says 80+ year old who used a stretcher.
Agent-Fam-Trips come with site inspection of hotels. The two groups at alternate times, inspected these properties; One and Only, Bisate Lodge, Virunga Inn Resort, Sabyinyo-Silverback Lodge, Singita – Kwitonda Lodge, Bishop House, Mantis Akagera and Marina Bay Lodges, Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel,
Heritage safaris especially the tour guides who were delightful so industrious and positive, and most importantly the hotels and lodges which are scenically located, and provide superior class of facilities and very good overall services. The team of heritage safaris we are so glad and hopefully to host the gents and bring back more agents in the beauty, cleanliness and accessibility country that renders perfect destinations to many travelers.
Admittedly, tours in Rwanda are eye opening. Rwandan people are welcoming, warm and generous. The famous Gorilla trekking is what comes to mind for every traveler who visits Rwanda. Travelers in the past have high appreciation of the culture, the growth, the beauty and security of the country.