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In most part of East Africa, hospitality and warmness is not a duty but a way of life which is openly conveyed to visitors. Obviously, this kind of traditional welcome is nothing that can be found in many parts of the world. East Africans are blessed with a beautiful home and though many see it as a dark region due to its rough past, only through the eyes of an East African resident that a traveler can see the light in this amazingly beautiful and ever-evolving part of Africa.

Throughout the years, East Africa has proven to be one of the greatest destinations one could ever visit. With its diverse combination of life and well-preserved culture, it thrills all those who come into contact with it and its unique habitats.

East Africa is a land of adventure, and the combination of stunning scenery and several of the most majestic and fascinating animals on earth makes this area a haven for nature lovers. Many of the visitors coming to the region do so for the opportunity to enjoy a safari and to spot animals like the big five; lions, elephants, the endangered white and black rhinos, buffaloes and leopards. In addition to the big five, the largest living primates, mountain gorillas are also found in East Africa-in Uganda and Rwanda. Its ever-evolving geographical features that include active volcanic mountains, the savannah and rain forests, are also other great sites worth visiting. The coastal areas and the islands of East Africa offer a very different natural and relaxing experience which involves indulging oneself in the unique coastal diverse culture and breathtaking beach activities for all travelers regardless of their age group.

The past colonial influence has reduced dramatically during the twentieth century, with all of East Africa now made up of independent nations. While there is still strife and conflict in some areas, many places that do have important tourist locations tend to attract visitors and work in making themselves a peaceful and welcoming place for visitors from any part of the world.

East African infrastructure includes good and reliable transport connections with every member country having at least one busy airport. Most of these airports facilitate in connecting East Africa to the rest of Africa countries and beyond to other parts of the world. Connecting within East Africa can be easily done by road or air. The road network is highly improving and is cheaper and adventurous compared to connection by air. Other infrastructure includes internet connection in most urban areas, accommodation varying from luxury to budget choices.

As the economy quickly develops in this part of Africa, travel services are also getting on a higher notch. Tours and accommodation vary from luxury to budget, families to couples and small groups to individual choices. Regardless of travel seasons, whether high or low, East Africa is full of surprise packages for any traveler who wishes to indulge in the adventure and ambiance experience that this region offers.

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To all types of tourists, solo, small groups, families or corporate travelers taking a trip after their business schedule, Rwanda offers more of a true African experience when it comes to beautiful landscapes, rugged explorable terrain, and rich cultural heritage. In the same holiday, you can visit the mountain gorillas, explore lakes and nature trails, experience a true wildlife game drive, or just relax with a day at a world-class spa. In fact, the Rwandan people, the government and conservation agencies have all worked together to make the new Rwanda stronger and much more unified than ever. For tourists, that means more chances to explore and experience just what the ‘Land Of A Thousand Hills’ has to offer.

If you are considering a holiday in Rwanda, there are many reasons that you should contact a Rwandan tour operator and start planning it now. Let’s take a look at five of them:

Five Reasons You Should Visit Rwanda Today 

The Mountain Gorillas Of Rwanda-Africa’s mountain gorillas are a legendary site to see. Located in the Volcanoes National Park, the Virunga Mountains are home to approximately half of the mountain gorillas in the world. As you trek through the lush forests, you will experience life as the gorillas do and engage in their natural behaviors.

World-Class Hiking And Trekking-if you are the active adventurer sort, Rwanda offers thousands of kilometers of climbing, hiking and trekking trails. Experience the African highlands bush first-hand on a guided tour of Rwanda’s Nyungwe Forest and Volcanoes Parks.

Kigali-known as the heartbeat of modern Rwanda, Kigali is also one of the friendliest capital cities in Africa. With a young population and modern metropolitan amenities, tourists will find more than enough to see and do.

The Rwandan Culture-while the three highlights of the culture of Rwanda are its biography, people and lifestyle, Rwanda’s joie de vivre is infectious. Despite the past often associated with the genocide, today the Rwanda people work toward a common goal, the betterment of the country. There are a wide range of cultural activities to see and do in Rwanda and tourists can experience daily Rwandan life through the eyes of local villagers.

Beautiful Beaches-beaches in Rwanda? Yes, and if you love being on or in the water, you will find Rwanda to be a beach lover’s dream. Lake Kivu, the 18th deepest lake on the planet, offers over 2700 square kilometers of boating, swimming, sailing and fishing fun. With sandy beaches, swaying palm trees and kite surfers whizzing past, you will hardly believe that you are at a lake and not some tropical ocean setting!

Contact Augustine Tours

To learn more reasons why you should visit Rwanda, contact Augustine Tours today and let an experienced African tour operator assist you today.

If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it on your favorite social media sites. And if you need to contribute, feel free to email us.

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Can I Travel to Uplift Less Traveled Destinations? So, it’s that time of your life when you want to plan a trip to an amazing region. Many tourists will prefer reputable places that guarantee they will enjoy their visit.

Burundi tea plantations

It is a great idea to visit well-known regions; however, I would urge travelers to consider areas that are yet to be appreciated. For example, when you plan to visit Africa, East Africa to be specific, you will learn about Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda. These are wonderful travel destinations, but they have become almost too common. There are other countries, for example, Burundi is less traveled but offers the most amazing travel experience. Also, visiting such countries allows you to promote tourism and transform the lives of citizens.

What’s interesting about Burundi?

Well, there are many reasons to consider Burundi to be the heart of Africa. The country is in the East and South of Tanzania, North side of Rwanda, and the Western side of DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo). Its position places it at a zone where Central and East Africa converge making it the heart of Africa. Also, it has a warm climate and the locals have equally warm hospitality. The country’s small size makes it easy for you to make the most of your travel. If you want to do it alone, you can rent a car and driver and visit most of the places and get back to the city probably on the same day. However, tourism is beyond going places, it would be a good idea to get a tailor-made tour and accommodation within cities like Bujumbura, Ngozi or Gitega for an exquisite visit.

Reasons to visit Burundi

Bujumbura

Although unknown among many foreign tourists, Bujumbura is a vibrant city and the capital of Burundi. The locals, within the city, are welcoming to foreigners and will be more than willing to assist you to get comfortable. Common languages in Bujumbura, Burundi, are French, English, Swahili, and Kirundi. You will get access to most services making it easier for you to travel to other destinations.

Topography

Burundi is a small but beautiful country. It is an incongruous mix of languid lakeside communities and soaring mountains. You will definitely enjoy the country’s natural environment. Since the country is less developed, there are few manufacturing industries to pollute the air; hence, natural freshness of the air.

Green Burundi Tour

Lake Tanganyika-supposing you want to relax at the beaches of a great lake; a visit to Lake Tanganyika would be recommendable. The massive lake is remarkably beautiful with many beaches that stretch from its capital to the south of Burundi. You may be lucky enough to observe hippos from a safe distance when they come out of the water.

Thermal water therapy

There are over 10 thermal water sites in Burundi, but not all are operational. However, the working sites, Mugara hot springs for instance among other, have therapeutic capabilities. Many tourists and locals visit the sites, especially individuals with rheumatism. Regardless of the therapeutic benefits, you can get to enjoy swimming in the natural warm water and interact with the amazing locals.

Amazing drumming performances

There is not much known about the Burundian culture and heritage because of its limited global popularity. Regardless, the heart of Africa has some of the best cultures. The locals celebrate life by beating drums, as it is a culture inherited over generations. Normally, the drummers wear red, green, and white, which are the colors on Burundi’s flag. These drummers are common in Gitega and you may be lucky to watch them as they rehearse in preparation of an official event.

Gishora drummers

Value of your visit

There are many reasons to travel to Burundi at least once in a lifetime. Most tourists visit developing countries in Africa to experience common concepts of life like culture and nature. However, there is more to your visit than getting to enjoy your free time after a period of working hard. Whenever we visit these less developed and less traveled regions, we provide them with the chance to be known. For example, we may all assume that it is unsafe to travel to Burundi because of its violent and sad past.

When you travel to the heart of Africa, you get to support the local communities as they offer you paid services. You may also get to document their cultures and the beauty of the country and share it with the world. Doing this will attract more visitors to the country; hence, promoting its economy. You may not help many of the less fortunate locals, but a single visit could be your opportunity to transform their lives. So better get ready to visit this beautiful country in your next trip and be part of people transforming lives through tourism.

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As those who have already traveled independently to Africa will recall, the tourism potential surpasses wildlife and gorilla safaris- in Rwanda for instance.

The choice is diverse, although the travel information is more accessible through different travel portals, searching for the best options needs much work and time which creates sometimes confusion. If you aren’t familiar with the area, you’re traveling to, why not using the local experts? Believe it or not, those are people who specialize in making sure you get things right.

Tourism- Travel with a purpose

Though tourism refers to travel, it goes beyond just going on a long journey, but with a specific purpose. Today, there are movements that advocate for environmental protection and treatment of animals with more respect. The global trend is to keep animals in their natural habitat.

Augustine Tours, as a Rwanda based tour company, focuses on “Responsible Tourism” through small group travels.

That means giving visitors tailor-made tours, with minimal impact on the environment, tours that benefit local communities. In this video, Augustin Ndikuriyo, the company director discusses the advantages of customized tours in connecting visitors and the locals.  Those itineraries showcase the diverse culture and wildlife that tourists can feel good about while allowing them to contribute to the local economy.

Travel style choices

When you want to take a vacation to a certain destination. You can consider choosing from online offers or going for tailor-made tours that are usually designed to meet special travel wishes. Given the diversity in our lifestyle and our likes, it makes sense to have different travel styles as well. Urban travel admirers will surely make different choices from what a countryside addict will put on their bucket list.

Requesting a custom-made tour program isn’t giving the tour company extra work. Using their local expertise to design a fresh program coming from the client wishes matched the available/ doable activities within your budget and time isn’t much to ask. If tourist wishes are different so are our tours- one fits all doesn’t work.

When we talk about tailor-made tours, we don’t mean fancy excursions and holidays but activities fulfilling one’s dream.

Personal attention: A local company is able to craft a tailor-made tour program that is fun, unique, creative, and full of activities according to clients wishes.

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Car hire and private tours in East Africa: This comes as an answer to multiple questions we received from past clients have asked us if we only provide car hire options to corporate travelers. Besides our main products: small group travels, fixed departure tours in Africa offered through guided tours, we avail car hire packages to people who want to travel independently.  

If you are traveling to East Africa whether, on business or leisure, one of the things you might consider is to hire a car to get around cities and villages to explore these countries. Hiring a private driver can be a good deal for solo travelers as well. This short article will focus on hiring a car with us and its benefits.

Whether traveling on a business or private trip, all you need is a good and reliable car rental company for your preferred car with possibly optional supplements, unlimited mileage, and length of hire. This car hire option can be an opportunity for you to organize your business, family, friends’ meetings or holidays with much ease as you prefer.

1)Does Augustine Tours offer car hire options? Our car hire packages are for anyone who wants to travel and explore East Africa on private tours. This can be a guided tour or simply a car hire plan. From our fantastic car hire philosophy to easy pick-up and drop off, giving a stress-free holiday in the car hire of your dreams is our tradition. Our friendly staff is 24/7 available to help and get you one step closer to enjoying your holiday. 

2)Who can rent a car with us?  Our car hire offers are for anyone who wants to travel independently. We offer a wide variety of spacious car hire that fit all passengers and their luggage with room to spare. Planning a romantic getaway in East Africa? Book and take advantage of a stylish car hire plan you can rely on every moment, and drive in style. We offer a wide variety of car hires in order to best meet your vehicle and holiday needs in Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania.  From economy cars to SUVs, you are sure to find the vehicle of your dreams. 

3)Cost Benefits: Besides all the freedom and convenience of hiring a car with Augustine Tours, the cost is another important point. No hidden fees –no extra insurance- nothing extra. Our car hire plans include a driver to take you around places you want to go to at no extra costs. You also have the advantage of being driven by a local who gives local insights.  

4)Why book a car with Augustine Tours? There are many reasons why people choose to hire cars with us.

1. Each car is checked and maintained by trained mechanics on regular basis-before and after each trip.

2. We have a 10-year experience in transportation with international companies.

3. Customer service team to assist you and give you advice with hire options.

4. Best price, Best value guarantee

5. Well trained drivers in risk management.

6. Well groomed English/French speaking drivers

7. No extra car insurance

8. Unlimited kilometers unless otherwise stated

9. Airport Tax (when picking up at an airport of course)

10. Payment flexibility- wire transfer or major credit cards

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How to make touring Africa accessible to solo travelers and young people through tailor-made budget-friendly tours. There have been a lot of misconceptions about traveling to Africa as a solo traveler. Some people think that it is too expensive, and you cannot travel alone. This is not true as Africa has become one of the world’s popular destinations. Traveling to Africa as a solo traveler gives you a thrill of discovery, connection with nature and experience new cultures. Generally, joining a small group tour that conveys and gives you an authentic vacation experience of both cultural and wildlife aspects is rewarding and commendable.

How does this apply to young people or other tourists who need an African tour but don’t have a group to join or cannot afford the group tour costs, still want to travel and decide going solo? Are they able to get the same experience as if traveling in group tours? This article will discuss ways to tour Africa on an affordable budget with an optimal travel experience. This travel guide article aims to address different questions most of the solo travelers ask themselves when thinking of traveling to Africa. They are retrieved from questions related to East Africa tourist destinations namely Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya.

When you choose to tour Africa as a solo traveler, you will find various online holiday offers from travel market places or local providers such that you will be lost for choice. The first step that every traveler should take is to find a reputable tour company. The best way to find one is to do an online search and check the reviews of that company.

It is important to find a local company that has enough experience in local tourism.

This can, in other words, mean that the company will be able to adjust the offers they have on their website so that solo travelers can also have a peak experience and see what they really want to. Unlike some online travel agents or internet brokers, the local tour company knows best the area, and all possible activities within the area. They can custom-make budget-friendly tours and transfers that are fun, creative, and full of activities.

Before you travel you will need to discuss, with the tour company about your travel wishes and this includes;

Types of activities and the amount of time needed.  

There is a lot to explore in each country you will visit, and it is important to have a schedule for the must-see places and to do things on your list. Most of the tour companies have various packages depending on the number of days that you will be spending on each destination.

Some of the key things to do in East Africa are wildlife tours including gorilla trekking, game drives, birding, wildlife photography,  hiking adventures, enjoying the sandy beaches and exploring the local culture.

Speak to the company and mention your bucket list for them to be able to advise how to enjoy all these activities within your time frame.

Guided Tours or Self-guided tours

Guided tours are those tours whereby you will get a local guide to help you around with the help of their local knowledge and experience. With guided tours, the company that you select will provide transportation from one place to another whereby you can explore as a group or private tour. The advantages of a guided tour are that it is convenient, and you will have someone to explain to you about everything.

On the other hand, self-guided tours have become popular among many travelers. In the past, people could join as a group and travel together to reduce the expenses involved. But today, you can travel solo on a self-guided tour. The self-guided tours allow one to explore the city and learn new things on their own. Check with the travel company if that option is available.

Moreover, you can find tour options offering escorted day or half day trips, and other days you can explore the different parts of the country you are visiting on your own.

Which accommodation suits your travel style.

One of the vital solo travel tips is to talk to find the right accommodation. When it comes to tour design, the accommodation style needs to be disclosed. There are several options to choose from. The choice of accommodation will depend on your budget.

The tour provider should have several packages that will meet your needs. One of the accommodation packages that most of the travel companies provide is the hotel whereby they help to book one. With a hotel, you will be provided accommodation with meals and airport transfers in some cases. Other accommodation services are hostels whereby you will have to cater to your food and travel expenses.

When discussing your accommodation, make sure that you inquire from the tour company, the facilities, and services provided in each package.

Car rental with a driver

There are tour companies that provide car rentals services to travelers who need to explore the area on their own. If you fall into this category, inquire about the car rental options. You can rent a car to travel on your own or with family and friends. It is important to book rental cars in advance.

Tour customization

When you go on a trip as a solo traveler or in group tours, you have expectations and plans. Therefore, it is important to have custom-made tour services. This approach might be beneficial in particular to young people who travel on educational or cultural programs. Tourists will go into the bush, walk, hike and meet nature up close. They will experience local culture, food and interact with the locals.

The social or cultural exchange aspect appears to play an important role in connecting people through tourism. And such programs don’t necessarily have to be expensive.

Costs for traveling as a solo traveler

One of the reasons why many young people, usually under 30, do not travel alone to Africa is that they think it’s very expensive and almost impossible. But this is not the case; all you need is to identify tour companies that offer tailor-made trip services that will match your travel needs. Make sure you select the one that has local expertise in every country that will help you find the right packages for car, accommodation, and tours.  Payment terms and methods should be flexible.

If you are a young person and you are not sure about solo traveling to East Africa, do not worry, tailor-made tour services make touring East Africa accessible and affordable to all ages once you follow the above guidelines.    

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The post Touring Africa Accessible to Solo Travelers and Young People appeared first on %%BLOGLINK%

How to make touring Africa accessible to solo travelers and young people through tailor-made budget-friendly tours. There have been a lot of misconceptions about traveling to Africa as a solo traveler. Some people think that it is too expensive, and you cannot travel alone. This is not true as Africa has become one of the world’s popular destinations. Traveling to Africa as a solo traveler gives you a thrill of discovery, connection with nature and experience new cultures. Generally, joining a small group tour that conveys and gives you an authentic vacation experience of both cultural and wildlife aspects is rewarding and commendable.

How does this apply to young people or other tourists who need an African tour but don’t have a group to join or cannot afford the group tour costs, still want to travel and decide going solo? Are they able to get the same experience as if traveling in group tours? This article will discuss ways to tour Africa on an affordable budget with an optimal travel experience. This travel guide article aims to address different questions most of the solo travelers ask themselves when thinking of traveling to Africa. They are retrieved from questions related to East Africa tourist destinations namely Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya.

When you choose to tour Africa as a solo traveler, you will find various online holiday offers from travel market places or local providers such that you will be lost for choice. The first step that every traveler should take is to find a reputable tour company. The best way to find one is to do an online search and check the reviews of that company.

It is important to find a local company that has enough experience in local tourism.

This can, in other words, mean that the company will be able to adjust the offers they have on their website so that solo travelers can also have a peak experience and see what they really want to. Unlike some online travel agents or internet brokers, the local tour company knows best the area, and all possible activities within the area. They can custom-make budget-friendly tours and transfers that are fun, creative, and full of activities.

Before you travel you will need to discuss, with the tour company about your travel wishes and this includes;

Types of activities and the amount of time needed.  

There is a lot to explore in each country you will visit, and it is important to have a schedule for the must-see places and to do things on your list. Most of the tour companies have various packages depending on the number of days that you will be spending on each destination.

Some of the key things to do in East Africa are wildlife tours including gorilla trekking, game drives, birding, wildlife photography,  hiking adventures, enjoying the sandy beaches and exploring the local culture.

Speak to the company and mention your bucket list for them to be able to advise how to enjoy all these activities within your time frame.

Guided Tours or Self-guided tours

Guided tours are those tours whereby you will get a local guide to help you around with the help of their local knowledge and experience. With guided tours, the company that you select will provide transportation from one place to another whereby you can explore as a group or private tour. The advantages of a guided tour are that it is convenient, and you will have someone to explain to you about everything.

On the other hand, self-guided tours have become popular among many travelers. In the past, people could join as a group and travel together to reduce the expenses involved. But today, you can travel solo on a self-guided tour. The self-guided tours allow one to explore the city and learn new things on their own. Check with the travel company if that option is available.

Moreover, you can find tour options offering escorted day or half day trips, and other days you can explore the different parts of the country you are visiting on your own.

Which accommodation suits your travel style.

One of the vital solo travel tips is to talk to find the right accommodation. When it comes to tour design, the accommodation style needs to be disclosed. There are several options to choose from. The choice of accommodation will depend on your budget.

The tour provider should have several packages that will meet your needs. One of the accommodation packages that most of the travel companies provide is the hotel whereby they help to book one. With a hotel, you will be provided accommodation with meals and airport transfers in some cases. Other accommodation services are hostels whereby you will have to cater to your food and travel expenses.

When discussing your accommodation, make sure that you inquire from the tour company, the facilities, and services provided in each package.

Car rental with a driver

There are tour companies that provide car rentals services to travelers who need to explore the area on their own. If you fall into this category, inquire about the car rental options. You can rent a car to travel on your own or with family and friends. It is important to book rental cars in advance.

Tour customization

When you go on a trip as a solo traveler or in group tours, you have expectations and plans. Therefore, it is important to have custom-made tour services. This approach might be beneficial in particular to young people who travel on educational or cultural programs. Tourists will go into the bush, walk, hike and meet nature up close. They will experience local culture, food and interact with the locals.

The social or cultural exchange aspect appears to play an important role in connecting people through tourism. And such programs don’t necessarily have to be expensive.

Costs for traveling as a solo traveler

One of the reasons why many young people, usually under 30, do not travel alone to Africa is that they think it’s very expensive and almost impossible. But this is not the case; all you need is to identify tour companies that offer tailor-made trip services that will match your travel needs. Make sure you select the one that has local expertise in every country that will help you find the right packages for car, accommodation, and tours.  Payment terms and methods should be flexible.

If you are a young person and you are not sure about solo traveling to East Africa, do not worry, tailor-made tour services make touring East Africa accessible and affordable to all ages once you follow the above guidelines.    

The post Touring Africa Accessible to Solo Travelers and Young People appeared first on Augustine Tours

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The post Rwanda Tours: More Than Wildlife and Gorilla Safaris appeared first on %%BLOGLINK%

Rwanda is definitely one of the most intriguing tourist destinations in East Africa. Because of features like environmental sustainability, the national parks and the infectious joie de vivre, natives can prosper from tourism. Of the incredible riches of Rwanda outside of the wildlife and gorilla safaris, the country has one of the largest rain forest parks in Africa.   

Despite being home to one of the world’s most advancing conservation management systems, Rwanda’s natural landmarks are part of the city’s absolute beauty.

Rebuilding has been demanding. More so, it’s been a profoundly emotional journey and an interesting one. Still, there are three infectious highlights: the biography, the people and their lifestyle.

Did you know that Africa is no longer just regarded as a wildlife travel destination for the famous big five? A perfect blend of wildlife and culture will make your Rwanda vacation worthwhile on every level.

Best Time to Visit Rwanda 

If you want to visit, one of the best times to see the country is during the months June and October when it’s not pouring down. Can’t make then? Come in March when spring breakers are in Miami. However, If you want to see the heart of Rwanda without bumping into other tourists, come in January or February.

This is also the best season to undertake a trip off the tourist route and relish the local cuisine, mountain views, and waterscapes. There’s no need to worry about anything in Rwanda as they positioned it 9th for safety by the World Economic Forum. 

With this in mind, you want to see the immersing hot spots the tour packages did not include. Before you go out, you must learn a little about their way of life and practices. You don’t want to embarrass yourself or endure the aftermaths of acting improperly.

Rwanda Travel Tips: Responsible Tourism

Rwanda and its people are eminently conservative. The inhabitants are modest, and they honor their elders. When going out in Rwanda, protect your body and resist having a confrontation with anybody there, but specifically with a senior.

1. Do not call attention to yourself by loud talking and making dramatic expressions. Deal with any issues you may have respectfully and privately.

2. The Rwandans believe in a few superstitions and whistling is one they observe. Think twice about whistling at night or at a woman. Somehow the people associate this expression with prostitution. 

3. You shouldn’t eat where other people can observe you. This means no eating as you’re roaming the trails or on the transport or taxi. You should not even eat among people you don’t know at a social function. They feel as though it’s impolite and tasteless.

Now, that you have some of Rwanda’s unique dos and don’ts, discover what the place is all about. There is a plethora of touristy places to delve into in Rwanda and this list merely scrapes the surface. Some of the best places in Rwanda to hit are the courses less traveled.

Inema Art Center  

The Inema Art Center is a product of brothers Emmanuel and Innocent Nkuranga. These two are self-taught artists who established the center to rattle the gifted mind and spark economic prosperity.

Their intention is to promote contemporary African artwork by women from the Nziza Workshop, combining expressions and sculptures. They feature tailor-made jewelry, leather goods, and African print linens by the mothers and daughters of Nziza. Inema has adequate capacity to support up to 10 artists who want to bloom their skills.

Working with the students has allowed the brothers to give back to the local community by producing a positive resource for the youth. In Kacyiru, the Inema Art Center also provides space on a regular basis for the cultural dance troupe experts. It opens at 8 am and closes at 8 pm, every day. 

Millennium Village Tour

It’s a 45-minute drive but you’ll embark on an excursion leading you into Kigali’s historic district just south of Rwanda. It was one of the poorest communities in Rwanda but currently serves as a development model. See the Genocide Memorial, once known to some as the Nyamata church and the graves of the 1994 genocide against Tutsi. 

Speak with women who were previously impoverished and find out how they shifted their knowledge of weaving beautifully handcrafted Agaseke (baskets) into a viable local community experience. Survivors of the genocide tell their stories and end the night with a traditional Ubusabane, featuring an assortment of food, refreshments, and dance.

1000 Hills Distillery

In 2014, with an enthusiasm for whisky, two men opened the 1000 Hills Distillery in Rwanda. They chose Rwanda because they were overwhelmed with deep connections to the local communities and the city’s picturesque views.

The men initially planned to have a vineyard. However, the fact they could resource supplies from the locals sealed the deal on a distillery. This way they could back the communities and small markets and still take part in responsible tourism.

The partners now offer five triple premium distilled liquors – coffee liqueur, spiced rum, single malt whisky, Vodka and a London Dry Gin.

Kimironko Market

You can conveniently find everything under the sun at the Kimironko Market. In fact, folk say no matter what you’re looking for, this market in Kigali is wonderful. Come for authentic clothing and leave with electronics or practical kitchen gadgets.

You may need tour operators or interpreters to take full advantage of the incredible market you get the best prices. Everyone waits for travelers to haggle to get the best deal. Nonetheless, visitors find the cuisine to be exceptional and the crafts worth bargaining for.

MAMA Rwanda Hostel

Mama Rwanda was created to enhance the lives of single mothers in Kigali. The project provides women with sewing skills to make unique African products. They offer African handcrafts and fashionable fabric products to the country so they can generate revenue.

Irembo also maintains a degree of study for the children identified as not being able to manage the fees for school. They have 10 rooms well equipped for the projects, a general section to relax in. The Hostel is at the core of Kigali.

Repub Lounge

Tourists call the Repub Lounge the best in Kigali. Sample East African dishes like sambaza (a seafood delicacy found along Lake Kivu), or coconut fish curry – they all taste marvelous. The portion size and quality of the family style Rwandan dishes is outstanding. Reserve the highly recommended patio seating and welcome the exquisite views of the city.

Exploring Kigali under liquid sunshine?

When you come, you must choose a night trip and prepare to get caught in the drizzle. Some visitors find getting snagged in the liquid sunshine enjoyable while exploring the city. The experience is worth the wet hair and heavy clothes that seem to latch on to your skin.  

The post Rwanda Tours: More Than Wildlife and Gorilla Safaris appeared first on Augustine Tours

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The post Where is Burundi? An Ultimate Travel guide appeared first on %%BLOGLINK%

Considering a Journey to Burundi? You Should Know This! An ultimate travel blog, updates, and tips for your next trip to Burundi

This article discusses frequently asked questions about Burundi from the geographical position, the culture and history, way of life, visa requirements, safety, and less known tourist attractions like Agasumo ka Mwaro or Intore dancers.

We have tried to gather a piece of information for anyone considering a trip to Burundi, be it a tourist, a traveler blogger would need to ask. If your question is not among these, feel free to email us at the email address found at the bottom of this article, and we shall be happy to exchange notes.

This travel guide to Burundi shall be updated on a regular basis as we get new insights. Here are the different questions that usually don’t find (or find hard) answers on Burundi travel blogs.

Where is Burundi on the map?

Is Burundi safe for tourists?

Burundi visa requirements? Burundi visa on arrival? Burundi visa application online?

How to apply for a Burundi visa?

What languages do they speak in Burundi?

Things to do in Burundi: tours or safaris?

What is Burundi known for?

How densely populated is Burundi?

Is Burundi a developing country?

What is happening in Burundi?

Overview

Where is Burundi & what is Burundi known for?

The country lies in the great lakes’ region of Africa. It shares borders with Rwanda, DR Congo, and Tanzania. Burundi has an amazing multitude of happy and friendly people who are proud of their country.

They will make sure you enjoy your visit. Greetings in Burundi are full of expressions of peace and love for individuals and the whole community.
Therefore, they share both a common language and collective cultural elements which are admirable. It is openly passed to all visitors with a warm handshake or a hug accompanied by a beautiful smile. Christianity remains to be the most-followed religion in here.

Families or friends enjoy a meal together in a social moment accompanied by a drink.

Burundi traditional clothing consists of African Vitenge (wrappers). Young girls and women wear this type of clothing very popular during ceremonies and social gatherings. Mostly, people in rural areas do not go for the western style of clothing. Instead, they settle for a traditional way of dressing. Burundi clothing is simple and uniquely designed. It is important that the person wearing the garment feel comfortable. And, they are able to perform various duties and work.

In this country, the value of music has proven to be significant to the culture. And, one of the most celebrated cultures is the playing of historical drums. The drums were much more than simple musical instruments. During the royal times, the drums were announcing major events for the king. Those are like a royal coronation, funeral, and weddings.

Locals play the drums at major events, particularly during national and international events. They still respect drums just as their ancestors did.

Welcoming everyone with warm smiles is the way of life here in Burundi.

Burundi ultimate travel blog: facts, tips, and things to do.

If you’re considering a journey to Burundi, realize you’re entering territory very much undervalued. This country is positively blooming with divergent and lush greenery. The assemblage makes up a sundry of creatures to match. It’s of no wonder to catch a smile while you journey to Burundi.

What may bewilder you is the uncertain nature of reports about the security conditions in this region. Most of them will suggest that you will need to maintain a certain security consciousness and observe your surroundings intently.

Tune in to the media and local sources for ongoing developments related to travel there as Burundi was once reported to be a questionable destination for tourism. No less, reflecting these general guidelines, will further grant you peace of mind during your planning and your vacation in Burundi.

These guidelines apply both on tailor-made or fixed departure packages including all-inclusive tours takes you from Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda or vice-versa.

How to apply for a visa to Burundi-Safety and travel requirements

All visitors arriving in Burundi, unless coming from visa-exempt countries, must obtain a visa from one of the Burundian diplomatic missions before entering the country.

Any citizen entering Burundi through Bujumbura International Airport could apply for a visa when landing, that is until 30 April 2015. Before then, authorities mandated travelers have a visa in advance.

It was declared October 2015 that a Burundi visa would be accessible again to foreign visitors upon arrival for 3 months at Bujumbura airport. Travelers must be coming from countries where Burundi doesn’t have an embassy.

Visitors now must have a passport, proof of yellow fever immunization, and an official Entry Authorization letter to obtain a tourist visa on arrival by the authorities in Burundi.

Residents of the EU can apply for a visa in the nearest Burundi diplomatic mission, while other countries refer to their home countries. If you should need more information concerning visas, you should telephone the Burundi Embassy in your country of residence or ask your travel agent.

When applying for the visa, requirements call for travelers to comply with requests from the government: the purpose of the visit, letter of invitation, hotel reservation.

Without necessarily being an important piece of information, keep your passport safe and bring color photos or any forms of identification. The rule of thumb to remember is when in doubt, don’t, but talk to your tour guide. In most occasions, you may not take pictures of locals or military spaces or officials without permission.

It is recommended to get travel insurance before arriving in the country. Get comprehensive medical insurance, adding coverage for hospitalization and medical evacuation. Talk to your insurance provider about the details of your policy before you travel.

Where is Burundi and what is the country known for?

Burundi is a modest heart-shaped country in the bosom of East Africa between Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania. If you are hoping to relax, slip away to the sandy shores, but if you’re seeking adventure, go hiking. Regardless of which you prefer, you’ll certainly have the ultimate vacation experience.

Actually, Burundi compacts its raw charm, but it has an abundance of details to offer. Burundi owns some of the most fascinating cultural legacies from a prodigious bunch of loyal locals to its spectacular landscape.

The country might not be flushed with wildlife compared to adjoining lands, but Burundi evens out with their stake of scarce fowl, parks, plains, and reservoirs.

Is Burundi a safe travel destination? 

When sketching out your bucket list, Burundi is undeniably a destination to include among the world-class countries known for responsible tourism. If you choose to soak up the culture, the countryside will impress you.

Burundi lies at the core of East Africa, so when it comes to generosity, wisdom, and folklore, you won’t encounter another destination so welcoming. For this reason, we recommend you apply for a visa to enter this travel destination.

Things to do in Burundi- beyond a stopover tour

When considering a journey to Burundi realize it is one of the smallest countries you’ll ever come across. Nevertheless, the densely populated communities in Africa is home to around 10 million natives. Since the country is compact, virtually all of it is reachable by its trails.

Tourist can explore the vast selection of geographical details in Burundi including riverbeds, cliffs, and highlands from a distance. Although the leading natural attractions are undervalued, Burundi has the power to grow into a tourist hot spot. Let’s take a peek at some of the finest places to call on in Burundi.

Bururi – Natural Reserve of Bururi & Natural Reserve of Kigwena

According to the editorial, Bururi: the link between heaven and earth, “The ancient Burundians attached considerable attention to forest conservation, notably mountain parks. Several mountain forests were preserved and adopted as a place of worship, while other forests served as a necropolis for Queen Mothers.”

The natural flora is unusually distinct. The forest is home to a few of the endemic species. Most abundant are the plant species belonging to the families of the Asteraceae, Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Lamiaceae, Poaceae, and Rubiaceae. There are also 205 species of birds squatting in Burundi.

Kirundo: Intore dancers in Burundi

Kirundo is where visitors discover such reservoirs as Cohoha and the Bird Lake by kayak, making it perfect for tourists seeking seclusion and tranquility. The lakes are ideal for individuals who prefer watching Africa’s birds taking in their old ways.

You’ll appreciate the fascinating types of world-famous dance sets and Intore’s ancestral rhythms of the dancers and drummers. It’s rare because the dancers set the beat for the performers and not the other way around.

Gitega: Royal Drummers- Songa Mount Hiking – Ancient houses (Architecture)

Since you and your family are taking a journey to Burundi, you can’t leave without visiting the city of Gitega. It’s a tranquil place with particular charm and exquisite appeal. Batimbo are the classical dancers who perform to the echoes of tambourines. The performers have toured Washington, Montreal, Munich, Berlin, and Tokyo just to name a few, as an instrumental part of the acclaimed international festivals.

Mugamba: Heha Mount Hiking- Traditional houses- Cattle in traditional Burundi

This country is made of plateau mainly. Mount Heha, set in the Bujumbura Rural province of Burundi, is the loftiest mountain in Burundi and the steepest point in the Burundi Highlands mountain territory. It stretches to the east of Lake Tanganyika approximately 30 km.

The straw-roofed rugo or traditional Burundian thatched houses are enveloped by a fence built with bamboo hedges. This empowers the residents with shelter against the icy weather, specifically night. These red and kaolin family residences are sprinkled across the region along with African Ankole Longhorn cattle breed.

That is the exploitation of local materials in the building. The houses found in this region are quite different from the Burundian traditional dwellings. With modernity, these houses have changed their format. This kind of dwellings resembles much the constructions met in Ethiopia around the Lake Wenchi.

The most interesting part of this dwelling zone is along the national road no.7, after the urban center of Ijenda. The tourist will find it difficult to choose between taking views either near the road or on the large vista covering all the hills that endlessly stretch out. This route also leads to the source of the Nile, Karera waterfalls and Nyakazu rift. A guided tour in Burundi usually includes a trip to this amazing region.

Bujumbura: Architectural tour – Lake Tanganyika and Fishing opportunities

The journey to Burundi will lead you to Tanganyika’s silky waters. The lake features warm, salt-free water that changes from clear stillness to overflowing waves excellent for surfing.  Lake Tanganyika is the longest freshwater lake in the world and after lake Baikal, it ranks as the second deepest.

The waters host more than 350 different species of fish and are well known for aquarium fish exports and excellent angling. Sport fishing is prevalent at the lake and the fisherman returns home with catches such as the goliath tigerfish and Nile perch.

Muramvya: Kibira National Park – Tea plantations- Treaty of Kiganda

Kibira National Park sits northwest of Burundi, and the whole area is only 400 square kilometers. The forest is home to the white colobus monkeys, and it possesses over 250 species of birds covering the turtle dove. This where you will see amazing tea plantations and a visit to Teza tea factory makes your day worthwhile on all levels.

Kiganda Royal Grounds: Kiganda is where the King Mwezi accepted the invitation to sign a treaty with the Germans in 1903 which marked the beginning of the colonial era. It is not only a historical place about colonization, but also a significant cultural site.

One of the sites is a beautiful park which is a historical sanctuary containing all details about signing the Treaty between Germans and King Mwezi Gisabo who was the traditional ruler during that colonial era. The other site is the royal inauguration grounds where the Kings Mutaga Mbikije, Mwezi Gisabo, and many other ancient political kings were inaugurated. Touring this site is an incredible chance for one to enjoy the Burundian ancient royal walk on elegant, well-kept royal grounds.

Mwaro – Mwaro Falls/ Agasumo ka Mwaro

Mwaro Falls is a natural ecosystem with trails along the Kayokwe River. Offering a compelling display, the pathways lead to a sequence of steep cascades which gave the name to this site Agasumo which means “falls.”

Agasumo ka Mwaro serves as one of the significant abodes of God: “I Wabo w’Imana”. Burundi considers “Agasumo ka Mwaro” as a memorable place that served as the center of worship for the devotees of this faith that has confronted the ages.

Burundi tea company – Tora (Bururi)

As the second cash crop in Burundi, tea brings foreign currencies to the East African community. Burundi Tea Company is exceedingly important to the nation as it generates employment. They formed the first tea plantation in 1963 Burundi has five tea factories in five other territories.

Burundi Coffee company – Gitega

Burundi’s volcanic soil produces an exceptional environment for growing big body coffee. Volcanic soil is plentiful in nutrients such as nitrogen. Burundian coffee passes through a special processing technique to make its sweet citrus taste

Palm Oil Company -Rumonge

In Burundi, palm oil is mainly harvested in the villages of Rumonge and Nyanza lac in Bururi province. Farmers can yield palm oil only after waiting a minimum of six years of being planted. The vegetable oil, derived from the mesocarp, is edible vegetable oil.

Consider reading 

Tips for parents traveling with children

Burundi for tourists who aspire to responsible tourism 

The post Where is Burundi? An Ultimate Travel guide appeared first on Africa Private Tours - Small Group Travels

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The post Burundi for tourists who aspire to responsible tourism appeared first on %%BLOGLINK%

If you are looking forward to relaxing at sandy beaches, a hiking adventure or an ultimate vacation experience, Burundi has it all. It is a small land-locked country located in the heart of East Africa in between Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. The country has a lot to offer. Its natural beauty ranges from an incredible array of cultural heritage, stunning scenery and some of the friendliest people in the world. The country might not be rich in wildlife compared to her neighbors but that compensates with birds, forests, lakes, and grasslands.

Although the main natural attractions are not enough utilized to make the country a tourist hotspot on the regional level, Burundi has a rich potential that a well-advised visitor can enjoy. Let’s take a look at some of the best places to visit in Burundi.

SagaBeach

This is one of the biggest Burundi draw cards, and if you’re a beach person, it will be one of your best spots to visit. Located 5km from Bujumbura city center; the beautiful saga beach was named in honor of Saga Beach Resort, which used to be the largest restaurant in the area. The beach is engulfed with a natural surrounding which increases its attractiveness. You’ll often find locals around the beach making it look more lovely and fun. The long stretch of white sand is an ideal place to walk, take in some fresh air and relax while watching the sunset on the horizon. So, if you want to unwind, relax and enjoy a serene and tranquil atmosphere, this is the right place for you.

Bujumbura city

Bujumbura is the capital city and the economic hub of Burundi. Located in the Northern side of the world deepest lake, Lake Tanganyika, the town is characterized by excellent food, drinks, and nightlife. The city offers a variety of French cuisine found in various restaurants with quite affordable prices. The city holds one of the most prestigious higher learning institutions, the University of Burundi and other private universities.  It has an independence Monument that represents the hard times of colonization by Germany and Belgium. It is also the home of the one-of-a-kind living museum that showcases the ancient and modern crafts used in the country.

Lake Tanganyika

If you want to relax on sandy beaches, kick back in watersides hotels and become seduced by the natural beauty, Lake Tanganyika has it all in one plate. The second largest freshwater lake in the world laps against the shores of Burundi capital city, Bujumbura. It’s also the second deepest lake in the world after Lake Baikal in Siberia. The lake is home to over 700 species of fish that are found nowhere else making it one of the world’s natural wonders. It also bonders several national parks and nature reserve.

Rusizi River National Park

Rusizi River National Park is a great place to visit because of its ease of access, beautiful landscape and wildlife. Here, you can easily track down hippos in their natural habitats. If you stroll down the river, you’ll be lucky to spot flamingos running through the park. The park has a lot to offer for those who love bird watching and game walks. There are approximately 200 bird species in the park including the red-chested sunbird, yellow browed, Sharpe’s pied babbler and cisticola. Remember this used to be home to the notorious Gustave crocodile who’s believed to have killed over 300 people in his lifetime.

Living Museum of Bujumbura

Located in the capital Bujumbura, the living museum showcases the cultural heritage and artistic riches of Burundi. It includes a reconstructed traditional Burundian village and a small zoo with crocodiles and snakes. So, if you would like to explore the history, diverse culture and scenic beauty of Burundi, this is a great place to be. The museum is surrounded by bars souvenir shops and restaurants where you can enjoy local food while interacting with the friendly Burundians.

Monument de l’ Unité  

The monument overlooks Lake Tanganyika and the city just a few kilometers on the top hill of the capital Bujumbura. It is a significant symbol of national unity celebrated on February 5thof each year. The historical architectural masterpiece portraits a message that one can translate “we gather under one rope”. The monument also provides a strategic spot where you can view the entire Bujumbura city as well as Lake Tanganyika.

Gishora Drum Sanctuary

Located at the hilltop outside Gitega, Gishora Drum Sanctuary is the place where the infectious Burundi culture is well depicted. Here, drums are beaten to celebrate life. King Mwezi Gisabo founded the sanctuary in the 19th century with a primary aim of protecting the ritual drums of the royal court. Drummers wear red, white and green the color of Burundian flag.

You can watch live performances and get a story behind the two sacred drums -Ruciteme and Murimirwa. The pride of this small beautiful country expressed through drums normally beaten during rehearsals and official events is so intense and contagious. The drum is often used to announce the important national events in the country and abroad wherever Burundi is represented.

Kibira National Park

Kibira National park is located in the northern part of Burundi and covers approximately 400 square kilometers of space. It is the second largest natural reserve in Burundi with 16% of the park covered by mountain rainforest. It has over 250 species of birds and the rarest species of animals ranging from white and black colobus monkey and chimpanzee. In the earlier times, the national park was mostly used for hunting due to its exotic species of animals.

Final Verdict

Burundi lies at the very heart of East Africa a destination known for world-class wildlife and natural scenic beauty. Burundi is undoubtedly among the countries to include on your bucket list when planning your East African vacation.

So, if you want to relax and spend quality time with your loved one, it is a destination you need to consider. The culture, nature, and scenic beauty of the country will leave you thrilled and amazed. Its warm climate and equally warm hospitality will leave you wanting to stay longer. Burundi is be highly recommended to tourists who aspire to responsible tourism. Traditional arts and crafts will get you under the skin of Burundian culture. The country might be small in size, but it will surely take your breath away.

References 

The Bartletts

Gary Krosin 

The post Burundi for tourists who aspire to responsible tourism appeared first on Africa Private Tours - Small Group Travels

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